Religion Briefs

Saturday February 16, 2013

Sunday, Feb. 15

’Wilderness Experiences’ and more at the Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON -- Lent has begun and we invite all people of faith or in search of faith to join us at the Federated Church of East Arlington located on Ice Pond Road at 10 a.m. as we journey to the cross together.

The Rev. Kathy Clark’s sermon this Sunday will consider those times of struggle and temptation in our lives in light of Jesus’ experience in her sermon titled, "Wilderness Experiences.

There are still some spaces left for the Eat for Heat Dinner on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 5 p.m. in Bailey Hall. Reservations are needed, so call the church office at 375-2548. The menu will include fettuccine with vegetables, garlic bread, salad and peanut butter pie. Voluntary contributions gathered will all go to provide emergency heat and electric support for folks in our community. Worship at Second Congo

BENNINGTON -- Second Congregational Church gathers for worship at 10 a.m. on this First Sunday in Lent. The church will begin lighting Lenten candles to remind us of practices that can shape our lives, and then children up through grade 5 are dismissed for Godly Play, while the middle-and high-school class gathers. Nursery care is provided throughout worship. The Rev. Mary Lee-Clark’s sermon is titled "Wandering in the Wilderness."

A time of fellowship and refreshment for the whole church family follows in Webster Hall.

Service: ‘Answering the God question’

BENNINGTON -- "Answering the God question" will be held at the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship. This lay-led service will explore how those with non-traditional views of a higher power use that view to support themselves in dealing with the uncertainties of life and their relationship with others.

Worship in North Bennington

NORTH BENNINGTON -- The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes all to its 11 a.m. worship service led by the Rev. Penny Rich Smith on this first Sunday in Lent. The sermon, "Confusion Before the Cross," will be based on Deuteronomy 26:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13. There will be a children’s time, after which Sunday School classes will meet for pre-school through grade. Worship is held in the social hall during the winter months.

Lent at Cambridge United Presbyterian Church

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. --Cambridge United Presbyterian Church, 81 East Main St., holds its Sunday worship service at 10:30 a.m. with the Rev. Kate Kotfila, pastor.

The worship theme during Lent will encourage us to reflect on virtues and vices. As always, the goal will be to grow in love for God and others. At noon on the Wednesdays of Lent, the Cambridge Council of Christian Churches will host Lenten Lunches. These will be held at the Cambridge Embury United Methodist Church. A brief reflection on Scripture and hymn singing precedes the soup and sandwich lunch.

Also, a Lectionary study group that will meet in Brieman Hall at 9 am each Sunday morning will open up the worship theme of the week and delve deeper into what Scripture has to say.

For information about activities and working teams, call the church office mornings at 518-677-3863, email or visit


Congregation Beth El Purim celebration

BENNINGTON -- Congregation Beth El will host a clue-themed Purim celebration on the afternoon of Saturday, Feb. 23. Call 802-442-9645 for more information.

The schedule will be 4 to 5:30 p.m., Purim Carnival for kids (run by teens); for adults: "Will the Real Queen Esther Please Stand Up!" (learning in sanctuary with Rabbi Greenfield). 5:30 p.m., costume parade and mystery adventure. 6 p.m., community potluck dinner and Havdallah (bring a Middle Eastern dish or your favorite Hamentaschen to share). 7 p.m., Megillah reading and sermon-off

’October Baby’ shown at Community Alliance Church

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- Hoosick Falls Community Alliance Church, 484 Hill Road, will host "October Baby," on Sunday, Feb. 24, beginning at 7 p.m.

As the curtain rises, Hannah hesitantly steps onto the stage for her theatrical debut in college and immediately collapses in front of the stunned audience. After countless medical tests, all signs point to one underlying factor: Hannah’s difficult birth. This revelation is nothing compared to what she then learns from her parents, she was actually adopted, after a failed abortion attempt.

Bewildered, angered, and confused, Hannah turns for support to Jason, her oldest friend. Encouraged by his adventurous spirit, Hannah and some friends embark on a journey to discover her hidden past -- and find hope for her unknown future.

This powerful, beautiful story is a living testament to the importance of every human life and one that will not be easily forgotten. "October Baby" is rated PG-13. There is no cost and snacks will be provided. For more information, contact HFCAC at 518-686-3269.

Free community supper at Dorset Church

DORSET -- The Dorset Church will serve a free community supper from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28. The church is located at 143 Church St. (off Route 30).

All are welcome for free meals. Bring your family and friends. Take outs available. Questions, call Jane at 867-2260. There will be an additional free dinner on Wednesday, March 20.


First Baptist seeks vendors for Cabin Fever Sale on March 9

BENNINGTON -- Vendors are invited to participate in the First Baptist Church of Bennington’s first annual "Cabin Fever Flea Market, Craft Fair and Luncheon",, set for Saturday, March 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To reserve a table ($20/table), vendors, artisans and other sellers should call Grace Becker-Wilson at 802-379-4548. The table spaces are limited, so call ASAP to ensure one’s table reservation. The event will feature lunch and snack items provided by First Baptist. All proceeds benefit the ministry and mission of the congregation.

Located at 601 Main St., the First Baptist Church of Bennington is "a place for healing, community involvement and spiritual grounding." To learn more, visit or email


Lutheran synod leader sorry for Newtown pastor reprimand

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The president of a conservative Lutheran denomination has apologized for reprimanding a Newtown, Conn., pastor who participated in an interfaith prayer vigil in apparent violation of the church’s constitution.

The Rev. Rob Morris of Christ the King Lutheran Church offered the benediction at the Dec. 16 vigil with other religious leaders -- including Jewish, Muslim and Baha’i -- for victims of the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod President Matthew Harrison subsequently reprimanded Morris, saying the synod constitution bars joint worship for fear of giving the appearance that theological differences about salvation and other doctrines are not significant.

Media reports on the reprimand and Morris’ apology incited outrage among some bloggers and posters on social media sites who expressed disapproval with the synod’s decision.

On Monday, Harrison posted a video apology on the synod website saying his actions had only made things worse.

"I exacerbated the problem," a somber Harrison said. "I caused greater offense. I caused trouble for Pastor Morris and difficulty for the congregation and offense there in the midst of their suffering. Please forgive me."


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