Religion News in Brief



'Spring Forward' at Second Congo

BENNINGTON >> "Spring forward" – turn your clocks ahead and spring into the "new thing" that God is creating. Join us in worship at Second Congregational Church, UCC, this Sunday morning at 10 a.m., as we find our way out of the Wilderness of "Old Think" on this Fifth Sunday in Lent. Following a Time for the Children in All of Us, children up through grade 5 are dismissed for Godly Play, while nursery care is available. The middle- and high-school class is at the Kitchen Cupboard for their monthly service project. The Chancel Choir's anthem is "The Garden," by Mark Hayes, and Rev. Mary Lee-Clark's sermon, entitled, "The Fragrance of Life," is based on the readings from Isaiah 43 and John 12.

A time of fellowship and refreshment for the whole church family follows in Webster Hall, and at 11:35, the final session of the video-discussion series, "Jesus' Fatwah" takes place in the All-Purpose Room. Eaarth Advocates meet in the Clayton Room.

Second Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, and we welcome to our work and worship all people of faith or in search of faith, without regard to age, race, economic condition, disability, or sexual orientation. Our building is located at 115 Hillside St. and is wheelchair-accessible. For more information, call the church office at 442-2559 or visit

Worship and Events at St. Peter's

BENNINGTON >> The Rev. Justin Lanier will preside as St. Peter's Episcopal Church celebrates the Eucharist on the fifth Sunday of Lent, March 13, at the 8 a.m. service. At this service we use the Book of Common Prayer Rite I. At the 10 a.m. service the Holy Eucharist will be celebrated using Rite II with singing and music. The Gospel for this day is John 12: 1-8. Remember to set your clocks ahead at midnight on March 12 as Daylight Savings Time begins.

A healing service follows both the 8 a.m. and the 10 a.m. Eucharist.

Since Palm Sunday falls on the third Sunday of the month, the Vestry will meet this month on March 13 instead, after the 10 a.m. service.

The church office will be open Tuesday and Wednesday. Lanier may be reached at the church or on his cell phone at 302-858-8832.

The Keystone has a new e-mail address. Articles for the April Keystone may be given to Tabbie Aldrich or sent to, by March 21.

On Wednesday, March 16, Lanier will officiate chanted Evening Prayer at 5 p.m. followed by Contemplative Prayer service and teaching from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. On Thursday. March 17, he will celebrate the Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. in the Chapel.

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday on March 20. This begins our week of extended spiritual practice and ancient liturgies.

On Tuesday of Holy Week, March 22, there will be Morning Prayer from 9:30 to 10 a.m. and contemplative prayer from 10 to 10:30 a.m. with Evening Prayer from 5 to 5:30 p.m. and contemplative prayer from 5:30 to 6 p.m.

On Wednesday of Holy Week, March 23, there will be Morning Prayer from 9:30 to 10 a.m. and contemplative prayer from 10 to 10:30 a.m. with Evening Prayer from 5 to 5:30 p.m. and contemplative prayer and teaching from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (See the remainder of the Holy Week schedule in next Saturday's Banner).

St. Peter's invites people of all faiths or those in search of faith to join them in their service of Christ and of each other. The facility on Pleasant Street is wheelchair-accessible. For more information, visit or call 802-442-2911

'A Wide Table' at the Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON >> On this 5th Sunday in Lent, a warm invitation to worship at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road at 10:00 a.m. is extended to all people of faith or in search of faith. This week's service is devoted to examining our call to inclusivity, based on Peter's experience getting grief for eating with those viewed as unclean in Acts 11:1-18.

The Rev. Kathy Clark's message is titled, "A Wide Table." The Federated Church joins with Christian congregations across many denominations around the world in gathering the One Great Hour of Sharing offering this Sunday with the special needs of refugees globally at the heart of it. Throughout Lent non-perishable food items for the Arlington Food Shelf will be gathered up front on the chancel steps every Sunday and ultimately a table will be constructed from the items as we draw closer to Holy Week and Easter. The choir will offer their gift of music under the direction and accompaniment of Mary Edwards. A time of fellowship and refreshment will follow the service in Bailey Hall. How-To Sunday at 2 is back on March 13 with "Cake Decorating" offered by local baker Michelle Cummings and is open to the public. This one-hour hands-on experience will happen at 2 p.m. in Bailey Hall.

As we get ever closer to Holy Week and Easter, the Federated Church of East Arlington and St. James' Episcopal Church invite one and all to the final Taize service of this Lent. On Wednesday, March 16, the 7 p.m. service will be held at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road. The candlelit service of about 30 minutes in length includes prayer, music, scripture and silence and all are welcome.

Senior meals are served on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon in Bailey Hall. The Federated Church of East Arlington is a local church in covenant and connection with the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church. Our mission is "To welcome all, follow Jesus Christ together, and live God's Word with compassionate service." For additional information visit the church website at, like the church on Facebook or call the office at 802-375-2548

Worship in North Bennington

NORTH BENNINGTON >> The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes everyone to its 11 a.m. worship service led by the Rev. Penny Rich Smith on this fifth Sunday in Lent. The sermon, "Something Old...Something New," will be based on Isaiah 43:16-21 and John 12:1-8. There will be a children's time, after which Sunday School classes will meet for pre-school through grade 8.

Everyone is invited to stay for coffee hour and a time of fellowship following the service.

The church is located at 8 Bank St. in North Bennington and is wheelchair accessible from the back door at the parsonage driveway.

For more information, call the church office at 802-442-5161.


Annual Basket Bingo at school

BENNINGTON >> The School of Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales is holding its annual Basket Bingo on Tuesday, March 15 at the Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Parish Center on West Main Street in Bennington. The doors will open at 5 p.m. and Bingo will start at 6:30 p.m. There will be themed baskets as prizes, refreshments, and door prizes.

Bennington Church invites friends of all faiths to prayer service

BENNINGTON >> On Tuesday, March 22, at 7 p.m., the choir of Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Church will offer its annual Service of Silent Prayer, Song, and Adoration of the Cross in the tradition Taize. Taize is a village in the hills of eastern France which home to an ecumenical community of religious brothers who have dedicated their lives to prayer and works of charity. Founded by Brother Roger in 1940, the brothers of Taize provided refuge for those who fled the terror of the Nazi occupation during World War II.

The choir of Sacred Heart St. Francis will sign music by liturgical composer Jacques Berthier (1922-1994), who wrote music for the Taize community. The music consists of litany style refrains that become increasingly prayerful with each repetition. Throughout the Adoration of the Cross, American composer Samuel Barber's most celebrated composition, "Adagio for Strings," will be played at the organ. Additionally, the congregation will be invited to submit prayer intentions to be chanted by a cantor.

Friends near and far of all faiths are warmly welcome to attend this very moving and deeply spiritual service during this most holy week in the church year.

Seven Last Words of Christ

MANCHESTER >> The choir of Christ Our Savior Parish, under the direction of Michael Gallagher wishes to invite you to a service called the "Seven Last Words of Christ." The program will include a dramatic reading of the Seven Last Words of Christ, along with prayer and reflection, each accompanied by an anthem sung by the choir. This is an excellent way to prepare your heart for Easter Week. The service will take place on Palm Sunday (March 20) at 4 p.m. and will be repeated on Good Friday (March 25) at 7 p.m. The service will be held at Christ Our Savior Parish (formerly St. Paul's Catholic Church, Bonnet Street (VT Route 30), Manchester. Attendance is free.

Holy Week at Zion Episcopal Church

MANCHESTER >> Zion Episcopal Church, Manchester Center, invites the community to Holy Week Services and events. Palm Sunday services will be held on March 20 at 8 and 10 a.m. with the Liturgy of the Palms, Sunday of the Passion, and Holy Eucharist at each service and a short play by the Covenant Players at the 10 a.m. service. Morning Prayer will be said each weekday at 9 a.m. On Wednesday, March 23, at 12:15 p.m. is the weekly service of Holy Eucharist and Healing Prayer. Maundy Thursday, March 24, begins with the traditional lamb supper at 5:30 p.m. followed at 7 p.m. by a service of Holy Eucharist, foot washing, and the stripping of the altar. The Good Friday liturgy is at noon and lasts about an hour. Easter Sunday services begin with the Sunrise Service at Stratton Mountain Ski Resort, weather permitting — the gondola will load at 6 a.m. and service starts at 6:30 a.m. Easter services continue back at Zion at 8 and 10 a.m. with an Easter Egg hunt at about 11:15. Zion Episcopal Church is located at 5167 Main St./Route 7A North, between Gringo Jack's and Ye Olde Tavern. For more information contact Zion at 802-362-1986 or or see the website at

Holy Weekend Services at Missionary Alliance Church

BENNINGTON >> The Good Friday service on March 25 will begin at 7 p.m. at Missionary Alliance Church, 198 Crescent Boulevard. Other area churches will join in here at this time for special music, message and Communion. The Easter Sunday service on March 27 begins at 10 a.m., celebrating the risen Christ.

Easter services in Peru

PERU >> The Peru Congregational Church invites all saints and sinners to our Easter services on Sunday, March 27th. Our sunrise service will take place at 7 am at the Peru Town Cemetery. Lay leader Kate Coss will preside. Garry Sharon will provide the music. A pot luck breakfast will follow inside the Town Center. The Family Service will be held at church at 9:30 am. The sermon will be titled, "Crumbling" and there will be an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids after service. All are welcome. For more information, call Pastor Margaret at 802-379-1438.

Author will talk on 'The People's Pope'

MANCHESTER >> Author and professor Martin Weinstein will examine the formative influences on Pope Francis's philosophy in a talk at Manchester's First Congregational Church on April 6 at 7 p.m.. His talk, "The People's Pope," is part of the Vermont Humanities Council's First Wednesdays lecture series and is free and open to the public.

Pope Francis's emphasis on the poor and marginalized has energized social justice in the Roman Catholic Church. Dr. Weinstein, professor emeritus at William Paterson University, will examine the foundations of the Pope's philosophy, the history of the church in Latin America, and the rise of liberation theology.

Dr. Weinstein received his PhD from New York University. He is Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, at the William Paterson University of New Jersey, specializing in Latin American politics. He is the author of Uruguay: The Politics of Failure and Uruguay: Democracy at the Crossroads, and the editor of Revolutionary Cuba in the World Arena. Dr. Weinstein is the recipient of two Fulbright awards and has lectured at Boston University, Columbia University, New York University, and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, as well as at several institutions of higher education in Argentina and Uruguay.

The Vermont Humanities Council's First Wednesdays series is held on the first Wednesday of every month from October through May in nine communities statewide, featuring speakers of national and regional renown. Talks in Manchester are held at First Congregational Church (unless otherwise noted) and are hosted by Manchester Community Library. All First Wednesdays talks are free and open to the public.


Lenten Fish Fry last week

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. >> Lenten fish fry: St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Cambridge has been having a fish fry dinner during Lent from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. On the following remaining date every Friday: March 18. The menu will include fish on a roll, cold slaw, home made dessert, and a drink. Eat in or take outs are available. Cost is $11.


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