Religion News in Brief



Priest, former principal of Bennington Catholic High school dies

BOSTON >> The Rev. Gerard M. Brennan, who was a priest of the Diocese of Burlington from 1953 until 1990, passed away in Boston recently.

Father Brennan was ordained for the Archdiocese of Boston on March 3, 1950, and began service in Burlington in 1953. He was principal of Bennington Catholic High School from 1955 until 1962. He incardinated (was officially integrated) into the Diocese of Burlington in December 1961 and was released for service in Summer 1962 to the U.S. Air Force to serve as a chaplain. He retired from military service in 1984, returned to Vermont, and served in Rutland until 1986 when he returned to Boston. He was incardinated back in the Archdiocese of Boston in July of 1990.

Funeral arrangements are still pending in Massachusetts.

Sunday and Holy Week

Sunday and Holy Week at St. Peter's

BENNINGTON >> The Rev. Justin Lanier will preside as we celebrate the Eucharist on Palm Sunday, March 20, 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 a solemn procession, singing and music as directed by our new Organist and Choirmaster, John Riddle. The Gospel for the liturgy of the palms is from Luke 19:28-40 and for the Passion of Christ Luke 22: 14-23:49.

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

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

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 9:30-10:00 a.m. and Contemplative Prayer 10 to 10:30 a.m. with Evening Prayer 5 to 5:30 p.m. and Contemplative Prayer 5:30-6:00 p.m.

On Wednesday of Holy Week, March 23, there will be Morning Prayer 9:30-10:00 a.m. and Contemplative Prayer 10 to10:30 a.m. with Evening Prayer 5 to 5:30 p.m. and Contemplative Prayer and teaching 5:30-6:30 p.m.

On Thursday, March 24, at 10 a.m. there will be a liturgy commemorating Jesus' institution of the sacrament of his Body and Blood, called the Mass, the Lord's Supper and the Eucharist. In this sacrament we celebrate the Church's sacrifice of prayer and thanksgiving, whereby the sacrifice of Christ is made present as the Holy Spirit unites us to Christ's one offering of himself. The sermon at this liturgy will be a teaching on the Eucharist itself.

The ancient Maundy Thursday liturgy will begin at 7 p.m. commemorating the Last Supper with the mandate to "Love one another as I have loved you." This mandate on Divine Love is expressed by Jesus in washing of the feet of his disciples and we follow this action by washing one another's feet after we have celebrated the Holy Eucharist. It is on this day the Church is stripped bare and the altar is scrubbed. There is no dismissal to this liturgy but a transition into the all night vigil, commemorating the agony of Jesus in the Garden as he prayed and asked his disciples to "watch and pray" with him. Our watch continues until just before 12 noon on Good Friday when we begin the liturgy of The 3 Hours. ;

On Good Friday, March 25, The 3 Hours begins at noon. This is a contemplative service commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus during the time he hung on the cross and the sky was black. Silent prayer periods of 20 minutes interspersed with readings from The Mystery of Christ by Fr. Thomas Keating O.C.S.O. This liturgy ends with the meditative chant the Kyrie 33 times (with prostrations for those who are able) and the walking meditations of the Stations of the cross.

The Solemn Good Friday liturgy begins at 7 p.m. on March 25. Here the Church recounts the events of Jesus' betrayal, arrest and torture, his final moments and death on the cross, and his subsequent burial in the tomb. We pray a series of biddings and prayers for the whole world, used specifically on this day and are also invited into veneration of the Cross. This liturgy ends with communion from the Reserved Sacrament, consecrated the day before at the Maundy Thursday Eucharist. Traditionally it has been held that, through this liturgy, we more perfectly participate in the sacred mystery of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. The day itself in the Church calendar is key in the special grace of Good Friday and spiritual life of the Church.

On Holy Saturday, March 26th at noon, we commemorate the day Christ's body rested in the tomb, with simple Noonday prayer and meditation in the Lady Chapel. We pray to God who was a dead body and entered into the realm of the dead. Christ among the dead manifests the love of God deeper than any boundaries of human existence. St. Peter's invites people of all faiths or those in search of faith to join us in our service of Christ and of each other. Wheelchair-accessible. For more information, visit or call 802-442-2911.

Sunday and Holy Week at Second Congo

BENNINGTON >> All people of faith or in search of faith are warmly welcome to begin this Holy Week at Second Congregational Church, UCC. Sunday morning worship begins at 10 a.m. with the Palm Sunday gospel reading from Luke, as the Chancel Choir processes with palms. New members will be received and welcomed, and following a Time for the Children in All of Us, children up through grade 5 will be dismissed for Godly Play. Nursery care is provided. The Middle- and High-school Class are invited to stay in worship. The Chancel Choir will sing Joseph Martin's, "Hosanna Processional," and this Sunday's offering includes One Great Hour of Sharing and pots and pans for Syrian refugees. We will move into preparation for Jesus' passion with a dramatic reading from the Iona Community's Wild Goose Worship Group, entitled, "He was going on a journey," followed by the choir's "Scenes from a Solemn Cross," by Douglas Nolan.

A time of fellowship and refreshment follows in Webster Hall, and the Ministries Council will meet in the Clayton Room at 11:35 a.m.

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 see our website at"

Maundy Thursday, the night that the Church remembers Jesus' last supper, betrayal, and arrest, is observed at Second Congregational Church, UCC, with an agape meal at 6:30 p.m. in Webster Hall, followed by a service of communion and Tenebrae—readings and extinguishing of candles. All are welcome.

On Good Friday, March 25, an informal service of vigil, with readings, prayers, and silence takes place in the sanctuary from noon to 1 p.m. The sanctuary will remain open for personal meditation until 3 p.m.

Easter morning services take place at 8 a.m., when communion is served, and 10 a.m., with a continental breakfast served. An Easter Egg hunt for children takes place following the 10 o'clock service.

Its building is located at 115 Hillside St. and is wheelchair-accessible. For more information, call the church office at 802-442-2559 or visit

Holy Week, Easter at the Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON >> All people of faith or in search of faith are warmly invited to the Palm/Passion Sunday Service of Worship at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road at 10 a.m. on March 20. Palms for everyone will be distributed on the way into the church sanctuary. This is the final week of our Lenten food drive to which folks are asked to contribute their non-perishable food items gathered up in front of the church for the Arlington Food Shelf which will appear as the Communion table on Maundy Thursday. The service will begin with the story of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem that will include a procession with palms and hosannas aplenty. Children, ages 3 to 11 years old, will then move into church school as they continue looking at the Journey to the Cross. Worship for everyone else will continue with the recounting of Jesus' trial, crucifixion and burial as told in Luke 22:14 - 23:56 with music interspersed throughout the Service. Following the Service there will be a time of fellowship and refreshment for everyone to enjoy in Bailey Hall and then anyone interested is invited to help prepare for next Saturday's egg hunt and construct the communion table from food items. The public is invited to come to the monthly Pancake Breakfast offered by the Battenkill Grange in Bailey Hall on March 20 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Maundy Thursday on March 24 will be observed first with a Simple Soup and Bread Supper in Bailey Hall at 5:30 p.m. that includes a discussion of spiritual practices. At 7:00 p.m. there will be a Service of Worship as we remember Jesus' final meal with his disciples with a celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The evening will end with the Tenebrae Service in which the familiar story of Jesus' last hours is recounted amid candlelight that is slowly extinguished. The Federated Church Choir, under the direction of Mary Edwards, will offer special music.

The Federated Church sanctuary will be open on Good Friday, March 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for quiet prayer and reflection and written materials in observance of the day will be available.There will be an Easter Egg Hunt for children ages 1 to 7 years old on Saturday, March 26 at 9:00 a.m. SHARP followed by refreshments, awarding of prizes and a visit by the Easter bunny who will be available to pose with children for pictures. Children are asked to bring a basket or bag to gather eggs.

Looking ahead with great anticipation to Easter Sunday, March 27, there will be a 6:45 a.m. Sunrise Service on the east facing lawn of the Mack corporate headquarters at the intersection of Route 313 and Warm Brook Road to which all are invited. Following the service there will be a continental breakfast served in Bailey Hall on Ice Pond Road. The Easter Service of Worship with wonderful music, an Easter message of hope and new life from the Rev. Kathy Clark and much celebration will be held at 10 a.m. at the Federated Church of East Arlington. Following the service there will be a coffee hour to which everyone is encouraged to bring a goodie to share.

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 or like us on Facebook or phone the office at 802-375-2548.

Sunday and Easter in North Bennington

NORTH BENNINGTON >> The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes everyone to its 11 a.m. Worship Service led by Rev. Penny Rich Smith on this Palm/Passion Sunday. The message will be presented as a dramatic reading of the Passion Narrative based on passages from the Gospel of Mark. There will be a children's time, after which Sunday School classes will meet for pre-school through grade 8.

Following the service, everyone is invited to stay for coffee hour and a time of fellowship. The church is located at 8 Bank St. in North Bennington and is wheelchair accessible from the back door at the parsonage driveway.

On Easter Sunday, he North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes everyone to its 11 a.m. Easter Worship Celebration led by Rev. Penny Rich Smith. The sermon, "Resurrection Joy," will be based on John 20:1-18 and Acts 10:34-43. There will be a children's time and special music. No Sunday School and no coffee hour this Sunday.

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.

Community Easter Sunrise Service

MANCHESTER >> The annual Manchester Area Community Ecumenical Easter Sunrise Service will be held at 7:00 AM on Sunday, March 27, 2016 on the porch of the Dormy Grill (Union St.) overlooking the golf course. The Rev. Rod Birney, interim pastor at First Baptist Church, Manchester will bring the Easter message Following the Sunrise Service, coffee, cocoa and donuts will be served at the First Congregational Church vestry. The public is invited. For information/questions, contact Rev.Jordan Dickinson at 802-867-5976.

Easter Egg Hunt

ARLINGTON >> Arlington Community Church is sponsoring an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 26, at 1 p.m. at the Arlington Rec Park. For children ages 2 to 10, free, meet at the Lions' Pavilion. Sponsored by Arlington Community Church For more information contact: Pastor Tim Snyder at 912-665-0561 or email

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

Easter Egg Hunt caps off Holy Week events at All Saints Church

HOOSICK, N.Y. >> All are welcome to attend All Saints Church's Holy Week observances.

The parish will celebrate Palm Sunday on March 20, 2016 with a 9:30 a.m. Eucharist Service and Distribution of Palms.

Maundy Thursday will be observed on March 24 with Holy Communion and the Stripping of the Altar, beginning at 7 p.m.

A solemn, contemplative service commemorating Good Friday will be held on the evening of March 25 at 7 p.m.

On Easter Sunday, March 27, the parish at All Saints invites the community to join in the celebration of Christ's victory over death with a joyful Eucharist Service starting at 9:30 a.m.

Immediately following the service, the Church welcomes children to participate in our popular Easter Egg Hunt, with refreshments and fellowship for all.

Historic All Saints Episcopal Church is located on NY Route 7 in Hoosick, just east of Curtis Lumber. For more information, see or contact the parish at 518-686-9037.

Holy Week at United Presbyterian

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. >> Cambridge United Presbyterian Church, 81 E. Main St. Cambridge NY Announces Services for Easter Week

Maundy Thursday, March 24, 6:00, Potluck Supper followed by a Service of Tenebrae with Communion Good Friday, March 25, 1:30 p.m, Combined Worship at the Embury Methodist Church Easter Sunday, March 27, 7 a.m. Sunrise Service on Front Lawn of Church, 10 a.m. service in the sanctuary

Services in Salem

SALEM, N.Y. >> Salem Community Fellowship, at 224 Main St., will be having a Good Friday service on March 25 at 6:30 p.m., reflecting on Jesus' path to the cross. On Sunday, March 27, at 10:30 a.m., join us as we celebrate our risen Savior during our Worship Service. For more information call 518-854-3208 or email

Holy Week at Old First Church

OLD BENNINGTON >> Tenebrae service, Thursday, March 24, 8 p.m. at the Old First Church. This distinctive ceremony of Tenebrae is the gradual extinguishing of candles while a series of readings and Psalms are recited. All are welcome.

Easter Sunday at Old First Church, March 27, 11 a.m. The First Congregational Church (Old First Church) invites the community to celebrate Easter Sunday worship at 11 a.m. on March 27 with the Rev. Kenneth Clarke conducting the service. The sanctuary will be filled with festive spring decorations and lilies to remember loved ones. This Easter we are especially thankful for the skills and participation of the Old First Church choir, its director and organist, Charles Olegar and Virginia Poole playing the oboe. The church welcomes all to share God's light and proclaim God's embracing love. Located at 60 Monument Avenue, Old Bennington. For more information visit or call 802-447-1223.

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.

Sunrise service, Easter breakfast

NORTH BENNINGTON >> The North Bennington Baptist Church is hosting the Easter Morning Breakfast at 7 a.m. on Sunday, March 27, immediately following the Sunrise Service at Lake Paran at 6 a.m. This tradition of celebrating the Resurrection has been a joy over the years, and the church is blessed once again to have everyone join them for the warmth of fellowship and food. For more information, call Pastor Rick at 802-368-7844 or 802-442-2711.

Easter services in Peru

PERU >> The Peru Congregational Church invites all saints and sinners to our Easter services on Sunday, March 27. 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.


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.

Free community supper

DORSET >> We will be serving (and eating) supper at The Dorset Church, 143 Church St. (off Route 30) on Wednesday, March 30.Dinner will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The menu for the evening will consist of your choice of a vegetarian curried cauliflower soup or roasted pork loin with gravy, buttered noodles, red cabbage, homemade apple sauce, tiny spring green peas, tossed green salad, rolls and butter, and , assorted desserts. We always offer gluten free choices.

Winter Community Suppers are for everyone—Moms & Dads that need a break, people who want a night out in the middle of winter, families rushing from work to sports, people stretching their budget — the suppers are meant to build community for everyone. We hope you'll join us for warm fellowship and a hot meal. All are welcome for free great meals.Take outs available. Questions call Jane at 867-2260 or email at dorsetchurch@gmailcom .

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.

PFLAG meeting at Dorset Church

DORSET >> The community is invited to the next .PF.L.A.G. meeting at the Dorset Church on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 4:00 PM. We are excited to offer the following program, "Coming Out: It's Not Just for Young Folks."

Please join psychotherapists Hallie Lovett, Ph.D. and Ray Lovett, LICSW as they discuss the topic of conventionally married couples and their families as they deal with a new identity in one of the partners.

Following the program, we serve and enjoy a pot-luck dinner. Please bring a dish to share.

The church is located at 143 Church. Street (Off Route 30) , Dorset, VT Questions call the office at 867-2260 or contact us by email at

The Dorset Church Spring Rummage Sale

DORSET >> The shopping day you have been waiting for is on Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Remember outside sales begin at 8:30 a.m.—no early birds) at the Dorset Church. The bag sale will take place from noon to 1 p.m.. Donations of clean, serviceable winter clothing (children's clothing is always appreciated), jewelry, purses, linens, kitchen and household items and books will be accepted at the Dorset Church on Tuesday, April 26, Wednesday, April 27 and Thursday, April 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Remember we now have a tent for tools and outdoor supplies. Do not donate furniture, large appliances, TVs, stereo equipment, computer and computer related items.

The church is located at 143 Church Street, off Route 30 in Dorset. If you have any questions, call 802-867-2260.

Church barbecue upcoming

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. >> St. Luke's is pleased to announce the return of our Spring Chicken Bar-b-Que. Last year all who attended were delighted with the size of the chicken and the delicious flavor of it. We will use the same chef's as last year so please plan to pick up your take out dinner at St. Luke's in Cambridge on Saturday, April 9th!

You can enjoy dinner in our dining room but take out is preferred. Tickets are $11.00 which includes the 1/2 chicken, potato, Cole slaw, a side vegie, a King's Bakery roll and homemade dessert. Tickets this year are all by pre-sale so please call today for your tickets, 518-368-7228. For your convenience tickets will be available from 11:30 to 12:30 in the white house next to the church. This is immediately following the 10am service at St. Luke's so join us there if you would like.

Call 518-368-7228 to save your seat at our Cabin Fever Bar-b-Que.


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