Religion News in Brief:



Strawberry Festival and more

WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. >> A Strawberry Festival will be held at Second Congregational Church, 81 Hancock Road today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There will be Homemade Strawberry Shortcake, lunch with homemade sandwich filling, ice tea and lemonade. Also there will be a bake sale, jewelry table, a Chinese auction and tag sale. There will be many antiques and there will be vendors outside with crafts and woodwork. Plants will also be available from Quimby Farm.

Ham and Strawberry Supper

MANCHESTER >> The Mary Martha Fellowship of the First Baptist Church of Manchester invites the community to attend its Annual Ham and Strawberry Dinner to be held today at 6 p.m..

A donation of $12 for adults or $6 for kids 8 and under is requested. Tickets will be available at the door or reservation by calling Martha Thompson at 802-362-3473. Reservations are recommended if stairs are a problem. Takeouts will be available by calling the reservation number. The menu as suggested features roasted ham, with plentiful sides and a dessert of freshly picked strawberries on a homebaked biscuit with a dollop of real whipped cream.

The church is located on the corner of Main Street and Bonnet Street.

Pulled Pork Dinner at St. James'

ARLINGTON >> St. James' Episcopal Church in Arlington invites one and all to its annual pork dinner today, from noon until 5 p.m., rain or shine. This year's menu features BBQ pulled pork along with rolls, home-made coleslaw and potato salad, Caesar salad, ice tea and lemonade, with an assortment of freshly baked pies for dessert.

Dinner is served buffet-style, with plenty of seating under the tent and on the church lawn, located in the center of town, across from the Arlington Community House.

The cost of the full meal is $12 for adults, $8 for kids 7-12, and free for those 6 and under.

For more information, contact the church at 802-375-9952.

Old First Church Monumental Tag Sale

OLD BENNINGTON >> The 9th annual Old First Church Monumental Tag Sale, Bake Sale and Silent Auction will be held rain or shine today from 9 a.m. sharp to 3 p.m. at the Barn building, located in the shadow of the Bennington Monument at 1 Monument Circle. Included will be antiques, attic treasures, CD/DVD/records, furniture, sports equipment, garden, jewelry, household and children's items. Expect surprises. Refreshments and homemade treats will keep you fueled while you shop or bid on special items in our Silent Auction (ending at 2 p.m.). Our 2016 hand-hooked rug will be on display, a river scene depicting iconic Bennington landmarks. Raffle tickets for the October 23rd drawing will be available. Proceeds from the tag sale will benefit the Bennington Interfaith Council Food and Fuel Fund and general church projects. No early bird sales.

For more information about the sale or Old First Church, call the church office at 802-447-1223, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by visiting


Ecumenical service of to kick off Summer Lunch Program

EAST ARLINGTON >> The entire community is invited to join together on Sunday at 10 a.m. for an outdoor Service of Worship at the Battenkill Grange Pavilion behind the West Arlington Methodist Church next to the historic covered bridge off of Route 313. This annual event brings together members of the community and the various churches for a celebration of the start of the Summer Lunch Program for children throughout Arlington, Sandgate and Sunderland. Participating churches include the Federated Church of East Arlington, St. James' Episcopal Church, the Sandgate Methodist Church, the West Arlington Methodist Church, and the Arlington Community Church. The service will include the Sacrament of Holy Communion and all are welcome to participate. There will be a pickup choir that will practice at 9:30 a.m. on the 19th immediately before the service to which anyone wishing to sing is invited to join.

Those attending the service are encouraged to bring a lawn chair as well as a dish to share at the potluck lunch that follows the service of worship. Paperware, utensils, and beverages will be provided. There will also be a box for gathering individually wrapped snack items to be distributed throughout the summer to the children in the program. The offering gathered during the service will go to support the Summer Lunch Program, which began on Tuesday, June 14, and runs for 10 weeks. This year we are providing 63 children from our community with weekly bags of groceries containing fixings for that week's worth of lunches. This totally volunteer initiative that operates from the Fisher Elementary School has a broad base of community support. Those with questions about the service on June 19 or the Summer Lunch Program are encouraged to call 802-375-2548.

Worship at Second Congo

BENNINGTON >> Time Out." That is both an invitation to worship at Second Congregational Church this Sunday morning, as well as the title of Rev. Mary Lee-Clark's sermon. Worship begins at 10 a.m. with the Handbell Prelude, "For the Beauty of the Earth/This Is My Father's World," and the Chancel Choir's anthem is "What a Friend," by Jack Schrader. We welcome guest organist Abigail Charbeneau. This "time out" will also be an opportunity to lament and reflect upon this past week's tragedy in Orlando, as we hear the story of Elijah's encounter with God in the wilderness. Nursery care is provided.

A time of fellowship and refreshment for the whole church family follows in Webster Hall. The Ministries Council will meet in the Clayton Room at 11:20 a.m.

Second Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming, Green Justice 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. 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

Worship and events at St. Peter's

BENNINGTON >> Kathleen Moore, a lay official and postulant for the priesthood, will preside at Morning Prayer at St. Peter's Episcopal Church on the fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Sunday, June 19, at the 8 a.m. service and at the 10 a.m. service. There will be music by Organist and Choirmaster John Riddle at the 10 a.m. service. The Gospel for this Sunday is from Luke 8:26-39. A healing service follows both the 8 a.m. and the 10 a.m. Eucharist.

The church office will be open Tuesday and Wednesday. The Rev. Justin Lanier will be away at the Episcopal Church conference CREDO in Indiana and, from there, will go into solitary retreat at St. Benedict's Trappist Monastery in Colorado. He will be away until the June 24.

St. Peters will be a host site for the Free Lunch Distribution Program sponsored by SVSU. If you have an hour to help out any weekday from June 28 to July 29, call Nancy Bower at 802-447-0119 or e-mail her at

The Annual Golf Fundraiser is set for Saturday, Sept. 17. For more information, call Holly Schmitz at 802-753-7279, Dick Bower at 802-447-0119, or Doug Bradshaw at 802-442-4425.

The family at Thatcher House needs size 4 diapers, wipes, personal care and cleaning products. Contact Nancy Sanford at 802-753-7380.

The freezer has room for food for those in need. Drop any food items off at the church from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.

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.

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 Children's Day and Father's Day. The message this day will be a special presentation by the children.

Following the service, everyone is invited to stay for coffee hour and a time of fellowship. The church is located at 8 Bank St. and is wheelchair accessible from the back door at the parsonage driveway. For more information, call the church office at 802-442-5161.


MAC Kids' Camp at Missionary Alliance

BENNINGTON >> The Missionary Alliance Church, 198 Crescent Blvd, will be hosting a MAC Kids's Camp, open to children 4 through 12 from July 18 to 22.

The theme this year will be "An Alaskan Expedition." Starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 11:30 a.m., kids will enjoy an exciting time filled with Bible stories, crafts, puppet shows, games, songs and snacks. Children are invited to attend free of charge.

Following the week's activities, there will be a Parents' Night Program and banana splits at 6 p.m. on Friday night, July 22. All are welcome. To register and receive more information, call 802-442-2415. As for Cari.

Strawberry Shortcake Supper

POWNAL >> The Pownal United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Route 346 and Church Street, will be serving its annual Strawberry Shortcake Supper on Thursday, June 23.

The family style dinner begins at 5 p.m. with continuous serving. The menu includes: grilled chicken breasts and thighs, baked ham, pineapple sauce, scalloped potatoes, Jello, coleslaw, rolls, coffee, iced tea, or lemonade, and homemade strawberry shortcake. Tickets available at the door: $12 for adults, $6 for children 4 to 10, free for children 3 and under. Use south side entrance for take outs. Safe water used in food prep and beverages. Questions: Contact Mary Louise at 802-823-7769. Remember how good it was last year.

Children's Jewish Day Camp planned for August

MANCHESTER >> Families in Manchester Center will be organizing a Jewish Day Camp for children for the week of Aug.1 through 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The program will accept children between the ages of 4 and 12.

The camp will be led by Rachel Raz, Director of the Early Childhood Institute of Hebrew College in Newton Centre, MA along with several student assistants and local parents. This will be an Israeli themed camp featuring Hebrew language, Israeli cooking, folk dancing and other activities designed to interest children in their Israeli heritage. Camp will be held at Israel Congregation of Manchester at 6025 Main St. and Earth Sky Time Community Farm at 1547 Main. St. in Manchester Center.

The cost will be $200 per child. If you are interested in enrolling your child or grandchild for the week, please contact Nina Wugmeister at or call 917-974-8044


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