Religion News in Brief


Sunday, Dec. 6

Worship and events at St. Peter's

BENNINGTON >> The Rev. Justin Lanier will preside as St. Peter's Episcopal Church celebrates the Holy Eucharist using Rite I of the Book of Common Prayer on Advent 2 Sunday, Dec. 6, at the 8 a.m. service. At the 10 a.m. service, we will celebrate the Eucharist using Rite I, with music and singing, accompanied by the choir. The Gospel for this day is Luke 3:1-6.

The church office is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Monday if necessary. If you need to be in touch with Lanier, call him on his cell phone at 302-858-8832.

Today, Lanier will conduct a workshop called "Basic Tools for Living Prayer." Sessions will run from 10 a.m. to noon. He will cover some basics on how to engage the spiritual dynamics of our Sunday Eucharist, how to prepare the mind and heart for a deeper experience of prayer, along with some basic theology for understanding God's present and action in us.

Lanier will continue the workshop on Dec.12 at the Zion Episcopal Church in Manchester from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with more of a focus on silent prayer. On Dec. 19, the workshops will again be at St. Peter's from 10 a.m. to noon. There will be practice periods as well as short teaching sessions with Q & A.

On Wednesday, Dec. 9, Evening Prayer will be led by Lanier from 5 p.m., followed by Contemplative Prayer at 5:30 p.m.

On Thursday, Dec. 10, Lanier will celebrate the Eucharist using Rite I at 10 a. m., followed by the Lunch Bunch at 11:15 a.m. Also on this day from 6 to 8 p.m., the St. Nicholas Supper will be held in the Parish Hall. Bring a dish to share and join in the festivities.

On Friday, Dec. 11, the committees will be setting up for the Christmas Tea.

Preparations are being completed for the 75th anniversary of the Christmas Tea which is on Saturday, Dec. 12. Lisa Eash, Coordinator of the Christmas Shop, has special items recognizing the Tea's 75th Anniversary for sale. Sandwich makers, bakers, servers, are ready to go. Call 802-442-2911 for tickets.

Lessons & Carols will take place at the church on Sunday, Dec. 20, the fourth and final Sunday of Advent at 3 p.m. Lessons & Carols is an old English tradition that has, since its birth in Cornwall 135 years ago, become a staple of Anglican and Episcopal Advent worship around the world. Come join us in this celebration of our faith and the preparation of Advent on December 20.

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

Worship and events at Second Congregational Church

BENNINGTON >> The Second Sunday of Advent lifts up our longing for peace. Join for worship this Sunday morning at 10 a.m. at Second Congregational Church, UCC, , as the church lights the second candle of the Advent wreath. Following a Time for the Children in All of Us, children up through grade 5 are dismissed for Godly Play and the middle- and high-school class meets. The Chancel Choir anthem is "When Will He Come?" by Bill Williams, and the Rev. Mary Lee-Clark's sermon is titled, "And you, child ", based on Zechariah's song to his son John. All are invited to the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

A time of fellowship and refreshment for the whole church family follows worship, with opportunities to take ornaments from the Giving Tree and to buy Alternative Gifts from Heifer Project International.

Second Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming Congregational of the United church of Christ. 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 802442-2559 or visit

Worship in North Bennington

NORTH BENNINGTON >> The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes everyone to its 11 AM Worship Service led by Rev. Penny Rich Smith on this second Sunday of Advent. Holy Communion will be celebrated and we will light the second Advent candle. The meditation, "Advent Comes - Make Ready!", will be based on Malachi 3: 1-4 and Luke 3: 2-6. 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 Street in North Bennington and is wheelchair accessible from the back door at the parsonage driveway. For more information, call the church office at 442-5161.

'Peace Train' at the Federated Church of East Arlington

EAST ARLINGTON >> The light spreads on the Advent wreath with the lighting of two purple candles and a warm invitation extended to journey toward Christmas with the congregation of the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road at the 10 a.m. Service of Worship on this Communion Sunday, December 6 when all are invited to the table. The One Ton Challenge is in its final month for 2015 so everyone is encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for the Arlington Food Shelf. Given the violent state of the world, where is true and lasting peace to be found? This week's lesson from Luke 3: 1-6, when the words of the prophet Isaiah are recalled of a voice crying out in the wilderness, will form the basis for the message shared by the Rev. Kathy Clark titled, "Peace Train." The choir will be conducted and accompanied by Mary Edwards. All children ages 3 to 11 years old are invited to participate in the Christmas pageant which will happen during the Sunday service on December 20. This Sunday the children will be rehearsing for the pageant during the church school time. There will be the opportunity for fellowship and refreshments in Bailey Hall immediately after the service.

The much anticipated annual Advent Workshop is to be held this Sunday, December 6 at 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Bailey Hall. This free event is open to children and adults of all ages. The event is dedicated to making many Christmas decorations and gifts in a fun and festive atmosphere with refreshments provided. Take a break from the hustle and bustle and celebrate the joy of the season in East Arlington!

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


Annual Community Wide Messiah Sing-along on Dec 27th

ARLINGTON >> The community is invited to join in the 12th annual community wide "Messiah Sing-Along" on Sunday, Dec. 27, at 3 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church. This year's event is once again under the direction of Scott Smedinghoff. Singers of all levels and abilities are invited to participate in this informal sing-along which will include the Advent and Christmas section of Handel's choral masterpiece, as well as the Hallelujah Chorus. Soloists include Robyn Madison, Soprano; Katie Beck, Alto; Paul Lambert, Tenor and Mark Madison, Bass. The chorus/audience will be accompanied by a small orchestra comprised of talented local musicians. Bring your voice, enthusiasm and holiday spirit as we usher in the New Year with this popular event. A limited number of scores will be available to borrow and those who have their own copy are encouraged to bring it. This year's free will offering proceeds will go to our local Food and Fuel Fund. For more information, contact the parish office at 802 375-9952.


Brighten Christmas for a local family

BENNINGTON >> Help stock the "Gift Room" for "A Green Mountain Christmas."

Green Mountain Christian Center has announced the Eighth Annual Toy Give-Away. Senior Pastor John Goyette said, "Thanks to the generosity of many in our local and surrounding communities A Green Mountain Christmas continues to meet a huge practical need during the holiday season each year.

"On average, parents from 250 families visit our Gift Room. Approximately 500 children (infant to age 10) from throughout the Southwestern Vermont region and beyond enjoy a cheerier Christmas because people are willing to help."

Registration for parents in need opened Nov. 1. Call Green Mountain Christian Center at 802-447-7224.


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