Religion News in Brief


Sunday, Dec. 20

Methodists temporarily holding service at Vets' Home

SHAFTSBURY >> This coming Sunday (December 20th) the Shaftsbury United Methodist Church will be gathering in the Vermont Veterans' Home Chapel for worship. Worship is at 10 a.m. The VVH Chapel is located 325 North Street in Bennington across from Wassick's Tire where Depot Street comes into North Street. The VVH is completely handicapped accessible and we will be having a coffee hour following the service. There is plenty of parking near the Chapel entrance.

Christmas Candle Light Service

WEST ARLINGTON >> The Chapel on the Green, United Methodist Church, W. Arlington, located at the covered bridge on Rt. 313 W Christmas Candle Light Service Sunday, Dec. 20, at 6 p.m. The Rev.Keith Mann will be our guest speaker. Christmas cookies, and hot chocolate will be served after the service. All are welcome to attend.

Worship at Second Congregational Church

BENNINGTON >> Come be part of the old, old story this Sunday morning at 10 a.m. at Second Congregational Church, U.C.C. They will light the fourth Advent candle, the Candle of Love, and the "No-Fuss Christmas Pageant" has room for any would-be shepherds, angels, animals, or Marys and Josephs. The Gospel Singers will sing, "Mary, Mary" by Avery and Marsh, and Christmas carols for all to sing provide the music for the pageant. The service ends with singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus, and a sandwich lunch, complete with birthday cake, follows in Webster Hall. Carollers will leave from the church at 12:30 p.m.

Second Congregational Church is an open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ. It welcomes to its 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

Sunday, Christmas 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 4 Sunday, Dec. 20, at the 8 a.m. service. At the 10 a.m. service, they will celebrate the Eucharist using Rite I, with music and singing, accompanied by the choir. The Gospel for this day will be Luke 1:39-55.

On Saturday, Dec. 19, the "Basic Tools for Living Prayer" workshop 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. The church office will be 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.

On Wednesday, Dec. 23, Evening Prayer will be led by Lanier from 5 p.m., followed by Contemplative Prayer at 5:30 p.m. On Thursday, Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, Lanier will celebrate a Sung Eucharist using Rite II with a mini pageant at 5 p.m. At 11 p.m., Lanier will celebrate a Sung Eucharist using Rite II.

Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25, at 9 a.m., St. Peter's will celebrate a Said Eucharist using Rite I.

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. The facility on Pleasant Street is wheelchair-accessible. For more information, visit or call 802-442-2911.

Sunday and Christmas at the Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON >> Everyone is warmly invited to witness the telling of the story of Jesus' birth this Sunday, Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road. Much of this Sunday's service of worship will be devoted to the Christmas Pageant which will feature the children of the congregation as Mary, Joseph, shepherds, kings, angels and animals with plenty of carol singing for one and all. Immediately after the service everyone is invited to Jesus' Birthday Party complete with cake in Bailey Hall.

On Thursday, Dec. 24, at 5 p.m. the extended community is invited to celebrate Christmas Eve Service of Light at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road. Come and welcome the birth of Jesus with this joyful service of carol singing, the story of Christmas, an interactive children's message and words of hope offered by the Rev.Kathy Clark. The Federated Church Choir will offer special music accompanied by Mary Edwards, Music Director. The service will end with the passing of candle light and Mary, Joseph and Jesus taking center stage.

All are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to both of these services in support of the Arlington Food Shelf.

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. Its 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 on this fourth Sunday of Advent. They will light the fourth Advent candle of love. The sermon, "Birthing a Promise," will be based on Micah 5:2-5a and Luke 1:39-55. There will be a children's time and special music, 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 Bennnington and is wheelchair accessible from the back door at the parsonage driveway. For more information, call the church office at 802-442-5161.


United Church of Dorset and East Rupert

DORSET >> United Church of Dorset and East Rupert invites the community to our Christmas Celebrations.The community is invited to join us at the United Church of Dorset and East Rupert for the celebration of Christmas on Thursday, Dec. 24. There will be two services.

The family service will begin at 4:30 p.m. It will include a Christmas story, a special time with the young. Soloist Marcia Holland singing both the gathering and offertory songs and congregational candle lighting. The second service will begin at 8:00 p.m. and will include Communion and congregational candle lighting. The gathering music will be played by Alìx Raspé, harpist. Our choir will be singing as well.There are no services on Christmas Day.On Sunday, Dec. 27, at 10 a.m. we will hold a service of Lessons and Carols. The Church is located at 143 Church St. (Off Route 30) in Dorset. Questions: call the office at 802-867-2260. All are welcome.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

NORTH BENNINGTON >> The North Bennington Congregational Church celebrates Christmas Eve with a Candlelight Service at 5 p.m. There will be lessons and carols, special music, the lighting of the Christ Candle, a Christmas Homily, and a closing candlelight circle with the singing of "Silent Night." Come and enjoy this holy night of wonder and joy. Everyone is welcome. The church is wheelchair accessible from the back door at the parsonage driveway.

Christmas Eve at Old First Church

OLD BENNINGTON >> On Thursday, Dec. 24, the First Congregational Church of Old Bennington will offer a candlelight Christmas Eve service at 5 p.m. This family service will be filled with familiar readings and carols and concludes with the congregation singing "Silent Night" with lighted candles in front of the church. A wheelchair ramp will be provided. The public is warmly invited.

Living Nativity in North Bennington

North Bennington >> The North Bennington Baptist Church will be having its annual Living Nativity Celebration on Sunday, December 13th at 5 p.m. at the North Bennington Baptist Church on Church Street. Please join us as we celebrate the birth of our Lord in this very special ceremony! There will be carols during the performance and all are welcome to participate. Hot chocolate and refreshments will be served in the Fellowship Hall following the performance. For additional information, call Rick Gramlin at 802-368-7844 or email him at

Christmas at Second Congregational

BENNINGTON >> Second Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, offers two opportunities for worship on Christmas Eve, Thursday, Dec. 24. The Second Congo Brass begin their Music of the Season at 4:30 p.m., and the service of worship begins at 5 p.m., with a Handbell prelude and the lighting of the Christ candle. With carols, lessons, anthems, and candlelight, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Light of the world. A time to greet old and new friends follows in Webster Hall, with hot and cold cider offered.

At 10 p.m., a Service of Candlelight, Communion, and Carols begins. All are welcome to this service of contemplation and anticipation, and all who wish to come are invited to the communion table. A freewill offering to benefit the Emergency Food and Fuel Fund will be taken at both Christmas Eve services.

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

Advent season at St. James Episcopal Church

ARLINGTON >> The Advent season is about to begin, a time of watching, waiting and preparing for the birth of Christ. St. James' Episcopal Church, on Rt. 7A in Arlington, announces the following schedule of Advent services, led by interim pastor, the Very Rev. Christopher David, with music under the direction of Daniel Frank, organist.

Thursday, Dec. 24 — Christmas Eve services at 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 25 — Christmas service at 9 a.m.

Sunday, Dec. 27 — Lessons and Carols at 9 a.m., followed by the community-wide Messiah performance at 3 p.m. (Details about this popular annual sing-along will be provided closer to the concert.)

For more information about these and regular St. James' services, contact the church office at 802-375-9952, or visit our website or Facebook

Christmas Eve in Peru

PERU >> The Peru Congregational Church invites you to join us at our Christmas Eve service. Created forty years ago by the late Kermit Reilly, this gathering is a favorite for both mountain and valley folks. Dr. Roger Fox will be conducting the community choir. Judy Cyr is our organist ,and Pastor Margaret will be delivering a sermon titled "Ruined." The service begins at 6 p.m. If seating is a necessity, plan on arriving before 5:30 p.m. For more information call 802-379 -1438.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. >> The First Baptist Church of Hoosick Falls invites all to attend as it celebratea Christ's birth with a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service beginning at 8 p.m. The service will have lots of music, a dramatization and ending with the candlelight service.

Prior to the worship service anyone may join them at 6 p.m., leaving from the church to go caroling to the nursing homes.

The church is located at 80 Main St. in Hoosick Falls. If you have any questions you may phone 686-7737.


Annual Community Wide Messiah Sing-along on Dec. 27

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.


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