Religion News in Brief


Saturday, Aug. 9

Host of ‘Coffee with Sister Vassa' to speak at New Skete Monastery

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- Sister Doctor Vassa Larin will be the guest speaker at the New Skete Monastery Annual Pilgrimage, to be held on Saturday, Aug. 9. The public is encouraged to attend this free event.

Sister Vassa Larin is the host of "Coffee with Sister Vassa," a YouTube podcast. Despite Sister Vassa's extensive academic background -- she did her undergraduate work in the United States and her Master's and Doctoral degrees in Germany -- her videos are relaxed, easy to follow, and quite humorous at times.

Born in Nyack, N.Y., Sister Vassa is a nun of the Russian Orthodox Church, author of many articles and a monograph on Byzantine liturgy and theology, and an outspoken public intellectual. She is an independent researcher at the Department of Historical Theology, University of Vienna in Austria. Her presentation is titled "Mystery and History: Two Pillars of Tradition." Other pilgrimage highlights include a talk on New Skete's monastic life by Sister Rebecca, a discussion on iconography by Sister Cecelia, and a presentation on the New Skete Chapel Community. The day's program also will include a tour of Holy Wisdom Temple, a Greek and Lebanese food booth, and a photo exhibit of New Skete life. The monks' and nuns' gift shops will be available throughout the day, as will cheesecakes made in the Nuns of New Skete's kitchens.

In addition to the celebration of Matins and the Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning, a late afternoon Healing Service with Anointing and the Saturday evening Vigil will be held.

A poster with a complete schedule of the pilgrimage's services and events and lodging information can be downloaded at or at

New Skete, since 1979 a monastic community within the Orthodox Church in America, was established in 1966 by a small group of Byzantine-Rite Franciscan monks. The Monks are renowned for their breeding of German Shepherd Dogs and their training of all breeds. In 1969, seven Poor Clare nuns from Indiana, inspired by the vision of contemporary monastic life, settled near the Monks and joined New Skete. The Nuns of New Skete have been baking their world-famous cheesecakes for over 35 years. 1983 saw the addition of a third monastery when eight dedicated parish members expressed their desire to live in accordance with the monastic way of life and formed the Companions of New Skete.

Ninth annual Rock, Rattle and Drum pow-wow

ADAMS, Mass. -- The 9th annual Rock, Rattle and Drum pow wow will take place Aug. 9 and 10 at Bowe Field, Adams Agricultural Fairgrounds. Tickets are available at the gate for $8 per adult, $5 for seniors and children 11 to 17. Children 10 and under are free. Tickets available in advance at 413-443-2481. After nine years of celebratory dance, song and drumming, this years pow wow will explode in another weekend of American Indian music, dance, education, entertainment, arts and crafts vendors and cultural festivities. The theme this year is "Living in Harmony, Fulfilling our destiny."

Everyone, native and non-native, is welcome. This special event is about building and celebrating community and respecting the culture, history, and the traditions of our First Nations People.

A portion of the proceeds are being distributed to the Adams Lions, Eve's Fund and One Spirit/ Bring canned food for a local food pantry.

Sunday, Aug. 10

Worship at Second Congregational Church

BENNINGTON -- Second Congregational Church, UCC, welcomes all people of faith or in search of faith to worship and work, without regard to age, race, sex, economic condition, disability, or sexual orientation. Sunday morning worship is held at 10 a.m., and this Sunday Deb Perkins and Sharon Yarnall offer special music from Dvorak and J.S. Bach. The Rev. Mary Lee-Clark's sermon, based on Matthew's telling of the story of Jesus walking on the water, is titled, "Come on in!" Nursery care is provided throughout worship. A time of fellowship and refreshment follows in Webster Hall.

Second Congregational Church is located on Hillside Street and is wheelchair-accessible. For more information, visit -- or call the church office at 802-442-2559.

'God as Nature' at the Federated Church; Chicken Barbecue

EAST ARLINGTON -- On this summer Sunday in our beautiful corner of Vermont, a warm invitation is extended to one and all to join in the 10 a.m. service of worship at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road. In continuing to explore the various images we have of God, attention will be directed this Sunday to the many messages we receive in Scripture, history and our own lives about God as related to the natural world. Today's hymns, prayers, scripture readings and time for children as well as the Rev. Kathy Clark's message is focused on "God as Nature." The choir will be led and accompanied by Mary Edwards. Following the service there will be a time of fellowship and refreshment in Bailey Hall.

Today, Saturday, Aug. 9, bring your appetites to the Chicken Barbecue to be held on the lawn across from the Federated Church from noon to 2 p.m. The menu for this meal that sold out last year includes barbecue chicken, corn on the cob, coleslaw, cookies, ice tea and lemonade. The cost of the tickets is $12 at the door. There will also be a large churchwide tag sale today from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Methodist Church building on the corner of Ice Pond Road and Pleasant Street in East Arlington with a wide range of books, antiques, household items and many treasures available at bargain prices. Both events will happen rain or shine.

This year's Arlington/Sandgate/Sunderland Summer Lunch Program is wrapping up soon with the last day for distribution set for Aug. 19. Donations of individually packaged snack items to be included in the weekly bags of lunch fixings will be accepted this Sunday. Ideas for items include goldfish, pretzels, raisins and crackers or monetary donations may be made to purchase such items. Boxes to gather these items are located at both St. James' Church and the Federated Church. All are invited to visit the new Summer Lunch Program website at and visit the Facebook page the program.

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.

Organ recital at Sacred Heart St. Francis

BENNINGTON -- On Sunday, Aug. 10, at 3 p.m., Donald McMahon will perform a recital at the estey-Resig organ at Sacred Heart Saint Francis de Sales Church, 238 West Main St. The organ, an instrument of some 1,438 pipes, will sparkle and resound throughout the church with the music of Bach, Couperin, Frescobaldi, Locklair and others. There is no admission charge. All facilities are accessible to those with special needs, and parking is available.

North Bennington Congregational Church not meeting in August

NORTH BENNINGTON -- The North Bennington Congregational Church will not hold worship services during the month of August. All are encouraged to find alternative worship opportunities for the month. The church will start up again on September 7 with Rally Sunday and the beginning of Sunday School. They invite newcomers for Sunday School classes from pre-school to grade 8.

St. Peter's Episcopal Church worship, events

BENNINGTON -- The Rev. Justin Lanier will preside as St. Peter's Episcopal Church celebrates the Holy Eucharist using the Book of Common Prayer on Aug. 10, the ninth Sunday after Pentecost. At 8 a.m., Eucharist will be celebrated using Rite I. We will celebrate Eucharist with music and singing using the contemporary language of Rite II at the 10 a.m. service. The Gospel for this day is Matthew 14: 22-33. The Laying on of Hands for Healing follows the service.

Contemplative Prayer is canceled for Wednesday, August 13.

On Thursday, August 14, Father Justin will celebrate Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

A potluck supper is scheduled for August 15, 2014, 6-8 p.m. Bring a dish to share!

A field trip is planned for the Church School, on Saturday, August 15, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Rector's Bible Study will be held on Sunday, August 31, following the 10 a.m. service.

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. Wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit or call 802-442-2911.


Jewish genealogy workshop offered

BENNINGTON -- A Jewish genealogy workshop will be offered Tuesdays, Aug. 12 and Aug. 19, from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Congregation Beth El Board Member Ellie Roden is conducting a Jewish Genealogy presentation and workshop. In the first session on Aug. 12, Ellie will tell her story about becoming interested in her family history and the discoveries she made in her 12 years of research. She will also share information, tools and tips for those want to do their own research. The second gathering will be a work session during which Ellie will offer guidance and problemsolving to participants working on their own laptops. These two sessions will be just a beginning point. For those who want to continue on with research, she will gladly schedule more sessions.

The workshop will meet in the Richard and Pamela Ader Social Hall at Congregation Beth El, 107 Adams St. This workshop is free and open to the public; Beth El encourages and gratefully accepts donations from those who are able to give. For more details, call Ellie at 802-464-5265.

Congregation Beth El High Holiday schedule

BENNINGTON -- Congregation Beth El has released its High Holiday schedule for the Hebrew year 5775 -- 2014.

Services will take place in the Ada and Paul Paresky Sanctuary.

* Erev Rosh Hashanah -- Wednesday, Sept. 24

7 to 8:30 p.m. - Evening Service

* Rosh Hashanah I - Thursday, Sept. 25

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Main Service

11 a.m. to noon - Family Service

Tashlich immediately following Kiddush

* Rosh Hashanah II - Friday, Sept. 26

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Main Service

* Shabbat Shuvah - Saturday, Sept. 27

10 a.m. to noon - Morning Service

* Kol Nidre - Friday, Oct. 3

7 to 9 p.m. - Evening Service

* Yom Kippur - Saturday, Oct. 4

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Main Service

11 a.m. to noon - Family Service

5:30 to 6 p.m. - Book of Jonah Study

6 to 6:30 p.m. - Yizkor

6:30 to 7 p.m. - Neilah

7 p.m. - Community Break-Fast

The congregation encourages beginning this season of awe with acts of giving. Help them collect the following supplies for distribution at the Kitchen Cupboard Food Pantry: diapers, dental products and small containers of laundry detergent and dish soap.

Congregation Beth El is located at 107 Adams St. Phone: 802-442-9645. Website:


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