Religion News in Brief


Saturday, July 26

Blueberry Dessert Festival at St. James' Episcopal

ARLINGTON -- Blueberries are in season and it's time to celebrate enjoy one of summer's treats. Come to the Blueberry Dessert Festival at St. James' Episcopal Church on Saturday, July 26, from noon to 4 pm. or until all the desserts are gone.

Enjoy home-baked blueberry shortcake, with or without whipped cream as you prefer; blueberry buckle; blueberry pie by the slice or by the whole pie; blueberry muffins and other treats. All are welcome. Event will be held on the church lawn, weather permitting.

There will be lemonade and iced tea to accompany the blueberry treats. The Blueberry Dessert Festival is sponsored by the Women of St. James; all proceeds will support the music ministry of the church now under the direction of Organist and Music Director Daniel Frank.

St. James' Church is located on Route 7A in the heart of Arlington, at the intersection with Route 313 west.

For more information call 802-375-9952; email; or visit the church website at

Church dinner

PITTSTOWN, N.Y. -- There will be a church dinner at Pittstown United Methodist Church Hall on Saturday, July 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. Eat in or take out; the menu will be chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, roll, dessert, beverage. Cost: Adults $10, children 5-12 $5, children under 5 are free. For reservations call Herb at 518-753-4427.

Organist at St. John's

EAST POULTNEY -- St. John's Church continues its summer long evening services. St. John's is an 1830s unchanged gem with a hand-pumped organ which will be played by a outstanding professional church organist on July 26, Dr. Karl Moyer, professor Emeritus at Millersville University, Millersville, Pennsylvania, will add his skill to the Saturday Evening Prayer services. All are welcome at the services which follow the Episcopal rite and which start with music at 4 p.m. Visitors and worshippers will sit in the same gated pews as did the original communicants. The organ was made in Vermont by William Nutting of Bellows Falls and Randolph, only four of these remain in the state.

A summer resident of Vermont, he will also play on August 2 and August 9. The latter date is the annual E. Poultney Day when the village presents historical displays and hosts vendors on the central village green. Later services will feature a flutist and a guitarist. This is a very rare experience.

Sunday, July 27

Worship at Second Congregational

BENNINGTON -- All are welcome to worship at Second Congregational Church at 10 a.m. on this last Sunday morning in July. Ernie Lafontaine will lead worship. Deb Perkins and David Haley will share their music ministry with us offering special music. Nursery care is offered throughout worship.

A time of fellowship and refreshment will be held after the service in Webster Hall.

Second Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, is located at 115 Hillside St. and welcomes all people of faith or in search of faith, without regard to age, race, sex, economic condition, disability, or sexual orientation. Its building is wheelchair-accessible, and hearing-assistance devices are available. For more information, call the church office at 442-2559 or visit

Love, Gifts and Food at the Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON -- There will be love in the air at the 10 a.m. service of worship at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road.

As the summer series on Images of God continues, this week's service will be devoted to the theme of "God as Love" with Scripture, hymns, prayers and the message from the Rev. Kathy Clark all focused on our loving God. Love is most often demonstrated by giving and during the service there will also be a presentation of gifts to three organizations whose work the congregation has voted to support. The local organization is the Battenkill Valley Health Center. The organization with a statewide impact that will be given a donation is the Vermont Women's Fund. At work in the wider world is FINCA (Foundation for International Community Assistance), which will also be offered the congregation's support.

Everyone is invited to stay after the service of worship for a delicious potluck lunch to meet and share a meal with guests from these three receiving organizations. Bring a dish to share.

For Norman's Attic on Saturday, Aug. 9, come 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 or $11 advance purchase. To get your tickets phone the church office at 802-375-2548. There will also be a large church-wide tag sale on Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Methodist Church building with many treasures to be had. Both events will happen rain or shine.

This year's Arlington/Sandgate/Sunderland Summer Lunch Program continues and runs through Aug. 19 and is serving 76 children from 32 households in the community. Donations of individually packaged snack items to be included in the weekly bags of lunch fixings are being gathered throughout the summer. 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 check out the new Facebook page for Arlington Sandgate Sunderland Summer Lunch Program.

At the Federated Church, 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 or like the church on Facebook or call the the office at 802-375-2548.

Worship and events

at St. Peter's Episcopal Church

BENNINGTON -- The Rev. Rolfe Lawson will preside as St. Peter's Episcopal Church celebrates the Holy Eucharist using the Book of Common Prayer on July 27, the seventh Sunday after Pentecost. At 8 a.m., Eucharist will be celebrated using Rite I. Later, the church 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 13:31-33, 44-52. The laying on of hands for healing follows the service.

Contemplative prayer will not be held on Wednesday, July 30. On Thursday, July 31, John Terauds will celebrate morning prayer at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

The Rev. Justin Lanier will return to his duties at St. Peter's on Aug. 3.

The four-week summer program to distribute free lunches for children continues until Aug. 1. They keep track of the number of bag lunches given out and makes sure the children eat the lunches at the church.

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

Summer worship for church

NORTH BENNINGTON -- The North Bennington Congregational Church will worship with the Redeemer Lutheran Church of Shaftsbury (on Route 67A, just past Whitman's Feed Store) at 9:30 a.m. The service will be led by the Rev. Marcia Dorey, pastor of Redeemer Lutheran.

Zion Episcopal Church hosts special guests

MANCHESTER -- Zion Episcopal Church invites the community to hear two special guests.

Rabbi Michael Cohen will speak on the Arab-Israeli Conflict on Sunday, July 27, at the 10 a.m. service at Zion Church and the 11 a.m. service at St. John's Chapel.

Cohen will speak to us about the current situation in the Holy Land based upon his work there over the years as well as teaching at Bennington College in conflict resolution. He has also had scores of articles published throughout the Middle East and the United States on the Arab-Israeli Conflict.Cohen has been involved with the Arava Institute for environmental Studies since 1996 while on a sabbatical leave from the Israel Congregation here in Manchester. The goal of the institute is to prepare future Arab and Jewish leaders to cooperatively solve the region's environmental challenges.

The Rev. Dr. Randall Balmer will speak on Sunday, Aug. 3, at the 10 a.m. service at Zion Church and the 11 a.m. service at St. John's Chapel.

Randall Balmer is the chairman of the Religion Department at Dartmouth, a prize-winning historian, Emmy award nominee, author of the recently published book "Redeemer, The Life of Jimmy Carter," and an Episcopal priest.

Zion Church is located at 5167 Main St./Route 7A in Manchester Center, between Gringo Jack's and Ye Olde Tavern. St. John's Chapel is located at 3512 Main St./Route 7A, just south of the Equinox shops.


Commemoration of atomic bombings

GRAFTON, N.Y. -- The 69th commemoration ceremony of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima-Nagasaki and the fourth commemoration of the Fukushima nuclear disaster will be held on Friday, Aug. 8, at the Grafton Peace Pagoda.

The 2013 Hiroshima Appeal from Mayors for Peace states that "Having lived through an experience too cruel to be put into words, the atomic bomb survivors have continued to appeal for nuclear abolition and to extend their desire for peace to the people of the world. Their dedication stems from their deep humanitarian conviction that "no one should ever again suffer as we have."

The radiation released from Fukushima is 20 to 30 times that of the bombing of Hiroshima, with worldwide consequences for all living things.

At 6:45 p.m., there will be a walk from the Grafton Town Square to Peace Pagoda (4.3 miles). And at 8:30 p.m. a program of peace will be held. This will include a ceremonial lighting of lanterns and interfaith peace prayers. Event will be held rain or shine. Wear weather-appropriate clothes and bring a flashlight and insect repellant. You may also want a blanket

For information on the ceremony prior to the event, call Heidi at 518-588-7122

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:

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.


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