Religion News in Brief


Saturday, July 19

Praise and Worship Celebration

STAMFORD -- The Seventh Annual Praise and Worship Celebration at Stamford Community Church (SCC) will take place on Saturday, July 19, from 11 a. m. until 5 p. m.

The day-long event features praise groups from Berkshire County, southern Vermont, and New York. Highlighting the program will be the group Hearts of Fire, comprising young people from New York City who use music, poetry and skits to bring joy and hope to diverse communities. They have done humanitarian trips domestically and internationally.

Other participants include Joe Frey, a Vermont-based guitarist and songwriter who has recorded in Nashville, Nick Winnard and the New Life Band, a well-known group from Pittsfield, and Paul Lesure of Stamford, in addition to the praise teams from the Stamford Community Church and North Adams First Baptist Church. Michael Lawler, a professional musician and local educator, who has served as a missionary in India, will also perform.

The family-oriented performances will be outside under cover in the church pavilion. Seating is available, but taking your own preferred chairs is acceptable as well. Admission is free and open to all. There is plenty of parking. Attendees are encouraged to stay for the entire event or come and go as desired.

Food and drinks for refreshments will be available for sale all day. In addition, there will be a bake sale to benefit the SCC Youth Group's missionary trip to New York City.

Stamford Community Church is at 1059 Main Road (Route 8), a mile north of the Massachusetts-Vermont line. For more information, call 262-290-6679.

Sunday, July 20

'God as Strength' at the Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON -- As our summer series on the Images of God continues here at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road, all are invited to attend the10 a.m. service of worship on July 20.

This week's theme is "God as Strength" and the church will explore the concept of God as all-powerful and how and in what form our strength comes from God.

The music, prayers and Scripture selections as well as the message from the Rev. Kathy Clark will consider God's strength. Among the key lessons from Scripture offered will be Isaiah 40:28-31, Psalm 28 and a number of passages from the Book of Job. The choir will be led and accompanied by Mary Edwards. Following worship all are invited to stay for a time of fellowship and refreshments in Bailey Hall.

Next Sunday, July 27, the church will welcome three guests representing the three organizations to which it will be presenting significant gifts from the Federated Church. The three organizations and their work are the Battenkill Valley Health Center, the Vermont Women's Fund and FINCA International. After the service of worship on July 27, there will be a chance to speak with the guests over a potluck lunch to which all are asked to bring a dish to share.

This year's Arlington/Sandgate/Sunderland Summer Lunch Program continues and runs through Aug.19. It 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.

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 at Second Congregational

BENNINGTON -- All are welcome to worship at 10 a.m. Sunday morning at Second Congregational Church on Hillside Street. This week worship will be lead by the Rev. John Ransom, a social justice and peace activist, who is ordained in the Metropolitan Community Church.

Ransom will share his sermon titled "A Toaster and a Cookie Jar." Jane Norrie and Charlene Adams as well as the men of the choir will share their music ministry on Sunday. Nursery care will be provided throughout worship.

Fellowship and refreshment will follow service in Webster Hall.

Second Congregational Church, UCC, 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 devices are available. For more information, call the church office at 802-442-2559 or visit

Worship in North Bennington

NORTH BENNINGTON -- The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes all to its 11 a.m. worship service led by the Rev. Penny Rich Smith.

The sermon, "Wheat and Weeds Together," will be based on Genesis 28:10-17 and Matthew 13:24-30. Sunday School has concluded for the year and will begin again on Sept. 7.

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.

St. Peter's Episcopal Church worship and events

BENNINGTON -- The Rev. Rolfe Lawson will preside as St. Peter's Episcopal Church celebrates the Holy Eucharist using the Book of Common Prayer this, the sixth Sunday after Pentecost, at 8 a.m., using Rite I. 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 the day will be Matthew 13:24-30. The laying on of hands for healing follows the service.

Contemplative prayer will not be held on Wednesday, July 23, or on Wednesday, July 30. On Thursday, July 24, John Terauds will celebrate morning prayer at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

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

Church School will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 19. This is field trip day.

The vestry will meet following the 10 a.m. service on July 20.

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.

Community Church sponsors events

ARLINGTON -- Arlington Community Church is sponsoring two events in the upcoming week.

Time and financial management seminars will be held July 20 to 22, at 7 p.m. at the Lion's Pavilion in the Arlington Recreation Park, presented by First Baptist Church of Stuart, Fla. For additional information. contact Pastor Tim Snyder at 912-665-0561 or

The second event will be a free "God and Country Rally" with patriotic and Christian songs on Wednesday, July 23, at 7 p.m. This will be held at the Lions' Pavilion in the Arlington Recreation Park, presented by First Baptist Church of Stuart, Fla. For additional information contact Snyder at the phone number or email address above.


Vacation Bible school at Missionary Alliance Church

BENNINGTON -- The Missionary Alliance Church, at 198 Crescent Boulevard, will be hosting a Mac Kids' Camp, open to children ages 4 through 12, from July 21 through July 25. The theme this year is "SonQuest Rainforest Vacation Bible School." Starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 11:30 a.m., kids will enjoy an exciting time filled with Bible stories, crafts, skits, 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 barbecue, beginning at 6 p.m. on July 25. All are welcome. To register or for more information, call 802-442-2415.

Rabbi Deborah Waxman at Congregation Beth Israel

BENNINGTON -- Timing is everything. Just as Congregation Beth Israel is beginning a congregational dialogue about the next phase of its evolution, they will be hosting Rabbi Deborah Waxman on Tuesday, July 22, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. She is a leader of the Reconstructionist Movement and this is a chance to hear her vision about the future of this movement.

Rabbi Waxman will be at Congregation Beth El in the social hall for a one-hour visit. She will be sharing her vision for the future of the Reconstructionist Movement, particularly in light of last year's Pew Report, which points out many of the challenges facing Judaism in America today.

There is no charge, no solicitations, and there will be coffee and refreshments.

Blueberry Dessert Festival and at James'

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.

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.

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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