Religion News in Brief


Saturday, July 12

Contemplative Shabbat Service

BENNINGTON -- At 10 a.m. a Contemplative Shabbat Service will be held at Congregation Beth El.

The Contemplative Shabbat Service differs significantly from the customary Shabbat service at Beth El by taking a slower-paced and more meditative approach to prayer. The service incorporates chanting, silence and study to progress through various focal points related to Shabbat as a day of rest and renewal. As a heart-centered prayer experience, the contemplative service is an opportunity to explore a different mode of Jewish spirituality. Prophetic workshop postponed

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- St. Luke’s in Cambridge has had to postpone its Prophetic Workshop scheduled for July 12. Pastor Brian Weeks will return at a later date.

Sunday, July 13

Arlington Community Church Vacation Bible School

ARLINGTON -- Arlington Community Church will sponsor a Vacation Bible School from July 13 to 17 from 6 to 8:15 p.m

It will be held at the Lion’s Pavilion at the Arlington Recreation Park. Those age 3 to adult are invited and is free.

Discover, decide, defend who Jesus really was during vacation Bible school with the Arlington Community Church The program will be presented by Mount Zion Baptist Church from Bryson City, North Carolina. For additional information contact Pastor Tim Snyder at 912-665-0561 or

Worship, events at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

BENNINGTON -- The Rev. Justin Lanier will preside as St. Peter’s Episcopal Church celebrates the Holy Eucharist using the Book of Common Prayer on July 13, the fifth Sunday after Pentecost.

At 8 a.m., the Eucharist will be celebrated at the high altar using Rite I. They 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 is Matthew 13:1 - 9. The laying on of hands for healing will follow the service.

Contemplative prayer will be held on Wednesday, July 16, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. On Thursday, July 17, the church will celebrate the Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

The four-week summer program to distribute free lunches for children is running from July 7 to Aug. 1. Volunteers will need to keep track of the number of bag lunches given out and make sure the children eat the lunches at the church.

On July 13, the Rector’s Bible Study will be held following the 10 a.m. service. The Potluck Supper is July 18 in the parish hall from 6 to 8 p.m. Come join in the fun and bring a dish to share.

Church School will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 19. This will be 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.

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 David Durfee. The Rev. Pam Lucas, the Associate Conference Minister, will be sharing her sermon titled "The Parable of the Soil." Nursery care will be provided throughout worship.

Stay for fellowship and refreshment in Webster Hall after the service.

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 442-2559 or visit

Outdoor worship in Shaftsbury

NORTH BENNINGTON -- The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes all to its 11 a.m. Outdoor Worship Service that will be held at 150 Fox Hill Road in Shaftsbury. The service will be led by the Rev. Penny Rich Smith. Those present will gather in a circle and share in the beauty and wonder of creation, with nature as the theme for the meditation. Bring a lawn chair if you have one. Following the service, all are invited to share in a pot-luck picnic, so bring a dish to share.

For more information, call the church office at 442-5161.

’God as Peacemaker’ at the Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON -- On this summer Sunday, a warm welcome is extended to all people of faith or in search of faith to the 10 a.m. service of worship at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road.

As the Images of God Summer Series continues, this week those attending will together consider "God as Peacemaker." The lessons from Scripture will include Ephesians 2:11-22, Psalm 85 and James 3:13-4:3 with a message on how God and peace are tightly bound together from the Rev. Kathy Clark. The choir will be led by accompanist Mary Edwards. After the service of worship, everyone is invited to a time of fellowship and refreshment in Bailey Hall.

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.

This is the final Sunday during which the church will take baby items for the Diaper Bag Drive. This is a program to gather baby items to go in bags that accompany newborns and infants who are taken into foster care, often with short notice. The items are being gathered in the playpen in Bailey Hall through July 15. The building is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Specific baby items needed include: diapers, wipes, hats, bibs, bottles, burp cloths, seasonal clothing, pacifiers, nail clippers, bulbs and baby hairbrushes

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 office at 802-375-2548.


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

Praise and Worship Celebration

STAMFORD, Vt. -- 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.

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 & 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, please call Ellie at 802-464-5265.

State Rep. at July

Interfaith Action Initiative meeting

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The Friday, July 18, meeting of the Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative (NBIAI) will feature State Rep. Gail Cariddi talking about funding for food programs and other issues of interest. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. and be held in the Eagle Street Room of the First Baptist Church of North Adams. All are welcome.

There will be no NBIAI public meeting in August.

The NBIAI is a group of people of various faiths and denominations working together with people of goodwill to serve our community. It runs the Friendship Center Food Pantry and administers an emergency voucher system. For more information, call Mark at 664-0130, visit or check out our Facebook page.


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