Religion News in Brief


Saturday, June 14

St. Peter's silent auction

BENNINGTON -- St. Peter's Episcopal Church will be holding a silent auction on Saturday, June 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. St. Peter's is at the corner of School Street and Pleasant Street.

Tickets will be $5. For your ticket you will be treated to a fabulous dessert bar and beverages.

There will be tables laden with many beautiful items, some local treasures, some adventures and activities to bid on. There will be tickets to local theatre groups, local fitness centers, Yoga centers and much more. You may place your bids until 8:45 and at that time The Master of Ceremonies will start announcing the winners. Sit back, have a treat and wait for your name to be called. It's all for a good cause. St. Peter's is accessible to all.

Benefit for LGBT people in Uganda

BENNINGTON -- The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will host a benefit fund-raising dinner on Saturday, June 14. Proceeds will provide direct emergency assistance to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals at risk in Uganda under new oppressive anti-homosexuality laws.

The dinner, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., will feature traditional cuisine from several African nations. Dinner will be served on a first-come, first served basis with continuous seating while the food lasts. The suggested donation for dinner is $15 per adult, and $5 for the first child in a family and additional children will be at no charge.

Brief presentations will be made by Unitarian Universalist minister the Rev. Mark Kiyimba of Uganda at about 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. The UU Fellowship is hosting this dinner because new laws in Uganda have dramatically expanded the penalties for homosexuality, including life in prison for some offences. Although homosexuality has been illegal, the new law is aimed at gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons as well as their allies. It is illegal to know about people engaged in homosexual acts without reporting them to the authorities, or to assist or provide sanctuary for them. Transgender individuals are at particularly high risk because they are most likely to be victimized if jailed. All proceeds will be used in Uganda to directly assist people, including those who must seek refuge in nearby nations.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bennington is a Welcoming Congregation to the LGBT community. It is located at 108 School St. in Bennington.

Sunday, June 15

Interfaith Service of Worship to kick off summer lunch program

WEST ARLINGTON -- The entire community is warmly invited to join together on Sunday, June 15, at 10 a.m. for an outdoor Service of Worship at the Battenkill Grange Pavilion behind the West Arlington Methodist Church next to the historic covered bridge off of Route 313. This annual event brings together members of the community and the various churches for a celebration of the start of the Summer Lunch Program for children throughout Arlington, Sandgate and Sunderland. Participating churches include the Federated Church of East Arlington, St. James' Episcopal Church, the Sandgate Methodist Church, the West Arlington Methodist Church, the Arlington Community Church and Christ Our Savior Parish/St. Margaret Mary Roman Catholic Church. The service will include the Sacrament of Holy Communion and all are welcome to participate. For any folks who like choral singing, there will be a joint choir which will gather at 9 a.m. on the 15 for rehearsal.

Those attending the service are encouraged to bring a lawn chair as well as a dish to share at the potluck lunch that follows the service of worship. Paperware, utensils and beverages will be provided. There will also be a box for gathering individually wrapped snack items to be distributed throughout the summer to the children in the program. The offering gathered during the service will go to support the Summer Lunch Program, which begins on Tuesday, June 17, and runs for 10 weeks. This year we will provide 74 children from our community with weekly bags of groceries containing fixings for that week's worth of lunches. This totally volunteer initiative that operates from the Fisher Elementary School has a broad base of community support. Those with questions about the service on June 15 or the Summer Lunch Program are encouraged to phone 802-375-2548.

Worship in North Bennington

NORTH BENNINGTON -- The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes all to its 11 a.m. Worship Service on this Father's Day/Trinity Sunday led by Rev. Penny Rich Smith. The sermon, "The Fullness of God," will be based on Genesis 1: 27-2:4 and Matthew 28: 16-20. No Sunday School classes until the fall.

Following the service, everyone is invited to stay for coffee hour and a time of fellowship. The church is located at 8 Bank Street in North bennington and is wheelchair accessible from the back door at the parsonage driveway. For more information, call the church office at 442-5161.

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 June 15, the first Sunday of Pentecost. At 8 a.m., Eucharist will be celebrated at the high altar 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 28:16-20. The laying on of hands for healing follows the service.

June 15 will be the last Sunday for the choir; they will return in September. Also, Happy Father's Day!

Members of the Vestry will meet for its monthly meeting on June 15 following the 10 a.m. service.

Contemplative Prayer will be held on Wednesday, June 18, 5:30-6:30 p.m. On Thursday, June 19, we will celebrate the Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

Reminder: St. Peter's Silent Auction is scheduled for Saturday, June 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 and will include a beverage and dessert. This promises to be an exciting and fun evening! The potluck supper will be held on Friday, June 20, at 6 p.m. Bring a dish to share!

Church School will meet Saturday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parish hall.

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 and events at Second Congregational

BENNINGTON -- All people of faith or in search of faith are invited to join in worship and fellowship at Second Congregational Church, UCC, this Father's Day Sunday morning at 10 a.m. The Chancel Choir will sing "A Mighty Pushing Wind" and the Rev. Mary Lee-Clark's sermon on this Trinity Sunday is entitled, "One, Two, Three What?!" Nursery care is provided throughout worship.

Tools of Hope offerings for Church World Service will be received. A time of fellowship and refreshment for the whole church family follows in Webster Hall.

Second Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, welcomes all people 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


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.


St. James Episcopal gets new organist and music director

ARLINGTON -- The Rev. Scott B. Neal, Rector of St. James' Episcopal Church, is pleased to announce that Daniel Frank, of Manchesteris the new organist and director of music at the church. In making the announcement, Fr. Neal said: "We welcome Dan to the family of St. James and thank him for sharing his gift of music with us. His music ministry not only will enhance our worship but also our life together as a community of faith engaged with our friends and neighbors throughout the area. Dan has many exciting new ideas for musical outreach and we are delighted to have him with us."

Raised in Manchester, since the age of six, Frank has been playing piano since the age of 11; he began to take the instrument more seriously when exposed to the expanding music program at his high school, Burr and Burton Academy. Frank found his calling for music there in the classes of Neil and Julie Freebern, playing percussion in band and various ensembles and taking percussion lessons from Todd Corcoran. Frank began taking organ lessons at age 16 with his former piano teacher, Linda Huckel, at the First Congregational Church in Manchester. Soon he was hired to his first musical position by Jean Eisenhart and the Rev. Keith Mann at the United Methodist Church in Sandgate, where he accompanied the congregation on an Estey pump organ and an autoharp, lent by Jane and Roy Gattlin.

Currently, Frank studies pipe organ at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York in the studio of

Dr. Joseph Eppink, D.A. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in music with a concentration in musicology.

Dan is recognized as a member of the Delta Iota Epsilon Honor Society of his college, as well as an active member of the Vermont Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He has performed in Honors Convocation at his college, a performance recognizing the best performers of the music department of that year. He has also performed on piano at Steinway Hall in New York City in the lecture recital of his teacher Dr. Young Kim, D.M.A.

Frank began working at St. James' in May 2013, returning on occasion during the school year to play for events and holidays such as Christmas, Lent, Holy Week and the ordinations of the Rev. Sean Lanigan and the Rev. Keith Patterson. His excellent work and his obvious commitment to the ministry of music led the Rector and Vestry of St. James' to appoint him to the position of organist and director of music in the spring of 2014.

One of Frank's initial efforts for expanding the St. James' Music Program is the organization of a Summer Choir open to all music lovers, regardless of musical ability and expertise, over the age of 14. The choir will learn and sing a variety of repertoire for the 10 a.m. Sunday service and even for some informal concerts. Everyone is invited; no religious affiliation is required; all are welcome.

Along with keyboard, Frank also plays and accompanies on the guitar, the banjo, autoharp, mountain dulcimer, and any other instrument that he can get his hands on. He has also performed on the Aeolian Organ at Hildene in Manchester. He is very excited about his future at St. James', especially in such a loving, welcoming community of people who support the music ministry.

Established in 1764, this year St. James is celebrating its 250th anniversary as a community of faith and worship. It is the cradle parish of the Episcopal Church in Vermont. The first Diocesan Convention was held here in 1790. The present church building was consecrated in 1833, built after an earlier one was destroyed by fire. We strive to be a community of open hearts and discerning minds. All are invited and everyone is welcome.

For more information call 802-375-9952; email; visit; on Facebook at or on Twitter at


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