Religion News In Brief


Saturday, May 31

Indoor tag sale in Pownal

POWNAL -- On Saturday, May 31, an indoor tag sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pownal United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Route 346 and Church Street. There will be a variety of items including men's and women's clothing (some still have the original tags), shoes and accessories, puzzles, dishes and glassware, books, toys, games, holiday items, and much more. Questions? Contact Mary Louise at 802-823-7769.

Retirement reception for Penny Hawkins Farrara

BENNINGTON -- The Rev. Penny Hawkins Farrara of St. Peter's Episcopal Church will be retiring after 26 years in the diaconate. In recognition of her dedication in her ministry, a retirement reception will be held today from 2 to 4 p.m. in the parish hall. All are welcome to attend.

Dedication ceremony

BENNINGTON -- A dedication ceremony for the Beth El Cemetery Meditation Garden will be held on Saturday, May 31, at 1 p.m.

Join us for the dedication of the meditation garden in the Beth El cemetery, where Cemetery Committee Chair Lora Block and members Stella Ehrich, Peter Rubin, Suzy Yucht and Phyllis Kaplan have ushered into existence a beautiful and sacred space in view of the mountains to encourage meditation, memory and reflection.

Sunday, June 1

Worship, events at St. Peter's

BENNINGTON -- The Rev. Justin Lanier will preside as St. Peter's Episcopal Church celebrates the Holy Eucharist using the Book of Common Prayer on this the seventh Sunday of Easter.

The Rev. Penny Hawkins Farrara will deliver her final sermon in her capacity as Deacon at St. Peter's Church. The 8 a.m. Eucharist is celebrated at the high altar without music in the traditional language of Rite I. At 10 a.m., the Holy Eucharist will be celebrated with music and singing using Rite II, the contemporary language service. The Gospel for the day is John 17:1-11. The laying on of hands for healing follows the service.

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

The rector's Bible study will be held on following the 10 a.m. service on Sunday in the parish hall.

On Sunday, June 9, St. Peter's will celebrate the beginning of Pentecost at one 9 a.m. service, followed by a meal of chili and cornbread. If you want to help, contact Kay Trafton at or Carol Stair at

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. Donations are now being accepted. This promises to be an exciting and fun evening. More details to come.

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

Worship at Second Congregational Church

BENNINGTON -- Start the month of June in community and celebration of the God of all creation this Sunday morning at Second Congregational Church, UCC on Hillside Street. Worship begins at 10 a.m. and includes the service of Holy Communion, to which all are invited.

Following a time for the Children in all of Us, children up through grade five are dismissed for Godly Play and the middle- and high-school class meets. Nursery care is provided throughout worship. The Rev. Mary Lee-Clark's sermon, based on the account in Acts of Jesus' ascension, is titled, "Coming Together."

A time of fellowship and refreshment for the whole church family follows in Webster Hall. The Ministries Council will meet in the sanctuary at 11:35 a.m.

On Wednesday, June 4, the monthly fellowship luncheon will be held at noon in Webster Hall. Come and join friends for sandwiches, salad, dessert as well as conversation.

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

'Heaven Can Wait' at the Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON -- Spring has sprung and all are invited to celebrate at the 10 a.m. service of worship on Sunday at the Federated Church of East Arlington.

As it is the first Sunday of the month, the church invites all to the table for the service of Holy Communion and requests that people bring non-perishable food items to help fill the shelves at the Arlington Food Shelf.

On this final Sunday of the Easter season the message from the Rev. Kathy Clark will consider the words of Jesus that express his hope for a unity we may not recognize, as found in John 17:1-11. The title of the day's sermon is "Heaven Can Wait." Mary Edwards will lead and accompany the choir. Immediately following the service there will be a special congregational meeting to vote on the proposed distribution of the money that the congregation agreed to tithe for humanitarian aid at this year's Annual Meeting. Afterwards everyone is invited for a time of fellowship and refreshment in Bailey Hall.

The start of the sixth year of the Arlington/Sandgate/Sunderland Summer Lunch Program is just around the corner. This year's 10-week program runs from June 17 through Aug. 19. Applications are available at Fisher Elementary and Sunderland Elementary Schools as well as Happy Days Playschool and the church offices of St. James Episcopal Church and the Federated Church of East Arlington.

Donations of individually packaged snack items to be included in the weekly bags of lunch fixings are being gathered from now through the summer. Ideas for items include goldfish, pretzels, raisins and crackers. Boxes to gather these items will be located at both St. James and the Federated Church. Be sure 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 morel information, visit or like the church on Facebook or call the office at 802-375-2548.

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.

Holy Communion will be celebrated. The meditation, "Community of Prayer," will be based on Acts 1:1-14. There will be a children's time, after which Sunday School classes will meet for pre-school through grade 8.

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.


'Jewish Lifecycle' program offered

BENNINGTON -- Jewish Lifecycle will be offered Mondays 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. on June 2, 9. 16, 23, 30 and July 7, 14.

This seven-session class will explore Jewish lifecycle milestones and the rituals, customs and meanings ascribed to them by Jewish tradition, including birth, bar/bat mitzvah, conversion, marriage, aging and death. Readings will be provided for each topic.

The class will meet in the Richard and Pamela Ader Social Hall at Congregation Beth El (107 Adams St.) and is free and open to the public. To register, email or call 802-442-9645.

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.

Joint Shavuot Celebration

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- This year the Congregation Beth Israel community, the Congregation Beth El community, and the Williams College community will celebrate Shavuot together at the Williams College Jewish Religious Center on June 3. It will begin at 8 p.m. with a short-and-sweet festival ma'ariv (evening) service, and then they'll segue into an evening of studying and noshing.

It's traditional to study Torah all night on Shavuot, so that we don't replicate the behavior of our ancestors at Sinai (who, midrash tells us, slept in and almost missed the revelation.) But there's no need to commit to staying all night -- come for whatever amount of time you can.

If you would like to offer a shiur/teaching, contact Rabbi Rachel Barenblat at Any topic which relates to Torah is appropriate, and you can teach for 15 minutes, half an hour, or longer, whatever is right for you. Join us for this evening of joy, celebration, and the opportunity to receive whatever Torah we most need revealed to us this year at this moment in our lives.

First Baptist Church of Cambridge will close

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- The First Baptist Church of Cambridge will hold its final service of worship on June 8. The Rev. Jerrod Hugenot, associate executive minister, American Baptist Churches of New York State will conduct the service, which begins at 10:30 a.m. All members of the Cambridge community are encouraged to attend.

First Baptist, which stands at 29 West Main St., between the Cambridge Village Market and Glens Falls National, has been a part of Cambridge since before there was a village of Cambridge. The church performed its first service of worship in 1843, nearly 20 years before the beginning of the Civil War, and more than two decades before the hamlets of White Creek and Cambridge were incorporated to create the village of Cambridge.

For more information about attending regular worship services or the final worship at First Baptist, contact Beverly Collamer at 518-677-3327 or call the church at 518-677-5487.

Veterans' Recognition Service

BENNINGTON -- On June 7, at 10 a.m., Congregation Beth El will combine its Shabbos morning service with a recognition of the nation's veterans.

Falling less than two weeks after Memorial Day, one day after the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and one day after the 47th anniversary of the liberation of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, this service will feature a special D'var Torah and a special prelude to Kaddish, both presented by Lt. Colonel Lance Allen Wang (U.S. Army, Retired), CBE president, Iraq veteran, and Commander of Jewish War Veterans of the United States Post 105.

Make the effort to attend this special service, and we especially invite our veterans of both the United States Armed Forces and Israel Defense Force to participate in a group Aliyah. The president and his wife, Tech Sergeant Hatti L. Wang (US Air Force Reserve, Retired) will provide Kiddush.

Ham and strawberry shortcake supper

PITTSTOWN, N.Y. -- A ham and strawberry shortcake supper will be held on Saturday, June 14, at the Pittstown United Methodist Church Hall from 4 to 6 p.m. Eat in or take out. Menu: ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, applesauce, rolls, strawberry shortcake. Cost: adults $10; children 5 to 12, $5; children under 5, free. For reservations or more information, call Ruth at 518-753-4304.

Free chamber music concert

ARLINGTON -- St. James' Episcopal Church will present a free concert of chamber music on Saturday, June 7, at 7:30 p.m. This is the second in a series of concerts in celebration of the 250th Anniversary of St. James' as a community of faith and worship.

The concert features music for piano and strings by Mozart, Wolf and Schumann featuring Daniel Shulman, piano; Kaori Washiyama, violin; Melanie Dexter, violin; Catharine Hall Schor, viola; Jonah Thomas, cello. The music has been chosen with reference to the 250th anniversary celebration. Another special feature of the evening will be Daniel Shulman's conversational "Notes" on the music, offered during the concert.

The concert is free and open to the public. It is made possible by a generous gift in honor of the 250th anniversary by donors who wish to remain anonymous.

For more information, call 802-375-9952; email; or visit The church is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Annual Peace Pagoda Flower Festival

GRAFTON, N.Y. -- The annual Grafton Peace Pagoda Flower Festival, celebrating the birth of the Buddha, will be held on Sunday, June 8, at 11 a.m.

Join them in celebrating Buddha's Birth in this world and in reawakening the belief in humanity's noble, spiritual purpose on this earth.

The event will include a traditional Buddhist ceremony and ecumenical prayers, and a pot luck lunch. The speaker will be Deb Krol, on the dangers of fracking. The Peace Poets and the Peace Band will perform.

The Nipponzan Myohoji, Grafton Peace Pagoda, is located at 87 Crandall Road in Petersburgh. For information call 518-658-9301 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.


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