Religion News in Brief


Saturday, May 17

Final Shabbat-in-Action program

BENNINGTON -- Congregation Beth El will hold its final Shabbat-in-Action program and Lag B’Omer Celebration on Saturday, May 17, from 12:15 to 2:30 p.m.

Through relay races and games we will explore why people need our support and how doing mitzvot such as addressing hunger, doing acts of kindness and giving tzedakah meet real human needs.

The goal of the final Shabbat-in-Action program is to reinforce a deep understanding of how the mitzvot we’ve explored in previous Shabbat-in-Action programs impact both those on the receiving-end and those on the giving-end of mitzvot.

We are asking people to bring a donation of household cleaning supplies, paper kitchen supplies, toilet paper, laundry detergent, dish soap, non-perishable food items, shampoos or body soaps to be distributed to the Bennington Coalition for the Homeless. The event coincides with the annual end-of-year Lag B’Omer celebration and picnic. They will meet at the Lake Paran Pavilion in North Bennington. Sunday, May 18

Mary’s Day scheduled at Mary’s Garden

NORTH BENNINGTON -- A Mary’s Day Celebration will be held in the Mary’s Garden at St. John the Baptist Church in North Bennington on Sunday, May 18, starting at 1 p.m. There will be a crowning of the Madonna Della Strada statue, the recitation of the rosary and Marian hymns and prayers. Music provided by the La Strada Singers. The Madonna della Strada Garden Guild maintains and arranges events at the garden. For information, call the Church Office at 802-447-7504.

Worship and 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 this the fifth Sunday of Easter.

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 will be John 14:1-14. The laying on of hands for healing follows the service.

Contemplative prayer will be held on Wednesday, May 21. On Thursday, May 22, the church will celebrate the Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

Church School will be held on Saturday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Vestry will hold its monthly meeting following the 10 a.m. service on May 18.

Safe church will be held here on Saturday, May 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring a bag lunch. The Bike Blessing is set for Sunday, May 25, at the municipal parking lot across from the church at 1 p.m., refreshments to be served following the blessing.

The Rev. Penny Hawkins Farrara will be retiring after 26 years in the diaconate. In recognition of her dedication in her ministry, a retirement reception will be held on Saturday, May 31, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the parish hall.

Rector’s Bible Study will be held on June 1, 2014 following the 10 a.m. service on June 1 in the parish hall.

St. Peter’s Silent Auction is scheduled for Saturday, June 14. 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 facility on Pleasant Street is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit or call 802-442-2911.

Marathon Sunday at the Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON -- This Sunday, the Federated Church of East Arlington will hold the 10 a.m. service of worship on the lawn across from the church under a tent.

They’re doing this because they want to be ready when participants in the Shires of Vermont Marathon come running down Ice Pond Road just beyond the halfway point of the 26.2-mile event that begins at Bennington College and ends at Riley Rink in Manchester.

They will be passing out water and cheering on the athletes before and during the service that is built upon the lessons from Scripture that speak of strength, perseverance and endurance. Those coming to worship are invited to bring lawn chairs but there will also be metal folding chairs available.

All children 3 to 10 are invited to begin worship outdoors and then move into the church school program in preparation for the May 25 Celebration Sunday service.

Mary Edwards will lead and accompany the choir. There will be a time of fellowship and refreshment for everyone to enjoy in Bailey Hall immediately after the service.

It is not too early to be thinking about the arrival of summer and the beginning of the sixth year of the Arlington/Sandgate/Sunderland Summer Lunch Program which will run 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.

Donations of individually packaged snack items to be included in the weekly bags of lunch fixings will be gathered beginning this week and running 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.

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.

Worship at Second Congregational Church

BENNINGTON -- Come worship with us at Second Congregational Church at 10 a.m. this Sunday morning.

The youth will be leading this service giving their interpretation of love through song and skit. Deb Perkins will share her music ministry and accompany on the hymns and doxology this Sunday.

Children up through fifth grade are invited to stay for the whole service. Nursery care is provided throughout worship.

A time of fellowship and refreshment for the whole church family follows service in Webster Hall.

Second Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, welcomes all people of faith or in search of faith, without regard to age, race, sex, economic condition, disability, or sexual orientation. Its building on Hillside Street is wheelchair-accessible, and hearing-assistance devices are available. For more information, call the church office at 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, "Building a Spiritual House," will be based on John 14:1-14 and 1 Peter 2: 2-10.

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. 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.


Memorial Day Mass

NORTH BENNINGTON -- A memorial Mass will be celebrated on Memorial Day at St. John’s Cemetery at 10 a.m. In case of rain, the Mass will be held at St. John the Baptist Church.

Spaghetti Supper at HF First Baptist Church

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- The Girls Night Out Group will host a spaghetti supper on Wednesday, May 21, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

The proceeds from this supper will help pay for much-needed renovations to our Church’s fellowship hall. The dinner will consist of spaghetti and sauce with or without meat, fresh veggie tray, homemade desserts, coffee or ice tea. Cost is Adults $7; children 4 to 10 $5; children 3 and under are free. Take-out will be available. The church is located at 80 Main St. and is handicap accessible. For more information, call 518-686-5779.

First Baptist Mayfest Pancake Breakfast

BENNINGTON -- The First Baptist Church of Bennington invites all to a Mayfest Pancake Breakfast on Saturday May 24, from 7 to 11 a.m. The church is located at 601 Main St., downtown.

Join them for breakfast before enjoying Mayfest. The breakfast tickets cost $6 for adults, $4 for children, or $20 for the whole family. Tickets are available at the door.

All funds raised at this event benefit facility upgrades at First Baptist. Your patronage of the pancake breakfast helps First Baptist in the effort to provide accessible and convenient space in downtown Bennington for non-profit organizations to help our community meet basic human needs: healthcare access, disability advocacy, support of families, and other community and interfaith collaborative efforts.

Lawn space in front of the church is available to non-profit and non-partisan organizations during the Mayfest event (Saturday, May 24). Spaces are limited and are $50 and need to be booked in advance. For more information contact the church office at 802-442-2015 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Blessing of the Bikes

BENNINGTON -- A Blessing of the Bikes (motorcycles) is set for Sunday, May 25, at the Municipal Parking Lot at Pleasant and School Streets across from the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at 1 p.m.

Staging will begin at 12:30 p.m. Come early and enjoy time with fellow bikers, and friends. Light snack and drinks will be available. All are welcome.

Get your group together for a ride to Bennington or plan a ride for after. Questions? Call 802-442-2911.

The blessing will be done by the Rev. Justin Lanier of St. Peter’s Church.

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.

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.

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. Please 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.


St. Mary’s Academy Eagles’ Nest applications

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- St. Mary’s Academy is excited to announce the formation of "The Eagles’ Nest" Summer Program. This summer program will offer weekly themed programs in which students will be challenged to continue to enrich their academic knowledge through hands on activities, crafts, and play. The programs will group children by age and encourage them to continue growing in their ability to work with one another, assuming responsibilities, and to follow the Catholic faith.

* Pre-k to second grade (Beagles-"Baby Eagles") -- Continue to provide enrichment in letter and number recognition, hand writing, sight words, fluency in reading, etc. Children will participate in circle time, games, crafts, exercises, nap/rest (PreK), story time, and hands on activities.

* Third to fifth Grade (Eagles) -- Continue to provide enrichment in math (multiplication, division focus), reading fluency, hand writing, science and social studies topics through hands on activities, games, crafts, exercise, and story time.

The program will be offered from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily and would begin June 23 and end Aug. 22. Registration will be offered on a weekly, daily and hourly scale. Afternoon snacks will be provided and campers will bring their own lunch. The cost for five full days a week will be $120.Contact Principal Maureen Daurio at 518-686-4314 or


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