Religion News in Brief


Saturday, April 5

St. Mary's Academy spring auction

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- St. Mary's Academy will be having its annual Spring Auction on Saturday, April 5. There will be a silent auction as well as a live auction hosted by Ron Seifert, Hoosick Falls Auctioneer. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for a preview of the items, and the live auction will begin at 7 p.m. Come enjoy a light fare and cash bar while supporting a great cause. Please note this is a 21 and older event. We have many fabulous items to present once again, including: beautiful jewelry including Ed Levin pieces; an autographed Toby Keith picture; inside tickets to the sold out July 4th James Taylor concert; American Girl Doll (Kit); Dream Again Refresh Sleep System mattress (King size) by WCW; 2 George VanHook paintings; Coach bag; a trip to Martha's Vineyard; a scoreboard that once hung in the SMA gym; precious classroom projects; and much more.

Sunday, April 6

'Enough of Death' at the Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON -- As we move ever closer to Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter, all are invited to share in the service of worship and the sacrament of Holy Communion at 10 a.m. at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road.

They continue to gather much-needed non-perishable food items in the front of the church in support of the Arlington Food Shelf. The story of Lazarus, his death and his return to the living from John 11:1-45 provides the starting point for the message from the Rev. Kathy Clark titled, "Enough of Death." Scripture lessons that will also be a part of the service include Ezekiel 37:1-14 and Psalm 130. All are welcome at the Communion table. Mary Edwards will lead and accompany the choir. Following the service there will be a time of fellowship and refreshment for everyone to enjoy in Bailey Hall.

The final Taize service of this Lent will be held on Thursday, April 10, at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of the Federated Church, offered jointly by the Federated Church and St. James' Episcopal Church. This simple mid-week evening service of about 30 minutes in length offers a quiet time of scripture, music, prayer and silence set amid candlelight. Come as you are and dwell in God's peace.

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

BENNINGTON -- All people of faith or in search of faith are invited to join in the journey through Lent at Second Congregational Church, UCC, on Hillside Street. This Sunday's morning worship begins at 10 a.m. and continues with the Lenten theme of recognizing the passion of Christ through the suffering of the earth and our responsibility toward it as faithful stewards. 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. The Rev. Mary Lee-Clark's sermon, based on the story of the raising of Lazarus in John's gospel, is titled "Calling Out New Life." The whole church family is invited to celebrate the sacrament of Communion and then to join together in fellowship and refreshment in Webster Hall.

An ecological scavenger hunt takes place during Sunday Social.

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

Worship and events at St. Peter's Episcopal

BENNINGTON -- The Reverend Justin Lanier will preside as St. Peter's Episcopal Church celebrates the Holy Eucharist using the Book of Common Prayer on April 6, the fifth Sunday of Lent. 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 this day is John 11:1-45. The laying on of hands for healing follows the service.

Mission District 5 will hold a Lenten Quiet Day, Opening Up to God, on Saturday, April 5, from 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. at St. Mary's in the Mountains, Wilmington. The Quiet Day will be led by the Rev. Scott Neal, St. James Church, Arlington and Lanier, focusing on contemplative prayer training and simple chanting practices using Taize chants. Bring a brown bag lunch.

Contemplative prayer will be held on Wednesday, April 9. On Thursday, April 10, Lanier will celebrate the Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

John Terauds, who has accepted the position of music director at St. Peter's, will begin his ministry on Palm Sunday, April 13. Join us at his first liturgy here and for his welcoming party afterwards.

Safe church will be held here on Saturday, May 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Reminder: St. Peter's Silent Auction has been moved to June 14. More details to come.

St. Peter's invites people of all faiths or those in search of faith to join us in our 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 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 on this fifth Sunday in Lent. Holy Communion will be celebrated. The Meditation, "Breath of Hope," will be based on John 11:1-45. 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 442-5161.

Looking Ahead to Holy Week: Sunday, April 13: Palm Sunday worship at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 17: Maundy Thursday Taize/Tenebrae Service at 7 p.m. at First Congregational Church in Williamstown (next to Williams College). Friday, April 18: watch for Good Friday service in the area; Sunday, April 20 -- Easter worship celebration at 11 a.m.


Passover 2nd Night

Community Seder

BENNINGTON -- On Tuesday, April 15, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Congregation Beth El will hold a Passover Seder on the second night of Passover. Participants will explore traditional and contemporary connections to the Exodus from slavery. Bring a vegetarian Kosher for Passover dish to share with the community. In order to help with the cost of the food and drink that will be provided, the following will be charged: Adults: $10; Children: $5; Family Cap: $20 If you are planning to attend, RSVP and send your payment by Wednesday, April 9, to Call 802-442-9645 for questions. Located at 107 Adams St.

Taize service

BENNINGTON -- As a musical offering for Holy Week, the adult choir of Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Church. accompanied by an instrumental ensemble comprised of area musicians, will offer its annual Taize service of Silent Prayer, Song and Adoration of the Cross in the Tradition of Taize on Tuesday, April 15, at 7 p.m.

Taize is a village in France that is home to an ecumenical community of brothers who have committed their lives to prayer and serving the poor throughout the world.

Founded in 1940, the community provided shelter for those fleeing the terror of Nazi occupation. Everyone is warmly invited to attend the service. All facilities at the church are accessible to those with special needs, and convenient parking is availlable.

Adams parish to celebrate the canonization of its namesake

ADAMS, Mass -- Each year since 2000, the Catholic Church has celebrated the Feast of the Divine Mercy, also known as Divine Mercy Sunday, on the Sunday following Easter. The Feast commemorates a series of revelations which (Catholics believe) a Polish nun, Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska, received from Jesus Christ during the 1930s.

Traditionally, the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy at Eden Hill in Stockbridge has been the focus for celebration of the Feast in Berkshire County. But this year, Blessed John Paul II ("BJP") Parish in Adams will be vying for that honor when the Feast takes place on April 27.

BJP parishioners will be celebrating the Feast with particular fervor this year because it coincides with the canonization of both Pope John Paul II (who served 1978-2005), for whom their parish is named, as well as Pope John III (who served 1958-1963), at the Vatican that same day. Canonization is the process by which the Catholic Church officially declares certain deceased individuals to be saints, and worthy of emulation. As a result of John Paul II's formal elevation to sainthood, therefore, BJP Parish will also be getting a name change. That is to say, the Parish will now become St. John Paul II Parish.

BJP Parish will kick of the celebrations at 3 p.m. on Good Friday (April 18th) at St. Stanislaus Kostka Mission church with a Divine Mercy Chaplet novena (a series of public prayers held at the same time over nine successive days). On Divine Mercy Sunday itself, BJP Parish will hold Mass at each of its two church locations: i.e., one at St. Stanislaus Kostka church at 8 a. m. and the other at the former Notre Dame Church.

At each Mass, the parish will unveil artworks commemorating both of the popes being canonized on that day, along with new prayers submitted by parishioners and a song composed by Parish music director Mary Verdi highlighting the Parish's namesake.

A coffee-and-cake social will be held following each Mass.

Finally, BJP Parish's celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday celebration will conclude with a Benediction and Chaplet service at St. Stanislaus Kostka church at 3 p.m.


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