Religion News in Brief


Sunday, March 30

Come-unity event at St. Luke's Church

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- On Sunday, March 30, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. registered nurses will be offering free screening for blood pressure, health information and medical referrals at St. Luke's. Also available that day will be a hospice representative to discuss end of life issues, health care proxies and answer any questions you may have related to end of life issues. Child care will be available and there will be a free soup meal. No appointment necessary.

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 fourth Sunday in Lent. The sermon, "Spiritual Vision," will be based on 1 Samuel 16:1-13 and John 9: 1-17. 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. We are worshipping in the social hall for the winter months. For more information, call the church office at 802-442-5161.

Worship and 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 March 30, the fourth 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 9:1-41. The laying on of hands for healing follows the service.

The rector's study group will meet this Sunday after the 10 a.m. liturgy.

Contemplative prayer will not be held on Wednesday, April 2. On Thursday, April 3, the Rev. Keith Patterson will celebrate the Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

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 Lanier and the Rev. Scott Neal, St. James Church, Arlington, focusing on contemplative prayer training and simple chanting practices using Taize chants. Bring a brown bag lunch.

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 from March 15 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 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 -- We're halfway through the season of Lent, as we celebrate this the fourth Sunday in Lent, beginning at 10 a.m. this Sunday morning at Second Congregational Church, UCC, on Hillside Street. The Gospel story from John is about the man born blind, and we'll look at the ways we see or choose not to see. The Rev. Mary Lee-Clark's sermon is titled, "All Kinds of Blind." During the Time for the Children in All of Us, we'll share "Environmental Light Bulb Moments," after which children up through grade five will be dismissed for Godly Play and the middle- and high-school class meets.

A time for fellowship and refreshment for the whole church family follows in Webster Hall, and teams will be going around the church building to insulate all the electrical outlets, as part of the church's environmental care and advocacy emphasis during Lent.

The monthly fellowship luncheon will be held on Wednesday, April 2. Come and join friends for soup, sandwiches, dessert and conversation at noon 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 is wheelchair-accessible, and hearing-assistance devices are available. For more information, call the church office at 442-2559 or visit

'Enough to See' at the Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON -- The journey through Lent is halfway over and we invite one and all to join us on this step of the journey at our Sunday service of worship at 10 a.m. at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road.

The need for non-perishable food items continues so we invite each person to bring an item to be placed on the steps in the front of the church as we work to feed our friends and neighbors through the Arlington Food Shelf. This is also One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Sunday in which we are asked to consider the world outside of our local community where the money gathered goes to transform lives by providing clean water, food, medicines, shelter, healthcare, education and disaster relief here in the U.S. and around the globe. Additionally we will return our banks with the spare change we have gathered in March for OGHS.

The message from the Rev. Kathy Clark comes from John 9:1-41 and is titled "Enough to See." Additional scripture lessons include Ephesians 5:8-14 and Psalm 23. Mary Edwards will lead and accompany the choir. Children 3 through 10 are invited to begin worship with the congregation and then depart for the Church School program in Bailey Hall. Everyone is invited for a time of fellowship and refreshment in Bailey Hall immediately after the service.

This coming week's Taize service offered jointly by the Federated Church of East Arlington and St. James' Episcopal Church begin on Thursday, April 3, at 7 p.m. in the lower level of St James' Episcopal Church on Route 7A in downtown Arlington. 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.


'Lenten Dinner Church' offered

ARLINGTON -- St. James' Episcopal Church is offering "Lenten Dinner Church" on Wednesdays in Lent. Participants meet in the St. James' Rectory (next door to the church) at 5:30 p.m. Seated around a table, we begin with an informal service of Holy Eucharist where we will hear the readings that we will discuss. A simple supper of soup and bread follows the liturgy during which we will share our reflections on the Biblical texts we have read and heard. We will end on or about 7 p.m. The remaining dates for the gatherings are April 2 and 9. All are invited to participate. You need not be an Episcopalian to join the gathering. Everyone is welcome. Individuals may attend one, two or all of the gatherings. There is no requirement to attend each one. The Bible readings are provided each week. They are also available in advance by calling the church office at 802-375-9952 or sending an email to

Lenten Dinner Church provides an opportunity for people to gather together informally and share ideas and experiences in relation to the texts for Lent. This form of gathering is derived from the oldest traditions of Christianity. The earliest metaphors of the Gospel speak of discipleship -- following the teaching of Jesus -- as transformative through an alternative community and the reversal of conventional wisdom. This is an opportunity to experience, in our own contemporary times, an alternative style of worship that looks back to the Christian community's earliest form of worship.

In issuing the invitation for all to participate, the Rev. Scott B. Neal, Rector of St. James', says: "Ultimately, our Faith journey is about changed behavior and self-sacrifice. Christianity is a way of life, fed and nourished by daily prayer, scriptural reflection (Bible study) and corporate worship. Christianity is about transformation, a new birth, a new set of eyes to see the world. Let us walk together during Lent, explore our relationship to God and commit ourselves to a deeper connection to Christ as we anticipate the heavenly joy of Easter."

For more information about the Lenten Dinner Church or any other service or program at St. James' Episcopal Church, contact the St. James Parish Office at 802 375-9952; send an e-mail to, visit or find the church on Facebook. All are welcome.

Zion Church ‘Noah' event

MANCHESTER -- Zion Episcopal Church, Manchester Center, invites the community to join them on Sunday, March 30, at the 8 and 10 a. m. worship services with special guest Rabbi Michael Cohen, speaking about Noah in preparation for seeing the film "Noah." Check the time for the Sunday matinee of Noah at The Village Picture Shows. Rabbi Michael M. Cohen is Director of Community Relations for the Arava Institute, the premier environmental teaching and research program in the Middle East, preparing future Arab and Jewish leaders to cooperatively solve the region's environmental challenges.

Zion Church is located at 5167 Main Street/Route 7A North between Gringo Jack's and Ye Olde Tavern and is fully accessible. For more information, contact Zion Church at 802-362-1987 or .

Talk on Jewish Identity in the U.S.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- On Sunday, March 30, Alan Cooperman, director of religion research at the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., will present Jewish Identity in the United States, a lecture on Jews and Jewish life in America based on the recent extensive survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. The 2 p.m. talk, which will include a question-and-answer period and a reception, will be given at Temple Anshe Amunim and is sponsored by the Hilda Vallin Feigenbaum Memorial Lecture Series. The event is free and open to the community. This talk has been rescheduled from its original Dec. 15 date; it was postponed due to a snowstorm.

The major new survey by the Pew Research Center suggests that Jewish identity is changing in America. While the vast majority of American Jews say they are proud to be Jewish, many see their Jewishness solely as a matter of culture or ancestry and do not identify with any religion, including Judaism. The extensive survey was conducted in 2013 by Pew Research Center staff members. Cooperman oversaw the research project and served as lead editor of the report.

The Pew Research Center's survey is the most comprehensive nationwide survey of American Jews in more than a decade. It has generated news coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times, as well as widespread discussion in the Jewish press and international coverage via the Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France Presse.

Cooperman has given briefings on the survey's results to the leadership of the Jewish Federations of North America, the UJA-Federation of New York, the Orthodox Union, the American Conference of Cantors, the National Association of Temple Administrators, the board of directors of Taglit/Birthright, the Anti-Defamation League, the board and staff of the Conservative movement, the Israeli Embassy in Washington, and leaders of AIPAC, J Street, B'nai Brith, and numerous other Jewish organizations.

Alan Cooperman leads the Religion & Public Life Project at the Pew Research Center, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that conducts public opinion polling, demographic studies, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Known as a "fact tank," Pew Research does not take positions on public policy debates. Cooperman is an expert on religion's role in U.S. politics and plays a central role in planning the project's research agenda and writing its reports. Before joining the Pew Research Center in 2009, Cooperman was a national staff reporter and editor for 10 years at the Washington Post. He also served as a foreign correspondent in Moscow and Jerusalem for the Associated Press and U.S. News & World Report. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1982 and started in journalism at The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Mass.

Temple Anshe Amunim is located at 26 Broad St. in Pittsfield. For more information, call 413-442-5910, email, or visit

Church supper in Pownal

POWNAL -- The Pownal United Methodist Church, corner of Route 346 and Church Street, will serve a Friday Night Supper with soup, sandwiches and pie on April 4 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. or until gone. This event is to benefit the "Beeper Snyder Benefit Fund" and Pownal United Methodist Women. "Beeper" needs our prayers and financial support as she undergoes cancer treatment.

The menu includes: Assorted soups including corn chowder, minestrone, broccoli/cheese and several more; sandwiches including, chicken, ham, tuna, and egg salad, turkey/cheese, ham/cheese, and peanut butter/jelly with potato chips served family style; your choice of many kinds of homemade pie; and lemonade, tea, and coffee. Tickets available at the door. $6 adults and take outs, $4 children 4-10 yrs., free for children 3 years and under. For more information, contact Mary Louise at 802-823-7769.

St. Mary's Academy Spring Auction is coming soon

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.

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.


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