Religion News in Brief


Saturday, March 15

'Enough of the Darkness' at Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON -- A warm welcome is extended to all to join in the service of worship at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road.

The service begins at 10 a.m. and the church invites each person to bring a non-perishable food item each Sunday throughout Lent.

All of the food gathered throughout Lent on the chancel steps will help feed those served through the Arlington Food Shelf.

The theme for this Lent is "Enough" and Sunday's message from the Rev. Kathy Clark comes from Jesus trying to get through to the Pharisee Nicodemus as told in John 3:1-17. The sermon is titled "Enough of the Darkness."

Children 3 to 10 are invited to begin the service with the congregation and then will depart after the Time for Children to begin the church school program. Sunday's guest accompanist will be Patti Cody. Following the service, all are invited to Bailey Hall for a time of fellowship and refreshment. Don't forget the Holy Joe's Cafe basket which supports the important ministries of U.S. military chaplains around the world.

On Saturday, March 15, all knitters and crocheters are extended an invitation to be a part of the monthly Prayer Shawl Ministry gathering. The group gets together in Bailey Hall beginning at 11:30 a.m. and new folks are always welcome. This month this ministry celebrates its seventh anniversary and the more than 300 prayer shawls that have been created and distributed since March 2007. Bring a bag lunch and any project or a desire to learn. Back to Sunday: The Men's Fellowship will meet for its monthly breakfast at 8 a.m. The bulk of the meeting will be devoted to last-minute details associated with the Yankee Pot Roast Dinner that happens on Saturday, March 22, beginning at 6 p.m. in Bailey Hall. (See announcement below).

This coming week's Taize service offered jointly by the Federated Church of East Arlington and St. James' Episcopal Church begins on Thursday, March 20, at 7 p.m. in the undercroft 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.

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 addtional information visit the church website at, like the church on Facebook or call the office at 802-375-2548.

Sunday, March 16

Lent continues at Second Congregational

BENNINGTON -- Join us at Second Congregational Church, UCC, for worship at 10 a.m. on this Second Sunday in Lent. We continue our Lenten journey in awareness of our responsibility for caring for the earth, which God loved so much that the Holy One became human among us, walking the earth, even to this day.

After 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 reading from John's Gospel and the story of Nicodemus, is titled, "Winds of Re-birth."

Following worship, the Youth Group is providing a Potato Brunch, and materials for making prayer flags will be provided by the Eaarth Advocates.

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

St. Peter's Episcopal Church worship and activities

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 second 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 3: 1-17. The Laying on of Hands for Healing follows the service.

Also after the service, a St. Patrick's Day luncheon of corned beef and cabbage, salad, soda bread and assorted desserts will be served at 11:30 a.m.

The monthly Vestry meeting will follow the luncheon.

Contemplative prayer will be held on Wednesday, March 19, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. On Thursday, March 20, Lanier will celebrate the Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

The potluck dinner will be held on March 21 in the parish hall from 6 to 8 p.m.

The next meeting of the rector's study group will be held on March 30 after the 10 a.m. Liturgy.

Mission District 5 will hold a Lenten Quiet Day on April 5 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. More details to follow.

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 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 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 second Sunday in Lent.

The sermon, "A Good Measure of Faith and Trust," will be based on Genesis 12:1-4 and John 3:1-17. There will be a children's time, after which Sunday School classes will meet for pre-school through grade eight.

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.


Family Game Night

NORTH BENNINGTON -- North Bennington Baptist Church will hold a Family Game Night on March 21, from 6 to 8 pm at 15 Church St.

All ages welcome to enjoy games, food, and soft drinks. Leave your electronics at home, bring a friend.

Yankee Pot Roast Dinner at Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON -- The community is invited to a meal to support a vital local cause. Bring your appetite on Saturday, March 22, at 6 p.m. to the Yankee Pot Roast Dinner to be held at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road.

On the menu will be pot roast, vegetables, mashed potatoes, beverages and great desserts provided by Mother Myricks, The Stratton Market and local cheesecake baker Sandy Barnes. Freewill donations will be accepted to benefit the important work of the Arlington Food Shelf. No reservations are necessary and take-outs will be available. Dinner will be served until the food is gone. Phone 802-375-2548 for additional information.

Group hosts discussion of Medicare Part D

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative (NBIAI) will hold its March meeting at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 21, at the First Baptist Church of North Adams. Please use Eagle Street address. All are welcome.

Debbie Valieres, from Little's Pharmacy, will speak about Medicare Part D drug coverage problems and solutions for people with financial need. She will also talk about Part B coverage, and medication compliance as a means to decrease hospitalizations and re-admissions

The Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initative is a group of people of different faiths and denominations working together with others of goodwill to serve our community. It runs the Friendship Center Food Pantry in North Adams, an emergency voucher system in Northern Berkshire, and holds monthly meetings to discuss topics and programs of civic and religious concern.

For more information, email Mark Rondeau at, see or visit our page on Facebook. The Friendship Center phone number is 413-664-0123.

Free community dinner at St. James

ARLINGTON -- St. James' Episcopal Church will host the next in a series of free community dinners on Friday, March 28. Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the undercroft of the church on Route 7A at the intersection with Route 313.

The Rev. Scott Neal, Rector, and the parishioners of St. James' Episcopal Church extend a cordial invitation to each and all to come and enjoy a hearty welcome, good food, friendly conversation and the chance to meet new people and greet old friends. The menu includes home-made stroganoff, salad, bread, dessert, coffee, tea and water. Take a break from your regular schedule, not to mention the winter weather, and enjoy a dinner in a comfortable setting. Bring your family and friends. All are welcome. There is no cost to attend. The next free dinner is scheduled for Friday, April 25, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. No reservations are necessary. Come and join in the food and the fun.

Established in 1764, St. James is the cradle parish of the Episcopal Church in Vermont. The present church building was consecrated in 1833, built after an earlier one was destroyed by fire. In 2014, St. James' is celebrating its 250th anniversary as a faith community. There will be many special events in celebration of this milestone all of which will be open to everyone. At St. James' we strive to be a community of open hearts and discerning minds. Everyone is invited and welcome.

For additional information about these events or any other services or activities at St. James' Episcopal Church, contact the St. James Parish Office at 802 375-9952; send an e-mail to; visit the website at or find the church on Facebook.

'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 dates for the gatherings are March 19 and 26 and 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.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions