Religion News in Brief


Sunday, Nov. 3

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 All Saints Sunday. Holy Communion will be celebrated. The meditation, "Faithful Souls," will be based on Luke 19:1-10. 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.

Saturday and Sunday worship at St. Peter's

BENNINGTON --The Rev. Justin Lanier will preside at the Holy Eucharist at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, using the Book of Common Prayer on this the twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost, All Saints Sunday, Nov. 3.

There will be one combined service at a 9 a.m. Holy Eucharist celebrated at the high altar with music and singing in the contemporary language of Rite II. Baptisms are scheduled for this service. The Gospel for the day is Luke 6:20-31. The Laying on of Hands for Healing follows the service.

Remember to set your clocks back one hour. This day also is the in-gathering of pledge cards, followed by a roast pork luncheon in celebration of the baptisms and to celebrate the collection of the annual pledge cards .

This weekend: All Souls Day is Saturday, Nov. 2, the commemoration of all the Faithful Departed. The church will celebrate the All Souls Requiem on that day at a 5 p.m. service and will offer prayers for all who have died.

Regularly scheduled events will include contemplative prayer on Wednesday, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. On Thursday, Nov. 7, Lanier will celebrate the Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

The diocesan convention will be held on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8 and 9, at St. Paul's Cathedral, Burlington. Save Dec. 14, the date of the Christmas Tea.

St. Peter's invites people of all faiths or those in search of faith to join them in service of Christ and of each other. The facility is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit or call 802-442-2911.

'Going Out on a Limb' at the Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON -- On this Sunday morning when we get an extra hour of sleep with the end of Daylight Savings Time, consider joining the congregation at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road for the 10 a.m. service of worship. It is the first Sunday of the month and all are welcome at the table for the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Don't forget non-perishable food items for the Arlington Food Shelf as we work toward meeting our 2013 one-ton challenge. Risk-taking is at the the heart of the story from Luke 19:1-10 for both Zacchaeus and Jesus. What would we do for our faith will be the theme of the Rev. Kathy Clark's message titled "Going Out on a Limb." The choir will be led by music director Mary Edwards. Plan to stay after the service for coffee hour in Bailey Hall for fellowship and refreshment when donations to Holy Joe's Cafe which provides coffee for the ministry of presence of U.S. chaplains serving at dozens of military installations around the globe will be gladly accepted.

If you are wondering how to access health insurance with the passage of the new Affordable Care Act and have questions or need help getting enrolled, plan to attend either one of two informational sessions on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Sue Andrews, local coordinator of Vermont Connect, will give the same one-hour presentation on Wednesday at 5 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.

Mark your calendar for Friday, Nov. 15, at 6 p.m. when an array of delicious dishes will be available at the Italian Buffet in Bailey Hall. No reservations are required and baskets will be on each table to gather voluntary contributions to go toward the Eat for Heat fund that offers emergency assistance to our friends and neighbors during the cold winter months.

Senior meals are served on Tuesday and Thursday 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 or like the church on Facebook.

Worship and events at Second Congregational

BENNINGTON -- Enjoy that extra hour of sleep that the return to Standard Time allows, and join us at Second Congregational Church for worship this Sunday morning at 10 a.m. The Rev. Mary Lee-Clark's sermon, based on the story in Luke about Jesus' encounter with Zacchaeus, is entitled "No Shame," and the Chancel Choir's anthem is "How Do I Love Thee?" words by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and music by Dave and Jean Perry. Following a Time for the Children in All of Us, children up through grade 5 are dismissed for Godly Play and the Middle- and High-school Class meets. All are invited to return later for the Celebration of Holy Communion.

A time of fellowship and refreshment for the whole church family follows in Webster Hall, and the Reading Group meets in the Clayton Room at 11:35 a.m..

Join us for a "Food and Faith" discussion on Tuesday evening, Nov. 5, at 6:30 p.m. at Madison's Brew Pub, though be sure to RSVP to the church by Monday morning.

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, at noon, the monthly Fellowship Luncheon takes place in Webster Hall. All are invited.

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


The Buddha's Four Noble Truths

MANCHESTER -- Join the Manchester Shambhala Meditation Group for a three-week course on The Four Noble Truths, taught by Maggie Bernstein. The Four Noble Truths are regarded as the central doctrine of the Buddhist tradition, and are said to provide a conceptual framework for all of Buddhist thought. These four truths explain the nature of dukkha (commonly translated as "suffering," "anxiety," "stress," or "unsatisfactoriness"), its causes, its cessation, and the path leading to its cessation. The program will be held on Tuesdays Nov 12, 19, and 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. at 107B Bonnet St. The classes are drop-in style (no registration required) with a suggested donation of $10 per class. Meditation instruction will be provided. Visit

Church seeks vendors for flea market/craft fair

BENNINGTON -- The First Baptist Church of Bennington is seeking vendors for its Cabin Fever Flea Market and Craft Fair taking place on Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The market will feature 20-plus tables. For more information and table reservations, call 802-379-4548.

First Baptist is located at 601 Main St., downtown. To learn more about First Baptist and its mission to be "a place for healing, community involvement, and spiritual grounding," visit

Opportunity for choral singers at Old First

OLD BENNINGTON -- Choral singers with an affinity toward classical church music in a more traditional setting, who might be available for a regular Sunday morning commitment, are being encouraged by Old First Congregational Church of Bennington to consider the opportunity provided by its choir program.

Under the direction of Charles Olegar, the church's organist and choir director since this past December, Old First Church's choir has been working to develop as a skilled ensemble, bringing to worship distinguished music covering several centuries of the art, including more recent classically-rooted compositions. "Each Sunday's music is selected and prepared with the aim of bringing to our services the spiritual invigoration and nourishment that can be a special province of fine sacred music," states Olegar, whose career now spans over four decades as a professional church musician.

Along with its September-through-June schedule of weekly 11 a.m. Sunday morning services, the choir also appears regularly on Old First's community musicale series, which was inaugurated last March with a program of Bach cantatas, often performed with instruments, which are likewise engaged for special music on Christmas Eve and Easter.

In opening choir membership to the community, Old First Church is reflecting its historic role in Bennington, where it long served as the town's Meeting House, Thus, participation does not carry with it the prerequisite or expectation of church membership. With the congregation's commitment to offering an inclusive, warmly-supportive community that welcomes and celebrates diversity, choir members often choose to become more extensively involved in church life. "We are about the spiritual power of great music offered as worship," Olegar says; "A concert venue might provide some of that, but in the context of worship an already superb piece of music can take on even greater dimensions and meaning. That's our role at Old First."

Old First's choir rehearses weekly on Wednesdays, from 7:-8:30 in The Barn, on Monument Circle, with Sunday morning warm-up at 10:30 a.m., for an 11 a.m. service. Prospective singers should contact Olegar, either personally after a service or through the church office (; phone 802-447-1223).


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