Religion News in Brief

Saturday August 17, 2013

Saturday, Aug. 17

Saturday worship followed by church picnic

POWNAL -- The Pownal United Methodist Church will be holding a Saturday worship service on Aug. 17 at 5 p.m. led by Pastor Sue Stewart. A church picnic will follow at 5:40 p.m. at the home of Laura Messina, located across the street. This will be an informal service with worship and song. Bring a dish to share, your appetite, and lawn chairs. Dessert will be ice cream sundaes. There will be no Sunday service. For more information contact Mary Louise at 802 823-7769.

Sunday, Aug. 18

’What Gives?’ at the Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON -- Plan to join the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road for the Sunday service of worship at 10 a.m., when the doors will be flung wide with a warm welcome to all people of faith or those in search of faith.

The summer is winding down and this week’s part of the sermon series focusing on the elements of worship will consider the Offering and the Doxology. The Rev. Kathy Clark’s message is titled, "What Gives?" Scripture lessons include 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Psalm 106 and Mark 12:38-44. Mary Edwards will provide musical accompaniment and the hymns are those requested by parishioners in the month of June. Immediately following the service there will be a coffee hour in Bailey Hall when folks have the opportunity to contribute to Holy Joe’s Cafe, which provides for fellowship with coffee in many of the sites where our active duty military are serving including the war in Afghanistan. This will be the final Sunday for bringing snack items for the Arlington/Sandgate/Sunderland Summer Lunch Program with final distribution set for Tuesday, August 20. Thank you for such wonderful support throughout this summer.

Senior meals are served on Tuesday and Thursday at noon in Bailey Hall. To participate in the ride share program, call the church office at 802-375-2548. For more information visit or like the church on Facebook.

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." Worship at Second Congregational

BENNINGTON -- Join us at Second Congregational Church for worship before the parade this Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Special music will be offered by soprano Millie Pierce, with guest organist Nancy Wright. The Rev. Mary Lee-Clark’s sermon is titled, "Will the circle be unbroken?" based on the reading from Hebrews. A time of fellowship and refreshment follows in Webster Hall.

Second Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ. It 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 located on Hillside Street and is wheelchair-accessible. For more information, call the church office at 442-2559 or visit

Worship and events at St. Peter’s Episcopal

BENNINGTON -- The Rev. Justin Lanier will preside at the Holy Eucharist using the Book of Common Prayer on the thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

The 8 a.m. Holy Eucharist is celebrated at the high altar without music in the traditional language of Rite I. At 10 a.m. the Holy Eucharist is celebrated with singing and music at the free-standing altar using Rite II, the contemporary language service. The gospel for this day is Luke 12:49-56. The laying on of hands for healing follows each service.

Regularly scheduled events will include contemplative prayer and evening prayer on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. As usual, on Thursday, the church celebrates the Holy Eucharist at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

Sunday School will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17, in the parish hall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., lunch included. The monthly Vestry meeting will be held on Sunday, Aug. 18, after the coffee hour, in the Guild Room.

Note that on Wednesday, Aug. 21, Father Justin will conduct a Requiem Eucharist in place of the usual contemplative and evening prayer at 5:30 p.m. Also, please save Saturday, Oct. 5, for the Chicken Pie Supper.

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 is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit or call 802-442-2911.

Organ recital at Old First Church

OLD BENNINGTON -- Charles Olegar, organist of historic Old First Church, 60 Monument Ave., will conclude his summer series of recitals on Sunday, Aug. 18, at 11:15 a.m., performing on the church’s pipe organ. The 45-minute program, open to the public without charge (freewill donations encouraged), will feature a variety of classical organ music ranging from pre-Bach to 20th century, the centerpiece being Bach’s festive Prelude and Fugue in G Major. Other selections are by 17th century forerunners Jan Sweelinck, Dietrich Buxtehude, and Georg Muffat, with Canadian Healey Willan representing the 20th century.

Olegar cites what he terms the "missionary aspect" of his organ recitals: "Organists nowadays are striving to reinstate their instrument ‘s formerly-widespread audience appeal, which a century ago was immense, though largely built on the organ’s serving as a substitute symphony orchestra. Yet, apart from that aspect, there is so much absolutely wonderful music written for the organ, with Bach at the pinnacle among many other superb composers. Organ recitals such as our series at Old First Church bring this music to life, often in an introductory manner."

Since this past December, Olegar has been heading the music ministries of Bennington’s First Baptist and Old First Congregational churches jointly, having come to the area from Great Barrington, Mass., where for the previous eight years he served St. James Episcopal Church as organist-choir director. As a career church musician and concert performer, Olegar’s professional activities have centered in the Northeast, South, and Midwest, including cathedral and college positions, along with independent arts organizations.


St. John the Baptist Catholic

Church RCIA program

NORTH BENNINGTON -- The parish of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church invites all those interested in joining the Catholic Church and those who need to complete their journey in the Catholic Church, to become a part of its RCIA program. The program is a six-month course of reflection and study for adults age 18 and older, leading up to baptism and/or confirmation and First Communion at the Easter Vigil. Catechumens ("one being instructed") and candidates join with their sponsors in a weekly session to study that Sunday’s lectionary readings and a chapter from the textbook "Invitation." For more information on joining the 2013-2014 class this fall, call the parish office at St. John the Baptist, 447-7504.

Open enrollment at St. Mary’s Academy

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- Open enrollment is underway at St. Mary’s Academy in grades pre-K and K to 8. St. Mary’s Academy is still accepting registration for the 2013-2014 school year. St. Mary’s offers a full-day pre-K program for 3-year-olds, five days a week with after care available. In recently reported New York assessment results, 49 percent of St. Mary’s students met or exceeding proficiency levels on the ELA assessment compared to 31 percent statewide, and 53 percent met or exceeded proficiency on the math assessment compared to 31 percent statewide.

Call to set up a tour at 518-686-4314 or email


Church to hold chicken and biscuit supper

GRANVILLE, N.Y. -- A family-style chicken and biscuit supper will be held at the Middle Granville Presbyterian Church, Route 22A, on Thursday, Aug. 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. The menu will include chicken and biscuits, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetable, cranberry sauce, cole slaw, homemade pies and beverages. Tickets at the door. Takeouts available. Adults $8, children 5-12, $4, children under 4, free. Gift certificates are available.


Catholic bishops call for reduction of inequality

WASHINGTON, D.C. --The growing disparity in the income of U.S. workers is the focus of the 2013 Labor Day Statement of Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

In the statement, dated Sept. 2, Blaire said that most people want to live in a more equal society that provides opportunities for everyone. "The current imbalances do not have to be inevitable," he wrote. "We must be bold in promoting a just economy that reduces inequality by creating jobs that pay a living wage and share with workers some profits of the company, as well as ensuring a strong safety net for jobless workers and their families and those who are incapable of work."

Blaire echoed the words of Pope Francis, that "work is fundamental to the dignity of a personĊ . it gives us the ability to maintain oneself, one’s family, to contribute to the growth of one’s own nation." Blaire said millions of workers are "denied this honor and respect as a result of unemployment, underemployment, unjust wages, wage theft, abuse or exploitation."

Even amid a modest economic recovery, he said, "Over four million people have been jobless for over six months, and that does not include the millions more who have simply lost hope; for every available job, there are as many as five unemployed and underemployed people actively vying for it. This gap pushes wages down -- half of the jobs in this country pay less than $27,000. Over 46 million people live in poverty, 16 million of them children," he wrote.

He noted that individuals, the church, businesses, government and community organizations all share the responsibility to create jobs that allow workers to support themselves and their families.

"Ethical and moral business leaders know that it is wrong to chase profits and success at the expense of workers’ dignity," he wrote. "They know they have a vocation to build the kind of solidarity that honors the worker and the least among us. They remember that the economy is ‘for people.’"

Blaire cited the importance of unions in helping workers participate in company decisions that affect them and noted that the rise in income inequality has paralleled the decline of unions in the United States. He urged unions to continually improve themselves and focus on issues including "raising the minimum wage, stopping wage theft," and "standing up for safe and healthy working conditions."

Blaire also voiced support for immigrants, calling for policies that "bring immigrant workers out of the shadows to a legal status and offer them a just and fair path to citizenship, so that their human rights are protected and the wages for all workers rise."

The 2013 Labor Day statement is available online in English and Spanish at:

-- Release from United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Schindler documents sell for $122K at auction

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A collection of documents from World War II industrialist Oskar Schindler, including a letter he signed that paved the way for the rescue of more than 1,000 Jewish factory workers, has fetched more than $122,000 at an online auction.

The letter, dated Aug. 22, 1944, describes permission to move Schindler’s enamelware factory and its workers from Krakow, Poland, to Czechoslovakia. Historians say that move allowed him to carry out the rescue chronicled in the movie "Schindler’s List."

It’s believed to be the first known document confirming the move.

The letter was offered along with a worker medical transfer document by RR Auction in Amherst, N.H. The auction, which ended Wednesday, also offered the Krakow factory blueprints.

RR Auction says one person, who wishes to remain anonymous, purchased all of the documents.

Complaint filed on judge who changed baby’s name

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Wisconsin-based nonprofit association of atheists and agnostics says it has filed a complaint against a Tennessee magistrate for changing a baby’s name from Messiah to Martin.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter to the Board of Judicial Conduct on Wednesday accusing Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew of violating the state’s code of judicial conduct.

At a paternity hearing last week, Ballew ordered a child’s name changed from Messiah DeShawn Martin to Martin DeShawn McCullough. Martin is the surname of the child’s mother, while McCullough is the surname of the child’s father.

In her order, Ballew explained the change by saying that "’Messiah’ is a title that is held only by Jesus Christ."

Ballew did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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