Religion News in Brief

Saturday April 20, 2013

Sunday, April 21

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. The sermon, "Devoted to Good Works," will be based on John 10:22-30, Psalm 23 and Acts 9:36-43. 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/shelter driveway. For more information, call the church office at 442-5161. Worship at

Second Congregational

BENNINGTON -- Second Congregational Church welcomes all people of faith or in search of faith to worship at 10 a.m. this Sunday morning. The Jubellaire Ringers will call us to worship with "Savior, Like a Shepherd, Lead Us." Following a Time for the Children in All of Us, children up through grade 5 will be dismissed for Godly Play and Hope’s Harbor. The middle- and high-school class will be working at the Kitchen Cupboard for their monthly service project. Nursery care is provided throughout worship. Jim Thomas, associate conference minister of stewardship, church vitality, and finance for the Vermont Conference, United Church of Christ, will be preaching on "The 21st Century Church: Not Just Another Product."

A light lunch will be provided after worship, followed by a presentation by Thomas on "Our Church’s Wider Mission," in the sanctuary at 11:45 a.m.

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

This week at St. Peter’s

BENNINGTON -- This Sunday marks the fourth Sunday of Easter at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, and the Rev. Justin Lanier will lead a Rite I service at 8 a.m. and a Rite II service at 10 a.m., using the Gospel of John 10:22-30. The Chancel Choir will provide music at the 10 a.m. service. The Laying On of Hands for Healing will follow each service.

The vestry will meet for their monthly meeting following the 10 a.m. service and coffee hour.

Regularly scheduled events for the week are as follows: Tuesday, April 23, morning prayer at 8:30 a.m., contemplative prayer at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, April 25, Holy Eucharist, 10 a.m. All are welome.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 27, for St. Peter’s Rummage Sale, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with a bag sale from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Concurrent with the Rummage Sale, refreshments may be purchased from our kitchen. The community is invited.

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

’Life and Death’

at the Federated Church

EAST ARLINGTON -- As spring with its signs of new life breaks forth, all are welcome to join the congregation of the Federated Church of East Arlington in celebrating the service of worship at 10 a.m.

The day’s message on "Life and Death," delivered by the Rev. Kathy Clark, begins with the story of life and death and life again found in the experience of Tabitha and Peter. Additional scripture lessons include Psalm 23 and John 10:22-30.

All children 3 to 10 are invited to begin worship in the sanctuary and then attend church school after the Time for Children. The choir will be led and accompanied by Music Director Mary Edwards. Immediately following the service there will be a brief meeting of the congregation to consider and vote on the report of the Mission Committee. This will be followed by coffee hour in Bailey Hall when folks have the opportunity to contribute to Holy Joe’s Cafe which provides for the fellowship with coffee in many of the sites where our active duty military are serving.

Be sure to mark your calendar to attend the free breakfast next week on Sunday, April 28, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in Bailey Hall when the menu will include scrambled eggs, sausage links, French toast, pancakes, juice, milk, coffee and tea.

Worship and activities at United Presbyterian Church

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- Cambridge United Presbyterian Church (USA), 81 East Main St. holds its Sunday service at 10:30 a.m., led by the Rev. Kate Kotfila, pastor.

The church will have a special service on May 19 for Pentecost Sunday. More details about this service will be forthcoming as the date nears.

A Bible study will be held on Wednesdays, April 24, May 1, and May 8 in the Brieman building at 1:30 p.m. on Paul’s First Epistle to the Thessalonians and the first writing of the New Testament.

For more information about activities and working teams, call the church office mornings at 518-677- 3863, email or visit

Knights of Columbus brunch

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- The Knights of Columbus will host a brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to noon at Immaculate Conception Church. The menu will include eggs, pancakes, French toast, hash browns, and more. The brunch will be open to the public and the price will be $6 for adults, $3 for children.

Zion Church special guest from London

MANCHESTER -- The Rev. Miles Blackley, from England, will be the guest preacher at the 10 a.m. service at Zion Episcopal Church.

Blackley is currently a member of the congregation at William Wilberforce’s former church, Holy Trinity Clapham, in south west London. Wilberforce, who is famous for ending slavery in the nineteenth century, also founded the Church Mission Society. Blackley is committed to innovative mission and has engineered pop-ups. The inspiration comes from his time as a chaplain for development and mission in the financial sector known as The Square Mile. It all started by selling coffee from a trestle table in a church bell tower to raise money for charity.

In the summer of 2011 the venture moved to Shoreditch, an area well known as the trendiest part of the capital. This nine-day coffee shop at the parish church of St. Leonard’s raised over $2,200 and seed-funded a foodbank for Hackney, a church initiative helping feed those most in need. Local businesses and a team of volunteers supported the venture. The latest project involved a collaboration with Jewish artisan baker Elizabeth Weisberg, producing traditional flatbreads for the Passion of Christ performed over this past Easter weekend in Brighton, England.

Zion Church is located at 5167 Main St., Route 7A, in Manchester Center between Gringo Jack’s and Ye Olde Tavern. For more information, contact Zion at 802-362-1987 or at


’Bill W.’ documentary to be shown in Bennington

BENNINGTON -- The First Baptist Church of Bennington announces a one-time showing of the film "Bill W." on Friday, April 26, at 6 p.m. This documentary shares the story and legacy of "Bill W.," the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous who founded the respected 12-step program along with fellow Vermonter "Dr. Bob."

The documentary will be offered with free admission (seating limited to 150 persons) at the First Baptist Church (601 Main St.). The event is open to all who wish to learn more about Bill W.’s story and the living legacy of the recovery movement ongoing around the world. Light refreshments will be offered with a brief panel discussion afterwards. DVDs of "Bill W." will be available at the event for $20 (cash only).

A documentary by Page124 Productions, "Bill W." portrays both the timeless story of one person facing overwhelming odds for his own survival and, at the same time, a life that has particular relevance today. Production started eight years ago, as documentary makers Dan Carracino and Kevin Hanlon began researching archives across the U.S. to find film footage, photos, and audio recordings of Bill Wilson, born in East Dorset.

The filmmakers also recorded interviews with historians and many A.A. members, some who knew and worked with Wilson. Their film follows Bill Wilson through his 17 years of devastating alcoholism, the events that led to his own sobriety, and the crucial years of A.A.’s founding and growth. With Bill as its driving force, A.A. grew from a handful of people to more than 2 million men and women worldwide. Millions of people across the globe credit him with saving their lives.

The documentary is offered by arrangement with Page124 Productions and part of First Baptist, Bennington’s mission to be "a place for healing, community involvement and spiritual grounding." For details or any questions, contact the church office at 802-442-2105 or email

Installation of new Rabbi at Congregation Beth El

BENNINGTON -- For more than 100 years, Congregation Beth El has been the home to the Jewish community of southwestern Vermont. As the congregation begins the next chapter in its history, it is pleased to announce that it will hold the public installation of Rabbi Jarah Greenfield as the congregation’s next Rabbi on Saturday, April 27.

Bennington’s Jewish community will officially install the Rabbi with a daylong celebration, beginning with Shabbat services and luncheon at 10 a.m. and concluding with a reception and installation ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. We will be joined for the events by Rabbi Jacob Staub, professor of Jewish Philosophy and Spirituality at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the Rev. Jerrod H. Hugenot of First Baptist Church in Bennington and Brian Campion, member of the Vermont House of Representatives for Bennington and North Bennington.

The evening ceremony will include performances by the Bennington College Vocal Chamber Ensemble and violinist Katianna Nardone. All events are free and open to the public, and will take place in the Ada and Paul Paresky Sanctuary and the Pamela and Richard Ader Social Hall at Congregation Beth El, 225 North St.

The message of the event, inspired by Psalms, is "constructing a world that is filled with lovingkindness."

"As a core Jewish value, lovingkindness (chesed in Hebrew) serves as a bridge between the inner spiritual life and social responsibility," says Greenfield. "To put chesed into our lives is to understand the value of engaging lovingkindness as a means to strengthening partnerships among people of different faiths, backgrounds, socio-economic levels, skills and interests."

For more information about the installation ceremonies, call 802-442-9645. Website:

Old First Church presents organ recital

OLD BENNINGTON -- Organ music by Bach and Mendelssohn, among other great composers, will fill the historic First Congregational Church of Bennington (the "Old First Church" on Sunday, April 28, at 3:30 p.m., as organists Charles Olegar and Scott Smedinghoff are featured in a "Musick and Song at the Old First Church" series event, open to all without charge (free-will donations gratefully accepted).

The Old First Church is located at 60 Monument Avenue (intersection of Monument Avenue and Vermont Route 9).

First Baptist spring tag sale

BENNINGTON -- The First Baptist Church of Bennington announces a spring tag sale on Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4.

The tag sale will be held on Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Friday sale schedule is now in the late afternoon to allow more families to shop after school or work. The Saturday hours remain the same as previous years.

The tag sale features a wide variety of items (spring and summer clothing, household goods, children’s toys, books, etc.). All proceeds benefit the work of the American Baptist Women’s Ministries.

For more information, please contact the church office at 802-442-2105 or 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 Worship services are held Sundays at 9:30 a.m.

Recital to feature local baritone and organist

BENNINGTON -- On Sunday, May 5, at 3 p.m., baritone Michael Kovage and Donald McMahon, organist and pianist, will perform a recital in Sacred Heart Saint Francis de Sales Church at 238 West Main St. The program will include music of Stephen Foster, Henry Purcell, Samuel Barber, Charles Ives, Franz Schubert., Rachmaninoff, and others. Everyone is invited to attend the recital, which is free and open to the public. All facilities at Sacred Heart Saint Francis de Sales Church are accessible to those with disabilities, and convenient parking is available.


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