Religion News in Brief

The 2021 Grafton Peace Pagoda Flower Festival will be held on May 23.

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Grafton Peace Pagoda Flower Festival May 23

The 2021 Grafton Peace Pagoda Flower Festival will be held on Sunday, May 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the peace pagoda. The festival celebrates the birth of Buddha and all living things.

This year the ceremony will be limited to drumming and prayer from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors will be pouring sweet tea on Buddha’s head for the blessing of all life. Due to the continued coronavirus concerns, wear a mask and bring a blanket, cushion or chair to choose a socially distant spot.

“Especially in this troubled time, come to celebrate the birth of Buddha, the new life of spring and hope with flowers and prayer for world peace,” event organizers write. “This turning point, a most difficult time, is also an awakening time.”

The Nipponzan Myohoji, Grafton Peace Pagoda, is located at 87 Crandall Rd. Petersburgh.

For information, call 518-658-9301 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.


Virtual live worship at Second Congregational Church

Second Congregational Church is currently holding virtual services live via YouTube on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. The service live-stream is accessible at The Rev. D. Mark Blank’s sermon, entitled “God is Love,” draws from 1 John 4:7-21. The weekly service includes musical contributions by church musician Sue Green and music director Matt Edwards.

Second Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming, Green Justice Congregation of the United Church of Christ. It welcomes to its work and worship all people of faith or in search of faith, without regard to age, race, sex, economic condition, ability, sexual identity, gender identity, or citizenship. In addition, members seek to care and advocate for the earth and its creatures.

The church building is located at 115 Hillside St. and is wheelchair-accessible. For more information, call the church office at 802-442-2559 or visit

Worship on Zoom with St. Peter’s

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The Saturday evening service at 5 p.m with St. Peter’s Episcopal Church will be a Celtic Evening Prayer. On Sunday at 10 a.m. there will be a Morning Prayer service. Visit for Zoom instructions. The Scripture readings for Sunday are Acts 8:26-40, 1 John 4:7-21, John 15: 1-8 and Psalm 22:24-30.

Sunday service at First Baptist

Guest pastor Joe DeWitt will give the sermon at the Sunday service at the First Baptist Church of Bennington, at 10 a.m.

His sermon will be titled, “Discipleship 101: The first stage of Discipleship: Seeking God.”

The Scripture reading will be Matthew 5:1-5,and the hymns “Just As I Am”, “Jesus, I Come”, and “At the Cross.”


Worship at the Congregational Church

The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes everyone to its 11 a.m. Worship Service led by Rev. Penny Rich Smith. The sermon, “Abiding in Love,” will be based on John 15:1-8 and 1 John 4:11-21. We are worshipping in the sanctuary where we can spread out for social distancing and we are following safety measures and guidelines during the COVID Pandemic. Face masks are required. There is no coffee hour or time of fellowship following the service due to health concerns around the virus.

The North Bennington Congregational Church is an open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ, welcoming all without regard to age, race, abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity or economic condition. The church is located at 8 Bank St. and is wheelchair accessible from the back door at the parsonage driveway. For more information, call the church office at 802-442-5161.


Communion Sunday with the Federated Church

On this first Sunday of May, all are invited to the 10 a.m. Service of Worship and celebration of Holy Communion with the Federated Church of East Arlington live via Zoom. This week’s message from the Rev. Kathy Clark will focus on the story of Philip and the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch found in Acts 8:26-40.

Everyone is encouraged to have bread/cracker and juice/wine ready for the observance of Communion at your home tables. Music will be provided by Mary Edwards and Patti Cody. Next Sunday, May 9 the Service will move outside and in person to the lawn across from the church building and will be streamed live via Zoom. Additional information, including the link to the service, can be found at the Federated Church website at For any questions phone 802-375-2548 or go to the church’s website or Facebook page. The Federated Church is an Open and Affirming and Reconciling congregation in covenant and connection with the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.


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