Religion News in Brief



Worship at Congregational Church

The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes everyone to its 11 a.m. worship service led by the Rev. Penny Rich Smith on this first Sunday in Lent. The sermon, "The Path of Lent," will be based on Genesis 9:8-17, Psalm 25:1-10 and Mark 1:9-15. There will be a children's time, after which Sunday School classes will meet for pre-school through grade 9. Worship is being held in fellowship hall during the winter months.

All are invited to stay for coffee hour and a time of fellowship following the service. 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.


'Forever and Ever' at the Federated Church

This is the first Sunday in Lent and all are welcome to join in the 10 a.m. service of worship at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road. The theme for the services throughout Lent is "covenant" and it starts with the covenant that came about after the flood between Noah and God and all creation. The message from the Rev. Kathy Clark is titled "Forever and Ever."

The children will begin a new unit on Holy Week. A time of fellowship and refreshment follows the service in Bailey Hall. This Sunday, the monthly pancake breakfast will be served up by the Battenkill Grange from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. in Bailey Hall. Non-perishable items for the Arlington Food Shelf are being collected at the church.

The upcoming macaroni and cheese extravaganza and dessert auction will be held on Sunday, March 4, beginning at 5 p.m. in Bailey Hall. This buffet-style fundraiser to benefit Happy Days Playschool will include a wide variety of mac & cheese recipes. At 6 p.m the activity moves into the church for the dessert auction with a huge variety of creations on which to bid. No reservations are needed and take-outs will be available.

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. The Federated Church is an open and affirming and reconciling congregation, For additional information, call the church office at 802-375-2548, send an email to or visit the church Facebook page.


Worship in Lent at Second Congregational

The season of Lent is a whole season devoted to "beginning again" on the journey with Jesus. All are invited to come to Second Congregational Church this Sunday morning to begin again on this First Sunday in Lent. Worship begins at 10 a.m., led by Co-pastors Mary Lee-Clark and D. Mark Blank. Following a "Time for the Children in All of Us," children up through grade 5 are invited to "A Joyful Path." Nursery care is provided. Lee-Clark's sermon, based on the readings from Ps. 25 and Mark 1, is titled, "Traveling Light."

A time of fellowship and refreshment for the whole church family follows in Webster Hall, and the ministries council meets in the Clayton Room at 11:30 a.m.

During the season of Lent, there will be a service of Lenten evening prayer offered each Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. All are welcome.

Second Congregational Church is an open and affirming, green justice congregation of the United Church of Christ. The church welcomes to its work and worship all people of faith or in search of faith, without regard to age, race, economic condition, disability, or sexual orientation, and the church seeks to care and advocate for the earth and its creatures. For more information, call the church office at 802-442-2559 or visit"


'Passion: A Jewish Perspective' at UU Fellowship

On Sunday at 10 a.m., The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bennington will welcome Rabbi Jarah Greenfield, who will speak on the subject: "Passion: A Jewish Perspective. "

Greenfield's remarks will address the word "passion," which, being of Latin origin, has no direct translation in Hebrew. If one filtesr the concept through the sifting pan of Jewish tradition, however, what appears are rich and varied expressions of fervor, desire, authenticity and the search for truth and justice. These Jewish perspectives give new color to thinking about the notion and function of "passion" in our everyday lives.

The order of service will include a time for caring and sharing for any attendee to express his or her joys or sorrows. The responsive reading is titled: "Empowerment" by Rabbi Sheryl Lewart

The mission of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bennington is to create and nurture a spiritual, ethical and welcoming community by celebrating personal growth, diversity of beliefs and freedom of expression. The UUFB Meeting House is located at 108 School St. and meets each Sunday from 10 to 11 a.m. Children are always welcome, and nursery care and religious exploration for children are provided during the service.


Worship and events at St. Peter's

The Rev. Justin Lanier of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, on the first Sunday of Lent will celebrate the Holy Eucharist at the 8 a.m. service, using Rite I (traditional language) of the Book of Common Prayer. At the 10 a.m. service, Lanier will celebrate Holy Eucharist using Rite II (contemporary language) of the Book of Common Prayer. St. Peter's Choir will be led by Organist and Choir Director John Riddle.

The gospel will be Mark 1: 9-15. A healing service will follow both the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. liturgies.

The new vestry will have its monthly meeting in the Guild Room at noon.

The Youth Formation Group, led by Mary Gerisch, will meet today, Saturday, in the parish hall from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The children will engage in Bible readings and discussion, crafts, and will prepare their own lunch. They will also be preparing for the parade on March 25, Palm Sunday. All ages are welcome.

In other events:

- On Wednesday, Evening Prayer will from 5 to 5:30 p.m., and contemplative prayer will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

- Lanier will lead a Eucharist service on Thursday at 10 a.m. in the chapel.                    

- The Lenten series has begun and Nancy Sanford will continue to lead us in Theological Reflections on February 27, and March 13 and 27. Bring your own light supper.

- At a date to be announced soon, the adult formation group will continue discussing "The Heart of Centering Prayer" by Cynthia Bourgeault.

St. Peter's is wheelchair accessible. For more information about the church, visit or call 802-442-2911.



Church serves annual supper

The Pownal United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Church Street and Route 346, will be serving its annual free Presidents Day chicken and biscuit supper on Monday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. or until gone. Everyone is welcome. Donations accepted of canned goods etc or money to benefit the Pownal Food Pantry. Questions: Contact Mary Louise 802-823-7769.



Jewish Film Festival to continue

Come see "Snow in August" on Sunday, Feb. 25, at 5 p.m. at Oldcastle Theatre.

"Snow in August" is a 2001 film adapted by Richard Friedenberg based on the New York Times best selling novel by Pete Hammill featuring a young boy from an Irish Catholic neighborhood of Brooklyn in 1947. The film follows the unlikely friendship that evolves between 11-year-old Michael and a Czechoslovakian Rabbi that stirs up the wrath of a local Irish gang from Michael's neighborhood. After a tragic turn of events, Michael seeks the help of an ancient Jewish text to summon a protector in his time of need.


Programs for Lent at Catholic parishes

The Spiritual Life Committee of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church is offering an opportunity for Lent for both St. John the Baptist and Sacred St. Francis de Sales Church.

A Lent to Remember is a presentation on the transforming power of mercy in the sacrament of confession. See the 4-week video-based study on featuring the Augustine Institute original production, Symbolon and Forgiven: The Transforming Power of Confession.

The sessions began on Monday, Feb. 12, and will continue on March 5, March 12, and March 19. Each session will run from 6:45 to 8 p.m.

If you are interested, contact Nicole Cave at the Parish office at 802-447-7504 so that organizers are able to plan for materials and seating. All sessions will take place in St John's parish hall.

Deacon Phil Lawson will also be giving Lenten mission from Feb. 24 to 26. This will include preaching at the weekend Masses. The schedule:

- Feb. 25 - Preaching at the 6 p.m. Mass at Sacred St. Francis de Sales Church. From 7 to 8 p.m., mission: "Accompanying Christ and Others."

- Feb. 26 - Homily at both morning Masses then stopping by School of Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales. From 7 to 8 p.m. at Sacred St. Francis de Sales Church: "Our Mission as Missionary Disciples." Following the mission talk there will be an opportunity for reconciliation

Deacon Phil Lawson, MTS is the executive director of evangelization, catechesis, divine worship, marriage and family, and respect life for the Diocese of Burlington. He has a master of theological studies degree from Ave Maria University. Prior to working at the Diocese of Burlington, he spent 14 years working in parishes focusing on religious education, youth ministry, marriage preparation, RCIA and senior citizen ministry. He and his wife have 6 children.


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