Religion news in brief




Lessons and Carols at Old First Church

A Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols at the First Congregational Church, 60 Monument Ave., will be held on Sunday at 7 p.m.

This long-standing Bennington tradition in "Vermont's Colonial Shrine" will feature the singing of the Bennington Children's Chorus; organist, Gene Marie Callahan; soloist Kerry Ryer-Parke; pianist Matt Edwards, carol singing by the congregation; scripture readings by members of the congregation and a brief sermon by the Rev. Kenneth A. Clarke. Those who are able to walk a bit are asked to leave parking immediately in front of the church for others. A freewill offering will be taken with proceeds going to the Interfaith Council's Emergency Food and Fuel Fund. A wheelchair ramp will be provided. The public is warmly invited.


Service of Lessons and Carols at St. Francis de Sales

The parish of Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales will hold its annual service of Advent Lessons and Carols on Sunday at 5 p.m. in the church at 238 West Main St. Old Testament scripture will be interspersed with musical offerings from the church's adult choir. Everyone is invited to attend. All facilities are accessible to those with special needs, and convenient parking is available.

Worship and more at First Baptist

First Baptist Church of Bennington holds Sunday worship services at 9:30 a.m. — a mix of traditional and contemporary styles, focusing on worshiping God through scripture, prayer, song, and Biblical preaching. Child care and Kids Sunday School available. Coffee hour afterward. All are welcome. On Christmas Eve there will be a candlelight service at 7 p.m. All are welcome.

Note that the Sunday service time will change to 10:30 a.m. starting Jan. 6, 2019.

Weekly Bible studies and the youth group will resume in January.

For more information, visit, call 802-442-2105 or visit the church at 601 Main St.

Worship at Second Congregational

Worship this Sunday at Second Congregational Church begins at 10 a.m., featuring the choir with Matt Edwards as music director. The Rev. D. Mark Blank's sermon, based on Zeph. 3:14-20 and Isaiah 12:2-6 entitled "Searching for Salvation." Worship service closes with our annual Improv Christmas pageant and birthday party for Jesus. Fellowship time of coffee and refreshments follows worship.

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, economic condition, disability, or sexual orientation. Members also seek to care and advocate for the earth and its creatures. The church building is located at 115 Hillside St. and is wheelchair-accessible. Nursery care is provided. Large-print bulletins and hymnals are available during worship. For more information, call the church office at 802-442-2559 or visit

Worship and activities at St. Peter's

The Rev. Justin Lanier of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Bennington, on this the Third Sunday of Advent, will lead the Eucharist at the 8 a.m. service, using Rite I (traditional language) of the Book of Common Prayer. At the 10 a.m. service, he will celebrate the Eucharist (using Rite I) and John Riddle, organist and choir director, will be at the organ. The gospel for the day will be Luke 3:7-18. A healing dervice will follow both the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. liturgy.

Also on Sunday, the monthly vestry meeting will be held at noon.

In other news:

- The monthly pot luck will be held on Friday, Dec. 21, at 6:00 p.m.

- The church is open for a half-hour hour silent prayer on Mondays at 3 p.m.

- Christmas Eve Services (Monday, Dec. 24) 5 p.m. Eucharist with mini Christmas Pageant. At 11 p.m. — Eucharist with a sermon and the choir. Musical prelude at 10:45 pm..

Christmas Day Services (Tuesday, Dec. 25) 9 a.m. Eucharist with a sermon

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

'The Circle of Love' at the UU Fellowship

At the Sunday service at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bennington, the Rev. Kathy Duhon's sermon will asks:"How can we expand our circle of love"? Love is beautiful; love is difficult; love is a choice, and love is what we need.

The hymns for the service will be "What Wondrous Love is This" and "People, Look East." 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 109 School St., and meets each Sunday at 10 a.m. Children are always welcome and nursery care for children is provided.


Worship at the 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 third Sunday of Advent. We will light the third Advent Candle of Joy. The sermon, "Deep Advent Joy," will be based on Zephaniah 3:14-20, Luke 3:7-18 and Philippians 4:4-7. There will be a young-at-hearts time, after which Sunday School classes will meet for pre-school through grade 8. Newcomers always welcome.

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.


Christmas Pageant at the Federated Church

After the pink candle of joy is lit at the 10 a.m. service of worship at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Sunday, there will glad celebration as the children and youth offer the Christmas pageant complete with opportunities for the singing of carols.

The service will be followed by Jesus' birthday party in Bailey Hall. Ornaments to support the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless will be available during the time of fellowship and refreshment that follows the service. The congregation are also gathering much-needed items for the coalition throughout December including bath towels, laundry detergent, toilet paper and kitchen trash bags in Bailey Hall. Come early this week for the monthly pancake breakfast from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. offered by the Battenkill Grange.

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 more information, call the church office at 802-375-2548, send an email to or visit the church Facebook page or website at



United Church of Dorset and East Rupert Christmas celebrations

The community is invited to join us at the United Church of Dorset and East Rupert for the celebration of Christmas on Christmas Eve, Monday, Dec. 24. There will be two services.

The family service will begin at 4:30 p.m. It will include a Christmas story, a special time with the young and congregational candle-lighting.

The second service will begin at 8 p.m. and will include Communion and congregational candle lighting.

There are no services on Christmas Day.

The church is located at 143 Church St. (off Route 30) in Dorset. Questions? Call the office at 802-867-2260.


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