Religion News in Brief




Community dinner at Baptist Church

North Bennington Baptist Church is hosting its Second Saturday Community Dinner today from 5 to 6 p.m. in the church social hall on Church Street in North Bennington. Come join us for dinner, dessert and beverage free of charge. Bring your family and friends. For more information, call Rick at 802-368-7844 or email him at



Start of Lent at the Old First Congregational Church

This week marks the start of the Lenten season at the Old First Congregational Church. Members of the church have contributed a collection of daily readings for the forty days of lent and the booklet may be obtained free of charge after Sunday worship. This week's sermon is entitled "Do Away With Testing". As part of the children's service project we will be collecting items for a basket to support the Second Chance Animal Shelter. Morning worship begins at 11 a.m. with the choir led by organist Gene Marie Callahan.

"Vermont's Colonial Shrine: Welcoming all to share God's light and proclaiming God's embracing love since 1806."


Phebe Ann Coffin Hanaford Tribute at UU Fellowship

On Sunday, a special service will inaugurate Women's History Month. We are familiar with some of our early Unitarian and Universalist women ministers, groundbreakers who paved the way, but Phebe Hanaford is often ignored. This very early Universalist minister had many firsts in her life as a woman minister. At the service, those present will do a dramatic staged reading with several UUFB members playing the parts. Come and learn more about this woman's history.

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 Street Bennington, VT, and meets each Sunday at 10:00 AM. Children are always welcome to join our religious exploration class, and nursery care is provided for younger children.

Worship and events at St. Peter's

The Rev. Justin Lanier of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, on this the The First Sunday in 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, he will lead 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 for the day will be Luke 4:1-13. A healing service will follow both the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. liturgy.

In other events:

- On Saturday, March 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Dr. Patrick MacManaway will be leading a workshop on the Art & Science of Blessing. Attendees will learn how to bring greater peace and love into our homes and communities. The cost is $50 (or what one can afford). Call 802-447-2173 or email for more information.

- Pot Luck Supper: St. Peter's monthly pot luck will be held on Friday, March 15, at 6 p.m.

- Youth Formation will meet Saturday, March 16, at 10 a.m.

- The Vestry will meet Sunday, March 17, at noon.

Worship at Second Congregational Church

All are invited to join in worship, to explore what it means to be human, to find companions for the journey, and to discover the good news of the Gospel that God's love is for all people, this Sunday morning at Second Congregational Church. Worship this first Sunday of Lent begins at 10 a.m., featuring the Chancel Choir under the direction of Matt Edwards.

The Rev. D. Mark Blank's sermon, based on Luke 12:22-31 and Song of Songs 2:8-15, is titled "Reading the Book of Creation." Children, K-5th grade are invited to leave the worship service for Joyful Path (Sunday School) halfway through the service. Nursery care for younger children provided throughout. Fellowship time with coffee and light refreshments follows worship.

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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. 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 at the Congregational Church

The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes everyone to its 11 a.m. Worship Service led by Rev. Penny Rich Smith on this first Sunday of Lent. The sermon, "Confusion Before the Cross," will be based on Deuteronomy 26: 1-11 and Luke 4: 1-13.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. Worship is held in fellowship hall during the winter months. 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.


'Great Comebacks' at the Federated Church

On this First Sunday in Lent, don't forget to set clocks ahead one hour and all are welcome to the 10 a.m. Service of Worship at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road.

As Jesus journeys to Jerusalem, this week's focus is on his wilderness encounter with the devil. The message from the Rev. Kathy Clark is titled "Great Comebacks."

As part of the Peanut Butter and Jam Slam, jars of these will be gathered throughout March to support local food shelves. Following this week's service there will be a time of fellowship and refreshment in Bailey Hall. Also, mark your calendar for the annual Mac & Cheese Extravaganza and Dessert Auction on Sunday, March 24. This event at the church is co-sponsored with Happy Days Playschool with the auction at 4:30 p.m. and the dinner at 5:30 p.m.

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



Catholic parish conducting survey about discipleship

Sacred Heart Saint Francis de Sales and Saint John the Baptist will be participating in a parish-wide survey about discipleship conducted by the Catholic Leadership Institute and needs members your help.

One can help by participating in a 10 to 15 minute survey either on paper (surveys will be available in the churches or at the parish offices) or online at now until Monday, March 25 and will enable you to provide feedback on the parish's efforts to help you grow spiritually. All responses will be confidential and the parish will only receive information about the community as a whole.

Organizers are trying to get the highest response rate possible. This information will be invaluable to the parish priests and the various parish ministries in plan for the future and striving to be the best disciples possible.

The parish will receive the results this spring/summer at which time they will share what has been learned with the entire parish.

Vendors sought for annual fundraiser

First Baptist Church announces its "Cabin Fever Flea/Craft Market and Food Event" taking place on Saturday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Colgate Hall, located in in church's Christian Education Annex, 601 Main St.

The market will feature 20-plus tables of collectables, arts and crafts, and more; Penny Auction.

Homemade lunch, brunch, and snack items are provided by and sold by the First Baptist Church.

For vendor information or to purchase a table for the event, contact Grace Wilson at 802-379-4548.


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