Religion news in brief




Worship at Second Congregational

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 Second 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 12:35-40 and Ecclesiastes 3:9-15 is entitled "God of the Ordinary." 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.

Second Congregational Church is an open and affirming, green justice congregation of the United Church of Christ. Its 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; and they 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 see our website at

'Beyond the Divide' at UU Fellowship

"Finding Union Beyond the Divide in Race and Gender" is the topic this Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bennington

At the service, Hilary Lake, who hails from western Massachusetts, will speak about the concept of "Moving In Grace." Lake created the concept for her Divinity Masters degree from Harvard and has since absorbed many healing practices and eastern spiritualities. She brings her gathered experience to a Western Massachusetts dance and artist retreat center called Earthdance, as well as to a transformation retreat center called Nine Mountain.

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 at 10 a.m. Children are always welcome to attend the 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, Bennington, on this the Second 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 13:31-35. A healing service will follow both the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. liturgy. The Vestry will meet at noon.

In other news:

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

- Pastoral Care will meet March 31 following the 10 a.m. service.

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


Old First Congregational Church Sunday service

Worship for the second Sunday in Lent at the Old First Church begins at 11 a.m. The sermon, entitled "More Than a Promise" will reflect on the nature of a spiritual community. We will not forget, however, that this Sunday is closest to St. Patrick's day as well and those in attendance can expect some Irish themed hymns. In addition there will be a pot luck luncheon after worship in the church "Barn" by the Bennington Battle Monument. "Vermont's Colonial Shrine: Welcoming all to share God's light and proclaiming God's embracing love since 1806."


Worship at the Congregational Church

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The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes everyone to its 11 a.m. Worship Service led by Rev. Penny Rich Smith on this second Sunday of Lent. The sermon, "Dual Citizenship," will be based on Luke 13:31-35 and Philippians 3:17-4:1. 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 Bennngton 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 locate 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.


'Too Busy for the Nonsense' at the Federated Church

On this final Sunday of Winter and second Sunday in Lent, all are invited to the 10 a.m. Service of Worship on March 17 at the Federated Church of East Arlington. As Jesus makes his way to Jerusalem, the focus of this week's service will be Luke 13:31-35 with a message from the Rev. Kathy Clark titled "Too Busy for the Nonsense." As part of the Peanut Butter and Jam Slam, jars of these yummy sandwich fixings 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. Come early this Sunday, March 17, for the Pancake Breakfast sponsored by the Battenkill Grange from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Next Sunday, March 24, is the Annual Mac & Cheese Extravaganza and Dessert Auction. This delicious evening 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 additional information phone the church office at 802-375-2548, send an email to or visit the church Facebook page or website at



Lawson makes presentations at Catholic churches

There will be two opportunities on Monday to meet with Deacon Phil Lawson, executive director of evangelization and catechesis for the Diocese of Burlington:

- Lenten Morning of Reflection, Monday, March 18, from 9 to 11 a.m. at St. John the Baptist in North Bennington. This will be a Lenten Morning of Reflection on Evangelization. Begin with the 9 a.m. Mass, followed by light breakfast refreshments. This will be followed by a presentation on evangelization and 16 practical things anyone can do to evangelize. The event will conclude by 11 a.m.

- Regional Lay Formation Program and Diaconate Information Night on Monday, March 18, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales parish center. The diocese re-instituted two important formation programs in 2017. And now both of these programs, the Lay Formation Leadership and the Diaconate Formation Programs are in the process of recruiting their next classes of applicants. All interested parties are invited to attend.

Joining Lawson will be Deacon Pete Gummere, director of the permanent diaconate. He will discuss the role of the diaconate in the church and go over the selection and formation processes. For more information, feel free to contact Lawson at 802-448-3513 or Gummere at



Free winter community supper

There will be a free winter community supper at the Dorset Church, 143 Church St. (off Route 30) on Thursday, March 28. Dinner will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. This is the last supper of the winter season—all are welcome. The menu will be a meatloaf dinner with roasted potatoes or a vegetarian curried cauliflower stew.

Bring your family and friends. Take outs are available. A free-will offering will be accepted to help fund the dinners of the future. Questions: call Jane at 802-867-2260 or email


A Taize service at Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales

A" Service of Silent Prayer, Song, and Adoration of the Cross in the Tradition of Taize," an annual Holy Week offering of many years, will be held once again in Sacred Heart Saint Francis de Sales Church at 238 West Main Street, Bennington, on Tuesday, April 16, at 7 p.m.

Taize is a village in eastern France that is home to an monastic, ecumenical community of brothers who have dedicated their lives to prayer and serving the poor throughout the world. Founded in 1940 by Brother Roger, the community provided shelter for those who suffered persecution ensued by the terror of Nazi occupation. The music sung at Taize services consists of simple refrains that became increasingly prayer and powerful with each repetition.

Throughout the adoration of the cross, American composer Samuel Barber's most celebrated composition, Adagio for Strings, will be performed at the organ. Those who wish may submit their prayer intentions which will be chanted by the cantor. Everyone is warmly invited to gather on this night of the holiest of weeks. All facilities are accessible to those with special needs, and convenient parking on the church grounds is available. For further information, contact the Office of Music Ministry at 802-442-3141, ext. 5.


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