Religion News in Brief

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Worship at St. Peter's

The Rev. Justin Lanier of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Bennington, invites people of all faiths or those in search of faith to join with church members in the service of Christ and of each other. On this the Fifth Sunday of Easter, Lanier 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, Fr. Justin 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 John 13:31-35. A healing service will follow both the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. liturgy.

In upcoming news:

- Church school will take place on May 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

- Pastoral Care will meet May 26 following the 10 a.m. service

- Rogation Sunday will take place May 26 following the 10 a.m. service

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

Prayer and praise at the Christian Center

A group of our local churches will be gathering together this Sunday, May 19, for Bennington Prayer and Praise. Lots of great music and a time to pray for our community. All are welcome. It will start at 6 p.m. at the Green Mountain Christian Center, 440 Main St.

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 10 a.m. at Second Congregational Church featuring Chancel Choir directed by Matt Edwards. The Rev. D. Mark Blank's sermon, "Unacceptable Dinner Companions," is based upon Acts 11:1-18. Children, K-5th grade, are invited to Joyful Path (Sunday school) during the service. Nursery care for younger children provided throughout. Fellowship time with coffee and light refreshments follows the 10 a.m. 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, sex, economic condition, ability, sexual identity, gender identity, or citizenship; and it seeks 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

Hope Fellowship Church Sunday service

Hope Fellowship Church meets each Sunday at 10:30 p.m.. at Grace Christian School in the first floor Chapel.

The pastor is Peter Grimes.

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Old First Congregational Church

Much is happening at the Old First Church with the start of our summer historical lecture series on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. All are welcome.

The church opens for guided tours and welcome of visitors starting Memorial Day weekend (weekends only through the month of June - daily July 1 through mid-Oct). In addition, the church is gearing up for its 12th annual Monumental Tag Sale (June 8 at the Barn on Monument Circle). Mommy and Me Yoga and other educational events take place at the Barn on Thursday evenings. Contact the church office at 802-447-1223 for more details on this and all the activities taking place at the church.

This Sunday's service moves toward spring with a nod to Robert Frost among other readings. Traditionally the minister reads Amy Lowell's poem "Lilacs" as the lilacs come into bloom and that will likely be this week as well. The sermon is titled "Basic Things" and the choir will sing directed by organist Gene Marie Callahan.

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


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Mary's Day celebration

A Mary's Day celebration will be held on Sunday, May 19, in the Mary's Garden at St. John the Baptist Church in North Bennington, starting at 1 p.m. The celebration will include a May Crowning, the recitation of the Rosary, special prayers for our church and the right to life and Marian Hymns.

The Madonna Della Strada Garden Guild maintains and coordinates events at the Garden. On a daily basis, people visit the Garden to pray and meditate.

Music provided by the Madonna Della Strada Singers.

For information, contact the parish office at 802-447-7504.

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. The sermon, "Imagine the Beloved Community," will be based on John 13:31-35 and Revelation 21: 1-6. There will be a young-at-hearts time, after which Sunday School classes are offered for pre-school through grade 8. Newcomers are always welcome.

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


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Celebration Sunday at the Federated Church

As we approach summer with anticipation, the congregation of the Federated Church of East Arlington invites one and all to the 10:00 a.m. Service of Worship this Sunday. This will be the Sunday in which we lift up and give thanks for all of the teachers and children who were a part of the Christian Education program this school year.

The message for this week from the Rev Kathy Clark, based on John 13:31-35, is titled "The Look of Love." Everyone is invited for a time of fellowship and cake in Bailey Hall right after the service. Plan to come early from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. for the Battenkill Pancake Breakfast, the final one of the season.

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. For additional information, visit the church website at or like the church page on Facebook or call the church office at 802-375-2548.


Church to celebrate 1000th quilt for Project Linus

This Sunday, May 19, Redeemer Lutheran Church will celebrate it Annual Blessing of the Quilts for Project Linus. Redeemer is the southwest Vermont center for the making of quilts for Project Linus, a national non-profit charity whose primary mission is to donate hand-made quilts for use by disadvantaged, poor, sick and otherwise traumatized children in hospitals, homes or other less fortunate situations. This year Redeemer will be blessing and preparing for shipment more than 200 quilts, and reaching the 1000th quilt benchmark since helping to sponsor Project Linus. All quilts are hand made by volunteer "blanketeers" over the last year. Service starts at 9:30 a.m., The Rev. Bruce Lee-Clark presiding. Annette Dixon of Pownal, Project Linus volunteer coordinator for SW Vermont, will also speak. Celebratory Easter season brunch follows. Info: call 802-442-8423 or



Grafton Peace Pagoda Flower Festival

The annual Grafton Peace Pagoda Flower Festival, celebrating the birth of the Buddha, will be held on Saturday June 1, at 11 a.m.

"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. This turning point, a most difficult time, is also an awakening time."

There will be a traditional Buddhist ceremony; ecumenical prayer with special guest from Iran, Elahe Golpari, who is a Zoroastriani. Speaker Amy Juan, of the Tohona O'odham Tribe and the International Indian Treaty Council will talk about the situation at the Mexican border.

Eric Marczak will provide music on the Native American flute. And dance will be featured, also — Burma's Spring Dance by Kokoh, Pawkuei friend.

A simple pot latch (Native American traditional celebration feast) will follow the ceremony. Consider bringing your own dishes and utensils to cut down on the wasteful use of disposables. Organizers also welcome contributions of home-made, healthy food prepared with the intention of honoring each other and the earth.

The Nipponzan Myohoji Grafton Peace Pagoda is located at 87 Crandall Road. For information, call 518-658-9301 Between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.


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