Third Congregational Church

ALSTEAD, N.H. -- Guest pastor, the Rev. Paul Gibbons from Nelson, will be in the pulpit at Third Congregational Church UCC on Sunday, July 13, in the absence of Pastor Maureen Lasell.

Rev. Gibbons’ life experiences over the years have involved a variety of activities, which includes chaplain at Cornell University for many years; and also has training in areas such as mental health, physical health, music, theater, to name a few. He and his wife also co-directed a spiritual retreat for many years. All are welcome. Information: 802-835-6358.

All Souls Church

WEST BRATTLEBORO -- On Sunday, July 13, at 10 a.m., the topic at All Souls Church will be "Sikhs All Around the World." With 20 million followers, Sikhism is the world’s fifth largest religion. How did the Sikh religious tradition appear and grow for 500 years? What makes this devotional tradition unique? How can you recognize a Sikh? Gurudharm Singh Khalsa, a local American Sikh, will share his answers, his faith and his Sikh spiritual practice."

All Souls at the West Village Meeting House is designated by the Unitarian Universalist Association as a Certified Welcoming Congregation and a Green Sanctuary, and recognized by the National Wildlife Federation as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. All Souls is located at 29 South St. across the road up from the West Brattleboro Fire Station and village green. Nursery care is available.

For more information or directions, call the office at 802-254-9377, e-mail office@ascvt.org or www.ascvt.org.

First Congregational Church

WEST BRATTLEBORO -- July 13 is The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost at the First Congregational Church United Church of Christ, 880 Western Ave. in West Brattleboro. Pastor Joseph Amico will share a sermon entitled "The Three B’s: Biblical Brothers and Birthrights" based on Genesis 25:19-34. Organist, Robert Popple will share a prelude of "Arietta" by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and a postlude of "You Are Mine" by David Haas arranged by Paul A. Tate. Music Director Steve Rice will share an offertory of "Glory, Glory Hallelujah (Since I Laid My Burdens Down)" an African-American spiritual. Congregational hymns this week include "For the Beauty of the Earth," "Children of God" and "O for a Closer Walk With God."

Sunday worship at First Congregational is at 10 a.m. For those with disabilities, there is a ramp leading to the sanctuary, as well as large-print hymnals and bulletins. For a ride to worship in July call Wendy at 802-254-4522.

Worship services are broadcast several times during the week on BCTV, Channel 8. Check Weekend and Tuesday Reformer for BCTV schedule, or the online schedule which is updated every Friday afternoon.

There is an ongoing collection of canned fruits and vegetables, pasta and sauces, peanut butter, tuna fish, and cereals for the Drop-In Center’s Food Shelf.

Ongoing weekly events include the Prayer Fellowship at 8:30 a.m. Sundays.

Everyone is welcome. First Congregational Church is An Open and Affirming Congregation. The church’s website is www.wbucc.com. Church office hours are Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Telephone is 802-254-9767, e-mail is fccwb1770@gmail.com.

Grace Christian Fellowship

WINCHESTER, N.H. -- Grace Christian Fellowship, 81 Ashuelot St. in Winchester is hosting 2TALK42 Ministries again this year! The family event will be for four consecutive nights beginning on Sunday, July 20, at 6:30 p.m.

2TALK42 utilizes ventriloquism, puppetry and drama in their comedy presentation. Each night prizes are awarded to the children and a brand new 18-speed bicycle is the grand prize awarded on Wednesday night. This event is free. For more information, call Pastor Matthew Worrall at 603-355-7014 or the church office at 603-239-7441.

First Universalist Church

WEST CHESTERFIELD, N.H. "Can You Hear Me Now" is sermon topic at the First Universalist Church in West Chesterfield. Although this expression is not widely heard these days, for many years the question "Can you hear me now?" was extensively utilized as a succinct way of evaluating the worth of a cell phone. According to the Internet, Paul Marcarelli (born May 24, 1970) is an American actor best known as the "Test Man" or "The Verizon Guy" character in these commercials. His expression and his words were so vastly aired on television and other media that people would come to recognize him and what he stood for without him uttering any words at all.

A dynamic church functions in much the same way. Our message needs to be "out there" so that people recognize it instantly and know what that church stands for. Churches that are silent or unwilling to speak run the risk of being glib gatherings of people who already agree with you rather than dynamic forces for good urgently needed in this troubled world.

Arthur H. Reublinger, Hospice Chaplain for Compassionate Care Hospice, will lead this service and discussion that follows. Everyone is invited.

Newfane Congregational

NEWFANE -- The First Congregational Church of Newfane will meet for worship at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 13. The Rev. Rob Hamm’s sermon is titled "A Harvest Story" with scripture from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 13, verses 1-9 and 18-23. Congregational hymns are "All Things Bright and Beautiful," "O God in Whom All Life Begins" and "We’re Marching to Zion." Music will be provided by guest organist Helen Ruth Belanger who will play the prelude "Andante Religioso" by R.M. Stults, and the postlude "Thine Is the Greatness" by Chester Nordman. Debbie Cook will sing "Let All the World in Every Corner Sing," accompanied by Helen Ruth Belanger. The July Mission of the month is Valley Cares. Events for the upcoming week include Al-Anon at 7:30 p.m. on Monday; Linus Quilters at 1 p.m. on Tuesday; and the Ladies Aid potluck picnic at noon on Thursday.

Call the church office at 802-365-4079 or visit the church website at www.newfanechurch.org for further information.

First Baptist Church of BF

BELLOWS FALLS -- Sunday’s service will focus on the importance of thoughtfully nurturing the right seeds in our lives. The Gospel reading tells a parable of the sowing of seed and how God’s word can take hold most abundantly. The title of the sermon is "Sow You Say."

All are welcome to attend for worship, music and community. Sunday School begins at 9:40 a.m. and the Sunday service begins at 10 a.m. Child care is provided following children’s time.

Pastor’s office hours for this week are Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Bible Study is Saturday from 4 to 5 p.m. where the group will look together at the minor prophet, Hosea. For information, contact Pastors Steven and Terri Walton at 802-463-3220. The church is located at 9 Church St., Bellows Falls. American Baptists serve others as "the hands and feet of Jesus."

Trinity Lutheran Church

BRATTLEBORO -- On this fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Lutheran moves to its outdoor chapel for worship. God’s word is like the rain that waters the earth and brings forth vegetation. It is also like the sower who scatters seed indiscriminately. Our lives are like seeds sown in the earth. Even from what appears to be little, dormant, or dead, God promises a harvest. At the Lord’s table we are fed with the bread of life, that we may bear fruit in the world.

Trinity meets for worship at 9:30 a.m. The church is located at 161 Western Ave., Brattleboro, across from Holton Home. The outdoor chapel is behind the church and can be accessed through the parking lot. Trinity is an Open and Affirming congregation.

Marlboro Meeting House

MARLBORO -- Sunday worship at Marlboro Meeting House is at 10 a.m. with Pastor Amanda C. Swoyer leading the service.

The scriptures for this week are Isaiah 55:10-13 and Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23. A parable is an "earthly story with a heavenly meaning"ล and since God is still speaking, even an old familiar story can say something new to us. The sermon title is "Prepped and ready!"

Organists will be Ellen Hamilton and Alan Dann.

A stair chair is available for a ride to and from the sanctuary. Refreshments and fellowship will follow the service. Volunteer opportunities are available each week.

Marlboro Meeting House has been holding services for more than 235 years. The current structure is the third, built after a fire in 1931 destroyed the second church building. Funds to rebuild were collected and donated by Una Winchester Warnock (Ruben Winchester’s grand-daughter) whose family owned and occupied The Poplars. Now called Newton House, it is the home of the Marlboro Historical Society. Newton House, built in 1814 by the Town for the second Pastor, Ephraim Holland Newton, will be celebrating its 200th anniversary at the Historical Society’s annual meeting July 17 at 7 p.m. at the Town House in Marlboro center.

The annual meeting of the church will be held around 11:15 a.m. Sunday after the service.

Marlboro Meeting House is located one half mile from Route 9 on South Road, about eight miles between Brattleboro and Wilmington.

Guilford Community Church

GUILFORD -- This is about the time in the summer when we have to start pulling weeds from our gardens. Where all things green were hopeful just a few weeks back, now we are faced with the challenge of sorting that which is nourishing and beautiful from that which takes the eye and energy from the garden. As such, this Sunday’s 10 a.m. worship at Guilford Community Church, UCC, appropriately focuses on seed-sowing with the beautiful scripture found in Isaiah 55: 10-13 and Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23.

Pastor Lise Sparrow will offer reflections on the Church as "sower" and the choir will offer two anthems, "By The Waters of Babylon" and "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree" under the direction of Connie Green. The children’s story will focus on Johnny Appleseed nee Chapman, a pioneer and preacher who planted trees across the midwest.After the summer the children will enjoy outside play and art projects focused on the earth.

This worship is part of a six month series, Not Ordinary Times," which focuses on God’s relation to the earth and its creatures. In the cycle of the traditional church year, the time between Pentecost and Advent is considered "ordinary time." But these are not ordinary times, either in the church or in terms of global ecological disruption. To be faithful and relevant in such times, it is essential that churches be intentional about addressing the new and challenging questions of faith and ethics that are raised by our unique situation.

Guilford Community Church is an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ. The building is fully handicapped accessible and hearing assistance and an ASL interpreter are provided. To find the church, drive one mile south of exit 1 on route 5 and turn left just beyond the Guilford Country Store. For information call 802-257-0994 or 802-257-2776 or visit www.guilfordchurch.org. Everyone is welcome.

Townshend Church

TOWNSHEND -- The Townshend Church will be holding its 10 a.m. service on Sunday, July13, at Valley Cares Assisted Living led by lay members. The facility is located on Rte. 35 just past Grace Cottage Hospital on the left. All are welcome to attend in faith and fellowship as we reach out to the community every second Sunday of the month. Hospitality hour to immediately follow.

Services will be back at the church on July 20. The Rev. James Scott will be the preacher.

The church is a UCC and ABC congregation operating under the guidance of lay members.

Brattleboro Baha’i Center

BRATTLEBORO -- A conversation on the topic of "how to promote peace in the world" and the "principle of compassion" will be held on Monday, July 14, at 7 p.m. at the Brattleboro Baha’i Center, 148 Elliot St. All are welcome and refreshments will be served.

What can we do to promote peace in the world? With daily news of conflicts, human rights violations, corruption and crimes against humanity that are taking place on every continent today it is easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless. One antidote to this inflow of distressing and disheartening news is to notice the examples of reconciliation, acceptance of those who are different, forgiveness, tolerance, and instances where people stand up for justice and human rights that abound in our society.

The question is, how can such acts of kindness and generosity towards others be recognized and encouraged. One approach to addressing the ills of the world is the age old concept of compassion for others that allows us to open our hearts to the suffering in the world without being overwhelmed. All the world’s great religious traditions have taught this concept in one version or another of what has become known as "the Golden Rule." The principle of compassion has also found expression in ground breaking legal and civil documents such as the United States Constitution which proclaims that all men (and women) are created equal and the United Nations statement on Human Rights and most recently in the widely acclaimed "Charter for Compassion." All are invited to attend and join in the conversation which is co-sponsored by the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Initiative and the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the Town of Brattleboro. For more information, call 802-254-2115 or visit the Baha’i website at www.bahai.us.

Centre Congregational

BRATTLEBORO -- The Rev. Carra McFadden will lead 10 a.m. worship Sunday, July 13, at Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St., Brattleboro.

The sermon text is Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23. July’s Special Offering will benefit the Brattleboro Area Walk-in Clinic and the Women’s Freedom Center. Fellowship Hour will follow on the lawn and all are welcome.

Adult Book Study is held at 9 a.m. on Sundays with the focus on Krista Tippett’s "Einstein’s God." The Quilting Ministry and the Prayer Shawl Ministry continue during the summer.

Centre Church is a congregation of the United Church of Christ, is a Just Peace Church and is Open and Affirming. For more information contact the church office at 802-254-4730 or visit the website at www.centrechurchvt.org.

Halifax Union Society

HALIFAX CENTER -- On June 13, the Rev. Dr. Marcia Dorey will lead the Sunday evening’s vesper service at the Halifax Union Society beginning at 6 p.m. Alan Dann will accompany the hymn singing on the antique Carpenter reed organ. Everyone is invited. Refreshments will be served.

The Society is located near the intersection of Stowe Mountain and Jacksonville Stage Roads uphill from the Town Center. This is the old part of town. The church building was constructed in 1851.

In this week’s scripture, we are admonished to know and to do what we ought to do. The emphasis is on "doing," not just listening and learning because those who teach effectively do not necessarily act in their own prescribed manner. Good fruits come from good planting, but the soil and growing conditions must be favorable.

Those attending are asked to bring foodstuffs for the Deerfield Food Pantry and "small change" which hopefully will enable us to buy refugee supplies.

For further information, e-mail HalifaxUnionSociety@gmail.com or call 802-368-2455.

First Baptist Church

BRATTLEBORO -- Worship at First Baptist Church, 190 Main St., in the heart of Brattleboro, begins at 10 a.m. with a time of fellowship and refreshment to follow the service.

This Sunday’s leader will be Jeanne Deyo, who will speak about "Amazing Grace" using the scripture text found in Psalm 11.

Special music will be provided by Tami Bacon.

This was the first year that the Overflow Shelter at First Baptist Church was open for six consecutive months. There were approximately 10 days that the shelter was open around the clock due to inclement weather. A total of 180 unduplicated people, 126 men, 47 women and seven children were served. The shelter was open for 179 nights, average number of people per night was 25, meals served was 7,156. This number includes breakfast, lunch and dinners. Breakfast was served every Sunday. The center provides breakfast items the rest of the week and lunch was provided during the snowstorms this past winter.