Brattleboro: Brattleboro Area Jewish Community's annual Chanukah party and latke feast will take place on Friday, Dec. 11, the sixth night of Chanukah, which is also the time to welcome Shabbat. The event starts at 6 p.m. with lighting of Shabbat and Chanukah candles. Those attending are encouraged to bring their own menorahs and candles. BAJC will supply applesauce and sour cream but folks are invited to bring cooked latkes to share. They can be microwaved or warmed in the oven. At 7 p.m, Chanukah stories will be told and sing melodies, accompanied by the Friday-night band, will be sung. There will be dancing and dreidel-spinning also. BAJC is located at 151 Greenleaf Street in West Brattleboro. For more information, visit www.BAJCvermont.org or call 802-257-1959.
Cause and creator
Brattleboro: "God the Only Cause and Creator" is the subject of the sermon at First Church of Christ, Scientist. "Only" is a small word with huge implications. If we begin with God as cause, and reason out from that standpoint, the effect has to be good. Prayer that acknowledges God as the only Cause at the same time questions the notion that evil could effectively rival the creative power of God, good. Such prayer brings healing. The textbook of Christian Science defines "Creator" as "God, who made all that was made and could not create an atom or an element the opposite of Himself." First Church of Christ, Scientist, at 57 Putney Road Brattleboro welcomes one and all to its services. Sunday worship is at 10:45 a.m. and a healing testimony meeting is held Wednesdays at 7:45 p.m. For more information, call 802-254-4924.
Darkness and light
West Brattleboro: All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at the West Village Meeting House, invites all to worship on Dec. 6, at 10 a.m. The service's theme is "Darkness and Light," led by Rev. Lisa Mobayed. The Season of Advent recognizes how darkness precedes light. This wisdom expressed in religious tradition was likely first observed in the natural world. Darkness is a powerful and generative force in our lives, sadly minimized or denied by our modern culture focused on the light. Childcare is available upon request. All Souls at the West Village Meeting House is a Welcoming Congregation and a Green Sanctuary and is located at 29 South Street. For more information or directions, call 802-254-9377, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ascvt.org.
Bellows Falls: This Sunday at First Baptist Church of Bellows Falls, the second Advent candle, the candle of preparation, will be lit. During these weeks before Christmas there is perhaps no better definitive word describing what we are doing than, "preparation." We seem to be busy preparing in most everything we do. We plan, we shop, we decorate, we cook and we celebrate as we draw closer to that Big Day. We scramble to make ready for Dec. 25. It is important that we do not lose sight of what that Big Day really is. It is Christmas, the day of the birth of Jesus. While we are making preparations during this season let us consider that it is most important for us to prepare our hearts and minds for Christ's arrival into our lives. As He is born on Christmas morning, He is reborn unto us as the most ultimate gift. The Prophet Isaiah tells us "Prepare the way of the Lord." We can achieve this by slowing down and taking a big breath to consider this birth that is about to happen. We prepare by opening our hearts to Jesus' message of peace and to His abiding love. The sermon is titled, "Rough Ways Made Smooth." All Souls welcomes all to join for worship, music and community. Sunday School begins at 9:45 and the Sunday Service begins at 10. Child care is provided following the children's time. Pastor's office hours will be held this Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. followed by Bible Study from 3 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 802-463-3220. First Baptist is located at 9 Church Street. American Baptists serve others as "the hands and feet of Jesus."
Brattleboro: Reverend Bert W. Marshall will lead the Sunday worship at 10 a.m. at Centre Congregational Church with "In the Smallness of Your Whispering." Scripture references are Malachi 3: 1-4, Luke 3: 1-6, and Leonard Cohen: Book of Mercy #41. The Adult Book Study group will begin reading "Rumi: The Life and Work of the Great Sufi Poet," by Annemarie Schimmel. Sunday School begins at 9 a.m. followed by Faith in Action for the school age crowd. Child care is provided from 9 a.m. through the church service. Centre Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming community as well as a Just Peace church.
Dummerston: Worship at the Dummerston Congregational Church UCC begins at 9:30 a.m. This Second Sunday of Advent Yvonne Harrison will be baptized and confirmed, after a season of preparation. She will give a faith statement. This is a Communion Sunday with a special offering for the Deacons' Fund to help Dummerston families in crisis. The Scriptures for the day are Luke 3: 1-18 and Malachi 3: 1-4. The Meditation is "The Good News?" The adult choir will sing under the direction of the Rev. Dr. Larrimore Crockett. Organist Mary Westbrook-Geha will play Handel's " Pastoral Symphony' and "Break Forth O Beauteous Heavenly Light" (harm. J.S. Bach). Children begin in worship and then go to an open classroom to begin preparations for the Christmas Pageant. After worship a light lunch will be served. All are invited after that to "green the church," making wreaths, lighting the sanctuary tree, putting up the Mitten Tree, making cookies, and generally getting ready for the season. Christmas Pageant preparations will be held this Sunday and next. After school "Christmas Adventures" with games, snacks, crafts and pageant practice will be held Thursdays, Dec. 10 and 17, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Children may take the bus from school with a note from parents. The Youth group will host a "Christmas Bash" Teen dance on Dec. 12 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. for youth in 5th grade and older. Donation of $5 at the door. There will be a disco ball and light show, and refreshments will be sold. The church collects donations for the Drop In Center Food Pantry. Non-perishable foods ,especially high-protein foods, household goods and personal care items may be left in the church entry. Dummerston Congregational Church,1535 Middle Road in Dummerston Center, is an Open and Affirming Congregation and Green Justice Church of the United Church of Christ. For more information, call 802-257-0544, email email@example.com or visit www.dummerstonchurch.org.
Prepare the Way
Brattleboro: On the second Sunday of Advent, Trinity Lutheran Church will light two candles on the wreath, and listen to the words of John the Baptist, preaching, baptizing, and urging us to prepare for the coming of Christ. Come to worship, to see "the salvation of our God." Sunday morning worship at Trinity Lutheran Church begins at 10:30 a.m. The service is liturgical in nature, with singing an essential part. Worship is preceded by an Adult Study and Sunday School for all ages begins at 9 a.m. The church is located at 161 Western Ave. and is an Open and Affirming congregation. For more information, visit trinitybrattleboro.org or call 802-254-4220.
Vernon: The Mountain View SDA Church will host pianist Kristjon Imperio in concert on Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. The Mountain View Adventist Church is located at 1002 Fort Bridgeman Highway. The concert is free of charge and will be followed by fellowship and light refreshments.
Jamaica: The Jamaica Community Church welcomes all visitors to join as the congregation gathers on Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. On the second Sunday in Advent, the Rev. Norma Drosky will preach on "Our Construction Responsibilities" based on Malachi 3:1-4 and Luke 3:1-6. Advent is a time of anticipation and preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was the Messenger who announced the coming of one greater than he. He calls us to prepare the way in our lives for Christ's coming by making a straight road and filling in the valleys so that all people will see the salvation sent from God. The Jamaica Community Church is located "In the Heart of Jamaica" at 7 Depot St. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 802-874-7019 or find Jamaica Community Church Jamaica VT and Facebook.
Blessing of the ages
Newfane: The First Congregational Church of Newfane will meet for Morning Worship and Communion at 10 a.m., on Dec. 6, the Second Sunday of Advent. Rev. Rob Hamm's sermon is titled "Blessing of the Ages" with scriptures from Malachi 3:1-4 and Luke 1:57-79. Charles and Andi Baker will light the Second Advent Candle, the Candle of Peace. Congregational hymns are "When God Is a Child," "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus" and "O Come, O Come Emmanuel." Alice Gausch organist will play the prelude "Christ Descendeth" by James and the postlude "Angels Rejoicing" by Hughes. The choir will sing the offertory anthem "Prepare!" by Alan Pote. The church's missions for the month of December are Brattleboro Hospice and SEVCA Fuel Assistance. The church continues to collect donations of canned goods and non-perishable food for the Townshend Food Shelf. Events for the upcoming week include Al-Anon on Monday at 7:30 pm, Sew What's at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Trustees' budget meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, followed by a Council Meeting at 7:30 p.m. Senior Lunch is Thursday at Noon. Bells and Choir rehearsals begin at 4:45 and 6:30 respectively on Thursday evening. The Ladies Aid Society holds its Annual Cookie Sale on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call 802-365-4079 or visit www.newfanechurch.org.
Townshend: The Townshend Church will meet at 10 a.m., Sunday, the second Sunday of Advent on Dec. 6 when Rev. James Scott will provide the sermon and Martha LaMOria will provide the music. Fellowship hour immediately follows the service. All are welcome. The Townshend Church is an ABC and UCC congregation guided by its lay members.
Walpole, N.H.:This month's Family First Sunday potluck celebration at the Walpole Unitarian Church will be held at 10 a.m. at the Hastings Parish House on Union Street. The theme for the brunch will be a kick off of "Chalice Week," a seven-day celebration of Unitarian Universalist Principles. Chalica begins on the first Monday in December and lasts seven days. Each day, a chalice is lit and the day is spent reflecting on the meaning of that day's principle and doing a good deed that honors that principle. Not all Unitarian Universalists celebrate Chalica, but it has a growing following. This is a potluck brunch with a biscuit and gravy dish and a luscious potato casserole planned; bring along something you would like to eat. Coffee, tea, and juice will be provided.
West Brattleboro: No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome at First Congregational Church, 880 Western Avenue, an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ. On Dec. 6, the Second Sunday in Advent, the 10 a.m. worship service will be led by interim pastor Jeremy Kirk. Choir rehearsal is at 9 on Sunday mornings. Childcare is available. Bible Study meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. The church's website is www.wbucc.com and email is email@example.com. Telephone is 802-254-9767. The church office is open Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. to noon and Fridays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The first Wednesday of the month, First Congregational Church opens its doors from 6 to 7 p.m. to the local chapter of the National Association of Mental Illness.