A family story
Newfane: The First Congregational Church morning worship at 10 a.m. on Jan. 24, the Third Sunday after Epiphany. Guest preacher, Bill Lincoln's sermon is titled "A Family Story," with scriptures from 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. Congregational hymns are "As Your Family, Lord, Meet Us Here," "Will You Let Me Be Your Servant," and "They'll Know We Are Christians." Alice Gausch, organist will play the prelude "I Will Sing of Thy Great Mercies," by Mendelssohn and the postlude "Festival," by Price. The choir will sing the offertory anthem "Christ Be With Us " by Gillette. The church's missions for the month of January are Andover Newton Theological and the BTS Center. 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 p.m., and Sew Whats at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Men's Coffee meets at 10 a.m. on Thursday in the Wilson Room. Bells and Choir practice begin at 4:45 and 6:30 p.m. respectively on Thursday evening. Call the church office at 802-365-4079 or visit www.newfanechurch.org for more information. Everyone is welcome.
Brattleboro: Worship on Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. at First United Methodist Church will feature scripture from Luke 4:14-21, read by Betty Stacy, telling the story of Jesus reading from the Hebrew scripture and proclaiming that in him it was fulfilled. Rev. Cheryl Meachen's sermon, titled "Anointed," will explore the reading as Jesus' inaugural address, laying out plans for his ministry. The Children's Message is "Just What the Doctor Ordered," also based on Luke 4 and will teach that God provides just what is needed, when it is needed. Kevin Mills will play the organ. The church is located at 18 Town Crier Drive and is handicap-accessible. For more information, email email@example.com or call 802-254-4218. All are welcome.
West Brattleboro: All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at the West Village Meeting House invites all to worship on Sunday at 10 a.m. The service theme is "Barriers to Religious Life." All Souls' minister Rev. Lisa Mobayed shares her conviction that we have heard from too many for too long that religion requires the construction and maintenance of barriers, when instead we should be breaking them down, crossing them, and letting the world in. For more information, call 802-254-9377, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ascvt.org. Office hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Brattleboro: This week's sermon on truth, includes this passage from Phillipians: "... brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Paul was clearly directing his readers to focus on the good. Is this still a viable approach to life — one that overcomes evil with good, as opposed to just ignoring evil? Mary Baker Eddy begins to answer these questions when she writes "Truth is affirmative, and confers harmony ... By the truthful arguments you employ, and especially by the spirit of Truth and Love which you entertain, you will heal the sick." Join the Frist Church of Christ, Scientist, Sunday morning at 10:45 for worship, and again Wednesday evening at 7:45 to continue an exploration of the Ten Commandments, at 57 Putney Rd. For more information, call 802-254-4924.
Bratleboro: All are welcome at Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main Street, an Open and Affirming Congregation and a Just Peace Church. This Sunday, pastor Rev. Bert W. Marshall will lead worship at 10 a.m. His meditation is entitled "What's Good About This News?" Scripture reference is Luke 4:14-30. The Adult Class will meet from 9 to 9:50 a.m. in the church library, now reading "Rumi: The Life and Work of the Great Sufi Poet," by Annemarie Schimmel. Sunday school for children 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. Ongoing church activities include the Prayer Shawl Ministry at 4:30 on Mondays, Quilting Ministry at 1:30 on Thursdays at the home of Gisela Robeck, and Women's Spirit at 4:30 on Thursdays. Church Office Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For information, call 802-254-4730 or visit www.centrechurchvt.org
Bellows Falls: This Sunday at First Baptist Church at Bellows Falls, this week features Gospel from Luke, "And they were astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority." The simplest way to illustrate what is occurring here is with a parent and a small child; a parent who is teaching for instance, look both ways before you cross the street. There is no wiggle room in this instruction. The child needs to understand clearly. The teaching is most likely very direct and perhaps forceful so that the small child understands right away. We see Jesus teaching in a similar way to the Disciples. Again from Luke, "Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road." There are rare times in our lives when we confront someone who is filled with a divine nature, with the heavenly Spirit, and we stop in our tracks to listen to them. Perhaps with Jesus it was in these two ways that He addressed those around him, like a parent to a child and being divinely inspired as no one else. This week's sermon is titled, "For His Word was with Authority." Join for worship, music and community. Sunday School begins at 9:45 a.m. and the Sunday Service begins at 10 a.m. 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. where we will be looking at the Gospel of Mark. For more information, contact Pastors Steven and Terri at 802-463-3220. First Baptist Church is located at 9 Church St. American Baptists serve others as "the hands and feet of Jesus."
Black Lives Matter
Putney: Putney Friends Meeting, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, has erected a sign in front of the Putney Friends Meeting house on Route 5. What's important for us is that it's not just a sign, not just a statement, it's a commitment to join with others in doing the work we need to do. Putney Friends Meeting approved the following on Jan. 17: "Those of us who have grown up with a white identity in America have a particular challenge in that we have been conditioned not to notice the system of racism and white privilege. Our well-intentioned attempts at color-blindness can have the unfortunate result of blinding us to the system of racism in which we unwittingly participate."
Living and loving
Townshend: The Townshend Church holds its Sunday service at 10 a.m., when Pastor Donald Hashem will provide the last in a series of three sermons on "There's a difference between loving it and living it." Carmen Hashem will provide the music. Fellowship immediately follows the service. All are welcome. The Townshend Church is an ABC and UCC Congregation guided by its lay members.
Jamaica: The Jamaica Community Church welcomes all visitors to join us as the congregation gathers on Sunday at 10 a.m. The Rev. Norma Drosky will preach on "A Means to Transformation," based on Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 and Luke 4:14-21. As we encounter scripture, whether through our daily readings or communally during worship, there are two questions we are called to seriously consider: What does the Word of God say to me this day? And how could my life and the life of our faith community be different because of hearing this Word o God? The Jamaica Community Church is located "In the Heart of Jamaica" at 7 Depot St. For more information, email email@example.com, leave a message at 802-874-7019 or find Jamaica Community Church Jamaica VT on Facebook page.
Brattleboro: This Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church, we return to the gospel according to Luke, which will be at the heart of our readings for much of this year. Jesus announces good news to those struggling economically on the fringes of society, hope to those who are imprisoned, healing to those without sight, a lifting of the burden from those who are weighed down or oppressed, and even the in-breaking of a holy year of favor. Come to worship to hear good news. The service begins at 10:30 a.m. is preceded by Sunday School and an Adult Forum at 9 a.m. and is followed by a coffee hour. Trinity Lutheran Church is located at 161 Western Ave. and is an Open and Affirming congregation. For more information, visit trinitybrattleboro.org or call the church office at 802-254-4220.
Keeping the Sabbatch
Dummerston: Worship at the Dummerston Congregational Church UCC begins at 10 a.m. for January through March. This week's service focuses on the gift of scripture and Sabbath-Keeping as a way to revitalize life. Scriptures are from Nehemiah 8, Luke 4, and Psalms 19 and 119. Music leadership will be provided by Mary Westbrook-Geha, organist. The Children's Story is about David and Goliath, and our sometimes surprising God-given abilities. Children begin in worship and then go to an open classroom, led by Billie Slade, Church School Director. Donations to the Drop-In Center Food pantry of staple food, personal hygiene products and household supplies may be left in the church entrance. The church is collecting returnable bottles to support the Interfaith Youth Mission Trip to South Dakota this summer. Donations may be left at the church or at the Redemption Center on Putney Road for the Brattleboro Interfaith Youth Group account. The Youth Group is also selling Kenyan Coffee to help fund the mission trip. The church is also collecting blue jeans, especially children's blue jeans, for a mission trip to Kenya, where they will be part of school uniforms. Donations may be left in the church kitchen. Looking ahead, on Feb. 14 the Youth Group will host a French Toast fundraiser breakfast, 9 a.m. at church. On March 19 they will provide a lovely sit-down Turkey dinner. Reservations suggested for dinner, seating is limited. Dummerston Congregational Church, 1535 Middle Road, is an Open and Affirming Congregation and Green Justice Church of the United Church of Christ. For more information, contact Pastor Susanna Griefen at 802257-0544, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.dummerstonchurch.org.
Claim your story
Chesterfield, N.H.: This Sunday at 10 a.m., Pastor Scott Masters of Asbury Church will challenge us to remember. By diving into the story of an ancient prophet, together we will ask if there is as lesson for us today, some 3,000 years later. Can this ancient story be relevant for us? Can that ancient story change our own faith journey today? Sunday's message will be one which declares that yes it can. We invite you to be a part of learning how. Asbury is a church made up of a wonderful collection of individuals working to make faith relevant and authentic for today. At the same time, we believe there is a place for you in our community. Asbury exists as one of oldest United Methodist Congregation in New England, and across its history has been committed to a journey of discernment that recognizes the role that scripture, experience, tradition and reason all play. For more information find Asbury Church on Facebook or at www.chesterfieldumc.org.
Beams of love
Brattleboro: The worship service on Jan. 24 at First Congregational Church, 880 Western Ave., an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, features Interim Pastor Jeremy Kirk's sermon, "Bearing the Beams of Love," based on 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a and Matthew 22:34-40. Organist Martha Clark's prelude is "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me," by Paxton and Postlude "O Worship the King," by Ritter. Congregational hymns are "For the Beauty of the Earth," "All Beautiful the March of Days," and "Lord, Dismiss Us With Thy Blessing." Sunday morning worship is at 10 a.m. with child care provided following the Children's Story. There is usually a fellowship hour following worship, but this week there is a luncheon sponsored by the Pastoral Search Committee. For those with disabilities there is a ramp leading to the sanctuary level as well as large print bulletins and hymns. There is an on-going collection of canned fruit and vegetables, soups, tuna fish, peanut butter and pasta for the local food shelf. For a ride to worship, call 802-254-4522. 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.
Saxtons River: This Sunday, at Christ Church, worship at 10 a.m. will be led by Rev. Ivy Merill. Directly following the service the Church will be holding its Annual Meeting. There will also be coffee and refreshments. Christ's Church Blue Door Suppers continue on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. As always, this is a wonderful time to "warm up" over a bowl (or two) of hot homemade soup and catch up with friends and neighbors. Christ's Church is handicapped accessible and all are welcome. For any questions regarding church programs or activities, call 802-869-2340.
Walpole, N.H.: Sunday service at 10 a.m. at Walpole Unitarian Church will feature "A Migration of the Innocents," led by Candace Damon and Dorothy Read. As the climate changes, and persons are displaced by natural disasters and war, how will we prepare for the migrations of people seeking home? For more information, visit www.walpoleunitarianchurch.org.
The book of Jonah
Vernon: Sunday service at Vernon Union Church, 2631 Fort Bridgman Road starts at 10 a.m. and features Pastor M. Terry Robinson, sharing an in depth study of the book of Jonah. On Feb. 7, the church hosts Teen Challenge of Johnson, a ministry of helps for men and women of all walk of life and ages who suffer from addictions, will join us with song and testimony and sharing communion. There will be a potluck following the service, beverages provided. The church is handicap accessible and offers child care. For more information, call 802-257-8523.