'Check us out'
South Londonderry: First Baptist Church of South Londonderry invites the community to check them out on Sunday for their worship service. For every person who comes to worship, the congregation has pledged to donate funds to the Collaborative, which supports substance free youth in the community. Everyone is always welcome to check out First Baptist Church, but they know that sometimes the first time can be intimidating. Once a year they try to make it easier by having a special "Check Us Out" Sunday. They'll explain each part of the worship service, and a lot of others will be checking them out, so no one will be singled out. They're all about growing followers of Jesus by planting seeds of faith and nurturing them to grow fruit. Come join them for worship at 10 a.m. After worship stay for coffee and muffins and walk down to the new church building to see the progress they've made. The congregation is currently meeting at the Londonderry Town Hall, 139 Middletown Rd. For more information, call 802-856-7266, or visit www.firstbaptistlondonderryvt.org.
Compelled to truth
Putney: Friends (Quakers) have developed the Queries to assist us to consider prayerfully the true source of spiritual strength and the extent to which the conduct of our lives gives witness to our Christian faith. In Putney Meeting, it is the practice to consider a set of Queries and Advises each month. On May 15, Queries to be considered include the power of God is not used to compel us to truth, therefore, let us renounce for ourselves the power of any person over any other and, compelling no one, let us seek to lead others to truth through love. Let us teach by being ourselves teachable. Do you seek to share and to interpret the faith of Friends and to cooperate with others in spreading the Christian message? Are you patterns, examples; do your lives preach among all sorts of people, and to them? Do you walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one? Putney Friends Meeting meets at 8:30 and 10:30 every Sunday morning. Child care is available at 10:30. First Day School is held at 10:30 on the first, third and fourth Sundays each month. For more information, visit putneyfriendsmeeting.org or call Carol Forsythe at 802-257-5805.
Winchester, N.H.: Grace Christian Fellowship, 81 Ashuelot St., will be hosting Teen Challenge this coming Sunday at the morning service at 10:15. Teen Challenge is a ministry devoted to those who are struggling with addictions and the issues surrounding those addictions. They are a top-notch residential recovery program that has a 92 percent success rate for those who complete the program. The staff will be available after the service to answer any questions you may have. For more information, call 603-239-7441 or Pastor Matthew at 603-355-7014.
One law, one love
West Chesterfield, N.H.: "One Law, One Life, One Love" is the title of a Pentecost hymn written by Unitarian minister Frederick Lucian Hosmer for the World's Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893, to capture that gathering's vision of peace and cooperation among the world's religions. This Sunday at First Universalist Church of West Chesterfield, guest speaker and guitarist Keith Penniman will draw upon the words of Hosmer to deliver a Pentecost message about the universal spirit that seeks to dwell in every heart.
Dummerston: Sunday is Susanna Griefen's last day as pastor of Dummerston Congregational Church UCC. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., Griefen will be joined by the Guilford Community Church UCC, First Congregational Church of West Brattleboro, and representatives from The Vermont Conference UCC, The Windham Union Association, area churches and the Hartland Congregational Church. There will be a community choir under the direction of Andy Davis from the Guilford Church; all who would to sing should come at 8:15 am. The Dummerston choir will sing under the direction of Rev. Dr. Larrimore Crockett. John Crocket and Cynthia Hughes will play the cello, Irish harp and other instruments, with recordings from nature. Mary Westbrook-Geha is the organist. Children in 3rd grade and younger will begin in worship and then go to an open classroom in the Grange Hall with activities led by Billie Slade, Church School Director. People are invited to bring food for the Brattleboro Area Food Pantry as a parting gift to Susanna. All are invited to lunch following the service. Please carpool if possible. The Junior Choir meets Tuesdays at 3 p.m. Children may come directly from school with a note to the teacher. The church has a wonderful slate of guest preachers and special music through the summer as it seeks a new pastor. Susanna and her husband are moving to the Montpelier Vermont area to be near their grandchildren. Dummerston Congregational Church, 1535 Middle Rd., is an Open and Affirming Congregation and Green Justice Church of the United Church of Christ. For more information, contact Sallie May at email@example.com or 802-257-0544, or go to www.dummerstonchurch.org. Office hours are Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., this week Tuesday and Friday.
Bellows Falls: This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday at First Baptist Church of Bellows Falls, and the service will center on the gift of the Holy Spirit. In Acts we read, "And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting." When the Lord acts on our behalf, it is oftentimes dramatic. Events can change on a dime, bringing us into unexpected Glory. The Creator of all things is always reshaping things and allowing for new beginnings, much like what we are witnessing in this season of rebirth, in bud and bloom. It is our responsibility to handle these gifts with care. The sermon is titled, "He Will Give You Another." All are welcomed 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. For more information, contact Pastors Steven and Terri at 802-463-3220. First Baptist is located at 9 Church St. American Baptists serve others as "the hands and feet of Jesus."
Faith and love
Brattleboro: This Sunday is Pentecost, which is a Christian Holy Day celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit 40 days after Easter. Most Christian denominations considere this day as the birthday of the Christian Church and celebrate it as such. The doors are open wide at the First Baptist Church, 190 Main St., where your presence is welcomed and strengthens all of us as we share our faith and love. We come to hear the Word of God who calls us to love one another as sisters and brothers because we are the family of God. The service begins with a quiet time of introspective at 10 a.m., followed by the call to Worship and accompanied by the Introit played by Lisa Provaras at the historic Estey Organ. Pastor Suzanne Andrews reminds us to broaden our local and worldwide concerns. Currently these include needs at the Drop In Shelter, gardening supplies for the "Gathering Place," school bags, and hygiene kits donated to "Church World Services," and our own Rummage Sale and Bake Sale on May 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pastor Suzanne leads us in the coming weeks in one-syllable sermons: Love, Faith, Peace, Hope, and Joy. Time of Fellowship follows the service and all are welcome.
Newfane: The First Congregational Church of Newfane will meet for morning worship at 10 a.m. on May 15, Pentecost Sunday. Guest preacher Bill Lincoln's sermon is titled "Wind Power," with scriptures from Acts 2:1-21. Congregational hymns are "This Is The Day," "On Pentecost They Gathered," and "Pass It On." The prelude "Be Still and Know," arranged by Fred Bock, and the postlude "For the Beauty of the Earth," arranged by Smith & Hustad, will be played by guest organist, Martha LaMoria with music director, Alice Gausch on piano. The choir will sing the offertory anthem "What A Friend," by Besig & Price. The mission for the month of May is the Women's Freedom Center. We continue to collect donations of canned goods and non-perishable food for the Townshend Food Shelf. Donations for the food shelf may be brought to the church and left in the basket in the Narthex. Events for the upcoming week include Al-Anon on Monday at 7:30 p.m., and Linus Quilters at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. On Thursday, Ladies Aid meets at 10 a.m. and choir practice begins at 6:30 p.m. Call the church office at 802-365-4079 or visit www.newfanechurch.org for more information. Everyone is welcome.
Walpole, N.H.: On Sunday, the 10 a.m. service at Walpole Unitarian Church, at Union and Main streets, is "Unleavening," led by Rev. Lisa Mobayed. Leaven is what makes the dough puffy and swollen, and many of us have lives that contain this element as well. What has come to take up an unexpected amount of space our lives? In what ways are we puffed up? Unleavening, inspired by Passover, is the brave work of naming and confronting these aspects of our lives and of ourselves. The Annual Meeting will follow the service this Sunday with a potluck lunch at the Hasting House
Brattleboro: It wasn't that Abraham and Lot couldn't get along. But the men who worked for them had begun to squabble. They needed more space. Abraham valued peace more than he valued property. He also trusted God's promise of sufficiency. He offered Lot his choice of terrain in the new land they had entered. Lot chose the open plain and Abraham was content to move to the more rugged hills. In the words of Matthew Henry, "It is noble to be willing to yield for peace's sake." It's always safe to yield to Love and to trust Love's promise that there will be enough good to go around. Mary Baker Eddy writes, "Which ought to be substance to us, — the erring, changing, and dying, or the unerring, immutable, and immortal?" ("Science and Health with key to the Scriptures"). The sermon this week at First Church of Christ, Scientist, focuses on the immutable and immortal. Sunday worship is at 10:45 a.m. at 57 Putney Rd. Call 802-254-4924 with any questions.
Children of God
Brattleboro: Pentecost is a day of promises fulfilled. The promised Spirit of God is poured out. The baptized have become "children of God" and "joint heirs with Christ." By the power of the Spirit we have seen the face of the Father in his only begotten Son and been saved by him. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Trinity Lutheran Church worships at 8:30 and at 10:30 am. The early service is kept to one half hour. The traditional 10:30 service celebrates the Now the Feast liturgy. Sunday School and Adult Forum begin at 9 a.m. Please join us. Trinity Lutheran Church is located at 161 Western Ave., across from Holton Home. Trinity is an Open and Affirming congregation. For more information, visit trinitybrattleboro.org or call the church office at 802-254-4220.
West Brattleboro: All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at the West Village Meeting House invites all to worship on Sunday. The service's theme is "A Spirituality Divine." The Rev. Anthony Acheson was minister of All Souls Church from 1990 to 1994. After 17 years as minister of Greensboro Congregational Church he retired in September from full-time pastoral ministry and now lives in Williamsville. In this service, he explores the distinction between spirituality and religion that many folks are processing these days, and offers ways of thinking of God/Ultimate Reality that can be experientially meaningful. All Souls at the West Village Meeting House is a Welcoming Congregation and a Green Sanctuary. All Souls is located at 29 South St. across the road up from the West Brattleboro fire station and village green. For more information or directions, please call the office at 802-254-9377, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or www.ascvt.org.
That's the spirit
Brattleboro: All are welcome at Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St., an Open and Affirming Congregation and a Just Peace Church, now celebrating its 200th year in Brattleboro. This Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m., Reverend Sandy Daly of Hallelujah Farm in New Hampshire will be leading the service. She will provide a meditation entitled "That's the Spirit!" Scripture readings will include Acts 2:1-8 and John 14:25-26. 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 aged crowd. Child care for younger children is provided from 9 through the service. On May 18 at 7 p.m. at the church there will be a talk on Afghanistan by Muhammad Rafi Siddiq, an Afghan Fulbright scholar in residence at SIT. His talk is sponsored by the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Initiative. For further information about the services at Centre Congregational Church, call the church office at 802-254-4730.
Jamaica: The Jamaica Community Church welcomes all visitors to join as the congregation gathers on Sunday. The Rev. Norma Drosky will preach on "Holy Noise," based on Acts 2:1-21 and John 14:8-17. Pentecost is the birthday of the church, the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples; changing a group of frightened people into courageous witnesses to Jesus Christ and the Good News. But the coming of the Holy Spirit didn't end that day but continues to today and the Spirit can change us into courageous witnesses, too. 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.
Townshend: The Townshend Church welcomes Rev. Vernon Stanley on May 15 at 10 a.m. Fellowship hour immediately follows the service. The Townshend Church is an ABC and UCC congregation guided by its lay members. All are welcome.