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South Londonderry church awarded matching grant for sprinkler system

SOUTH LONDONDERRY >> As First Baptist Church of South Londonderry has been continuing to rebuild after their previous building was destroyed by fire in 2010, they are excited to announce that they have been awarded a matching grant for their new sprinkler system. For every dollar they raise a private family foundation will give them two dollars up to the cost of the sprinkler system, which will be approximately $80,000. This grant will allow the church to be able to get closer to their goal of moving into the building.

In order to be cost effective, First Baptist Church is now working directly with volunteers and construction workers to complete the building project. They are continuing to raise funds for the added expense of meeting current commercial building codes including the sprinkler system. Donations towards the sprinkler system can be made online at gofundme.com/helprebuildfbc or mailed to First Baptist Church (PO Box 278 South Londonderry, VT 05155). For more information about the building, volunteering opportunities, and fundraising efforts take a look at their website firstbaptistlondonderryvt.org or call 802-856-7266.

Discovery

Brattleboro: How did a New Hampshire farmer's daughter who was an invalid for the first half of her life go on to become one of the most famous, influential, and controversial people of nineteenth century America? By all accounts Mary Baker Eddy was a woman ahead of her time. Her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," was simultaneously praised and scorned by religious thinkers and the press of her time, yet the effect it had on those who read it and found healing was undeniable. In celebration of National Women's History Month, international speaker Chet Manchester will speak on "Mary Baker Eddy — A Life of Discovery" on Friday, March 11, at the River Garden, 157 Main St., at noon, and at First Church of Christ, Scientist, 57 Putney Rd. at 7 p.m. Manchester is a Christian Science Practitioner and Teacher, and former Creative Director for the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston Massachusetts. For more information, please call 617-584-5866.

Gospel of Mark

Brattleboro: The Gospel of Mark Alive, will be told from memory as it might have been told in the early years of the Jesus Movement. Performed by Rev. Bert Marshall at Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St., on Sunday, at 3 p.m. Reception to follow. Reverend Marshall, the minister at Centre Congregational Church, has told the Gospel of Mark in venues all over the United States. All are welcome. There is no charge but contributions will be taken at the door. For more information, see www.gospelofmarkalive.com. All are welcome at Centre Congregational Church, an Open and Affirming Congregation and a Just Peace Church, March 6, when Reverend Bert W. Marshall, will lead the worship at 10 a.m. He will offer a meditation and will share with us the bread and cup of Communion. 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. Child care for younger children is provided. Ongoing church activities include the Prayer Shawl Ministry at 4:40 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 to 12:30, Monday through Friday. For information, call 802-254-4730 or see www.centrechurchvt.org.

Journeying

Jamaica: The Jamaica Community Church welcomes all visitors to join the congregation as it gathers on Sunday at 10 a.m. On the fourth Sunday in Lent, the Rev. Norma Drosky will preach on "The Journey Home," based on Joshua 5:9-12 and Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32. Sometimes, we physically wander away from our home with God. At other times, we wander away mentally or spiritually. Any way that you wander, God and your faith community will be there to help us journey home. The Jamaica Community Church is located "In the Heart of Jamaica," at 7 Depot St. For more information, email jamaicachurch@copper.net, leave a message at 802-874-7019 or find Jamaica Community Church Jamaica VT on Facebook.

Forgiven

Brattleboro: Worship on Sunday at First United Methodist Church will feature scripture from Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32, read by Betty Stacy, telling the story of the prodigal son. Rev. Cheryl Meachen's sermon, entitled "Forgive, Forgiven, Forgiving," will explore Jesus' story of forgiveness from the standpoints of the son, the father and the brother. The Children's Message is "He Loves Me" also based on Luke 15:20 and will teach that the unconditional love of God is more certain than picking the petals off a daisy. The choir, directed by Jenny Hinton will sing. Kevin Mills will play the organ. The church is located at 18 Town Crier Drive off Putney Road and is handicap-accessible. For more information e-mail fumcob@gmail.com, phone 802-254-4218 or visit fumcob.wordpress.com. All are welcome.

Called again

West Brattleboro: The worship service on March 6 at First Congregational Church, 880 Western Avenue, an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, features Interim Pastor Jeremy Kirk's sermon, "Forgiven, Renewed, and Called Again," based on 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 and Luke 15:1-3 and 11b-32. Organist Bill McKim's prelude is "Ciacona in D" by J. Pachelbel. The offertory is F. Couparin's "Alla Breve," and the Postlude, Pachelbel's "Toccata in C." Congregational hymns are "In the Midst of New Dimensions," "Softly and Tenderly," and "Amazing Grace." Sunday morning worship is at 10 a.m. with child care provided following the Children's Time. There is a fellowship hour following worship. 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 fccwb1770@gmail.com. Telephone is 802-254-9767. The church office is open Wednesday and Friday 1 to 5 p.m.

Not proud

Bellows Falls: Service at First Baptist Church of Bellows Falls will focus on things we have done that we are not proud of. There are closed doors in our lives that we don't want to ever open again. As fallible human beings with free will, we are bound to make mistakes and have regrets. Perhaps you believe what you have done is unforgivable, perhaps you feel you don't deserve to be loved because of the trouble in your life. There is good news for you! You are loveable, you are loved and you can come to believe that in your heart if you choose to let in the Lord. The love of our God is unlimited. Where we fall short, the Lord never fails. God is always there ready to give us another chance, to forgive us when we falter and to lift us up when we fall. Each day we are reborn into abundant life as God's children. With the Easter season upon us, let us remember the beauty of God's mercy, of the completeness of God's love. Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians that "if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!" The title of Sunday's sermon is "Reborn Thru God's Grace." All welcome 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. where we will be looking at the Gospel of Mark. For more information, please contact Pastors Steven and Terri at 802-463-3220. Located at 9 Church St. American Baptists serve others as "the hands and feet of Jesus."

Be humble

Brattleboro: Grumbling! The crowd around Jesus was grumbling. Grumbling because Jesus welcomed those who traditionally had been set apart: tax collectors and sinners. Who are those who cause us to grumble? Whose seemingly undeserved handout or unearned status change filled our hearts with resentment this week? Jesus speaks to us today because we too often see life as a game with winners and losers, points and playbooks, offense and defense. Can we open our hearts and minds to hear today's humbling good news? God's love is freely shared with all: we cannot earn it, we cannot deserve it. This Sunday the gospel reading is the well-known story of the prodigal son. Which brother are you like? Come to worship, whichever one you are, and join in God's feast of mercy. Sunday's 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.

Soup and bread

Walpole, N.H.: Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Hasting House join the members of the Walpole Unitarian Church for Family First Sunday. Enjoy a "Soup and Bread" potluck followed by conversation regarding "Hunger in Our Own Area" and strategies to help ensure no one is in need for this basic sustenance. We will also discuss our Equal Exchange project.

Kenya trip

Saxtons River: This Sunday, Christ's Church welcomes members of the Salter-Roy family who will be sharing slides and commentary from their recent service trip with the Brattleboro Interfaith Youth Group to Kaiguchu, Kenya. Many probably remember the collection of new and good used jeans from November through January by the Church for the family to take and distribute on this trip. Join us for our 10 a.m. Worship Service in the Fellowship Room and "take in" the experience of their very special journey. Following the service there will be an opportunity of visit over coffee and refreshments. Christ's Church is handicapped accessible and all are welcome. For more information, call 802-869-2340 or visit www.christschurchsr.org. .

The greatest prayer

Dummerston: Worship at the Dummerston Congregational Church UCC begins at 10 a.m. for January through March. This Sunday focuses on the Lord's Prayer and the book, "The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message," by John Dominic Crossan. Music leadership will be provided by Mary Westbrook-Geha, organist. The Children's Story continues our "Walk Through Holy Week," based on Luke 22:47-23:25, the story of the Arrest and Trials of Jesus. Children begin in worship and then go to an open classroom, led by Billie Slade, Church school director. There will is a prayer group Thursdays in Lent from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the parsonage office, with soup following. A "Dove Board" has been placed in the church entry with suggestions of small items for people living with AIDS. Donations of durable foods, personal care items and household goods for the Drop-In Center Food Pantry may be left in the church entry. Reservations are being accepted for a Turkey Dinner on March 19 to support Yvonne Harrison's Brattleboro Interfaith Youth Group (BIYG) Trip to a Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. She needs to raise $500. Donations may be made directly toward her expenses by sending a check to the church noted BIYG trip. Redeemable bottles may be left at church for group expenses or at the Putney Road Redeemable Center for the BIGY account. 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, contact Pastor Susanna Griefen, 257-0544, susanna@griefen.com or visit www.dummerstonchurch.org.

Sharing

Guilford: The refugee experience will be the focus of tomorrow's 10 a.m. worship at Guilford Community Church, UCC. Tony Barrand will open the service with his solo version of "Come Oh Thou Traveler Unknown," and the choir will add to the theme during the service with two anthems, "Climbing High Mountains," and " I'll Die No More for Bread." Carter Falk and Derrick Harnish, youth of the church, selected as Youth Ambassadors for the National United Church of Christ, will ask the congregation to consider the situation of the millions of refugees currently living in desperate situations on the planet. Their situation connects directly to the story of so many in the Bible who lost home and property and depended on the kindness of others. Rev Sparrow will reflect on the many forms of care and concern, including prayer and promoting public policy, which we can offer. One Great Hour of Sharing, the refugee, relief and development program of the United Church of Christ, supports projects in more than 100 countries, including the United States and Canada. Carry Me Home (www.facebook.com/CarryMeHomeWithLove) is a local organization dedicated to providing clothing for Syrian refugees in Croatia, and which operates out of Centre Church UCC. The children of the church will bake bread during Sunday School, the middle school will prepare a meal for the Overflow Shelter and the teens will meet at noon with the interfaith youth group to plan the summer trip to South Dakota. Nursery Care will be provided. Everyone is welcome. Guilford Community Church, UCC, is Open and Affirming, fully handicapped accessible, and committed to providing hearing assistance and ASL interpretation, if given notice ahead. For more information, call 802-257-2776, visit www.guilfordchurch.org or find Guilford Community Church on Facebook.

Suffering and joy

Townshend: Please join us on Sunday at The Townshend Church, when Rev. James Scott will be with us providing the sermon "when suffering becomes joy." The Biblical references are Joshua 5:9-12 and Luke 15:11-32. Fellowship hour immediately follows the service. All are welcome. The Townshend Church is an ABC and UCC congregation guided by its members.

'Ministry is ...'

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's theme is "Ministry Is ..." presented by Antonia Andreoli. "Traditional churches depend on the hierarchy of ministry — the sacred priests and teachers, anointed to guide and care for their flocks. Our own UU origins were with leaders like this, who preached a message of equality, community and personal responsibility ... which broke open the limits of 'ministry.'" Childcare is available upon request. All Souls at the West Village Meeting House is a Welcoming Congregation and a Green Sanctuary. All Souls is located at 29 South St. For more information or directions, call 802-254-9377, e-mail office@ascvt.org or visit www.ascvt.org.

Exuberance

Newfane: The First Congregational Church of Newfane will meet for Morning Worship and Holy Communion at 10 a.m. on March 6, the Fourth Sunday in Lent. Rev. Rob Hamm's sermon is titled "Exuberant Love," with scriptures from Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32. Congregational hymns are "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing," "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," and "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing." Alice Gausch, organist, will play the prelude "Lenten Meditation" by Rasley and the postlude "Legions for Christ" by Wilson. The choir will sing the offertory anthem "Come Share the Lord" by Leech. The Contemplative Prayer Adult Study Group will meet right after the service. The church's mission for the month of March is Cone Great Hour of Sharing. We also continue to collect donations of canned goods and non-perishable food for the Townshend Food Shelf. We are also seeking donations of items for Hygiene Kits for use by Church World Service. Donations may be brought to the church and left in the baskets in the Narthex. Events for the upcoming week include Al-Anon on Monday at 7:30 p.m., and Sew What's at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Wednesday at 6:15 p.m., the Missions Committee will meet, followed by Trustees meeting at 6:30 p.m. and Council meeting at 7:30 p.m. Senior Lunch will be held on Thursday at noon. Bells and Choir practice begin at 4:45 and 6:30 respectively on Thursday evening. Call 802-365-4079 or visit the church website at www.newfanechurch.org for more information. Everyone is welcome.


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