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'Taking it Easy'

Bellows Falls: Being overwhelmed by anxiety has become a way of life for many of us in this busy world. Sometimes it is hard to relax without feeling guilty that there is work to do. We feel torn over where to turn our attention, torn between our loved ones, our work, our play and our God. Often our relationship with God comes last on our to-do list. God has become an afterthought. When we consciously put God first, we can feel increasingly nourished, strengthened and energized, redirecting us into a more loving and peaceful way of life. This Sunday at First Baptist Church of Bellows Falls, 9 Church Street, we will revisit some familiar scriptures with fresh perspective on ways to invite the Divine more fully in our lives. The sermon is entitled "Taking it Easy." This is especially important as we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent and seek to prepare our hearts to receive the baby Jesus. Following our service we will be celebrating the First Sunday in Advent with Christmas decorating party for kids and adults alike. Come join in the fun!

Overcoming evil

Brattleboro: Centuries ago, the apostle Paul wrote these words of encouragement: "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." When we're in the middle of a crisis, whether it's a personal, community, or world crisis, it's not always easy to know how to do that. But people of faith have for centuries turned their thought to God, the source of all good, in times of challenge and found deep resources of hope, courage, and intelligent direction. "Controlled by the divine intelligence, man is harmonious and eternal." (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.) This week's sermon brings out some of the ways we can be more alert and awake to the power of good, and contribute meaningfully, here and now, to overcoming evil with good. Sunday worship at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, is at 10:45 a.m. at 57 Putney Road. Excerpts from each week's sermon are on display 24/7 in the window of the Christian Science Reading Room at 10 Elliot Street. Or drop into the Reading Room Tuesday through Saturday. (Call 802-254-4924 for hours.)

Refine your longing

Brattleboro: At Centre Congregational Church, Reverend Bert W. Marshall will lead the Sunday worship at 10 a.m. His sermon is entitled "Refine Your Longing Here," with scripture references from Mark 13: 14-37 and the Book of Mercy by Leonard Cohen No. 16. 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.

Shake things Up

Chesterfield, N.H.: During the holiday season, the hustle and the bustle gets the most of many people. When it reaches its peak, many people long for peace, constancy, and stability in their day to day. In response, many will turn to the church. If this season you search out Asbury for that reason, you might be looking in the wrong place as Asbury Church of Chesterfield is working to become a different kind of faith community. Asbury is working to become that church that tosses the way you have always done things on its ear. We are chasing a faith that shakes things up, breaks the status quo, and changes our lives and communities. We invite you to be a part of this special community and journey. As we begin moving towards Christmas with the start of our Advent Season, be a part of the discussion on how – if done right – this season can change everything and shake us up. Services are on Sunday at 10 a.m. For more information visit us on Facebook or at www.chesterfieldumc.org.

'The Unnamed Candle'

Dummerston: Worship at the Dummerston Congregational Church UCC begins at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. This First Sunday of Advent the Saxtons River Ringers Bell choir will be in worship. Music will also be provided by Mary Westbrook-Geha, organist. Children begin in worship and then go to an open classroom where they are studying the story of Ruth and Naomi, from Ruth 1-4. The Scripture for the day is Luke 18: 35-43 and the Mediation is "the Unnamed Candle." There will be a congregational meeting after worship. At 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29, will be the Lighting of the town tree on the Common with caroling, and cookies and hot chocolate in the church kitchen following. "Christmas Adventures" for children through 4th grade begins Thursday 3-4:30 p.m. for games, snacks, crafts and pageant practice. Children may take the bus from school with a note from parents. 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 please contact Pastor Susanna Griefen, 257-0544, susanna@griefen.com or find us at www.dummerstonchurch.org.

'Trees for Sale' quilt

Guilford: Tomorrow is the first Sunday in Advent, marking the new year and the coming of Christmas. Pageant rehearsal for the children at Guilford Community Church will begin during Sunday School and preparations are also beginning for the Annual Christmas Bazaar to be held next Saturday, December 5, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Judith Siler has specially pieced a quilt with the "Trees for Sale" design to be raffled off at the bazaar. The tickets are $2 each or three for five, available at the church office, from church members and at the bazaar. Kenyan tea and coffee will be also sold by the interfaith youth group which will be traveling to Kenya in February. Wreaths, crafts and Christmas food items as well as Christmas white elephants and other raffle items and delicious lunch will also be available. The 10 a.m. Sunday services during Advent will all be marked by an introit featuring three of the four Nowell Sing We Clear ensemble, reprising songs they have sung for years. This week Tony Barrand will reprise his solo "This Is the Truth Sent From Above". "The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came" and "Break Forth oh Beauteous Light" will be the featured choir anthems, under the direction of Andy Davis, and the congregation will join in favorite Christmas carols, hymns and prayers. Rev. Lise Sparrow will offer reflections on Jeremiah 33:14-16 and Luke 21:25-36 in light of current tragedies and on the hope of the season. The church is fully handicapped accessible and committed to providing hearing assistance and ASL interpretation, if given notice ahead. The church is located one mile south of exit 1 on Route 5 just in back of the Guilford Country Store. For more information call 257-2776, visit www.guilfordchurch.org or friend us on Facebook at "Guilford Community Church."

'Ready or Not, Here I Come'

Jamaica: The Jamaica Community Church welcomes all visitors to join us as the congregation gathers on Sunday on November 29th at 10 a.m. On the 1st Sunday in Advent, the Rev. Norma Drosky will preach on "Ready or Not, Here I Come" based on Jeremiah 33:14-16 and Luke 21:25-36. Advent is a time of anticipation and preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus comes to us whether we are ready or not, so let us prepare ourselves to welcome Christ once again in our lives. The Jamaica Community Church is located "In the Heart of Jamaica" at 7 Depot St., PO Box 287, Jamaica, VT 05343 For more information, email jamaicachurch@copper.net, leave a message at 802-874-7019 or visit our Facebook page – Jamaica Community Church Jamaica VT.

'Abounding in love'

Newfane: The First Congregational Church of Newfane will meet for Morning Worship at 10 a.m., on Nov. 29, the First Sunday of Advent. Rev. Rob Hamm's sermon, "Abounding in Love," includes scriptures from 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 and Luke 21:25-36. The Shine family will light the First Advent Candle, the Candle of Hope. Congregational hymns are "Christmas is Coming," "My Lord! What a Morning" and "Lift Up Your Heads, O Mighty Gates." Alice Gausch organist will play the prelude "O Come O Come Emmanuel" arranged by Smith and the postlude "The Lord is My Light" by Allitson. The choir will sing the offertory anthem "You Raise Me Up" by Loveland & Graham. The church's mission for the month of November is Groundworks Collaborative and 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., Sew What's at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Deacons' Meeting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Bells and Choir rehearsals begin at 4:45 and 6:30 respectively on Thursday evening. Call 802-365-4079 or visit www.newfanechurch.org for more information.

Being green

West Brattleboro: All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, at the West Village Meeting House, invites all to worship on Sunday, Nov. 29, at 10 a.m. The service's theme is "It Isn't Easy Being Green." As an appetizer to "Greens Sunday," wreath making and other preparations for the Holiday Bazaar, ASC members Daniel Kasnitz and Jeanne Austin explore myriad ways to "Be Green," the efforts required, and preconceptions about the process and the results. Congregants are encouraged to bring an object that represents a positive expression of "Being Green" to our shortened service, then to join in preparing for the 2015 ASC Holiday Bazaar immediately following the service. 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, call 802-254-9377, e-mail office@ascvt.org or visit www.ascvt.org.

Be always ready

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 Sunday, Nov. 29th, the first Sunday in Advent, the 10 a.m. worship service will be led by interim pastor Jeremy Kirk. Scripture will include Jeremiah 33: 14-16 and Luke 21:25-36. Hymns include "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," "Keep Awake, Be Always Ready" and "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus." Choir rehearsal is at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Childcare is available. Bible Study meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. Please join us for our annual Holiday Bazaar, today, Saturday Nov. 28, from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. The church's website is www.wbucc.com and email is fccwb1770@gmail.com. Telephone is 802-254-9767. The church office is open Fridays 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.


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