Religion news and notes

Keepin' it real

Brattleboro: We're all looking for the real deal — the genuine article. We know it when we see and hear it. It has the ring of truth. The Bible compares the real and the counterfeit to chaff and wheat. It says, "The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?" (Jeremiah 23:28) There's a lot of chaff to sift through these days. It isn't good for much, so it's worth our while to separate the chaff from the wheat — the counterfeit from the real deal. And the Bible helps us do that. This week's sermon at the Christian Science church is about "Reality." Sunday worship for adults and Sunday School for children and teens begin at 10:45 a.m. at the church at 57 Putney Road. Everyone is welcome. For information please call the Christian Science Reading Room, open Tuesday through Friday, at 802-254-4924.

The good fight

Bellows Falls: This Sunday's service at First Baptist Church in Bellows Falls will focus on 1 Timothy 6, where we hear these words of encouragement from the apostle Paul: "But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." Paul is reminding Timothy that while this life has plenty of challenges, that if we answer the Call, that God promises us an abundant and joyful life here and into eternity. While many of us search for more in this life, we find ourselves focusing of things that do not satisfy our spiritual selves. We often shy away from the idea of life everlasting as it implies that someday we will die. As mortals, this instills fear in us and we often respond by holding tighter to the material pleasures of this life. The good news that Jesus gave to us is that only in relationship with God can we find true happiness. Jesus and his messengers call us to boldly claim the promise of eternal life and let that guide us in the here and now. By following his example we can begin this journey in earnest today. The title of Sunday's sermon is "Take Hold." Pastors office hours are 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays followed by Bible Study from 3 to 4 p.m. We welcome all to join us for worship, music and community. The Sunday Service begins at 10 a.m. Sunday school for high school aged youth begins at 9:40. Sunday School for all other age groups begins following the children's time. Child care is also provided following the children's time. For more information, contact Pastors Steven and Terri at 802-463-3220. Located at 9 Church Street. American Baptists serve others as "the hands and feet of Jesus."

Sharing riches

Brattleboro: Jesus' parable introduces us to a rich man who eats a feast every day but refuses to share anything with Lazarus. He is very selfish; evil has captured his heart. After both men die, Lazarus is comforted while the rich man is denied even a drop of water. This dichotomy still exists for people who live at opposite ends of the economic spectrum. How can our church serve as a bridge that crosses the great chasm separating the haves and the have-nots? Are there stories we can share that show how more equitable relations between rich and poor communities are possible? Trinity Lutheran Church offers a half hour worship service at 8:30 a.m. and its traditional service at 10:30, with a coffee hour following the later service. Sunday School for all ages and an 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 or call 802-254-4220. Trinity Lutheran Church is holding an Octoberfest dinner on Saturday, Oct. 1. The menu includes bratwurst, knockwurst, sauerkraut, red potatoes, green beans, bread and dessert. There will be two seatings — 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Make reservations by calling the church office at 802-254-4220.

Who are we?

West Brattleboro: All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at the West Village Meeting House, invites all to worship on Sunday at 10 a.m. This Sunday's theme is "Who Do We Say That We Are?" Rev. Shayna Appel continues her exploration of this month's theme of Covenant as we move forward together: "Continuing our exploration of covenant we turn now to the question of what it means to us as members and friends of ASC to live together in covenant. Why does this congregation exist? For what greater purpose do we strive? And how shall we learn, love, work and play together in order to further that common goal?" All Souls at the West Village Meeting House is a Welcoming Congregation and a Green Sanctuary. All Souls is located at 29 South Street across the road up from the West Brattleboro fire station and village green. For more information or directions, call 802-254-9377, e-mail or visit

Music celebration

Brattleboro: Twenty-five years ago, Susan Dedell began her work as St. Michael's Episcopal Church's Director of Music. Her ministry has been marked by the desire to enhance worship through music in many different ways, including development of The Choir School and incorporation of music such as the "Missa Gaia," which will be part of the 10:15 a.m. service on Oct. 2. This Sunday, Bishop Thomas Ely will recognize Susan at the 10:15 a.m. service and there will be a special coffee hour following that service in celebration of her 25 years with St. Michael's. All who wish to celebrate with Susan are invited to attend.

Really life

Dummerston: Sunday Services at Dummerston Congregational Church will begin at 9:30 a.m. under the leadership of Guest Worship Leader Jeanne Zammataro. The choir will perform. Scripture for the morning will be Psalm No. 146 and 1 Timothy 6:6-12 and 17-19. In lieu of a sermon, Gabe Morse, Yvonne Harrison, Felipe and Martin Sipowicz, Lee Jacobson-Mohr and Rob Szpila, all of whom are adults and youth from the Brattleboro area, will present a video, "Life that is Really Life," regarding their service trip to La Plante, S.D., where they did needed projects for a Lakota community, provided a summer camp for Lakota children and made friends with Lakota youths. Call or e-mail Mary Westbrook-Geha if you plan to attend Sunday. Children begin the service in the sanctuary and then go downstairs for their Sunday School classes. They return to the sanctuary at the end of the service to return to the care of their parents. DCC is an open and affirming and Green Justice church where all are welcome. Apple pie making begins on Monday morning, Sept. 26. Sessions are currently scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon and 4 to 9 p.m. Come when you can, as often as you can, for as long as you can. Pie making takes place Monday through Friday next week and Monday through Thursday the following week.

Surprise investment

Newfane: The First Congregational Church of Newfane will meet for morning worship at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The Rev. Rob Hamm's meditation is titled "Surprise Investment." The scripture is from Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15. Congregational hymns are "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing," "Open My Eyes That I May See," and "I'm Gonna Live So God Can Use Me." The prelude "Two Bach Chorales," and the postlude "How Firm a Foundation," by Hughes, will be played by Alice Gausch. The Offertory Anthem "I'm Gonna Lift My Sister Up," arranged by P. Amidon will be sung by the choir. The mission for the month of September is Mussoorie Village Development. We continue to collect donations of canned goods and non-perishable foods 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 on Monday, Al-Anon meets at 7:30 p.m., and on Tuesday, Sew What's meets at 5 p.m. On Wednesday, apple pie making for Heritage Festival begins at 9:30 a.m. and the Deacons meet at 10 a.m. On Thursday, Men's Coffee begins at 10 a.m., handbells practice starts at 4:15 p.m., and choir practice begins at 6:30 p.m. Call the church office at 802-365-4079 or visit for more information.

Your story

Brattleboro: All are welcome at Centre Congregational Church for Sunday Service when Reverend Bert Marshall will be leading the service. His meditation is entitled, "If This is Your Land, Where are your Stories?" The Adult Class will meet from 9 to 9:30 a.m. in the church library, now reading "The Meaning of Human Existence," by Edward O. Wilson. 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 a.m. through the service. Service on Sunday will feature the Kurn Hattin chorus, followed by a cook-out and old-time games on the lawn. During the summer months, flowers on our altar are gifts from the gardeners in our midst. If you would like to make a flower offering please notify the church office. In addition, all friends and neighbors are invited to attend the Centre Church Bicentennial with a contra dance on Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. in Memorial Hall. This is a family friendly event for all ages and levels and experience, taught and called by Andy Davis, with accordion and fiddle. Refreshments are served. Admission is $5. For more information, call the church office at 802-254-4730.

Outrageous hope

Jamaica: The Jamaica Community Church welcomes all visitors to join us as the congregation gathers at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The Rev. Norma Drosky will preach on "Outrageous Hope" based on Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15 and Luke 16:19-31. Jeremiah buys land when Jerusalem is about to be captured by the Babylonians; eventually his outrageous hope was vindicated. The nameless rich man had all the advantages in life; while Lazarus was destitute; however, in the end it was named Lazarus whose outrageous hope was justified. Are you outrageously hopeful or hopeless? Jamaica Community Church is located "In the Heart of Jamaica" at 7 Depot St. For more information, email, leave a message at 802-874-7019 or find Jamaica Community Church Jamaica VT on Facebook.

Worship service

Vernon: Vernon Union Church, located at 2631 Fort Bridgeman Road, has worship on Sunday at 10 a.m. Adult Bible Study starts at 9 a.m., preceded by prayer at 8:15 a.m. On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. there is an hour of sharing and praying. The Pastor is available for individuals Monday through Friday; call for an appointment at 802-257-8523 or visit

Blessed life

Townshend: The Townshend Church's Sunday service will be at 10 a.m. Pastor Donald Hashem will continue with the second in a series of sermons titled, "The Keys to a Blessed Life." The text is Matthew 5:1-12. Stay for our fellowship hour immediately following the service. All are welcome. The Townshend Church is an ABC and UCC congregation guided by its lay members.

Weekend mass

Brattleboro: The weekend mass schedule at St. Michael Roman Catholic Parish at 47 Walnut Street starts on Saturday at 4 p.m., followed by Sunday at 8 and 10:30 a.m. The weekday mass schedule is Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m., Wednesdays at 8:45 a.m., and Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 a.m. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults Program at will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 6:30 p.m. You may be interested in this program if you wish to join the Catholic Church or return after many years. If you'd like more information, please call the rectory at 802-257-5101.

Flute master

Westminster West: Gary Stroutsos, World Flute Master, will be at the Congregational Church of Westminster West on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 10 a.m. Stroutsos performs world flute music drawn from traditional cultures. Evoking a spirit of place and the voices of the land, his work includes internationally acclaimed recordings at sacred places. Most recently he performed at the Grand Canyon for the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service. His work was showcased in the Ken Burns PBS documentary "Lewis and Clark: Journey of the Crops of Discovery," which led to a command performance at the White House for President Bill Clinton. There will be a Saturday afternoon workshop at 4 p.m. with a pot luck at 5:45. The concert, featuring the Spirit of Place and the Voices of the Land, begins at 7:30 (doors open at 7). This is a continuation of the church's broadening outreach exploring nature-based spirituality, other world spiritual traditions and offering additional ways to connect meaningfully with one another. Suggested donation is $15 for adults for the workshop and $15 for the concert (or a combined $25); $5 for students for the workshop and $5 for the concert. Children younger than 12 are free.

Crafting for the homeless

Brattleboro: Come join the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community for its third year of making a difference on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 9th, from 1 to 3 p.m., to craft items for the homeless population in the area. Using traditional crafts, we will make hats, scarves, blankets and sleeping mats from yarn and fleece fabric. Our group will meet the first Sunday of the month after this session. Some people come to learn to knit or crochet, others arrive with projects already underway. Some are members of BAJC; some are not. All are welcome. We donate our projects to Groundworks Collaborative. Our meetings are lively and welcoming, with adults and children of both genders who talk and work and share ideas and thoughts. Some people take yarn home to continue their work on projects. In addition to some funding from BAJC, we welcome donations of yarn and fleece. For questions or comments, call Janet Athens at 802-254-8454. Brattleboro Area Jewish Community, Congregation Shir Heharim is located at 151 Greenleaf Street in West Brattleboro. For more information visit


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