Religion news and notes

The hardest prayer

Dummerston: Worship at the Dummerston Congregational Church UCC begins at 10 a.m. for January through March. This Sunday focuses on Luke 22: 39-44. The Meditation is "The Hardest Prayer: Your Will Be Done." Melissa White will open the service with a Liturgical Dance to "Were You There" accompanied by Mary Westbrook-Geha, Organist. There will be a time in the service for Words of Remembrance for Janet Avery and for Rev. Lynda Hadley, former Pastor. The Children's Story continues our "Walk Through Holy Week," based on Luke 23:36-56, the death and burial 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. The church and Grange provide the Meal for the Overflow Shelter Tuesday, March 15. To donate, bake or serve, call the church office. Reservations are being accepted for a Turkey Dinner on March 19 to support Yvonne Harrison's Brattleboro Interfaith Youth Group Trip to a Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. She need 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. Donations of Easter Lilies to be given to the elderly, ill, grieving and home-bound may be arranged through the church office. 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, 802-257-0544, or find us at

The great persecutor

Bellows Falls: Sunday's Service at First Baptist Church of Bellows Falls will focus on Paul, who was a great persecutor of the church and who had an experience that changed his life. He would go on to champion his beliefs about the saving qualities of Christ's death and resurrection. This road was not easy for Paul and he endured great hardship, yet he prevailed. Paul was essential in sustaining the early church and among his writings is the earliest recorded writing of the New Testament. Paul's message endures and those saving qualities of the cross are still available to all of us. The title of the sermon is "Getting Closer to the Cross." First Baptist Church of Bellows Falls welcomes all 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. 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. We are located at 9 Church St. American Baptists serve others as "the hands and feet of Jesus."

Mary anoints Jesus

Brattleboro: We are nearing the conclusion of Lent. This Sunday's gospel story is of Mary of Bethany who at the dinner table anointed Jesus' body, as if he were already dead. We gather together this Sunday, remembering the death of Christ, yet feasting on the life of his body in Holy Communion. Come join Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Paul, John, and the rest of us at the feast. 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 or call 802-254-4220.


Newfane: The First Congregational Church of Newfane will meet for Morning Worship at 10 a.m. on March 13, the Fifth Sunday in Lent. Rev. Rob Hamm's sermon is titled "Extravagant Introduction," with scriptures from John 12:1-8. Congregational hymns are "The Church's One Foundation," "Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling," and "Lift High the Cross." Guest musicians Jim Kyle on ukulele and Dan Marx on recorder will play the prelude "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," by J.S.Bach. Alice Gausch, organist, will play the postlude "Festival" by Price." The choir will sing the offertory anthem "You Raise Me Up," arranged by Fettke. The Contemplative Prayer Adult Study Group will meet after the service in the Wilson Room. The mission for the month of March is One Great Hour of Sharing. The church continues 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 Linus Quilters at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Ladies Aid will meet on Thursday morning at 10 (weather permitting). Bells and Choir practice begin at 4:45 and 6:30 respectively on Thursday evening. Call the church office at 802-365-4079 or visit the church website at for more information. Everyone is welcome!

Finding meaning

West Brattleboro: All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at the West Village Meeting House, invites all to worship on Sunday, March 13, at 10 a.m. The service's theme is "Finding Meaning in Food: Brewing, Local Food, and Spirituality." ASC member Alex Stinson asks us to ponder this question: Eating is an activity that we do every day, but do we consciously acknowledge how that act shapes our connection to the world around us? In his talk, Alex explores how his food practices create a world of ecological, cultural, and spiritual meaning through some of its yummiest morsels. 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 Street across the road up from the West Brattleboro fire station and village green. For more information or directions, call the office at 802-254-9377, e-mail or visit

Desert rivers

Brattleboro: All are welcome at Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St., an Open and Affirming Congregation and a Just Peace Church. This Sunday, March 13, pastor Reverend Bert W. Marshall will lead the worship at 10 a.m. His meditation is entitled, "Rivers in the Desert." Scripture references are Isaiah 43:16-21 and John 12:1-8. 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 church service. 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. This Sunday, March 13, at 3 p.m., Centre Congregational Church is proud to present "The Gospel of Mark Alive." Reverend Bert W. Marshall will tell the Gospel of Mark from memory, as he has done to great acclaim in venues all over the country. For further information about this performance please Google "The Gospel of Mark Alive," and/or Bert W. Marshall.

Random acts

Jamaica: The Jamaica Community Church welcomes all visitors to join us as the congregation gathers on Sunday on March 13, at 10 a.m. On the fifth Sunday in Lent, the Rev. Norma Drosky will preach on "Journeying With a Purpose," based on Isaiah 43:16-21 and John 12:1-8. "Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty," is a nice concept; however, we are called to be purposeful in our living. With a purpose, God made "a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert" for the Israelites to come home safely. With a purpose, Jesus Christ journeyed to Jerusalem to his death. So we are also called to live our lives with a purpose. The 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.

Difficult texts

West Brattleboro: The worship service on March 13 at First Congregational Church, 880 Western Ave., an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, will be presented by Interim Pastor Jeremy Kirk. His sermon is "The Difficult Texts," based on John 12:1-8. Organist Bill McKim's prelude is "Koraal," by F. Peeters. The anthem will be Mendelssohn's "I Will Sing of Thy Mercies." The offertory is A. Vivaldi's "Adagio," and the Postlude, L. Widor's "Finale for Symphony #4." Congregational hymns are "Bring Many Names," "O, Sacred Head Now Wounded," and "I Sing a Song of the Saints of God." 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 and email is Telephone is 802-254-9767. The church office is open Wednesday and Friday 1 to 5 p.m.

Coffee and conversation

Saxtons River: This Sunday, March 13, will be a Communion Sunday. Rev. Ivy Merrill will be leading the 10 a.m. Worship Service in the Fellowship Room. Following will be an opportunity for coffee and conversation. On Wednesday, March 16, the Lenten Study Group will be meeting in the Pastor's Study at 4:30 p.m. All are invited whether or not you have been able to attend any of the previous meetings. Following the gathering there is an opportunity to stay for the Christ Church Blue Door Soup Supper, a great meal of soup and bread, and a chance to visit with friends and neighbors. The Church expresses a special thank you to the Salter-Roy family — Todd, Wanda, Alice and Timothy — for their wonderful Kenya presentation at last Sunday's worship. It gave those in attendance a true awareness of the regions of Kenya that they visited. Christ's Church is handicapped accessible and all are welcome. For further information, call 802-869-2340 or visit

The anointing

Guilford: Mary, sister of Lazarus, will feature prominently at tomorrow's 10 a.m. worship service at Guilford Community Church, an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ. The story of the anointing of Jesus is a precursor to Christ's crucifixion and death and a moment of pause during Lent during which we realize Christ's humanity as well as his sacrifice. Peter Amidon will lead the choir in two anthems: "Ubi Caritas,"and Bobby McFerrin's 23rd Psalm. The teens will meet with Andy Davis during the latter half of the service to learn skills for story-telling which they will use to raise awareness of the issues facing the Cheyenne River Sioux and the roles they will take this July on the interfaith service trip. The middle school and elementary will prepare gifts for shut ins and learn to make palm crosses in preparation for Palm Sunday next week. After church the congregation are encouraged to stay for a discussion of the book "Our Kids," by Robert Putnam, facilitated by Dunham Rowley as part of our Lenten series focussed on issues facing contemporary youth around the world and the roles people of faith can play addressing their needs. Everyone is welcome. Guilford Community Church, UCC, 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 802-257-2776, check the website at or find Guilford Community Church on Facebook.

Guided by lay members

Townshend: The Townshend Church Sunday service will be at 10 a.m. on March 13. Donald Hashem will provide the sermon and his wife, Carmen, the music. Fellowship hour immediately follows the service. The Townshend Church is an ABC and UCC congregation guided by its lay members. All are welcome.


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