Religion news and notes

No river wide enough

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 Bert W. Marshall will be leading the service. His sermon is entitled, "Ain't No River Wide Enough," with references to Mark 4:1-14 and Revelation 21:10, 22-22.5. 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 a.m. through the service. For further information about the services at Centre Congregational Church, call 802-254-4730.

Everlasting mercy

Brattleboro: For centuries, people have wrestled with the concepts of original sin and everlasting punishment. Mary Baker Eddy framed the question this way: "Does divine Love commit a fraud on humanity by making man inclined to sin, and then punishing him for it? Would any one call it wise and good to create the primitive, and then punish its derivative?" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.") This week's sermon at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, looks at the everlasting mercy of God, and how an understanding of God's nature as Love uncovers and heals sin. "Evil is sometimes a man's highest conception of right, until his gasp on good grows stronger" Eddy writes. Sunday morning at 10:45 for worship. Sunday School for children and teens meets at the same time. 57 Putney Road. Call 802-254-4924 for more information.

My father's world

Newfane: The First Congregational Church of Newfane will meet for morning worship and Holy Communion at 10 a.m. on May 1, the sixth Sunday of Easter. The Rev. Rob Hamm's meditation is titled "Report from Away," with scriptures from Acts 16:9-15. Congregational hymns are "This is My Father's World," "Dear Christ, Uplifted from the Earth," and "Go Forth for God." The prelude "Peaceful River," by Keeney and the postlude "Postlude on a Theme by Haydn," by Carrier will be played by organist, Alice Gausch. The choir will sing the offertory anthem "Child of God," by V. White. The church's mission for the month of May is the Women's Freedom Center. The church continues 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 Sew What's at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. On Thursday, the Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. and the Called to Care committee will meet at 6 p.m. Choir practice is held at 6:30 on Thursday evening. Please call the church office at 802-365-4079 or visit the church website at for more information. Everyone is welcome.

Pride and faith

Brattleboro: Sunday's worship service begins at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church, 190 Main St., with Sunday School for all ages at 10:15. Nursery care is available. Everyone is welcome for worship and fellowship at the historic church where we share our pride in our past and faith in our future. Pastor Suzanne Andrews shares words to enrich the week ahead: "May the Love of God, the grace of our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Go forth into the world in peace; be of good courage;hold fast that which is good; return no one evil for evil, but forgive,as your Heavenly Father has forgiven you. Love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of His Holy Spirit, and in His Love which enfolds you."

Relying on Jesus

Bellows Falls: Sunday at First Baptist Church of Bellows Falls will center on the healing that is possible when we rely on Jesus: healing of body, mind and spirit. In the Gospel of John we find a man who has been very ill for 38 years. He is waiting for someone to help him into a pool, where the waters will prove beneficial and allow for healing. Those around him however, step in front of him to get into the water first and he is left without anyone to assist him in his infirmity. Jesus comes to this man who is "last" and heals him on the spot. The sermon is titled: "The Last Will Be First." All are welcome to join for worship, music and community. Sunday School begins at 9:45 a.m. and the Sunday Service begins at 10 a.m. 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 conclude our look at the prophet Jeremiah. For more information, contact Pastors Steven and Terri at 802-463-3220. The church is located at 9 Church St. American Baptists serve others as "the hands and feet of Jesus."

God's presence

Brattleboro: This coming Sunday is the 36th day of Easter, and so we are still singing some rousing Easter hymns. Trinity Lutheran Church continues reading from Acts, Revelation, and John's gospel. Come to worship, to share in the fruits of the tree of life. Our gospel reading from John emphasizes the comforting presence of the triune God within the believing community. We are enjoined to keep God's word, and we are given the gospel promise that God will live within us. Trinity 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. Trinity Lutheran Church is located at 161 Western Ave., Brattleboro, across from Holton Home. Trinity is an Open and Affirming congregation. For more information, visit or call 802-254-4220.

Stupendous gift

Townshend: The Townshend Church will hold its upcoming Sunday service at 10 a.m. on May 1. Rev. Vernon Stanley's sermon is titled, "a stupendous gift." The Biblical reference is Luke 7: 11-17. Dan DeWalt will play the piano. The Townshend Church is an ABC and UCC congregation guided by its lay members. The Townshend Church will hold its annual meeting on May 12. There will be a potluck supper at 6 p.m. followed by the meeting at 7 p.m. You do not have to be a member of the church to attend. All are welcome.

The words

West Brattleboro: All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at the West Village Meeting House invites all to worship on May 1. The service's theme is "The Words That Speak Us." Worship Leader Elizabeth Lewis suggests that our "favorite" words are the ones that speak to us, for us, and through us, illuminating and expressing our understandings of issues that concern us on a daily basis. Contributors are invited to select a word, or perhaps a set of words, and trace its path to personal meaning; together we'll follow its trajectory of associations, implications, and applications, especially as they might relate to our practice of faith and whole living. Everyone is encouraged to come prepared with their own words and reflections of up to several minutes, and we will enjoy spontaneous sharing as time permits. 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, call the office at 802-254-9377, e-mail or


Jamaica: The Jamaica Community Church welcomes all visitors to join as the congregation gathers on Sunday. The Rev. Norma Drosky will preach on "GPS — Global Positioning Spirit," based on Acts 16:6-15 and John 14:23-29. At times, we may not know which direction to go and end up on the same old paths that had served us in the past. But we are called to listen for the Spirit's voice as we discern our path for mission. 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.


Northfield, Mass.: The weekly service at First Parish Unitarian will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday and will include a message by the Rev. Cynthia A. Frado titled "Embodying Dayenu." Passover is a celebration of gratitude and liberation with many rich metaphors for living, whether one is Jewish or not. Among them is the message of sufficiency in the traditional Passover song Dayenu. Music for the service is directed by Lynne Walker. The church is at Main Street and Parker Avenue, with parking across the street behind Town Hall. For more information, call 413-498-5566.

Take my hand

West Brattleboro: During the Sunday worship service on May 1 at First Congregational Church, 880 Western Ave., an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, our delegates will use the sermon time to report on the Vermont UCC Conference. Interim Pastor Jeremy Kirk will also speak briefly on Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5, and John 5:1-9. Organist Bill McKim's prelude is "Fugue in G," by D. Buxtahude. Our choir will sing "Down To the River to Pray," arranged by S. Rice. The offertory is W. Boyce's "Introduction," and the Postlude, Bach's "Fantasia in G." Congregational hymns are "My Life Flows On in Endless Song," "Precious Lord, Take My Hand," and "God's Eye Is On the Sparrow." The sacrament of Holy Communion will be observed. 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 email is Telephone is 802-254-9767. The church office is open Wednesday and Friday 1 to 5 p.m. There will be an interfaith Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance) service at the First Congregational Church on Wednesday, May 4, at 7 p.m. All are welcome.

Recovery Sunday

Brattleboro: Sunday, May 1, is Recovery Sunday at St. Michael's Episcopal Church on Putney Road. At both the 8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. services, we will celebrate God in action in people's lives. Recovery comes in every shape and form. In a real sense it is a name for the Spiritual Journey as we seek to reclaim and recover our identity as children of God. A member of St. Michael's, Susan Avery, will share her experiences of recovery. The service will reflect this theme in readings and prayers. Recovery Sunday is becoming a tradition at St. Michael's having been celebrated for the past four years.

Communion Sunday

Dummerston: Worship at the Dummerston Congregational Church UCC begins at 9:30 a.m. This Sunday is a Communion Sunday with the reception of new members. The service will reflect worship at the UCC Vermont Conference Annual Meeting. Music leadership will be under the direction of Mary Westbrook-Geha, organist. Children begin in worship and then go to an open classroom. There will be a whole church picture after worship on the church steps, weather permitting. The Youth Groups meets Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Junior Choir will meet at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and sing May 8. 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 at 802-257-0544 or, or visit


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