Religion news and notes
Halifax: The Halifax Union Society marks its 125th anniversary at a special service this Sunday evening at 6 p.m. The Rev. Dr. Marcia Dorey, organist Merrillyn Courser, and Society members will look back at the early history of Halifax churches, the story of the Halifax Union Society, and the example of the Great Cloud of Witnesses in the Biblical story of Hebrews. The Halifax Union Society was formed in 1891, taking over the former Baptist church in Halifax Center. It is a liberal associated church, undenominational and independent. Services are held on Sunday evenings during the summer season and visitors are welcome. The Halifax Union Society is located at 44 Stowe Mountain Road near the crossroads in Halifax Center, where Jacksonville Stage, Old County, Woodard Hill, and Stowe Mountain Roads come together. For more information, email HalifaxUnionSociety@gmail.com.
Like a trap
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 Marshall will lead the worship. His meditation is entitled, "Like a Trap," with scripture reference from Genesis 18:20-32 and Luke 11:1-13. The Adult Class will meet from 9 to 9:50 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. During the summer months, the 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 at 802-254-4730. For your interest, Moment for Peace will be held on Aug. 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the church parlor. This is a time we set aside for prayer, meditation, and music related to our hopes for peace. Also, on Aug. 6, Village Harmony will be joining us for a potluck at 6 p.m. and their concert at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome to these events.
Bellows Falls: The sermon during the Sunday Service at First Baptist Church of Bellows Falls will focus on embracing Christ and how we are all given a chance to be renewed as God's children. Through Him, we are offered the opportunity to begin again, to have a fresh start. It is a time to reflect on our lives and see ourselves through God's eyes. In Christ, we can rebuild our relationships and plant seed of forgiveness, mercy and love. While we are given this gift, it is up to us to be honest with ourselves and with God. Nothing is hidden from our Lord and to proclaim our Christianity without embracing this truth is folly. We cannot be double minded, living one way and proclaiming another. Finding new life in Christ is not an excuse to be self-righteous but a chance to experience true freedom while loving others as our Lord loves all of us. The title of the sermon is "Set Your Mind on Christ." The Sunday Service begins at 10 a.m. We welcome all to join us for worship, music and community. Child care is provided following the children's time. For more information, contact Pastors Steven and Terri at 802-463-3220. We are located at 9 Church Street, Bellows Falls. American Baptists serve others as "the hands and feet of Jesus."
Hinsdale, N.H.: The North Hinsdale Community Church will host Rainforest Adventure Vacation Bible School, from Aug. 15 through 19, 6 to 8 p.m. at the church at 106 Meetinghouse Road. All ages are welcome. Call Tina McCosker at 802-579-5475 with any additional questions.
How to say it
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 "Trying to Say It." Sunday's ninth annual celebration of poetry takes a twist when service co-leaders Charles Butterfield and Martha Nelson are joined by eight others offering their thoughts about how a chosen poem — original or one by an established poet — elates or consoles or otherwise brings us its special gift. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ascvt.org. Office hours are Monday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon.
What the world needs
Brattleboro: "What the world needs now is love ..." Love is a lofty ideal that is not always easy to put into practice. Human relations — personal and political — test our capacity to love and at times even test our confidence that love really is what the world needs. Christian love compels us to exercise spiritual muscle. Paul understood this. He said, "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth," (I Cor 13:4-6). This week at the Christian Science Church we'll be exploring what it takes to put this into practice — to give of ourselves to the world what it most needs: love. Join us Sunday morning at 10:45. The church is located at 57 Putney Road. Everyone is welcome. For more information, call 802-254-4924.
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 "Living Towards God," with scripture from Luke 12:13-21. Congregational hymns are "God of Grace and God of Glory," "Be Thou My Vision," and "We Are Called to Be God's People." The prelude "In Sacred Memory," by Moore, will be played by organist, Alice Gausch. The Offertory Anthem "Amazing Grace," and the postlude, "This Little Light of Mine," will be played by Jim Kyle on the ukulele. Our church service will be followed by a fifth Sunday potluck brunch. Missions for the month of July are Brattleboro Hospice and the NewBrook Elementary "L'After" Afterschool Program. We continue 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 on Monday, Al-Anon meets at 7:30 p.m., and on Tuesday, Sew What's will meet at 5 p.m. On Thursday, the Newfane Garden Club meets at 2 p,m. Please call the church office at 802-365-4079 or visit the church website at www.newfanechurch.org for more information. Everyone is welcome!
Townshend: The Townshend Church will hold its Sunday service at 10 a.m. Dick Omand, a long-time member, will provide the message "I Wonder What ..." Mary Pill will be playing the piano. The fellowship hour immediately follows the service. All are welcome. The Townshend Church is an ABC and UCC congregation guided by its lay members.
Bring the family
Marlboro: The Marlboro Meeting House service will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday. The theme of Pastor Michael Mario's meditation will be "Bring the Family," and he will have a special message for the children. Scripture readings will include Hosea 11: 1-11 and Luke 12: 13-21. Hymns will include "In Christ There Is No East or West," and special music "What Wondrous Love is This." Fred Gray joins us again as organist. There is a chair lift to the second floor. Refreshments and fellowship will follow the service. Volunteer opportunities are available each week. Look for the sign-up sheet in the entry way. Marlboro Meeting House is located one half mile from Route 9 on South Road, about eight miles between Brattleboro and Wilmington.
A different treasure
Brattleboro: In the gospel for this Sunday, a rich man has such successful harvests that he must build bigger and bigger barns to store all his stuff. For many in American culture, "bigger barns" looks like garages stuffed full and storage rental units crammed with excess. Many of us have enough wealth to accumulate and store up. Jesus' parable urges letting go of the need to find security in wealth and possessions and instead exploring the opportunities to help others that arise from excess wealth. Come to worship to receive very different kind of treasure, in community, word, and sacrament. During the summer months, Trinity Lutheran Church worships at 9:30 a.m. Sunday School is on hiatus for the summer, but Adult Forum begins at 8:30 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 trinitybrattleboro.org or call the church office at 802-254-4220.
Old home week
Whitingham: Old Home Week Church Sunday Service will be a joint service with Whitingham and Jacksonville at Twin Valley School Auditorium. The service starts at 10:30 a.m. There will be lots of music, a children's story, a time to praise the Lord for the beautiful community we live in. We invite anyone interested in joining Jan's choir for the event to come at 9:30. Please call Pastor J. Brigham at 802-368-2980, Pastor D. LaPlante at 802-368-2205, Jan Durfey at 802-368-2947 or Linda Farrington at 802-368-7456 for information. Both the Jacksonville and Whitingham churches will be closed on that date in order that we may join together for a celebration of God's works.
Sharing our homes
Guilford: Sue Owings, long-time and active member of the church, former lay leader, and current member of the Pastoral Relations Committee, will lead the worship service tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Guilford Community Church, United Church of Christ. She will offer a sermon entitled, "Sharing the Home in the Heart." Peter Amidon will lead the choir in two anthems, "If Ye Love Me," and "If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking." Hymns will include "The Lone, Wild Bird," "All Things Bright and Beautiful," and "Joys Are flowing Like a River." The Reverend Lise Sparrow is on sabbatical until Sept. 11. During her absence, Pastor Jeremy Kirk is leading worship and communion on the second Sunday of the month and is available for pastoral care through the summer. Other Sunday services are being led by members of the congregation. Guilford Community Church, an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, 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 www.guilfordchurch.org or find Guilford Community Church on Facebook.
On the lawn
Dummerston: This Sunday, the Dummerston Congregational Church will hold their Sunday Service outside on the lawn, beginning at 9:30 a.m., weather permitting. Fred Taylor will be our Guest Worship Leader. Mary Westbrook-Geha will play and the choir is planning to sing. The Scripture Lesson is from Ecclesiastes 1:1-7 and Mathew 10:29-31. The title of Mr. Taylor's Meditation is "Not a Single Sparrow." Bring your lawn chair if you would like and come enjoy the summer breeze and a hamburger/hot dog barbecue lunch sponsored by the Youth Group. Bring a potluck salad or dessert to share if you care to, but plan to stay and eat, there will be enough for all. If the weather is inclement the service will move inside but the meal will go on. The secretary's office will be closed on Tuesday, Aug. 2 as the secretary is attending a conference. The office will be open on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 4 and 5. Leave a message at 802-257-0544 and she will get back to you as soon as she returns. Dummerston Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming and Green Justice Church and all are welcome.
West Brattleboro: The Sunday worship service 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, "Being Rich Toward God," based on Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14, 2:18-23 and Luke 12:13-21. Our organist will be Philip Stimmel, who will offer as Prelude, F. Couparin's "Soeur Monique," as Offertory, G.F. Handel's "Air (from Water Music)," and as Postlude, "Jubilate Deo" by P. Benoit. Congregational hymns are "Great Is Your Faithfulness," "Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning," and "How Great Thou Art." 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 email@example.com, our website www.firstcongregationalwb.org. Telephone is 802-254-9767. The church office is open Wednesday and Friday 1 to 5 p.m.
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 "Wrapped in God's Loving Arms," based on Hosea 11:1-11 and Luke 12:13-21. The Jamaica Community Church is located "In the Heart of Jamaica" at 7 Depot St. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 802-874-7019 or find Jamaica Community Church Jamaica VT on Facebook.
Hinsdale, N.H.: First Congregational Church of Hinsdale will host Cave Quest Vacation Bible School Aug. 8 through 123. At Cave Quest, children explore what it means to follow Jesus Christ through dark times. Kids participate in memorable Bible-learning activities, sing catchy songs, play teamwork-building games, make and dig into yummy treats, experience one-of-a-kind Bible adventures, collect "Bible Memory Buddies" to remind them of Jesus' love and test out fun science gizmos they can take home and play with all summer long. Plus, kids will learn to look for evidence of God all around them through "God Sightings." Each day concludes with a Cave Quest Closing that gets everyone involved in living what they've learned. Family members and friends are encouraged to attend this special time at 8 p.m. For more information, call 603-336-7020.
Feast of Assumption
Jamaica: Our Lady of Ephesus Hose of Prayer invites all to come and celebrate Feast of Assumption, with a gathering time of 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 15. EWTN will be on site filming "Miracles and Saints." At 2 p.m., Guest Speaker Erin von Uffel, who started the cause for the canonization of Sr. Marie de Mandat-Grancey, will give special insight on Sr. Marie's life. At 3 p.m., there will be songs and reflections by singer and performer Grace Markay. At 4 p.m. there will be the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass followed by a potluck supper. For more information or directions, call 802-896-600 or visit ourladyofephesushouseofprayer.org.
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