Religion news and notes

Gospel music

Alstead, N.H.: Middle River Gospel Group will host a concert at Third Congregational Church UCC, River Street, on June 18 starting at 4 p.m. Open to the public. To be held outside, weather permitting, so please bring lawn chairs (inside if it rains). The church will host a hot dog and hamburger cookout.


Townshend: The Townshend Church will meet at 10 a.m., Sunday, Rev. James Scott's sermon is "gifts that build up the church." The scripture is 1 Corinthians 14:1-12. Fellowship and refreshments immediately follow the service. All are welcome. Thought for the Week: "God has entrusted talents to each of us. We are responsible to use them as God's stewards." The Townshend Church is an ABC and UCC congregation guided by its lay members

Not out there

Newfane: The First Congregational Church of Newfane will meet for morning worship at 10 a.m. on June 12 and the service will be followed by the annual program meeting at 11:15. The Rev. Rob Hamm's meditation is titled "God Is Not Out There," with scriptures from Galatians 2:15-21. Congregational hymns are "All Things Bright and Beautiful," "Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness," and "My Faith It Is an Oaken Staff." The prelude "His Eye is on the Sparrow," arr. by Bradley & Lindberg and the postlude "Ode to Joy," arr. by Bock will be played by organist, Alice Gausch. The choir will sing the offertory anthem "I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry," by Ylvisaker. The church's missions for the month of June are the NewBrook Fire Department and the Townshend Food Shelf. 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 on Monday, Al-Anon meets at 7:30 p.m., and on Tuesday, Linus Quilters meet at 1 p.m. Ladies Aid meets on Thursday morning at 11 for a brief meeting before its Annual Potluck Luncheon at noon. Thursday evening choir practice begins at 6:30 p.m. Call the church office at 802-365-4079 or visit the church website at for more information. Everyone is welcome.

Self storage

West Chesterfield, N.H.: You see them everywhere: those signs for "Self Storage" facilities. This Sunday at 10 a.m. at the First Universalist Church of West Chesterfield, guest speaker and guitarist Keith Penniman will explore the notion of the self, drawing upon the insights of the Buddha, Carl Jung, and others to consider self storage in a new light. For more information, call 603-256-6193 or visit

Trust God

Bellows Falls: The Sunday service at First Baptist Church of Bellows Falls will focus on what is on the minds and in the hearts of our youth. This Sunday when, church youth will lead us worship during Children's Service. They have been hard at work creating an insightful and inspiring service complete with thoughtful spiritual messages, words of scripture and delightful songs. Three mini sermons will be presented entitled "In God We Trust! Psalm 20:7," "Guaranteed Forever! John: 27-29," and "Busy Bees! Colossians 3:23." Join us as they flip the tables during a "Parent's Story" and share with us their view of God's world. This is always a wonderful and joyous day for everyone involved. All are welcome to join for worship, music and community. This Saturday, pastor's office hours will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday Service begins at 10. Child care is provided following the children's time. For more information, contact Pastors Steven and Terri at 802-463-3220. First Baptist Church is located at 9 Church St. American Baptists serve others as "the hands and feet of Jesus."

Finding your path

Brattleboro: All are welcome at Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main Street, 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 be leading the service. His meditation is entitled, "You Will Find Your Path." Scripture reference for the sermon is Psalm 32. Because this Sunday is Children's Sunday, the service will celebrate the presence of our children, especially. 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. 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. Of special note: the annual church picnic will also be held on Sunday at the Kiwanis shelter in Living Memorial Park. It will begin immediately after worship, rain or shine. Also, the church will continue to celebrate 200 years in Brattleboro with a Bicentennial Bonnet Party and a luncheon served from noon to 1:30 p.m. on June 15. For further information about the services and activities at Centre Congregational Church, call 802-254-4730.

Power of song

West Brattleboro: All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at the West Village Meeting House, invites all to worship on Sunday. The service's theme is "Music Sunday: The Power of Song." After their very enjoyable "Come Sing A Song for Us," service in January, George Carvill and Sharry Manning lead in the next installment of an ongoing series. Special guests Tony Barrand and Val Mindel join George in sharing thoughts on the power of song between congregational singing of old and new songs accompanied by Eva Greene, Daniel Kasnitz, Michael McKinney, and Steve Squires. Tony Barrand, born in England, but living in Brattleboro, is a Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University. He is better known around here as a musician, collaborating over the years with John Roberts, singing English folk music, sea chanteys and drinking songs. For 40 years he and John along with Fred Breunig and Andy Davis delighted us with their "Nowell Sing We Clear" performances. At the last one in 2014 they received a proclamation from Governor Shumlin declaring them "a Vermont Treasure." Tony has written several books on morris and clog dancing, has edited the journal Country Dance and Song and founded the Marlboro Morris Ale, an annual national gathering of Morris dancers in Vermont. Val Mindel, from Marlboro, is a longtime musician, teacher and workshop leader, known for bringing out the best in singers, whatever their level. Her specialty is the close, buzzy harmony that makes American old-time, bluegrass and country harmony so compelling. In addition to teaching, she performs in various combinations, including with California-based Any Old Time with daughter Emily Miller and her husband Jesse Milnes, and with such stalwarts of the old-time music scene as Debra Clifford and Joe Newberry. As well as maintaining a busy workshop schedule across the country and abroad, Val teaches regularly in New York City at Brooklyn's growing old-time music school, Jalopy. She is currently working on a book, So You Want to Sing Folk Music, part of a series sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing, due out at the end of the year. All Souls at the West Village Meeting House is a Welcoming Congregation and a Green Sanctuary. All Souls is located at 29 South St. For more information or directions, call 802-254-9377, e-mail or visit

Breath of God

Dummerton: Sunday's worship at Dummerston Congregational Church begins at 9:30 a.m. when Worship Leader Alice Amidonwill speak on the subject "The Breath of God." Scripture for this lesson will be Psalm 19 and John 1:1-34. Special music will be Mary Alice and Peter Amidon singing a duo of an early American shape note hymn called Honor to the Hills and a song from the Oxford Book of Carols called the Flower Carol, both in celebration of the beauty of nature all around. This is Children's Sunday, and Sunday School Administrator Billie Slade will be in charge of the children's story and the ending of the winter Sunday School session. There will be a summer Sunday School session for all children interested, led by Carol Haney, Jill Johnson and Carol Stone. The children's choir will be practicing on Tuesday mornings at 10 through the summer season. Leadership for this choir is Mary Westbrooke-Geha, Organist, assisted by Sam Farwell. During this time of transition, those members and friends of Dummerston Congregational Church who are in need of pastoral services, please contact Deacon Chair Cathy Miller at 802-387-2346 or the church offfice at 802-257-0544 and leave a message. Cathy can also be reached at or the church secretary Sallie May at This is an open and affirming Green Justice congregation and all are welcome to attend.

Sing to God

Brattleboro: Sunday worship at First Baptist Church at 190 Main St. begins at 10 a.m., with Sunday School at 10:15 and fellowship at 11:15. The Rev. Suzanne Andrews, Pastor, says "Sing to God; sing praises to God's name! Let us bow down and worship our Lord. God is the ruler over all creation. We will listen to God's mighty voice. God draws us together as one people through Jesus Christ. We will worship the Most High with all our soul, mind, and heart. First Baptist Church is filled with God's presence. Here we receive power and strength from our Lord. We worship You with joy, awesome God. Through times of trial and suffering, we know You are with us and Your love sustains us. You have restored our self-confidence when we are drowning in doubt and fear. You have been our Protector through the wilderness of life. Meet us now in the difficult situations each us faces. Pour out Your presence among us. May we reach out to one another in Christian love, finding oneness in Jesus Christ. May our worship honor You and help us serve others who need our help and compassion. You have given us all we need in this life. Help us give enough of ourselves each and every day, so that others are touched by our love and compassion. May First Baptist Church continue to serve you night and day, wherever we are, and in all we do." Mission needs include filling baby bottles for Care Net, to be ready on Father's Day. The Brattleboro Area Drop In Center needs non-perishable food items such as tuna, peanut butter, dry milk, pasta, and sauces, soups, juices, cereal, rice, canned foods, baby foods, diapers, deodorant, toothpaste and brushes, shampoo, feminine products. Please help fill the basket in the back of Sanctuary. There will be Lifeline screening on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to noon. Pastor's office hours are Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by appointment by calling 802-254-9566 or 802-254-5075 or emailing

Attitude adjustment

Jamaica: The Jamaica Community Church welcomes all visitors to join as the congregation gathers on Sunday on June 12. The Rev. Norma Drosky will preach on "Attitude Adjustments," based on 1 Kings 21:1-10, 15-21a and Luke 7:36-8:3. Whenever it is needed, God gives us every opportunity to change the direction in which we are going. Sometimes the nudges are subtle and sometimes they are more direct. 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, leave a message at 802-874-7019 or find Jamaica Community Church Jamaica VT on Facebook.

People of Faith

West Brattleboro: The Sunday worship service on June 12 at First Congregational Church, 880 Western Ave, an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, features Guest Minister Phillip Wilson and his sermon "are you a person of faith ... really?" and the scripture reading is Hebrews 11:8-12, Matthew 17:14-21. Organist Bill McKim's prelude is "Prelude and Fugue in A Minor," by J.S. Bach. The offertory is "Introduction," by W. Boyce and the Postlude, H. Purcell's "Entree." Congregational hymns are "Sing Praise To God, Who Has Shaped," "Be Now My Vision," and "When In Our Music God Is Glorified." 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. There will be an Interfaith Pride Service on June 26. 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.

God's love

Brattleboro: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." (Psalm 23) are familiar words, comforting words. Words that merit a fresh look — a deep query. David wrote them, but to him they must have meant more than nice poetic imagery. He had experienced God's protecting power on many occasions and he trusted God with his very life. The sermon First Church of Christ, Scientist, this week takes a look at the relationship between God's love for us and the practical meeting of our need for safety, security, health, and well-being. Join us Sunday morning at 10:45 for worship. Sunday School for children and teens meets at the same time. 57 Putney Rd. Call 802-254-4924 for more information.


Brattleboro: The enormity of our sin is surpassed only by the mercy of God. We come, repentant, to the table of the Lord. In the body and blood of Jesus, in the announcement of our absolution, all our sins are forgiven. "Happy are they ... whose sin is put away." Happy are we. 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, is an Open and Affirming congregation. For more information, visit or call the church office at 802-254-4220.

Men's breakfast

Brattleboro: All men of St. Michael's Episcopal Church are invited to meet for breakfast and a short program and discussion on the second Saturday of each month. Join in the Undercroft at 8:30 a.m. this Saturday, June 11. At the 10:15 service this Sunday, we will baptize Annabel and Eleanor Horton, daughters of Mark Horton and Hearther Lesage-Horton. Jeffrey Lewis has graciously agreed to return to take pictures of more parishioners this Sunday, June 12. You can have your picture taken between the 8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. services or after the 10:15 service. This Sunday there will also be a Sunday School picnic at on the Rectory Lawn. All kids, parents, participants, teachers and helpers in Sunday School at St. Michael's (Godly Play, Workshop Rotation, Youth Forum) are invited to a lunch following the 10:15 a.m. service. St. Michael's hosts a strawberry spectacular on June 19 at 2 p.m., featuring strawberry short cake made with Deb and Lucia's amazing scones. Also on the menu are sweet strawberry milkshakes.

In-between times

Guilford: Pastor Jeremy Kirk will lead the worship service, including Communion, tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Guilford Community Church, United Church of Christ. He will offer a meditation on transitions entitled, "The In-between Times." Andy Davis will lead the choir in two anthems: "Climbing Up the Mountain," and "Go in Peace." Hymns will include "Awake, Awake to Love and Work," "All Things Bright and Beautiful," and "We Are One in the Spirit." The Communion hymn will be "One Bread, One Body." The Reverend Lise Sparrow is on sabbatical until Sept. 11. During her absence, Pastor Jeremy Kirk will lead worship and communion on the second Sunday of the month and is available for pastoral care through the summer. Other Sunday services will be 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, visit or find Guilford Community Church on Facebook.


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