Religion news and notes

To be blessed

Brattleboro: "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings." What's involved in leaning on the sustaining infinite? Jesus gave an excellent summary in what we refer to as the Beatitudes. It includes meekness, mercy, purity, hungering and thirsting for right-thinking. This week's Christian Science sermon is a study of the Beatitudes and an invitation to experience the blessings they include. Sunday worship is at 10:45 a.m. at 57 Putney Road. Excerpts from each week's sermon are on display 24/7 in the window of the Christian Science Reading Room at 10 Elliot Street. Or drop into the Reading Room Tuesday through Friday to read the current week's sermon for yourself. Call 802-254-4924 for hours.

Ice cream

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 be leading the service. His meditation is entitled, "Ice Cream and the Social Construction of Reality." Scripture references are Exodus 32:7-14 and Luke 15:1-10. 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, 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. All are invited to join us for an Ice Cream Social to be held on the church lawn immediately following the service on this Sunday. Of interest in the following week, world renowned eco-philosopher and author, Joanna Macy, will offer a talk entitled "Teaching at the Edge of Time." This talk, sponsored by Marlboro College, will be held at the church on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Again, all are invited and welcome. For further information about any of the activities in this announcement, please call the office at 802-254-4730.

Never forget

Brattleboro: Sept. 11, 2001, is a day the world will never forget. Remembering this day of suffering and anguish also brings to mind stories of profound courage and compassion. Luke's parables show two people who search diligently for something they have lost. Sunday's worship is a time to remember not only what has been lost, but also what has been found, recovered, and celebrated as people all around us continue to work together to heal and restore important things that are too easily broken or lost. Trinity offers a half-hour worship service at 8:30 a.m. and its traditional service at 10:30 a.m., with a coffee hour following the later service. Sunday School for all ages and an Adult Forum begin at 9 am. Trinity Lutheran Church is located at 161 Western Ave., across from Holton Home, and is an Open and Affirming congregation. For more information, visit or call the church office at 802-254-4220.


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; "Covenant & The Architectural Design of Our Interdependence" will be presented by the new All Souls Church minister, Reverend Shayna Appel. The 7th Unitarian Universalist Principle has often been called the counter balance of its1st Principle, because while the 1st lifts up the individual, the 7th lifts up the larger community. What role does Covenant play in binding us "each to another and each to all"? And how might this notion of Covenant serve us, minister and congregation, as we set out on a new journey of faith together? All Souls at the West Village Meeting House is a Welcoming Congregation and a Green Sanctuary and 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 Office hours are Monday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 9 a.m. to noon.

A blessed life

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

Children's programs

Brattleboro: On Sunday, St. Michael's Episcopal Church begins the program year with a Sunday School Open House on the church lawn from 9:15 to 10 a.m. for kids, parents and all who are interested. Come check out St. Michael's great opportunities for kids, which include Godly Play, Workshop Rotation, Youth Forum, Choir School and more. There will be food, play, bouncy house and balloons. All are invited to learn more about St. Michael's programs for children. St. Michael's Episcopal Church is at the corner of Putney Road and Bradley Avenue. More information is available at the church office, 254-6048, or at the church website

Choir School

Brattleboro: The Choir School of St. Michael's Episcopal Church, directed by Susan Dedell, is a children's choral program that nurtures and inspires student achievement through quality music education and the joy of choral singing. Participation in The Choir School is free of charge and is open to all children in the area who love to sing and want to learn more. Level One for children ages 8 to 10 meets Thursdays from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m., beginning Sept. 15. Students in Level One will learn basic concepts of rhythm, pitch, and "choircraft" in addition to singing some wonderful music. Little or no prior musical experience is required. Level Two is for singers aged 11 to 16 and meets Tuesdays from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m., beginning Sept. 13. In Level Two, students expand their skills in music literacy, vocal technique, and harmony singing. If you have any questions or need more information, contact Susan Dedell at or call the church office, 802-254-6048, ext. 104.

Noah's Ark

Vernon: The Vernon Advent Christian Church will host Rev. Rick Morton on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. Rev. Morton will share from his recent trip to Williamstown, Kent., to see the life-sized replica of Noah's Ark. All are welcome to enjoy this "Ark Encounter." Admission is free. The Vernon Advent Christian Church is located at 4554 Fort Bridgman Rd. (just at the Vermont/Massachusetts line).The church is handicap accessible.

In remembrance

Dummerston: Dummerston Congregational Church services will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, led by Deacon James Brown, assisted by Deacons Bess Richardson and Winnie Vogt. Bess will lead a short remembrance of the bombing of the World Trade Center Towers 15 years ago. Children will be in the sanctuary for the beginning of the service and will go downstairs after the Children's Story for Sunday School classes, returning to the care of their parents at the end of the service. The chosen scripture is Jeremiah 4: vs. 11-12; 22-28. Sunday, Sept. 18, is the first Sunday for new interim worship leader, Jeanne Zammataro. Come and welcome her to the church. She will be leading services three weeks a month through the end of the year, unless a permanent pastor is in place. Rev. Anthony Acheson will continue to provide the service on the first Sunday of the month and do the communion service. On Saturday, Sept. 17, a memorial service for Sam Bunker will be held at the church, beginning at 2:30 p.m. A reception follows at the Grange Hall, sponsored by the DWA ladies. All are welcome. The Annual Meeting of the Dummerston Congregational Church will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. Dummerston Congregational Church, UCC is a Green Justice and Open and Affirming Congregation. All are welcome.

Out of the rubble

Saxtons River: This Sunday at Christ's Church, Rev. Ivy Merrill will be reflecting on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 and our response as followers of Christ. Her Sermon is entitled "Out of the Rubble — Hope" with scripture readings from Micah and Luke. Immediately following the 10 a.m. service there will be a Congregational meeting and following the meeting, a time of fellowship and refreshments. A reminder that our pastor, Rev. Ivy Merrill, is available in the Minister's Study on Wednesdays for visits and phone calls. Christ's Church is handicapped accessible and all are welcome to worship. For more information, call 802-869-2340 or visit

Community fair

Westminster West: The Congregational Church of Westminster West joins with community members this Saturday to present the annual Community Fair on the grounds of the church. Activities include a 5k run with registration at 8:30 a.m. followed by the race at 9 a.m., a parade at 10 a.m. honoring the library, musical acts, "whack a corn-cob," a barbecue luncheon, silent auction, and talent show. This year, in lieu of the "golden elephant" sale, there will be a raffle, with winners drawn at 3 p.m.. The Fair is a marvelous community event and is the largest fundraiser of the year for the church. During the Fair, participants can also support the local public library by shopping at their book sale. The community will gather again on Sunday at 10 a.m. for the annual post-Fair Hymn Sing, led by Rev. Susie Webster-Toleno and pianist Jennifer Hed. Hymns will be chosen by request of participants. This event is always spirited and fun. Following the sing, all will gather in the fellowship room for refreshments and fellowship. The Congregational Church of Westminster West is an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ. It is committed to emulating the radical hospitality modeled by Jesus. All are truly welcome. For more information, see or call the pastor, Rev. Susie Webster-Toleno, at 802-387-2334.

Heart of Jamaica

Jamaica: The Jamaica Community Church welcomes all visitors to join us as the congregation gathers at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The Rev. Dale Edwards, Executive Minister for the American Baptist Churches of Vermont/New Hampshire, will be preaching. 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.


West Brattleboro: The Sunday worship service at First Congregational Church, 880 Western Avenue in West Brattleboro, an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, features Interim Pastor Jeremy Kirk's sermon, "The Foolishness of the Parables," based on Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28 and Luke 15:1-10. Organist Scott Hurley's prelude is "Prelude from Opus 11 no. 12," by A. Scriebin. The offertory is "Largo from the Third Piano Sonata," by F. Chopin, and the Postlude, "Echo from French Overture," by J.S. Bach. Our choir has returned from summer hiatus. Congregational hymns will be "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise," "What Wondrous Love Is This," and "There's a Wideness In God's Mercy." Sunday morning worship is at 10 a.m. 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, the website is and the telephone is 802-254-9767. The church office is open Wednesday and Friday 1 to 5 p.m.

Restoring relationships

Bellows Falls: The Sunday Service at First Baptist Church of Bellows Falls begins at 10 a.m. We all seek what we have lost. If something is important to us is missing, we will turn our homes upside down to find it. If someone we love has disappeared from our lives, we will search for them again to rekindle that special relationship. There is comfort in restoring what is broken, there is joy in reunion. In this same way, God seeks us when we have strayed from his side. In Luke we hear that "there is joy in the presences of the angels of God over one inner who repents." God seeks to restore our relationship with him and celebrates when we turn back to face him with open hearts and minds. When we are lost, God will find away to reach us and guide us back, we only have to be open to the Divine. This Sunday's service is titled "Being Found Again." 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. Sunday school will resume on Sept. 11. 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. American Baptists serve others as "the hands and feet of Jesus."

Worship and study

Vernon: Vernon Union Church located at 2631 Fort Bridgeman Road and has it worship on Sunday at 10 a.m. Starting on Sept. 18 it will continue its Adult Bible Study on Sunday at 9 a.m.; prayer is before Bible Study at 8:15. You may join us on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. for an hour of sharing and praying. The Pastor is available for individuals Monday through Friday by appointment; call 802-257-8523 or visit

God's love

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 "Growing in God's Love," with scriptures from Luke 19:1-10. Congregational hymns are "Come, Christians, Join to Sing," "O God in Whom All Life Begins," and "Sing a New Church." The prelude "Blessed Assurance," arranged by R. Rio, and the postlude "All Hail the Power," arranged by L. Smith will be played by Alice Gausch on piano with Martha LaMoria on the organ. The Offertory Anthem "Put Peace Into Each Other's Hands," 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. Wednesday evening holds a slate of meetings, with Missions committee beginning at 6:15, Trustees at 6:30 and Council at 7:30. On Thursday, Ladies Aid begins with coffee at 10 a.m. with the meeting to follow. Later on Thursday afternoon, Handbells practice starts at 4:15 and Choir practice begins at 6:30 p.m. Call the church office at 802-365-4079 or visit for more information. Everyone is welcome.

Celtic prayer

Bellows Falls: Every Thursday, all are welcome to Celtic Evening Prayer services 7:30 p.m. in Currier Hall, 12 Church St. The services are led by staff at Immanuel Retreat Center, Robert Bowler, worship leader, and Elizabeth Rogers, vocals and guitar. The service may include: Song, chant, and, some evenings, instrumental music; verbal and silent prayer; readings from the Old and New Testament; stories or lives of Celtic saints; a brief homily or meditation; communion; and social time follows the service.

A joyful path

Guilford: As has been tradition for the past few years, the Guilford Community Church, United Church of Christ celebrates the Season of Creation through Oct. 2 (St. Francis Day). Tomorrow also includes the celebration of the opening of Sunday School and the return from sabbatical of Rev. Lise Sparrow. Recognizing recent tragedies which have rocked the nation, the children will begin a new curriculum entitled "A Joyful Path." The curriculum connects children with their own inner wisdom emphasizing the importance of behavior rather than belief. Lessons include interdependence, self awareness, respect for nature, stillness, forgiveness, prayer, meditation, and integrity. To quote the publisher: " Using the Bible and other wisdom stories, A Joyful Path helps children learn how to follow the path of Jesus, other teachers, and real life heroes in today's world. This new more inclusive message is one the teachers have embraced as a way to use art, music, nature and story-telling to enliven children's spiritual lives and connection to the Christian path. All children are welcome. The 10 a.m. worship service will include a celebration of "ocean" and oceans ... with a eucharist service created to lift up the majesty and mystery of the earth's oceans and the threats against them. The choir under the direction of Peter Amidon will offer two anthems also focused on our relation to the earth's waters: "Swimming to the other Side," a folk song for the children by Pat Humphries and "Deep Peace," a chant by John Rutter. Rev. Sparrow will focus on home and homecoming, reflecting on the gospel of Luke and Christ bidding the disciples to go into "deep water." After worship the church will host a picnic and rally day with games for children and time for adults to catch up after the summer. Guilford Community Church is an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ and 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.

Yard sale

Westminster: On Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the First Congregational Church of Westminster will hold a pie sale and yard sale on the front lawn of the church. This event will feature a variety of items for sale including homemade pies, and attic treasures and collectibles. In addition a luncheon cook-out will include, hot-dogs, sausage and pepper grinders as well as other surprises to eat. Come and browses the tables and enjoy lunch.

Blessing of the Animals

Westminster: On Sept. 18 at 10 a.m., the First Congregational Church of Westminster will host a Blessing of the Animals celebration. This began as a Catholic celebration associated with St. Francis of Assisi, but has become extremely popular for people of many traditions. Bring your pet fish, horse, goat, sheep, gerbil, cats and dogs or any other creature for a blessing.


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