Religion news and notes
Mechanics of prayer
Townshend: The Townshend Church Sunday Service will be held at 10 a.m. Rev. James Scott's service title is "The Mechanics Of Prayer Never Change." The Scripture is 2 Chronicles 7:14-16. Rev. Scott also has a thought for this week which is — You may give without love, but love always gives. God is love. The fellowship hour immediately following the service will include a pot luck dinner. You do not have to bring food to participate. Attention members: The Townshend Church will hold its annual meeting on May 12 in the church, with a potluck starting at 6:30 p.m. Non-members, potential members and friends of the church are always welcome. The Townshend Church is an ABC and UCC congregation guided by its lay members.
Bellows Falls: Service this Sunday at First Baptist Church of Bellows Falls will feature how the early church began as a Jewish sect, but was soon shaped into a church for all nations. The story of this difficult and controversial transformation is the focus of Acts 11 when God comes to Peter in a dream declaring unclean food to be clean. "What God has made clean, you must not call profane." For Peter, the truth of this dream spoke loudly — through God's grace, the Gospel of Salvation was available to all people. Looking at this scripture with a modern lens, we can sense that these same tensions are alive today. As in all groups, there is a tendency to exclude certain people in order to maintain a specific group identity which defines them as special. This practice of leaving others out is contrary to the truth God has declared Peter, and is also contrary to the mission of the Apostle Paul. God clearly states here that Gentiles (unclean) should be allowed to join their growing community of faith. The history behind this controversy and the importance of Peter's resulting declarations are the focus of Sunday' Sermon titled "Make No Distinction." All are welcome for worship, music and community. Sunday School begins at 9:45 and the Sunday Service begins at 10. For more information, please 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."
Brattleboro: St. Michael Roman Catholic Parishis hosting a Giant Tag Sale and Bake Sale on Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 48 Walnut St. Books, movies, collectibles, household goods and lots more. Tag sale is in the school, just follow the signs.
Grow and change
Newfane: The First Congregational Church of Newfane will meet for morning worship at 10 a.m. on April 24, the 5th Sunday of Easter. The Rev. Rob Hamm's sermon is titled "Vision to Grow & Change," with scriptures from Acts 11:11-18. Congregational hymns are "Let All Things Now Living," "Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love," and "Called as Partners in Christ's Service." The prelude "Brethren, We Have Met to Worship," by Ritter/Moore will be played by guest organist, Martha LaMoria. She will be joined by Dan Marx on the oboe for the postlude "Little Trumpet Tune," by Thurman. The choir will sing the offertory anthem "Every Time I Feel the Spirit." The church's mission for the month of April is Brattleboro Area Interfaith Youth Group. 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. Everyone is welcome.
Loving one another
Brattleboro: Easter lasts for several more weeks. The three readings continue the unfolding of the meaning of the resurrection: the loving community formed by God's love and baptized with the water of life includes those who had been previously deemed unacceptable. All things are being made new, for the resurrection continues through the power of the Spirit. The loving community of the church manifests the glory of God, which surprisingly is seen in the passion and death of Christ. That Christ, the Son of God, submitted to death reveals a loving, sacrificing God who nurtures a community that also is known for its mutual love and service. Trinity worships at 8:30 and at 10:30 am. Trinity Lutheran Church is located at 161 Western Ave., and is an Open and Affirming congregation. For more information, visit trinitybrattleboro.org or call 802-254-4220.
Vernon: The Advent Christian Church on Route 142 will be hosting a Breakfast Buffet on Saturday, April 30, from 8 to 11 a.m. It is free and open to the public. Donations will be appreciated as this breakfast is to benefit the Advent Christian Missionaries.
Clean not profane
West Brattleboro: The Sunday worship service at First Congregational Church, 880 Western Ave., an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, features Interim Pastor Jeremy Kirk's sermon "What God Has Made Clean, You Must Not Call Profane," based on Acts 11:1-18, and Psalm 148. Organist Bill McKim's prelude is "Prelude and Fugue," by J. Brahms. Our choir will sing "Come, Thou Traveler," arranged by P. Amidon. The offertory is G.F. Haendel's "Sarabande," and the Postlude, Bach's "In Dir Ist Freude." Congregational hymns are "We Gather Together," "This Is My Song," and "Lord, Dismiss Us With Your Blessing." Sunday morning worship is at 10 a.m. with child care provided following the Children's Time. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone is 802-254-9767. The church office is open Wednesday and Friday 1 to 5 p.m.
Transition and transformation
Dummerston: Worship at the Dummerston Congregational Church UCC begins at 9:30 a.m. This Sunday will focus on "Transition and Transformation." Scripture readings will be from Ecclesiastes 3 and Romans 12. Music leadership will be under the direction of Mary Westbrook-Geha, organist. The Children's story will be by Billie Slade, Church School Director. Children begin in worship and then go to an open classroom. The Junior Choir will meet at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays. Donations of durable foods, personal care items and household goods for the Drop In Center Food Pantry may be left in the church entry. Also needed are tents, tarps, sleeping bags and camping gear for those who will be sleeping outside next month. On May 1 after worship there will be a whole church photo taken on the church steps, with a rain date of May 8. New members will be received May 1. Dummerston Congregational Church, 1535 Middle Road, is an Open and Affirming Congregation and Green Justice Church of the United Church of Christ. For more information, please contact Pastor Susanna Griefen, 257-0544 or email@example.com, or visit www.dummerstonchurch.org.
Breaking down the walls
Brattleboro: Worship on Sunday will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature scripture from Acts 11:1-18, read by Doug Reed, telling the story of Peter's dream of a large sheet with the animals prohibited as food and the voice from heaven saying these things are allowed. Rev. Cheryl Meachen's sermon, entitled "Breaking down Walls to Build up the Church," will explore the invitation to "not make a distinction between them and us." The Children's Message is "Jesus Loves Us All" based on John 13 and will share how Jesus teaches us to love one another and leave no one out. The choir, directed by Jenny Hinton will sing. Kevin Mills may play the organ. The church is located at 18 Town Crier Drive off Putney Road and is handicap-accessible. Contact us via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 802-254-4218. Find more information at fumcob.wordpress.com. All are welcome.
West Brattleboro: All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at the West Village Meeting House, invites all to worship on Sunday. The service's theme is: "Messianic Moments." Jim Levinson, former spiritual leader of the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community and a long-time friend of All Souls Church, returns to lead this Passover week service. Elie Wiesel was once asked if he believed "messiach" would appear in his lifetime. He responded, "Who can say? But while we are waiting, we can be providing messianic moments for one another. And, as we do, our ancestors in 'Olam HaBa,' the world to come, will observe the effects and say to one another, 'Look, Messiach must have come.'" We'll share our own messianic moments, and ones we would wish for. 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, please call the office at 802-254-9377, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.ascvt.org.
Brattleboro: Be at St. Michael's Episcopal Church on April 24 at 5 p.m. for Evensong, led by St. Michael's Choir, a joyful celebration of spring and God's blessings. This Evensong we will be introducing the wonderful settings of British composer Bob Chilcott, with an anthem by his contemporary Will Todd. During Sunday worship, Thad Bennett will reprise his Lenten talk, "Tom Tull: Pay Attention and Do Something!" What do you do when you find yourself in the midst of illness/death and no one wants to pay attention? You organize, you gather, you pray, and you change the culture of the Episcopal Church forever. Thad will talk about his friend, Tom Tull (1942-1995), who, with a small band of followers, changed the way the Episcopal Church (and later the country) related to HIV/AIDS.
Jamaica: The Jamaica Community Church welcomes all visitors to join us as the congregation gathers on Sunday. The Rev. Norma Drosky will preach on "Leaving the Well Worn Cow Paths," based on Acts 11:1-18 and John 13:31-35. Cows may be very good at finding the best paths to transverse the countryside; however, a cow path may become a static and, even, boring way to walk. Jesus tells us to love one another, but then he ups the ante and challenges us to love one another the way that he has loved us. Peters' dream incites him to follow a new path in ministry. 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.
Guilford: Tomorrow's 10 a.m. worship service at Guilford Community Church, UCC, will honor the earth in in song, scripture and poetry and celebrate Spring with the baptism of twin brothers, Hayden and Hunter Prather. Anthems under the direction of Peter Amidon will include "Take Me To the Water" and "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need" and Rev Lise Sparrow will offer reflections on Psalm 148 and the Pope's recent encyclical "Laudato Si' in which he holds forth the moral imperative to protect the earth for the sake of our children. The Sunday School children will continue to learn about the Heifer Project , preparing a puppet show for the adults. Nursery care is also provided. For more information call 802-257-2776, check the website at www.guilfordchurch.org or friend us on Facebook at "Guilford Community Church."
Brattleboro: All are welcome at Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main Str., an Open and Affirming Congregation and a Just Peace Church. This Sunday, pastor Reverend Bert W. Marshall, will lead the worship at 10 a.m. In lieu of a meditation, there will be a presentation by visiting missionary, Gloria Vicente and a "Mission Dialogue" with Rev. Bert Marshall. 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 followed by Faith in Action for the school age crowd. Child care for younger children is provided from 9 a.m. through the church service. Church office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For information call 802-254-4730 or see www.centrechurchvt.org.
Saxtons River: Christ's Church welcomes Rev. Janice Chilek, who will be leading the Worship Service this Sunday. Rev. Chilek is from Weathersfield and is currently Chaplain at Cedar Hill Continuing Care in Windsor and has served as pastor of a number of area churches, the most recent being the United Church of Bellows Falls. The service will be followed by our monthly Congregational Gathering and Potluck. All are invited to join whether or not able to bring food — there is always plenty of food to share. Christ's Church will host its last Blue Door Soup Supper for the season on Wednesday, April 27, at 5:30 p.m. in the Church Dining Room. The Church is handicapped accessible and all are welcome. For more information, call 802-869-2340 or visit our website at www.christschurchsr.org.
Brattleboro: As April ends, First Baptist Church will complete the ninth year of maintaining the Overflow Shelter for the homeless. With the arrival of warmer weather, the participants will have other options open to them. Regular worship services at the historic American Baptist Church at 190 Main St. begin at 10 a.m. with Sunday School at 10:15 a.m. Nursery care is available as needed. Pastor Suzanne Andrews will lead us through the days following Easter. Ongoing Women's Society Mission program includes church world service school kits, hygiene kits, garden supplies for The Gathering Place and the spring rummage and bake sale on May 14.
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