Religion Briefs

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BELLOWS FALLS

First Baptist Church

In the course of one week the scripture readings bring us from the manger in Bethlehem to the baptismal waters. Radiating brightly in these two accounts are God's glory and the Glory of Jesus. That Bethlehem star for all practical purposes continues to blaze away as it leads us to a most remarkable setting where we encounter Jesus in prayer after His baptism. We witness the Spirit descending as a dove and hear the voice of God. The title of the sermon for Sunday's service is 'You are My Son.' The Sunday Service begins at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Bellows, 9 Church St. Sunday School for ages 3rd grade and up will be held following the Children's Time. For more information, contact Pastors Steven and Terri at 802-463-3220.

BRATTLEBORO

Centre Congregational Church

Join in this Sunday at Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St. The morning service begins at 10 a.m. Rev Scott Couper will continue the Sermon Series "Inclusivity Matters" with the Sermon "Affirmation as Inclusivity." Readings this morning include Isaiah 43:1-7 and Luke 3:15-17, 21-22. Both the Adult choir and the Children's choir will participate in the morning's service, directed by Mary Milkey-May. The children will sing the anthem Look at Me by R. Boyer-White. The Adult Choir will sing the Introit: Rejoice in the Lord Always — Anon, Mary, Go Tell It! a Spiritual arranged by M. Hayes, with soloist Lisa Keller, and Postlude, Go, Tell it on the Mountain arranged by G. Young. The choir rehearses twice weekly, Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. and Sundays at 9 a.m. The Children's Choir rehearses on Sundays after church. All are welcomed to these rehearsals for both choirs.

Centre Church will be hosting two events this coming week to celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King. On Friday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m., the Windham World Affairs Council, WWAC, will be presenting the program "An Interfaith Dialogue on Resistance." WWAC has invited three leaders from three different faith traditions to discuss this timely topic from the perspective of their faiths. Using the model from "The Three Wise Guys, Friends Talking Faith," a weekly radio show aired on Central Florida's NPR station since 2012, this WWAC program will be lead by Rev. Bryan Fulwider, UCC minister and one of the Three Wise Guys. Also leading the discussion are local faith leaders Professor Amer Latif of Marlboro College, who will represent a Muslim point of view and James Levinson, former spiritual leader of the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community, to represent a Jewish point of view. Rev. Scott Couper, whose initiative has launched this project, and who serves on the WWAC Board, will act as moderator. The public is asked to submit questions on RESISTANCE, either by Rev. King or others, either past or future. Questions may be submitted to: windhamworldaffairscouncil@gmail.com

On Sunday, Jan. 20, at 4 p.m., the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Leadership Association will sponsor a celebration at Centre Church in honor of the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The service will include representatives of many faith traditions, Brattleboro Town Manager Peter Elwell, members of Youth4Change, and featured speaker Kiah Morris, the former state representative from Bennington who resigned her seat last summer after repeated threats. The program will also include brief remarks from Nader Hashim, the newly elected state representative from Windham District 4, vocal celebration from jazz and blues singer Samirah Evans and her Youth Vocal Trio comprised of Veronica Stevens, Mariam Diallo and Annabelle Thies, accompanied by Franz Robert, songs from a community choir under the leadership of Peter Amidon, and the lighting of candles by everyone in attendance. Singers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to come to the church at 3:00 to rehearse songs for the service.

If you need a ride to church and for more information, contact the church at 802-254-4730 or Bruce Landenberger at admin@centrechurchvt.org.

First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church Congregation, 190 Main St., welcomes all to share worship at 10 a.m. as we celebrate and worship our Lord and Savior together. If you are unable to attend, the service is taped and can be viewed on BCTV. For Thought & Prayer: I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature — let me do it now... for I shall not pass this way again. Amen. This Sunday our congregation will listen to Jesus' message from the Book of Matthew, Chapter 2, verses 41-51, entitled "The Boy Jesus in the Temple." Rev. Andrews will speak of how the Scripture tells us, "Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When Jesus was twelve-years-old they went to the festival as usual. When the festival was over, they started back home, but the boy Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. His parents did not know this; they thought that he was with the group so they traveled a whole day and then started looking for him among their relatives and friends. The did not find him, so they went back to Jerusalem. On the third day, they found him in the Temple, sitting with the Jewish teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were astonished when they saw him, and his mother said to him, 'Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.' He answered them, 'Why did you have to look for me? Didn't you know that I had to be in my Father's house?' But they did not understand his answer. So Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. (Good News Bible). The emphasis on Pastor Sue's sermon will explain that like Jesus, we all need to be about our Father's business. Lisa Provatas, organist and pianist, will play the Grand Piano during the offering. She will also offer the prelude, postlude and hymns on the famous Estey Pipe Organ. Special Music will be offered by Pastor Sue. Remember to bring non-perishable items for Groundworks. If you need a ride, call the church office at 802-254-9566.

Episcopal Church

This Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be a gathering for teams to develop a missional project at St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 16 Bradley Ave. The tools and training will be based on the work Duncan did with the Diocese of Massachusetts using a team-based leadership framework and co-led by Duncan, a former colleague from DioMass, and Cary Gaunt. The hope is that people leave with a sense of excitement and realistic plan about what they can do, as well as having learned or honed some leadership practices. It's a hands-on training that includes an overview of four different leadership practices, and a chance to practice and apply each one in small groups.



Trinity Lutheran Church

Join a small and enthusiastic congregation on Sunday. The service at Trinity Lutheran Church, 161 Western Ave., begins at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Olson and Molly Melloan, organist. Child care is available. Sunday school begins at 9 a.m.



DUMMERSTON

Congregational Church

A quarterly meeting immediately following Sunday's service at Dummerston Congregational Church is scheduled for 11 a.m. Church begins at 10 a.m. under the direction of Rev. Shawn Bracebridge, pastor. Children begin the service in the sanctuary with their parents and then move downstairs to their Sunday School classes.

This first Sunday after Epiphany, Rev. Bracebridge's Scripture lesson is from Luke 2, vs. 41-52. The title of his sermon is "Finding Our Way." Happenings at church this week include The congregational quarterly meeting on Sunday, Bone Builders on Monday and Thursday at 9:30 a.m.; prepping for overflow meal at 2 p.m., serving at 6 p.m. at the former Austine School; Wednesday is Craft Night from 6 to 8 p.m., Dummerston Cares meets on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. for a free program and light lunch. The program is Annamarie Pluhar presenting on "Aging in Place with Company." More info at 802-257-5800 or email at "info@dummerstoncares.org. Snow date is Jan. 24. On Friday, Jan. 18, there will be Tea & Talk at 1 p.m. with a Bible Study program entitled "The User's Guide to the Bible" which talks about the contents of the books of the bible, where the books came from and how they were edited and canonized into the form we have today. This is the first of a 2-part series. Church will be cancelled on Sunday if weather warrants, regular patrons will be called.



EAST DOVER

Baptist Church

East Dover Baptist Church, 34 Dover Hill Road, welcomes all to worship service and activities. Worship service is at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. There will be a blend of traditional hymns and contemporary worship songs. Pastor Robert McIntyre is continuing his sermons in the book of Matthew. The sermon this week is titled, "What a Privilege," taken from Matthew 22:15-22. For more information visit the website at eastdoverbaptistchurch.com or call 802-348-6366.



GUILFORD

Community Church

This is the First Sunday of Epiphany and the Baptism of Jesus which leads the Guilford Community Church, United Church of Christ to a 10 a.m. worship service focused on the Jordan River. The Sunday school will begin a 12-week focus on children of the Holy Land and Rev Lise Sparrow will simulate what a baptism in the river might have looked like during the children's story. Music for the day, under the direction of Andy Davis, will include a shape note favorite "On Jordan's Stormy Banks" and the more classical "Coventry Carol." Anyone wishing to sing in the choir should arrive by 9 a.m. The sermon will consider the ritual of baptism and the promise made in Isaiah 42: "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you." After the service the congregation will join in a potluck coffee hour and time of fellowship to which everyone is welcome. The church is one mile south of exit 1 on Route 5 just in back of the Guilford Country Store. For more information call 802-257-2776 or friend us on Facebook at "Guilford Community Church" or check out the website at guilford church.org. Services are also being filmed and can be found on BCTV Wednesday at 7 a.m. and Sundays at 8 a.m. or anytime online at brattleborotv.org.



JAMAICA

Community Church

The Jamaica Community Church, in the "Heart of the Village," welcomes all on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m., the bell in the steeple calls out to the community, both members and visitors, to come and worship. Pastor Mary Mac's Sermon is titled "Once Again, Reborn!" Scriptures are Isaiah 43:1-7 and Luke 3:21-22. Join in after the service for fellowship in the church vestry.



NEWFANE

First Congregational

The First Congregational Church of Newfane will meet for worship at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The Rev. Rob Hamm's sermon is titled "Learning to Swim." The scripture reading is from Luke 3:15-22. Congregational hymns are "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing," "Come and Find the Quiet Center" and "Go, My Children, with My Blessing." Mike Kelly, music director, will play the prelude and the postlude. The offertory anthem will be sung by the choir. Missions for the month of January are Andover Newton Theological and Dansalan College Foundation. The church continues 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: On Monday Al-Anon meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Linus Quilters will meet at 1 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. On Thursday, Bell and Choir practices begin at 6:15 and 7:15 p.m., respectively. Call the church office at 802-365-4079 or check out the Facebook page or visit the church website at newfanechurch.org for more information.



WEST BRATTLEBORO

First Congregational

First Congregational Church, 880 Western Ave., will hold worship at 10 a.m. Sunday. Reverend Audrey G. Walker's reflection is entitled "Name Calling" based on Scripture Luke :15-17,21-22. Our organist Bill McKim will be playing Prelude "Pastorale" by D Milaut, Offertory "Corrente Sesta" by M Rossi and Postlude:Koraal" by F Peeters. The choir anthem: "Forever Blest are They" by GF Handel is led by Bill McKim. Sunday morning worship and children's Sunday school is at 10 a.m., and a fellowship hour follows. For those with disabilities there is a ramp leading to the sanctuary level as well as large print bulletins and hymns. For a ride to worship call 802-254-4522. The church's website is firstcongregationalwb.org and email is fccwb1770@gmail.com. Telephone is 802-254-9767. The office is open from 10 a.m. to noon daily. There is an on-going collection of canned fruit and vegetables, soups, tuna fish, peanut butter and pasta for the local food shelf. The Knitting Group meets on Mondays at 1:30 p.m.



Jewish Community

The Brattleboro Area Jewish Community generally holds Shabbat services on the first three Saturday mornings and the fourth Friday night each month (subject to change) at the synagogue 151 Greenleaf St. Led by Cantor Kate Judd, Saturday services begin at 10 a.m. and are followed by light refreshments. The upcoming services are scheduled for Jan. 12 and 19. At the service on Jan. 19, which is Shabbat Shirah, the Sabbath of Song, we will be joined by members of Congregation Ahavas Achim in Keene, N.H., for a special musical service, followed by refreshments reflecting the upcoming holiday of Tu B'Shevat, the New Year of the Trees. The Friday night service this month is at 6 p.m. on Jan. 25, beginning with a Tu B'Shevat seder, a meal full of imagery and symbolism, divided into four sections that represent the four seasons . We celebrate the birthday of the trees (at the time of year in Israel when the earliest-blooming trees come back to life after being dormant all winter) by eating fruit, nuts, grains, and other foods that grow from the ground. All BAJC services are conducted in English and Hebrew. The Hebrew is translated, transliterated, and interpreted in the prayer books, so the service is accessible to all, and all are welcome to attend and participate.



Quaker

The West Brattleboro Quaker Worship Group invites everyone to join in on Sunday at 10 a.m. for worship following in the unprogrammed Quaker tradition. The group meets at the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community Center at 151 Greenleaf Street, West Brattleboro. For more information 802-257-1024.



Unitarian Universalist

All Souls Church Unitarian Universalist invites all to worship on Sunday at 10 a.m. The theme is: It's not the way I imagined it. Following the monthly theme of "Possibility," this service will use imagery and story to demonstrate ways in which we are led to believe what we see, and ways in which we can imagine a future we would like to see. The service will be led by Christina Gibbons and Maisie Crowther. Steve Squires will sing "Imagine" by John Lennon. The choir anthem is "Melodies Steal Into My Heart" by Antonin Dvorak. All Souls Church at the West Village Meeting House is at 29 South Street across the road and up from the West Brattleboro fire station and village green. For more information or directions, call the office at 802-254-9377, email: office@ascvt.org



WEST CHESTERFIELD, N.H.

First Universalist

Sunday at 10 a.m. at the First Universalist Church of West Chesterfield, Rev. Sandra J. Whippie will lead worship service. Flutist Laura Greenspan will provide music. All are welcome to join in for worship and fellowship in this rural historic sanctuary at 10 Main Street, off Route 9. Bring a non-perishable food item to donate to Joan's Food Panty in time for Christmas. For more information, visit the church website at chesterfielduu.org or visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/FirstUniversalistChurchOfWestChesterfield.



WINDHAM COUNTY

Our Lady of Mercy

Roman Catholic Church services: include Our Lady of Mercy in Putney, Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 a.m.; Our Lady of the Valley in Townshend, Sunday at 10:30 a.m.; Chapel of the Snows at Stratton Mountain, Sunday at 12:30 p.m. (Thanksgiving through Easter), and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (Long weekends additional Saturday Mass at 6 p.m.); St. Edmund of Canterbury in Saxtons River, First Friday Mass 5:30 p.m. monthly. For more information visit ourladyofmercyandthewestrivermissions.com or call 802-387-5861.

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