Religion news and notes


The Sunday Service at First Baptist Church of Bellows Falls is the first Sunday of Advent. This first candle will be lit as in celebration of the hope that Christ's birth brings to all Children of God. Advent is a time to celebrate the beauty and glory of Jesus' birth, remember his humble beginnings and consider how he changed the world forever. It is also a time to reflect upon our lives in this world as his heirs and how we care for each other. We are called to unconditional love, to service of those in need and to remain awake for the call of Jesus in our lives. The title of Sunday's sermon is "Ever Hopeful." The Sunday Service begins at 10 a.m. All are welcome all to join for worship, music and community. Sunday School for all age groups begins following the children's time. Child care is also provided following the Children's Time. For more information, contact Pastors Steven and Terri at 802-463-3220. Located at 9 Church St., American Baptists serve others as "the hands and feet of Jesus."


- This Sunday, all are welcome to share worship at First Baptist Church at 10 a.m. First Baptist Church is located at 190 Main St., where Christians come together in love and acceptance. This Sunday the congregation will listen to Jesus' message from the Book of Mark, Chapter 13, verses 24- 27, entitled, "The Coming of the Son of Man" and verses 32-37, "No One Knows the Day or Hour." Reverend Suzanne Andrews will share a sermon titled, "Be Ready — Jesus is Coming!" Rev. Andrews will speak of how the Scripture quotes Jesus, "No one knows when that day (when Jesus will return) or hour will come — neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son; only the Father knows. Be on watch, be alert, for you do not know when the time will come!" The emphasis on Pastor Sue's sermon will explain that God is telling us Jesus will come again and change everything. All need to be ready and need to believe that Jesus will come again. Lives will change for the better. Special music will be offered by Jan Stinchfield who will sing, "Sweet Little Jesus Boy." 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. First Baptist Church is a caring, open congregation and is handicapped accessible. Sunday School is available for children of all ages. Fellowship follows the service. Those who need a ride should call the church office at 802-254-9566. This Sunday Holy Communion will be offered. God bless all.

- Trinity Lutheran Church, at 161 Western Ave., is preparing for Advent which starts Sunday. The church continues its worship schedule each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. with Holy Communion. Sunday School starts at 9 a.m. along with confirmation class and adult forum. This Monday, Trinity will serve a meal at the homeless shelter.

- All are welcome at Centre Congregational Church, an open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ at 193 Main St. This Sunday at 10 a.m., Rev. Bert Marshall leads the Holy Communion service on the First Sunday of Advent; Rev. Bert's meditation is titled "When You Awaken." Nursery care is provided for infants and toddlers during the worship service, and an adult study group meets at 9 a.m. in the library. Centre's Brown Bag Lunch group meets on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at noon in the parlor. All are welcome, bring lunch. Loaves and Fishes serves a free community meal each Tuesday and Friday at 11:30 a.m. in Memorial Hall. For further information. call the church office at 802-254-4730 or visit

- Today, St. Michael's Episcopal Church will hot an Advent workshop on discernment and decision-making, "Listening for God Through the Heart, Soul, and Spirit." What would it be like to experience God's guidance and support in everyday decisions as well as with major life choices? How do we discern God's voice in our lives from other competing voices? Come learn a practical framework and method for accessing your deepest wisdom about what it means to follow God by listening for guidance in your decisions. Bring a decision you are currently wrestling with for reflection. The workshop will be co-led by Duncan Hilton and Sarah Moore, a graduate of Harvard Law School and Divinity School and founder of Decision-making from the Soul ( The workshop will be from 8:45 a.m. to noon. Coffee and light refreshments will be served. Contact the church office at 802-254-6048 or


- Services at Dummerston Congregational Church begin at 10 a.m. with Rev. Shawn Bracebridge. This Sunday, Rev. Bracebridge's topic will be "New Hope," and the Scripture will be Isaiah 11: v. 1-10. Children begin the worship service in the sanctuary with their parents, following the Children's Story they go downstairs to their classroom for their Sunday School activities. This is Communion Sunday, and children may participate at their parents' discretion. Activities this week include Greening of the church following the service tomorrow, with a light lunch of soup and sandwiches provided for those staying to help make wreaths and put up the trees. Bone Builders meet on Monday and Thursday at the church at 9:30 a.m. Dummerston Planning Commission meets at the church at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Also, the Deacons meet at the parsonage office at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Crafters meet from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. Thursday is Missions Committee meeting at 2 p.m.The Trustees will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Friday at the home of Ray Enello. There will be a church meeting following the Dec. 17 morning service to vote on the proposed 2018 budget.


- East Dover Baptist Church welcomes all to its worship service and activities. Worship service is at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, with a blend of traditional hymns and contemporary worship songs. Pastor Robert McIntyre continues his Christmas sermons this week with "RSVP Simeon," taken from Luke 2:25-35. Come for a Christmas Eve Service at 7 p.m. There will be Christmas hymns and special music, Scripture readings of the Christmas story, and a message by the Pastor. The church is located at 34 Dover Hill Road in East Dover. For more information call 802-348-6366 or visit


The Christmas season at Guilford Community Church begins from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today with the Christmas Bazaar. Crafts and baked goods, fudge and preserves, wreaths and white elephants and wonderful breakfasts, lunches and beverages for everyone's tastes complement a wonderful raffle including this year's "happy quilt" made by Judy Siler and quilted by Silver Lining Quilts in Ludlow. At the 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday, the first candle of Advent will be lit as the congregation opens the season remembering victims of HIV/AIDSs in honor of World AIDS Day and the Kaiguchu Guilford Children's Project, which serves children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Kenya. Andy Davis will lead the choir in two anthems, "All Are Welcome," and "I Heard From Heaven Today," and Rev. Lise Sparrow will lead the service of Holy Communion and offer the homily, entitled "Alleluia-Anyhow," reflecting on Rev.Clay Evans spiritual poetry. Tom Ragle will read the scripture taken from Genesis 5:1-6 and Romans 4:17-25 and a contemporary poem, "Advent Credo," by Allan Boesak, a South African Dutch Reformed Church cleric and politician and anti-apartheid activist. During the service Kathy Gatto-Gurney and the Sunday School teachers will help the children prepare for the pageant, which will take place on Dec. 17. 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. For more information call 802-257-2776, visit find Guilford Community Church on Facebook.


- The First Congregational Church of Newfane will meet for morning worship and Holy Communion at 10 a.,m. on Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent. Guest Pastor, Rev. Dr. James Scott's sermon is titled "What Time Is It?" and the scripture is from 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 and Mark 13:28-37. Congregational hymns are "In The Bleak Midwinter," and "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus." The first of the Advent Candles, the Candle of Hope," will be lit by Ken & Ellie Lemire. Mike Kelly, Music Director, will play the prelude "The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came." He will be joined by Martha LaMoria on the organ for the Postlude "The Birthday of A King." The choir will sing the offertory anthem "How Will We Know the Messiah?" The missions for the month of December are The UCC Ministers' Relief Fund and SEVCA Heat Assistance. 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. Call the church office at 802-365-4079 or visit for more information. Everyone is welcome.


- Christ's Church will be celebrating Communion this first Sunday of Advent. The 10 a.m. service will include the lighting of the Advent Wreath and the placing of Chrismons on the Christmas tree. Rev. Ivy Merrill's message will focus on words of hope, peace, joy and love. All are invited to share in a potluck luncheon following the service. In the afternoon, the Saxtons River Ringers Bell Choir will be holding a 4 p.m. concert in the sanctuary of the church as part of the Christmas tree lighting ceremony taking place in Saxtons River. On Thursday, Dec. 7, the Women's Fellowship will be meeting in the Fellowship Room at 1 p.m. for its Annual Christmas Tea. Eric Robinson will share a special Christmas story as well as lead all in the singing of some Christmas carols. Refreshments will be served by the Executive Board. And, looking ahead to Christmas, Christ's Church will have its annual Christmas Eve Service in the sanctuary at 7 p.m. This family oriented service will be led by Rev. Janice Chilek and includes special readings, music and the lighting of the candles by the Rhythmic Choir. The Blue Door Soup Suppers are taking place each Wednesday evening from 5:30 to 6:30 in the Church Dining Room. As colder weather sets in, it is an opportunity for friends and neighbors to meet and visit while enjoying some good hot soup. Donations go to Our is handicapped accessible and all are welcome. For questions or further information, call the church office at 869-2340 or visit


- Sunday service a the Townshend Church will be at 10 a.m. Rev. Vernon Stanley will provide the sermon. Fellowship hour immediately follows the sermon. Those in Townshend for the Horse Parade are invited to the church afterward for arts and crafts around 2 p.m. followed by a potluck at 3 p.m. The lighting of the Christmas tree in the gazebo is scheduled for 4 p.m. All are welcome. The Townshend Church is an ABC and a UCC congregation guided by its lay members.


- Join members and friends of the Walpole Unitarian Church for breakfast Sunday morning at Hastings Parish House for the monthly Family First service. This month,will begin the week-long celebration of Chalica, or Chalice Week. After a hectic start to the holiday season, why not an easy Sunday morning? Just roll yourselves out of bed and plan to come at 10 a.m. and just enjoy brunch and each other's company. No cooking. You have enough ahead of you this month.     Led by Dorothy Read and Virginia Carter, the event is our monthly "casual Sunday" and includes a prepared brunch, topic of discussion, and activity. If you have never been to the church before, this is a great time to drop by, have a meal, ask questions, and get to know the congregation. Chalica, is contemplation of each of the Seven Principles during the seven days of the week, looking for opportunities to put the principle into action in our daily lives. Those principles: We embrace and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; a free and responsible search for truth and meaning; the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society; the goal of word community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and, respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. There will be a special chalice activity planned for everyone, and the congregation will sign holiday greeting cards for shut-ins and prisoners. Walpole Unitarian Church is a Welcoming Congregation that embraces spiritual diversity, social justice, and love for each other and the environment.


- 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). Led by Cantor Kate Judd, Saturday morning services begin at 10 at the synagogue at 151 Greenleaf St. Services are followed by light refreshments. Today, the Torah portion, Vayashev, begins the story of Joseph and his brothers; the story continues in Miketz, on the following Dec. 9. There is no Friday night service in December but there is a community Chanukah party on Dec. 15, starting at 5 p.m., with an hour of study and story followed at 6 by candle-lighting, holiday foods, dreidel games, and music. All are invited to attend to learn, eat, sing, dance, play, and shmooze. Services are conducted in English and Hebrew. The Hebrew is translated, transliterated, and interpreted in the prayer book, so the service is accessible to all, and all are welcome to attend. Hebrew school meets on the first three Sunday afternoons in December for youngsters ages 7 to 13. Tot Shabbat, for younger children, meets at 11 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month. Visit or call 802-257-1959 for more information.

- All Souls Church Unitarian Universalist at the West Village Meeting House, invites all to worship on Sunday at 10 a.m. This Sunday's theme is "On The Wings of Fear and Hope" with Amer Latif. The Islamic Wisdom Tradition sees fear and hope as reflective of a dynamic that powers all of existence. Fear and hope, like winter and summer, are complements and one cannot exist without the other. From the perspective of unity, both fear and hope are manifestations of the One Source. This talk will reflect on the implications of this worldview in which fear and hope are called "the two wings of the bird of spirit." A ll Souls at the West Village Meeting House is a Welcoming Congregation and a Green Sanctuary. All Souls is located at 29 South St. 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 or visit

- This First Sunday of Advent worship service will be on Sunday at First Congregational Church, 880 Western Ave., an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ. Reverend Sandy Daly's Meditation is entitled "A Heart For Hope," based on the scripture Luke3:3-6. Communion will be served and the Candle of Hope will be lit on the Advent wreath. Organist Bill McKim will be playing Prelude: "Overture to Messiah," by Handel, Introit: "Hope will Come in the Morning," by M.A. Amidon, Offertory, "Pastoral Symphony from Messiah," by Handel, and Postlude, "Grand Coeur," by P. Salome. Our choir will sing "Prepare the Way of the Lord," by W. Rown.This Anthem is directed by Bill McKim. Sunday morning worship and children's Sunday School is at 10 a.m., with a fellowship hour to follow. 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 and email is Telephone is 802-254- 9767.


Whitingham Church will present a Christmas Pageant on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Come and enjoy local talent presenting the story of the birth of Jesus. All are welcome. Start the season enjoying the reason for the season and celebrate with Whitingham Church. Pastor John Brigham can be reached at 802-368-2980 or Linda Farrington at 802-368-7456. Choir members are invited to come and sing Christmas carols; Jan Durfey is available at 802-368-2947 for any choir questions.


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