Religion news and notes

West Brattleboro

The Force

The worship service Sunday at First Congregational Church 880 Western Ave., an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, features Guest Minister the Sandy Daly's reflection "May the Force Be With You," based on Isaiah 42:1-4 and Matthew 3:11-17. Organist Martha LaMoria's Prelude is "Shall We Gather at the River," by Livingston and Lowry. The Offertory will be "Sweet Hour of Prayer," by Ritter and Bradbury, and the Postlude "Echoes of Triumph," by Livingston, Jr. Our choir will offer the anthem. Congregational hymns are "Christ Is the World's True Light," "Breathe On Me, Breath of God," and "Go, My Children, With My Blessing." Sunday morning worship 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. There is an on-going collection of canned fruit and vegetables, soups, tuna fish, peanut butter and pasta for the local food shelf. Our Knitting Group meets on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. For a ride to worship call 802-254-4522, The church's website is and email is Telephone is 802-254-9767. The church office is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m.

Bellows Falls

Paying homage

Sunday Service at First Baptist Church features a discussion on the determination of the Magi. "On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage." These words from Matthew have echoed down the centuries and into our hearts. We recognize the familiar story and imagine the mystery and beauty of the scene. But how often do we think about the boldness and determination of the Magi, departing from their homelands to find the foretold King? What of their journey to the manger? How did they feel when the star stopped above the manger and they entered to witness this heavenly scene? When considering these questions, we should ask ourselves about the journey we are on. What has our journey looked like and can we see where we are going? Are we seeking to approach God or going the other way? And finally, if we were to journey to the manger, what would we bring? What is important in our lives that we want to share with the baby Jesus? We will consider these and other questions this Sunday. The title of the sermon is "Paying Homage." Pastor's office hours are 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays followed by Bible Study from 3 to 4 p.m. where we will begin our in-depth study of the Gospel of Luke. We welcome all to join us for worship, music and community. The Sunday Service begins at 10 a.m. Sunday school for High School aged youth begins at 9:40. Sunday School for all other age groups begins following the children's time. Child care is also provided following the children's time. For more information, please contact Pastors Steven and Terri at 802-463-3220. Located at 9 Church Street, American Baptists serve others as "the hands and feet of Jesus."


New things

The Townshend Church's Sunday service will be at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Pastor Donald Hashem will provide the sermon titled, "Some New Things for the New Year." The sermon text will be from Philippians 3:12-16. Carmen Hashem will provide the music. Please stay after the service for our fellowship hour. All are welcome. The Townshend Church is a UCC and ABC congregation guided by its lay members.

Walpole, N.H.

Families first

Join us Sunday at Hastings Parish House of the Walpole Unitarian Church at 10 a.m. when we will host this month's Family First Sunday, "Random Acts of Kindness," led by Pam Blair and Wendy Harty. All are welcome to attend, and brunch is provided.     We'll share the Love with a special project, and discuss how acts of kindness can be good for the giver and well as the receiver. We'll use the Abundant Love project model for our craft time, more information on this project can be found at No time to cook breakfast? Well, get up, get dressed, and all you have to do is show up. Curious about the Unitarian Universalist faith? This is a perfect time to join us in a casual atmosphere and ask all the questions you like. This is a hassle-free time for adults or the entire family to interact with other families, and talk with members of the congregation about values and spiritual dimensions in our lives. We'll have a lovely breakfast or brunch with our family that someone else cooks. We'll talk, we'll sing, we'll have fun, and share a meal and our time.

Spread the word. Bring a friend. They need not be a family with children, it could be an individual, or a middle-aged woman and her cousin and mother! Families come in many different forms, and sometimes a good friend is as close as family. We'll feed your bodies, your curiosity, and your spirit! We are a Welcoming Congregation dedicated to love and social justice.

West Brattleboro

Angry bearded men

All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at the West Village Meeting House, invites all to worship on Sunday. This Sunday's theme is "About Those Angry Bearded Men." All Souls minister the Shayna Appel points out that those "angry bearded men shouting and predicting God's judgment" weren't all angry. In fact, many were quite reticent about their calls, but they traveled a spiritual road most of us will never know. Still, maybe there are lessons we can learn from them. 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 and 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 or visit



Services at Dummerston Congregational Church begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday with guest minister the Anthony Acheson leading the service, including Communion. The Acheson will be speaking on "Practicing Stillness" and the Scripture will be Psalm 46. This will be Acheson's last Sunday with us as Shawn Bracebridge will be our new settled pastor beginning next Sunday, Jan. 15. Welcome. The youth will hold a pizza and games night on Saturday, Jan. 14,

from 5 to 9 p.m. Come, bring a game to play or just join in on some of the other games that are available. This is open to anyone, not just kids. Choir rehearsal takes place on Thursday at 7 p.m. The choir will be performing on Jan. 15. The junior choir meets on Mondays from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Committee chairs are

reminded that news for the Dummerstonian is due on Jan. 16. Because the Dummerston Congregational Church is located on top of a hill, church may be cancelled due to inclement weather, especially icy conditions. If you would like to be included in the phone tree which alerts people to cancelled services, please send you name and telephone where you can be reached to or leave a message at 802-257-0544. Dummerston Congregational Church is an open and affirming church and Green Justice Congregation.


The river

All are welcome at Centre Congregational Church this Sunday at 10 a.m.; Reverend Bert Marshall will be leading the worship service. Guest organist Marla Zippay joins us while Music Director Mary Milkey-May is on vacation. Nursery care is provided for infants and toddlers during the worship service. Scripture Readings: Isaiah 42:1-9 and Matthew 3:13-17. Meditation is "What the River Says," by Bert Marshall. Next Sunday, Jan. 15, at 4 p.m., the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Clergy Association welcomes all to Centre Church for a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and works, with special music from Samirah Evans and chorus. Following the service, the Interfaith Youth hosts a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. For further information please call the church office at 802-254-4730.



This Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church, the lectionary readings feature stories in which Jesus is shown forth as Christ, our Savior. The gospel for this coming Sunday tells of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus and a voice from heaven naming Jesus the Son of God. We who are baptized are also called sons and daughters of God. Come to worship, to remember and celebrate your own baptism. Trinity offers a half hour worship service at 8:30 a.m. and a 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 a.m. Trinity Lutheran Church is located at 161 Western Ave., across from Holton Home. Trinity is an Open and Affirming congregation. For more information, visit our website, or call the church office at 802-254-4220.



Commune: a) to talk together intimately; b) to be in close spiritual harmony with. Both these definitions capture rather well the essence of communion. Christian Science churches hold a communion service twice a year, but the communing is ongoing. "Our Eucharist is spiritual communion with the one God. Our bread, 'which cometh down from heaven,' is Truth. Our cup is the cross. Our wine the inspiration of Love, the draught our Master drank and commended to his followers," wrote Mary Baker Eddy, in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." Christian Science worship services are always simple and contemplative in nature. The emphasis is not on ritual, but rather on the living Christ, and on the healing and transformation that Christ brings to our lives each day. And this is certainly true of the communion service. Everyone is welcome. Worship begins at 10:45 a.m. at 57 Putney Road. Please call 802-254-5117 for information.

Saxtons River

Agape feast

Ivy Merrill will be leading Worship Service this Sunday. The congregation will be meeting in the Fellowship Room for the winter months. Services will continue to begin at 10 a.m. This Sunday communion will be celebrated with an agape feast around the table and observing the Epiphany — the arrival of the magi to Jesus. The service will include the singing, scripture, prayer, and pondering the meanings of the guiding star. The Blue Door Community Soup Suppers continue to be held in the Church dining room on Wednesdays from 5:30 until 6:30 p.m. and offer a wonderful opportunity to enjoy some delicious soup while visiting with friends and neighbors. Any donations are graciously received and given to Our Place. Christ's Church is handicapped accessible. For more information about any of our services or events, you may call 802-869- 2340.


Called to serve

The Jamaica Community Church welcomes all visitors to join us at 10 AM on Sunday. The Norma Drosky will preach on "Called to Serve," based on Isaiah 42:1-9 and Matthew 3:13-17. Jesus is baptized and we hear the familiar proud words of "This is my Son, the Beloved, in whom I am well pleased," (Matthew 3:17b). Jesus left this place anointed for service. In our baptisms, we also have been anointed and called to serve God. The 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.



the Sabbath

The First Congregational Church of Newfane will meet for morning worship and communion at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The Rob Hamm will lead worship with a meditation "Remember the Sabbath," and a scripture reading from Exodus 20:1-11. Congregational hymns are "The God of Abraham Praise," "Come and Find the Quiet Center," and "Jesus Calls Us O'er the Tumult." The prelude "Cradle Medley," by Wilson, and the postlude "Tell the Good News," by L. Smith, will be played by Alice Gausch, organist. The offertory anthem "Gifts of Love," by Gillette/spiritual, will be sung by the choir. Our missions for the month of January are Andover Newton Theological Seminary and The Bangor Center. 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. On Tuesday, Sew What's will meet at 5 p.m. On Wednesday evening the Trustees will meet at 6 p.m. and Council follows at 7:30. Senior lunch will be held at noon on Thursday. On Thursday evening bells and choir practices are held at 4:15 and 6:30 p.m., respectively. Please call the church office at 802-365-4079 or visit the church website at for more information. Everyone is welcome.

Bellows Falls

Baptism of Christ

On Sunday, Immanuel Episcopal Church at 20 Church St., will celebrate the Eucharist and the Baptism of Jesus Christ, with services led by The Steve Fuller and The Bruce MacDuffie at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. The 8 a.m. is a "quiet service" and the 10 a.m. service features music.


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