Religion news and notes

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Walpole, N.H.

'Herland'

At the Walpole Unitarian Church Sunday, at the corner of Main Street and Union Street at 10 a.m., Rev. Kitsy Winthrop will present "Herland," a reflection in honor of Women's History Month, which includes thoughtful consideration about a remarkable utopian novel from 1915, written by feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman.If you've never been to our church before, this is a perfect time to attend, listen to Rev. Kitsy's reflections, and stay after for refreshments, conversation, and any questions about us you may have. We are a Welcoming Congregation that embraces spiritual diversity, freedom, social action, and love for each other and the environment.

Brattleboro

Build on rock

Jesus' simple parables hold up well. Don't build a house on sand; build on a solid foundation. Build on the rock. He wasn't talking about granite, but the solid foundation of spiritual ideas, of teachings based on timeless, provable truths. "... whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock" (Matthew 7:24). We'd all like to know that we're walking on solid ground, that the way we live our lives is based on something truly substantial and lasting. And the spirituality that Jesus taught and lived offers that sure foundation — solid ground. Mary Baker Eddy, a faithful follower of Christ Jesus, once wrote, "The testimony of the material senses is neither absolute nor divine. I therefore plant myself unreservedly on the teachings of Jesus, of his apostles, of the prophets, and on the testimony of the Science of Mind. Other foundations there are none," ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures"). Sunday worship at the Christian Science Church begins at 10:45 a.m. at 57 Putney Rd. 802-254-5117.

Newfane

Prayer in the dark

The First Congregational Church of Newfane will meet for morning worship at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Rev. Rob Hamm's sermon is titled "Prayer in the Dark," with scriptures from Luke 22:40-46. Congregational hymns are "The God of Abraham Praise," "When Our Confidence is Shaken," and "Christ, You Call Us All to Service." The prelude, "If With all Your Hearts, " by Mendelssohn, will be sung by David Roberts, tenor. The postlude, "Postlude on Beecher," by J. Morgan, will be played by Alice Gausch, organist. The offertory anthem "Stay With Me" by Taize/Berthier will be sung by the choir. Our mission for the month of March is One Great Hour of Sharing. 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: On Sunday at 11:30 a.m., Mental Health Group 1 will meet and from Noon to 2 p.m, Friendly Visitor Training continues. On Monday, Al-Anon meets at 7:30 p.m. On Tuesday, Bell Practice begins at 4:30 p.m. in the sanctuary and Sew What's meets at 5 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. On Thursday, Choir practice begins at 6:30 p.m. Call the church office at 802-365-4079 or visit the church website at www.newfanechurch.org for more information. Everyone is welcome.

Brattleboro

The Apostles' Creed

On each Sunday during Lent, Pastor Peggy Yingst offers part of her sermon series on Luther's Small Catechism, in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 1517. This Sunday, she'll preach on the words of our faith in The Apostles' Creed. Come to worship, and join with a people, who hunger for our God and are made alive in Christ. 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., Brattleboro. Trinity is an Open and Affirming congregation. For more information, visit trinitybrattleboro.org or call the church office at 802-254-4220.

Brattleboro

Give me a drink

All are welcome at Centre Congregational Church this Sunday at 10 a.m.; Reverend Bert Marshall will be leading the worship service on the third Sunday of Lent. Flutist Alison Hale joins Mary Milkey-May, Centre's music director, to provide special music. Nursery care is provided for infants and toddlers during the worship service; Friendship Hour follows the service. Rev. Bert is facilitating a Lenten Bible Study group every Monday, noon to 1:30 p.m., in the parlor through April 10; please bring a Bible and an open spirit. Scripture Readings: Exodus 17:1-7, John 4:5-42. Meditation: Give Me a Drink, Rev. Bert Marshall. For more information, call the church office at 802-254-4730.

Dummerston

'Come out'

Church services will begin at 10 a.m. on this third Sunday in Lent, Sunday with The Rev. Shawn Bracebridge leading the service. The children begin the service in the sanctuary and then go downstairs for their Sunday School lessons. They return to the care of their parents at the end of the church service, especially through coffee hour. The scripture lesson for this week comes from John 11, vs.17-44, the story of the raising of Lazarus. The title of Rev. Bracebridge's sermon is "Come Out!" Happenings at the church this coming week includes preparing and serving a meal at the Brattleboro Overflow Shelter on Tuesday evening, Bible Study at the Church at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Choir Rehearsal at 7 p.m. on Thursday, and a meet-N-greet and breakfast at the parsonage on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. This is the first in a series of getting to know our pastor breakfasts and a sign-up sheet will be at the church for those interested in participating on one of the other scheduled dates. There will be a short congregational meeting on Sunday, April 26th, to elect members to the PPRC Committee, to elect members to attend the Spring VT UCC Conference, and take care of other business as necessary. Dummerston Congregational Church is an open and affirming and Green Justice Congregation.

West Brattleboro

Extravagant love

The worship service on March 19 at First Congregational Church 880 Western Avenue in West Brattleboro, an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ, features Rev. Sandy Daly's reflection, "Extravagant Love," based on John 12:1-8. Our organist, Bill McKim, will offer for prelude, "Be Thou My Vision," arranged by E. Broughton, and for postlude, "Toccata" by E. Gigout "Concerto in F," by G.F. Handel. The anthem will be "Jesu, Gentle Savior," and the offertory, Handel's "Lento." Congregational hymns are "What Wondrous Love Is This," "Jesus, The Very Thought To Me," and "Won't You Let Me Be Your Servant." 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. For a ride to worship call 802-254-4522. The church's website is www.firstcongregationalwb.org and email is fccwb1770@gmail.com. Telephone is 802-254-9767. The church office is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m.

Bellows Falls

No buckets

The woman said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?" (John 4:11). Jesus is alone at the well, midday with an unescorted Samaritan woman. Everything is wrong with this interaction from the viewpoint of the Disciples, but everything is right from our viewpoint, thousands of years later. Jesus lights a fire of faith in this woman's soul, creating the first evangelist for Christ. This Sunday we will hear about their conversation and the importance it has for us today. Come and hear a beautiful story that calls us all to actively witness to the love of our God. Pastor's office hours are 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Bible Study will continues with our in-depth study of the Gospel of Luke from 3 to 4 p.m. Please join us. The Sunday Service begins at 10. We welcome all to join us for worship, music and community. 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 contact Pastors Steven and Terri at 802-463-3220. First Baptist Church of Bellows Falls is located at 9 Church Streets. American Baptists serve others as "the hands and feet of Jesus."

Brattleboro

Weekly mass

St. Michael Roman Catholic Parish, 47 Walnut St., hosts mass this weekend on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 8 and 10:30 a.m. Weekday mass includes Tuesday at 5:15 p.m., Wednesday at 8:45 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. and Thursday and Friday at 7:30 a.m. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is Saturday from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m., and 4:30 to 5 p.m, during Lent or by appointment. Join us Friday for Stations of the Cross at 5:30 p.m. in the church followed by Soup and Bread at St. Michael School in Msgr. Rand Hall at 6 p.m. The Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal will lead the Stations this week and will join us afterwards in Msgr. Rand Hall.

Guilford

Love the one you're with

"Come O Thou Traveler," as sung by Tony Barrand will speak both to the travelers who will come to our Sugar Supper on Saturday and to the worshipers at 10 a.m. Sunday. Those seeking tickets for the supper should call Fred Breunig at 802-254-9019 before 3 p.m. or walk in at the 7 p.m. seating. Other seatings are at 4:30 and 5:45 p.m. and need a call ahead. The traditional not-to-be missed meal includes ham, homemade beans, rolls, potato salad and coleslaw with a dessert of fresh snow with hot maple syrup, pickles and donuts. Tomorrow's worship will open with Barrand's anthem and will include the "Agnus Dei" and an original composition by Peter Amidon, entitled "The Good Samaritan" which tells the story found in Luke 10:25-37. Franz Robert will serve as organist. Rev. Lise Sparrow will share the story with the children and offer a homily entitled "Love the One You're With," reflecting on Christ's teachings on Love. After the story the children will recess to Sunday School to prepare a puppet show for the One Great Hour of Sharing collection which takes place next week.

After the service, as part of the Lenten Series, those interested will meet with Josh Davis, the executive director of the Groundworks Collaborative as well as members of the congregation who have themselves been homeless to share their experiences. This is part of the exploration of the church's call to support the homeless through meals, donations and volunteers. 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. 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 www.guilfordchurch.org or friend us on Facebook at "Guilford Community Church."

Townshend

All are welcome

The Townshend Church will hold its Sunday service at 10 a.m. on March 19. Rev. James Scott will provide the sermon and Dan Dewalt will provide the music. Our fellowship hour immediately follows the sermon. All are welcome. The Townshend Church is an ABC and UCC congregation guided by its lay members.

Brattleboro

Naw-Ruz

On Monday, Baha'is around the globe will be celebrating Naw-Ruz (Persian for new year). This is a festive Holy Day for Baha'is, marking the end of the nineteen day fast which began on March 1. Baha'is between the ages of 15 and 70 abstain from food and drink from sun up to sun down. Travelers, nursing mothers, laborers, pregnant women and the sick are exempt from fasting. Baha'u'llah, the Founder of the Baha'i Faith, wrote: "Say: O people of the world! We have enjoined upon you fasting during a brief period, and at its close have designated for you Naw-Ruz as a feast." Globally, Baha'is mark Naw-Ruz with a worship service and often with visiting and a communal meal. Baha'u'llah revealed a special prayer for Naw-Ruz: "Praised be Thou, O my God, that Thou hast ordained Naw-Ruz as a festival unto those who have observed the fast for love of Thee and abstained from all that is abhorrent unto Thee. Grant, O my Lord, that the fire of Thy love and the heat produced by the fast enjoined by Thee may inflame them in Thy Cause, and make them to be occupied with Thy praise and with remembrance of Thee." Locally, Baha'is and their guests will gather for a meal in Brattleboro to celebrate Naw-Ruz. For more information about the Baha'i Faith call 802-254-2115 or visit us on line at www.bahai.us.

West Brattleboro

Choose a big life

These day many local folks are finding themselves called to act on their convictions and are becoming politically active, perhaps joyfully, perhaps somewhat tentatively. However for years local Steve Crofter has been making risky choices based on his deeply held beliefs about social justice and democracy. He will be speaking about those choices on Sunday at 10 a.m. at All Souls Church, UU in West Brattleboro in a sermon titled "Feeling brave? Choose a big life!" He asks "How courageous would you need to be to step outside your comfort zone?" For many of us that sounds scary, but Steve suggests we " consider creating the life of your dreams, even if it means facing whatever fears come up" and encourages us that " it might not be as risky as you imagine." A former business owner, and teacher, Crofter's experience of facing risk involves not physical danger, but the challenge of new and uncertain enterprises in unfamiliar settings. The congregation of All Souls Church Unitarian Universalist, located at the junction of South Street and Western Avenue, welcomes visitors of all faiths (and none) to join them to explore this month's topic of risk taking, courage and fear in "real life." Aware that Steve and his partner Laurel Green are preparing to welcome asylum seeking families to find a safe haven on their farm in Rockingham while the Central American refugees are waiting for legal proceedings to reach their conclusion, it seems entirely appropriate to learn more about that project and it's spiritual roots. According to Linda Hay, one of All Souls' Social and Environmental Action Committee members, "going beyond letter writing, marching, signing petitions and writing checks is something many of us aspire to, but few of us have experienced. That someone we know, a member of a nearby UU congregation, and a longtime friend, is doing so is exciting and we want to learn more." "That Singing River Farm has been set up as a L3C, 'a fairly new type of business entity that combines the financial goals of a for-profit business with the charitable goals of a non-profit organization' shows a lot more savvy than we possess. They have a Board and are fundraising, as well as using their own skills and those of volunteers to create a place for the asylum seekers to live." A search on-line for Singing River Farm will connect the reader to sites and articles about the project and a link to a Go Fund Me site.

Jamaica

A sip of water

The Jamaica Community Church welcomes all visitors to join us at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The Rev. Norma Drosky will preach on "Would You Like a Sip of Water?" based on Exodus 17:1-7 and John 4:5-42. The Samaritan woman at the well and the people of Israel all learned that God is willing and able to meet their needs, not their wants. Jesus offers us life giving water, would you like a sip? The Jamaica Community Church is located "In the Heart of Jamaica" at 7 Depot St. For more information, email jamaicachurch@copper.net, leave a message at 802-874-7019 or visit our Facebook page at Jamaica Community Church Jamaica.

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