Religion news in brief


North Bennington

Living Nativity at Baptist Church

The North Bennington Baptist Church will be having its annual Living Nativity Celebration on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 5 p.m. at the North Bennington Baptist Church on Church Street. Join us as we celebrate the birth of our Lord in this very special ceremony! There will be carols during the performance and all are welcome to participate. This year we will be holding the celebration in our beautiful, warm sanctuary.

Hot chocolate and refreshments will be served in the Fellowship Hall following the performance.

For additional information, call Rick Gramlin at 802-368-7844 or email him at


Fourth Sunday of Advent at Second Congregational

It is the Fourth Sunday in Advent, and Second Congregational Church invites you to join us in worship at 10 a.m. We light the 4th Advent Candle, the Candle of Love, and we receive new members. A Jazz Trio, led by Music Director Matt Edwards, provides music for the day, and we invite all to participate in our Second Annual "Impromptu Pageant." Our Birthday Party for Jesus, with sandwiches and cake, follows in Webster Hall.

At 1:30 p.m., those wishing to go caroling are invited to meet at the church.

Second Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming, Green Justice Congregation of the United Church of Christ. We welcome to our work and worship all people of faith or in search of faith, without regard to age, race, economic condition, disability, or sexual orientation. Our building is located at 115 Hillside St. and is wheelchair-accessible. For more information, call the church office at 802-442-2559 or vistt


Worship, events at St. Peter's      

On the Fourth Sunday of Adventat St. Peter's Episcopal Church, the Rev. Justin Lanier will preside at Holy Eucharist at the 8 a.m. and the 10 a.m. services, using Rite I of the Book of Common Prayer. The 10 a.m. service will include music by our choir lead by our organist and choirmaster, John Riddle. The gospel for this Sunday is Matthew 1:18-25. A healing service follows both the 8 a.m. and the 10 a.m. Eucharist.

Nancy Sanford will cover the office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 to 11 a.m. Phyllis Bird will be in the office on Tuesdays to check phone messages and mail, and on Thursdays she will cover the office from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lanier will be in his office on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m.

There will be Evening Prayer at 5 p.m. and Contemplative Prayer from 5:30 to 6:30 on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

On Thursday, Dec. 22, the Holy Eucharist will be offered starting at 10 a.m. in the Lady Chapel.

Note that choir rehearsals continue on each Thursday evening.

The St. Petersburg Men's Ensemble will be singing Russian Sacred Music and Russian Folksongs on Tuesday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m. at the church. Bring your friends to enjoy what has become a holiday tradition at St. Peter's.

The Christmas Pageant will be a narration of the gospel at the 5 p.m. service on Christmas Eve. We welcome children and adults to join in this service. Call Mary Gerisch to be a part of thisChristmas event. There is also an 11 p.m. service with music.

Angel Wings: We have a family at Thatcher House, mom and dad and 6 children. They need many items: pull-ups size 2 (girls), diapers size 6 and 2, baby wipes, body wash for adults and children, adult toothbrushes, toothpaste, kitchen sponges and other cleaning products. Drop any items off at Nancy Sanford's house, but please call first at 802-753-7380.

We are in dire need of food for the freezer for those in a food emergency. Drop food items off at the church from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays, making sure any food is packaged in freezer bags. Food will only last a month if not packaged properly.

St. Peter's invites people of all faiths or those in search of faith to join us in our service of Christ and of each other. Wheelchair-accessible. For more information, visit or call 802-442-2911.

West Arlington

Chapel on the Green Christmas service

The Chapel on the Green located at the covered bridge in West Arlington will hold a candle light service celebrating Christmas on Dec. 18 at the 6 p.m. service. As we walk through Advent, we will sing together, have special music and calm our minds and open our hearts in the days before Christmas. There will be a time of fellowship following the service with Christmas cookies and hot chocolate. The Rev. Dr. Tom Atkins is our pastor.

All are welcome to attend.

North Bennington

Fourth Sunday of Advent at church

The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes everyone to its 11 a.m. Worship Service led by Rev. Penny Rich Smith on this fourth Sunday of Advent. We will light the fourth Advent Candle. The sermon, "Birthing A Promise," will be based on Isaiah 7:10-14 and Matthew 1: 18-25. There will be a children's time, after which Sunday School classes will meet for pre-school through grade 9. Newcomers always welcome.

Following the service, all are invited to stay for coffee hour and a time of fellowship. The church is located at 8 Bank Street and is wheelchair accessible from the back door at the parsonage driveway. For more information, call the church office at 802-442-5161.

East Arlington

Christmas Pageant Sunday

A warm welcome is extended to experience the Christmas story at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road at the 10 a.m. Service of Worship on Sunday, December 18. The 4th Advent candle of love will be lit and the children of the congregation will present this year's pageant titled, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" with carols to be sung by all. Non-perishable food items continue to be gathered under the Christmas tree in the church in an effort to meet the One Ton Challenge for 2016 in support of the Arlington Food Shelf. Immediately following Worship, everyone is invited into Bailey Hall for a birthday party for Jesus. The monthly pancake breakfast offered by the Battenkill Grange will be offered before Worship from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. The Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols takes place on December 24 at 5:00 p.m.

The Federated Church of East Arlington is a local church in covenant and connection with the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church. The Federated Church is an Open and Affirming and Reconciling congregation, with the mission, "To welcome all, to follow Jesus Christ together and to live God's word with compassionate service." For additional information phone the church office at 802-375-2548, send an email to or visit our Facebook page.



Messiah Sing-Along Returns to St. James

St. James' Episcopal Church in Arlington looks forward to hosting its 13th annual holiday presentation of Handel's masterwork, The Messiah, on Sunday, Jan. 1, at 3 p.m.

Everyone is welcome at this free sing-along concert.Presented in the sanctuary of Vermont's first Episcopal church, the concert will feature a chamber orchestra and soloists — including Kerry Ryer Parke, Keith Kibler and Paul Lambert — under the direction of Derek Galvin, a student at Williams College who is a physics major with a keen interest in music, especially conducting.

The program includes the Advent and Christmas portions of The Messiah, including six choruses that the audience is encouraged to join, culminating in the magnificent Hallelujah Chorus.

A limited number of scores will be available on a first-come basis, and light refreshments will be served downstairs after the concert. There is no charge for admission, although free-will offerings will be gratefully accepted. St. James' is handicapped-accessible, and there is plenty of parking in front of the church as well as on Main St.(Rt. 7A).

Whether you decide to sing, hum along, or just close your eyes and listen, you'll be thrilled and transported by Handel's magnificent oratorio.

For more information, call the church office at 802-375-9952, visit the church's website at or e-mail


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