Religion News in Brief



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


Worship at Second Congregational Church

Give thanks for the gift of a New Year at Second Congregational Church this Sunday morning. Our worship begins at 10 a.m., led by the Rev. Bruce Lee-Clark. Matt Edwards, our Music Director, provides our music for the new year. The Sacrament of Holy Communion will be celebrated, and all are welcome to the table. A time of fellowship and refreshment follows in Webster Hall.

Second Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming, Green Justice Congregation of the United Church of Christ. We welcome to our worship and work 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 further information, call the church office at 802-442-2559 or visit www.

North Bennington

Worship at Congregational Church

The North Bennington Congregational Church welcomes everyone to its 11 a.m. worship service led by the Rev. Penny Rich Smith on this New Year's Day. We will celebrate Holy Communion. It will be an informal service with the sharing of stories, poems and reflections and ringing of bells with the songs. No Sunday School this day, but children are invited to join in the service.

Following the service, all are invited to stay for coffee hour and a time of fellowship. The church is located at 8 Bank St. 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

New Year's Day Service at the Federated Church

Welcome 2017 at the Service of Worship on January 1 at 10 a.m. at the Federated Church of East Arlington on Ice Pond Road. This is a Communion Sunday when all are invited to the table and to bring non-perishable food items for the Arlington Food Shelf. The Federated Church is pleased to welcome Jane LoBrutto to the pulpit. Jane works as the Administrator for the United Church of Dorset and East Rupert and serves as a licensed minister for the Southwest Association with the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ. Musical accompaniment and choir direction will be provided during the service by Mary Edwards. Immediately following Worship, everyone is invited into Bailey Hall for a time of fellowship and refreshments.

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, For additional information phone the church office at 802-375-2548, send an email to or visit our Facebook page.


Worship and events at St. Peter's

On the first Sunday after Christmas, Jan. 1, 2017, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, the Rev. Justin Lanier will preside at Holy Eucharist at the 8 a.m. service using Rite I of the Book of Common Prayer. At the 10 a.m. service Father Justin will use Rite II, which will include music by our choir, lead by our Organist and Choirmaster, John Riddle. The gospel for this Sunday is Luke 2:15-21. A healing service follows both the 8 a.m. and the 10 a.m. Eucharist.

The general Fundraising Committee Meeting will be held following the 10 a.m. service. It will be a brief meeting, held in the office, as it is the monthly update on the progress of all the individual activities.

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 no Evening Prayer or Contemplative Prayer on Wednesday, Jan. 3.

On Thursday, Jan. 4, the Holy Eucharist will be offered starting at 10 a.m. in the Lady Chapel.

Please note that choir rehearsals continue on each Thursday evening.

On Jan. 8, the Outreach Committee will meet after the 10 a.m. service in the Guild Room. They will discuss donations to be made this year. Any congregant may be a part of this mission committee, so if this is where your interests lie, you are welcome to join us.

Reminder: The Annual Meeting will be held in the Parish Hall following the 10 a.m. service on Jan. 29. Reports should be mailed by e-mail to, or a typewritten report may be given to John Riddle by Jan. 13.

Angel Wings: We have a family at Thatcher House, mom and dad and 6 children. They need many hygiene and cleaning products. Please 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. Please 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. The facilities on Pleasant St. are wheelchair-accessible. For more information, visit or call 802-442-2911.


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