What does it mean to “Be the Church”
          : Care for the poor.  Fight for the powerless
          : Share earthly and spiritual resources
          : Protect the environment
          : Reject racism
          : Celebrate diversity
          : Forgive often
          : Love God. Enjoy this life


  • SECOND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, UCC BENNINGTON, VT chosen as a winner in the Community Inspiration category of the Cool Congregations Challenge.

    The Regeneration Project of the national Interfaith Power & Light announced the win in late February and will highlight out church’s achievement on its blog, Facebook account, and on IPL’s Cool Congregations Website.

    Second Congregational Church has long been interested in energy efficiency and over time has made the church building as efficient as possible. In the early spring of 2015 the church installed a set of solar panels on their roof.

    We began to think that our next challenge was to extend ourselves beyond the limits of our church walls and engage with the larger community on environmental issues. We decided to have a celebration of our new solar system and invite the community to join in a festival. We named the festival Sun and Fun and organized it so that the emphasis was on the environmental and climate issues and on solar energy.We decided to not use the event as a fundraiser but instead to stress the ideas of simplicity and community rather than a feature of the consumer system. We did not charge a fee for vendor booths or admission and we asked vendors not to sell products at the event. We invited community groups and solar-energy-oriented businesses to participate. We offered gourmet food, outstanding music, and a children’s component. We had over 300 community people attend. We had demonstrations on electric bikes, the ELF electric car/bike, a tiny house and more. We also had a panel on how to get your own solar energy either at your home or from community solar, a seminar on climate change from a well known scientist, books on the environment, displays of outdoor recreational opportunities, and demonstrations of bee keeping, creatures in our rivers, and the power of the Sun.

    Rev. Susan Hendershot Guy president of Interfaith Power & Light noted that the congregations winning in each of five different categories “are casting a vision for the kind of world in which they want to live, and then carrying out that vision with practical actions that make a real difference in creating lasting solutions to climate change. Whether a small or large congregation, rural or urban, these projects demonstrate that when we work together, we can create positive change, save energy and money, and live out our calling to care for Creation.”

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  • “The Glory of God is the human being fully alive!”

    Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey, YOU are invited to join is on the journey at Second Congregational — a church for young and old and in-between. Second Congregational Church is a progressive church, musical and mission-minded, with opportunities for questioning and seeking. Vermont’s first “Open and Affirming” Congregation of the United Church of Christ, we welcome all people of faith or in search of faith to our work and worship, without regard to age, race, economic condition, disability, or sexual orientation.


During Advent and Christmas, our church sanctuary was graced with choirs of angels, one for each member of our congregation. Cindy Hudson-Knapp researched “silhouettes of angels” and printed out a variety. The installation required a lot of scissor-action, then hanging the angel cut-outs on Christmas ornament hangers and suspending them from delicate gauze fabric that was festooned with myriads of tiny star-like lights. Barbara True-Weber, Mike Weber, Marsh Hudson-Knapp and others created this special enhancement of our worship.

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After such a good time doing an “improv” Christmas pageant the past two years, we held our third annual impromptu pageant on Sunday December 17, with no rehearsals and no assigned parts. Rev. Mary Lee-Clark read the story of the first Christmas in verse. As she mentioned a character, folks in the congregation who wanted to portray that character would go to the table of simple costumes, put one on and come up front while the rest of the congregation sang a few verses of a carol. Roles were not gender or age specific so people could play whoever they wanted; we had two Josephs, numerous shepherds and heavenly personages including a dancing 4-year-old angel, two kings and a knight (these three wise personages all were aged seven and younger). Immediately after the pageant, our new co-pastor Mark Blank, who has had a career in musical and improvisational theater, told the participants and the rest of the congregation how much he enjoyed the pageant, saying that improv theater is a spiritual endeavor in that participants open themselves to the vulnerability of the unexpected.



    Apr 15 – Charlene & David Adams’ 40th Anniversary
    Apr 16th – Ted Bird
    Jonathan Johnson
    Apr 18th – Emma Elizabeth Bishop
    Apr 19th – Jennifer Holden
    Janice & George Lerrigo’s Wedding Anniversary

     5:00 pm Sunday Supper


    • Climate Advocates meet Apr 18th from 7pm-8pm in the Clayton Rm


    • We need volunteers to sign up to be a second adult in the Nursery and Joyful Path.
    • Anyone who has taken CWS school bags please finish them up & get them back to the church by the end of April.
    • THANK YOU ALL for your peanut butter donations! Second Congregational Church contributed 110 jars of peanut butter and 9 jars of jelly and jam to Bennington County food pantries!
      We were one of 54 organizations that contributed 3608 jars of peanut butter for Bennington County food pantries. Thank you to everyone who helped with this effort!


    • We have a photography event for a new picture directory Wed May 30 – June 2nd. Scheduling to begin after Easter.
    • Spring Clean Up has been scheduled for May 5th from 8-12!! Come and help us get the church cleaned up!!
    • Hello friends, we are seeking help for Spring Ring at the Middle School on April 20 and 21, from setting up and tearing down, manning the coffee/ snack table for a while, housing 4 people from out of town, to making subs and putting up signs around Bennington so folks can find the venue. Please see Sue Green, Norma McShane, David Haley, Lorna Cheriton, Linda Lyons, or Ginny Ray. Thank you!



D. Mark Blank –
Pastor of Second Congregational Church. Raised in the United Methodist Church, Mark found a spiritual home in the UCC in 2007. Originally from Western Pennsylvania, Mark graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2017 having attained a BA from the University of Tampa in 2000. Mark draws on his background in theatre, music, and storytelling in leading worship.

Bell Ringers

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Snowball Bazaar 2017

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Raking Leaves

On a chilly Saturday morning November 18, a team of energetic 2CC members raked leaves and dragged tarps full of ...
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Update on Eaarth Advocates

The cold reality of human impact on the environment Update on Eaarth Advocates’ Environmental Activism So, Why is “Eaarth” spelled ...
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Living Lightly on God’s Earth: A Guide to Spiritual Practices Focused on the Environment During Lent, instead of fasting, let's ...
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Lent and EAARTH

Lent and EAARTH (1) There are a number of ways to live Lent. One is to suffer a bit, to ...
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  • Want to know more about the national United Church of Christ that we’re a part of?

  • Please contact us by telephone, letter, email, or 

    Second Congregational Church,  115 Hillside Street,  Bennington VT 05201
    Telephone: 802-442-2559,  e-mail: bennscc@sover.net

    Or visit the church
    From middle of town intersection of Routes 7 & 9,  take Route 7 south 2 blocks.
    Turn left onto Hillside St.  (just before Friendly’s).

    Church is located on right at top of hill.

    We will be pleased to hear from you

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