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    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.



CELEBRATING MARY

Celebrating Mary Lee Clark’s 23 years as pastor of Second Congregational Church, on her retirement April 15, worship was glorious with music by the chancel choir, hand bell choir, Gospel choir and by Music Director Matt Edwards on organ and piano. Communion was celebrated, Mary was released from her vows as pastor, and she was presented with books of photos and memories of her time as pastor, a hand-made quilt, a floral promise of a video of congregation members and friends telling their memories, and a box of chocolates together with gifts from the congregation towards her retirement travel. Following worship, the luncheon in Webster Hall featured lasagna and salad, a delicious cake made and decorated by Dara Lindley, and tributes by Tom Steffen and Ernie Lafontaine to Mary and her family.

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CHOIRS OF ANGELS

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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  • ANNOUNCEMENTS

    BIRTHDAYS AND CELEBRATIONS NEXT WEEK: 

    SUNDAY:

    Immediately after worship, Virtual Store in Webster Hall. Please come to buy and donate hygiene kits which were bought in bulk at discounts and will be sent to people in need in poverty and disasters. Donations also very welcome.

    For April’s Autism Awareness Month, the Art of Autism exhibit continues in Room 6 from 11:15 to noon with information about autism, artwork by children on the spectrum and jewelry handmade by Kelly Kimball who is donating 50% of sales to the Molly Stark Early Childhood Program.

     5:00 pm Sunday Supper

    COMING UP:

      Packing Kits of the Heart. Please come and help assemble school kits and hygiene kits at 9:30 Tuesday May 1 in Rooms 2 and 6.

    OTHER NEWS:

    • 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.

    LOOKING AHEAD:

    • 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!!

     

Pastor

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

For the first time ever, Second Congo's hand bell choir hosted the annual gathering of Vermont hand bell ringers. Our ...
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Snowball Bazaar 2017

Second Congregational Church was a "hopping place" Friday December 1 and 2 with the 69th annual Snowball Bazaar! Community folks ...
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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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EAARTH FRIENDLY LENTEN PRACTICES

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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  • 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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