Worship/Music

Worshipmusic

What happens in Worship?

We invite you to join us for our Worship Service at 10am on Sunday mornings and for a time of fellowship and refreshment afterwards

After announcements for the good of the community, music helps us center and prepare for worship. The call to worship and first hymn are a joyful invitation to celebrate our relationship with God, after which we examine our lives and the pastor offers assurance of God’s forgiveness. During the “Time for the Children in all of us,” the pastor leads the children in a short discussion, story and prayer. There are musical offerings by the chancel choir, Gospel choir and/or handbell choir as well as hymns sung by all of us. Readings from the Bible are followed by the sermon in which the pastor reflects on these readings. “Joys” and “concerns” of the congregation are included in the prayer led by the pastor. After the offering, we sing a final hymn. Together we say our commission to remind ourselves how we want to be, then the pastor’s blessing sends us out into the world to live our faith. Large print hymnals and bulletins are available during worship, and our building is wheel-chair accessible.

Other worship opportunities include

  • Communion for all on the first Sunday of each month.
  • Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter services
  • Christmas eve services

Hospitality and Welcome

    • Fellowship and refreshments during social hour after worship.
    • The Pastor visits elders, the sick and others, as do Deacons.

 

  • Groups meet to prepare for the annual SnowBall Bazaar, including making crafts
  • Sharing our building with the local community, including AA, NA, Nurse First, Bennington Choral Society, Wits End, Grief Support Group, and yoga groups

 

Music

*Music is an important part of our worship, The Adult Singing Choir rehearses Thursday evenings at 7:15 and Sunday mornings at 9:15, and the HandBell Choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings at 6.

For weddings, baptisms, and funerals, contact at 802-442-2559 weekday mornings.

If you have never been to worship at Second Congregational Church, we invite you to attend at least one worship service (Sunday morning worship is at 10 o’clock). That way you’ll get a sense of who the pastor is, what the church “feels” like, etc. If, after worshiping with us, it feels like a good fit, you should speak with the pastor and set up a time for you and your fiance(e) to meet with her/him. If you think of a church wedding as simply what is expected, but find “God language” meaningless or problematic, we suggest you consider having your ceremony performed by a Justice of the Peace. If there are no other events scheduled for that day, it may still be possible to hold your wedding in our church.

We are proud that our church was the first UCC congregation in Vermont to become an “open and affirming church” meaning that we welcome all people of faith, or in search of faith, without regard to age, race, sex, economic condition, disability or sexual orientation. We invite you attend worship here to get a “feel” for the pastor and place. If you are coming from out of the area, you may contact the pastor about performing your marriage. The same guidelines apply as for weddings–If you have, or are actively seeking, a relationship with God, the pastor would be happy to meet with you and your partner. If a civil ceremony would have more integrity for you, we suggest you consider having your ceremony performed by a Justice of the Peace. If there are no other events scheduled for that day, it may still be possible to hold your wedding in our church.


Pastor

Rev. Mark Blank – 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.


Pastor Emeritus

STAFF-Tom-Steffen-150x150 Pastor Emeritus – Rev. Thomas D. Steffen – Tom was our Pastor for 29 years. He retired in 1994. The congregation voted Tom “Pastor Emeritus”. Tom remains a very active member of our congregation, with work on the church grounds, raking autumn leaves, shovelling snow, helping to prepare for the Snowball Bazaar in December, making coffee on Sunday morning, and occasionally reading scripture during the worship service.

Retired Pastor

1__200x_mary-lee-clark-150x150Rev. Mary H. Lee-Clark –
Mary was pastor at Second Congregational Church from 1995 to 2018. Mary and her husband Bruce have two grown children, Meredith and Alex.

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