SECOND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH Bennington Vermont 802-442-2559  

"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 us on the journey at Second Congregational – a church for young and old and in-between. A progressive church, with opportunities for questioning and seeking, musical and mission-minded, we were Vermont's first “Open and Affirming” congregation and welcome - into the worship, fellowship, membership, and full life of our church - all persons of faith and those seeking faith, regardless of race, social or economic status, physical abilities or sexual orientation.
  • “How far would you go for love? That’s the question the readings for this Fourth Sunday of Easter challenge us with, so join us for worship at Second Congregational Church, UCC, beginning at 10 a.m. Rev. Mary Lee-Clark’s sermon is entitled, “Living Within Love,” and special music will be offered by Deb Perkins and David Haley. Following a Time for the Children in All of Us, children up through grade 5 are dismissed for Godly Play, and the Middle- and High-school Class meets. Nursery care is provided throughout worship.
    A time of fellowship and refreshment for the whole church family follows in Webster Hall.
    Our building is located at 115 Hillside St., Bennington and is wheelchair-accessible. For further information, call the church office at 802-442-2559.
    Update on Eaarth Advocates’ Environmental Activism
    So, Why is “Eaarth” spelled with two “a’s?

    Answer: Because the earth that God created, and that our grandparents grew up on, no longer exists. It has been changed irrevocably by human activity. Bill McKibbon in his book Eaarth uses the different spelling to denote the forever-changed earth that we have now and which we need to protect from further damage.
    The Eaarth Advocates group in our church grew up from grassroots concern – what can we do, individually, as families, as a church, and advocating in the wider world…. to care for our planet?

    In 2014 Mary and the Eaarth Advocates group focused on giving each of the weeks of Lent an environmental theme tying together worship and social hour activities. The first week, Eaarth Advocates led Sunday worship, emphasizing mindfulness of our relationship to the earth, and, for the social hour, Jan Day prepared delicious snacks that were all locally sourced. She also brought in items available in the supermarkets that are brought from the far side of the world at tremendous cost in fuel and therefore in greenhouse gases that contaminate our atmosphere and are the major culprit of global warming. The second week’s focus was on the atmosphere, and we made prayer flags during the social hour. The third week the focus was on water; the congregation was invited to submit words that spoke to their concerns about water and a “word cloud” was composed from those words. The fourth Sunday the topic was energy; kids and adults insulated all the electrical outlets in the building. The final Sunday a scavenger hunt led people to explore energy efficient and environmentally friendly things in our church.

    This year, everyone is invited to take part in our Environmental Eastertide during the period from Easter to Pentecost on May 24. On Easter Sunday, Eaarth Advocates Jan Day and David Durfee convinced the Easter bunny to bring eggs for adults as well as kids; each egg contained a tip for making the earth a sweeter place for us and our descendents, in addition to jelly beans and wildflower seeds. On April 12 Barbara True-Weber and Kathy Shaw made a Spring Cleaning Display with non-toxic cleaning options and a list of what ingredients to avoid when looking for cleaning products. On April 19 the Eaarth Advocates led worship, exploring food and farming in connection to care of the environment.

    On April 26 there will an opportunity during the social hour to learn about bats as well as about other organic, non toxic ways of dealing with insect pests in our gardens. Come see how bats are a natural pesticide against insects, much better than chemicals. Sunday May 3 we are all invited to ‘dress down’ (or come as you like) and, after worship, help clean the inside of our church with non-toxic materials. On May 10, Mother’s Day, come see the artwork that invites us to honor and celebrate our Mother Earth. The weekend of May 16-17 we plan a plant sale, together with instructions on how to make good black earth by composting (good for your garden and the environment). Eastertide concludes on May 24 with Pentecost Sunday. Our celebration of the installation of our solar panels will follow later, possibly in June.

    Throughout all this we aim to further the ways in which we are a congregation of what the United Church of Christ calls “Green Justice” – building a community spirit based on care of God’s creation at the individual, community, and global levels.

  • Coming Up:

    Our yearly outside Spring Clean Up is scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 8 am til noon.
    Bring work gloves, a rake or shovel and pitch in to help for an hour or two. This past winter took a heavy toll on our outside campus. Many hands will help get the work done…..only a few hands will mean an horrendous amount of work!
    Youth Group will be participating in the Big Brother’s Big Sister’s of Bennington Bowl A Thon on Saturday, April 25th. One Half of the proceeds raised from the Potato Brunch will be donated to the event.
    Sunday, April 26th –
    – 11:30 am Informational and Listening Meeting on proposed future plans for our church, in the sanctuary. Members of the Pastoral Relations Committee, the Next Level Task Force, and the Administrative Council will be present to address questions or concerns. There will also be opportunities on the first 3 Sundays in May to talk with various members of these committees, as well as another open discussion on May 24th.
    – Eaarth Advocates invite you to stop by their displays in the Webster Hall. Learn about non-toxic insect repellents for your gardens and homes. Discover how beneficial bats, birds, and bugs are to help combat pests.
    – 5 pm Sunday Supper
    – 7 pm Bible conversation at the Lee-Clarks’

    Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:30am – 35 minute DVD-led exercise with group in Room 6 or 2
    BIRTHDAYS AND CELEBRATIONS: If you would like your or your child(ren)’s birthday and/or turning age printed in the announcements, please write your name and/or birth year on the appropriate date on the 2015 calendar hanging by the office door.
    April 27 Joe Hall, 83
    Linda and Bill Lyon’s Wedding Anniversary
    April 28 Grace Sohn, 86
    April 30 Meredith Lee-Clark, 33
    Charlann Fuller
    Hygiene Kits are ziploc bags of toiletries that we assemble early each May to be sent by Church World Service to folks in places of disaster and poverty. You can help by giving any of the following items (or money to purchase them) to the church office or to Lorna Cheriton: Hand Towel (about16″x28″), Washcloth, Toothbrush in wrapper, Bath sized soap, Wide tooth Comb, Regular sized Band-Aids, Nail Clippers, Gallon-size Ziploc bags.
    Sunday, May 3, you’re invited to wear your work clothes to church and join us after worship in giving the inside of the church building a good cleaning with earth-friendly cleaning products.
    School Bags for Church World Service It is time to fill those school bags and get them ready for shipping. I am looking for people to come help fill the bags on May 5th. We begin at 10 AM and continue until we run out of supplies. Please come and help. The more people helping the sooner we are done. Also, I know a few of the sewers still have bags to be finished. I would love to receive them soon. Any questions let me know. Thanks, Pat Lafontaine
    Wednesday, May 6th is our next Fellowship Lunch! Come and join friends for lunch, conversation, and companionship in Webster Hall at noon. Lunch is provided by congregation members.
    Sunday, May 10th is the deadline the May/June Open Door. Please submit all articles electronically to
    Saturday, May 16th – 17th we plan a plant sale, together with instructions on how to make good black earth by composting (good for your garden and the environment).
    To complete the baby kits we still welcome any donations to help us buy the needed items such as nightgowns, undershirts, bath blankets, diapers and washcloth. See Fran Broomhall or Sue DeLucia
    The choir needs a Metronome needed for music practice. If anyone has one they would like to pass on, it would be greatly appreciated.
    Healing Pathways Ministry – From now until June, Jane Norrie is offering educational workshops on demand to help folks of all ages and stages explore the fascinating realm of energy wisdom. If you wish to host a workshop in your home or to attend one, contact Jane at (802) 780-8405. A minimum of 3 and maximum of 5 participants will join in learning about our energy circulatory systems and practice ways to keep mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves in wholesome shape. Average workshop lasts about 2 hours. Members, friends and anyone from our wider community are welcome to attend. There is no charge but you are invited to offer donations to the Deacons’ Fund.
    In Our Community

    Concert: 100 years of Broadway‘s best-loved songs. Saturday, May 2 Pre-concert talk at 6:45, concert at 7:30pm Arlington High School. Sunday, May 3 Pre-concert talk at 2:15, concert at 3:00pm. Tickets $15 from participating singers David Durfee, David Haley, Bruce Lee-Clark, Sharon Yarnell, Lorna Cheriton
    Youth Appreciation Day!! May 2nd at the upper Pavilion at Willow Park from 12pm – 4pm. Youth Appreciation Day is a FREE event that brings together the Bennington community for a fun-filled afternoon of music, sports, games, and activities! ALL are welcome to participate in Youth Appreciation Day with this year’s lineup including: performances from The Messengers and Wild Country Cloggers, fun activities like Zumba and tie-dying and a community art project. For more information contact:
    Please join Hunger Free Vermont for a free screening of “A Place at the Table” at the Manchester Library on May 6th, 5:30-7:30pm. A riveting journey that will change your thinking about the hungry, the films shows the issue could be solved permanently once the American public decides – as they have in the past- that ending hunger is in the best interests of us all.

  • Want to know more about the national United Church of Christ that we’re a part of?

Our Environmental Mission



Living Lightly on God’s Earth: A Guide to Spiritual Practices Focused on the Environment   During Lent, instead of fasting, …

OD People Hiking

Lent and EAARTH

Lent and EAARTH (1) There are a number of ways to live Lent. One is to suffer a bit, to …

OD Orange Newt

Our Congregation’s Responses to questions about the Earth’s Environmen

Our Congregation’s Responses to questions about the Earth’s Environment: Questions were posed and responses invited on posters in Webster Hall. …

Our Stories

Easter Bloom 2014

Easter Bloom

In Lent last year, 2014, a fire-pit bowl was brought into the sanctuary and filled with stones from a local …

Maundy Thursday 2April2015 2

Maundy Thursday worship service

Maundy Thursday worship service of simple supper in remembrance of the Last Supper, with communion, music and readings:

Walk For Climate Change 2

The People’s Climate March, Sunday Sept. 21 in NYC

This march was the largest march calling for action on the climate. There were over 2,000 folks from Vermont to …