SECOND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH Bennington Vermont 802-442-2559  
  • Wednesday April 16th Wednesday of Holy Week:
    Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 70, Hebrews 12:1-3, John 13:21-32 read texts / or all readings

"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.
  • Holy Week begins at Second Congregational Church, UCC with worship this Palm/Passion Sunday morning at 10 o’clock.  We begin with palms and hosannas and the Palm Sunday reading and then move into the Passion Story, as we weave together the story of the last week of Jesus’ life with his ongoing passion for us and the earth. Following a Time for the Children in All of Us, children up through grade 5 are dismissed for Godly Play, and nursery care is provided throughout worship. The Middle- and High-School class will be at the Kitchen Cupboard for their monthly work project.

     

    A time of fellowship and refreshment for the whole church family follows in Webster Hall.

     

     

    Second Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, welcomes all people of faith or in search of faith without regard to age, race, sex, economic condition, disability, or sexual orientation. Our building is wheelchair-accessible, and hearing-assistance devices are available.  For more information, call the church office at 442-2559 or explore this website further.

  • Highlighted Events and News:

     

    April is Autism Awareness month.  You are welcome to notice bulletin boards and informational displays prepared by Healing Pathways Program.  Each Sunday will feature a piece written by a member or friend from among us whose life is impacted by Autism.

     

     

    • 5pm Sunday Supper – every Sunday! This supper is open to the community.

     

    • Monday, April 14th - Office will be closed

     

    • Thurs., April 17th:

     

    • 10:30am Meditation/contemplation and conversation meet in Room 2.

     

    • Maundy Thursday 6:30 p.m. in Webster Hall.  Be part of this moving celebration of the Last Supper, as we share a simple meal of fruit, cheese, and bread around the tables, share communion, and hear the powerful story of the final hours of Jesus and his disciples as the lights are extinguished. 

     

    • Friday, April 18th  Good Friday we hold vigil in our Sanctuary from noon until 3 p.m., with guided meditation from noon to 1.

     

    • Easter Plants are due in the Sanctuary by 10 am, Saturday April 19th.  Please call the office by Thursday, 10 am on April 17th to designate person(s) in honor or memory the plants are given.

     

    • There is no Godly Play on Easter Sunday.  Children are welcome to stay in service or children of any age are welcome to play in the nursery.  Immediately following Easter service is our annual egg hunt for all children in attendance.  Meet in the lobby after service.

     

    • Easter Morning, April 20th  8 a.m.  Service of candlelight and communion as we greet Easter morning.  An opportunity to renew our Baptismal vows will also be offered. 9 a.m.  Continental breakfast served in Webster Hall10 a.m.  Service of celebration with anthems and the Easter proclamation. Following worship, the continental breakfast continues and an Easter Egg Hunt for children takes place on the front lawn (weather permitting). 

     

     

     

    Lent

    • Printed copies of Lenten Devotional Booklets, created by members of our congregation in 2007, are available today. Click  Lenten Meditations to see examples. click for all 2014 Lenten Lectionary readings We will not be holding Wednesday afternoon Taize services this year.  However, we would like to encourage everyone to get into the practice of bringing non-perishable food items for the BROC food shelf each Sunday during Lent. We will have baskets near the altar for you to place your items in before or after the worship service. 

     

    • Lenten Wednesday Evening Series on EAARTH – Reading and discussing Bill McKibben’s book eaarth  last September provided a call to action for those of us who participated in the series of sessions.  The fate of this planet God has given us and the need for resurrection is serving as a theme for Lent.  Other members and friends of the congregation are invited to spend an hour-and-a-half on each of four Wednesday evenings in Lent on this important book.  Sessions will be from 7:15 to 8:45 March 19, and 26, and April 2 and 9 in the All Purpose Room. Copies of the book will be available for purchase or borrowing.  Please speak with David Durfee about participation or if you want more information.

     

    EARTH ADVOCATES GROUP

    Suggestions for Lenten practices:
    see full articles in EAARTH FRIENDLY LENTEN PRACTICES in OUR ENVIRONMENTAL MISSION SECTION below

     

     

    Living Lightly on God’s Earth.  Lent Week Six

    ActionsThis week you are asked to continue the work you having been doing during Lent and carry it into the Easter season.

     Take a walk in your neighborhood and rejoice in all the new life you see.

    1. Read a book or view a video that is informative about climate change or the environment.  There are several books in the church library that may be helpful.
    2. Continue to educate yourself on what you can do, and what others are doing, to “walk lightly o God’s Earth.”  The following internet sites are good resources to help you get started. http://earthministry.org    http://fore.research.yale.edu/climatechange/  http://www.arocha.org/

     

    Living Lightly on Gods Earth.  Lent Week Five.

    Suggested Actions:  This week we are again emphasizing energy use.  There are so many ways to conserve energy and some of them are so simple all they require is a reminder and mindfulness.

    •        Properly inflate your car tires.  Properly inflated tires can increase gas mileage by 3.3%..

    •        Cover your pots when cooking.  Covering cooking pots keeps the heat in the pot and speeds the process so you are not using as much energy.

    •        Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible.  As much as 85% of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.

    •        Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying.

     

     

    Week Four of Lent

    • Suggested Actions:
    • This week we are being mindful of our use of energy.  Carbon dioxide is created by burning fossil fuels to generate electricity or to drive our cars.  Anything we can do to responsibly use these resources will save carbon emissions.
      • Change incandescent light bulbs for CFLs.  The CFLs cost more but they will last longer and save carbon emissions.
      • Walk, bike, carpool, or take the bus instead of driving
      • Use a power strip and turn off computers, televisions, etc. as you end your day.
      • Get an energy audit for your home or office.

     

    • The Third Week of Lent: Emphasis on Water.
    • Suggested Actions
      • Be mindful of your water use when doing simple things like washing your hands, rinsing dishes, or brushing teeth.
      • Take showers rather than baths and/or take shorter showers
      • Install a brown water system at your home.
      • Fix leaks.
      • Don’t buy single use water bottles.  

       

    • Living Lightly on God’s Earth:   Second Week of Lent Actions:  This week you are invited to be mindful of your use of energy in your home or your place of work.  There are three suggestions for you to consider
      • Reduce your thermostat settings by one or two degrees
      • Insulate your water heater.
      • Unplug charging cords or cell phones, computers, etc. since they are always drawing electricity or plug them into a power strip which you can turn off.
      • Get an energy audit of your home or work place.

     

     

    • Living Lightly on God’s Earth: A Guide to Spiritual Practices Focused on the Environment: First Week of LentActions.  These actions ask you to be mindful of food.   Our food systems offer us an abundant array of food but much of it has high carbon cost.   Consider undertaking one of the following actions for this week.
      • Eat as locally as possible.   Eating all locally  grown food for one year could save the greenhouse gas equivalent of driving 1,000 miles.   Locally grown food taste better and supports local farms.
      • Eat no or less meat.  Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.
      • Consider buying organic foods.  Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

     

     

     

    ONGOING NEEDS 

     

    • During Lent, the Deacons invite you to bring non-perishable food items for the BROC food shelf.  Baskets will be available near the communion table.

     

    • The nursery needs adult volunteer(s) on Communion Sundays.  If you can help out on one of these Sundays, please sign up on the sheet taped to the nursery room door.  And don’t forget to sign-up to sit in with Godly Play some Sunday (sign-up on folding doors in Webster Hall).  You’ll be glad you did!

     

    • All Church Fellowship would like to encourage folks to sign up to host Sunday Fellowship.

     

    • The Flower Calendar is wide open.  Please sign up on the calendar if you would like to share some flowers from your garden.

     

     

     

    Church World Service

    • School Bags: All bags should be finished by the end of the month. By my count there are about 40-50 that are in the hands of the sewers and need to be finished. Any questions let me know.Thanks Pat Lafontaine

     

    • CWS Baby Kits: Thanks to all the knitters among us, we have a nice collection of baby sweaters and blankets. Now we would be grateful for any contributions to help buy diapers, nightgowns, wash cloths and bath blankets to complete the kits. For questions see Fran Broomhall or Sue DeLucia.

     

    Looking Ahead:

      

     

     

    Planning Ahead:

    The following is a list of things to have on hand in case of a storm emergency:

    • Water (1 gal/person/day),
    • Food (non-perishable and easy to prepare and/eat–don’t forget a can-opener),
    • Flashlight and extra batteries, Battery-powered or hand crank radio,
    • First-aid kit that includes a pain reliever,
    • Sanitation and personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, anti-bacterial hand-sanitizer),
    • Copies of important personal documents,
    • Family and emergency contacts (written down, not just in your cell phone),
    • Blankets. Additional items depending on your family situation: extra doses of medications, diapers/baby food, games for children, pet food/medication, etc.

Our Environmental Mission

Butterfies

EAARTH FRIENDLY LENTEN PRACTICES

Living Lightly on God’s Earth: A Guide to Spiritual Practices Focused on the Environment   It is customary during Lent …

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

Youth Advocate 1 And 2 Cropped

Eaarth Advocate Group after church activity

As part of our Lenten activities, to raise awareness and promote earth sustaining activity, the Eaarth Advocate Group sponsored an …

We Are One

One Great Hour of Sharing

One Great Hour of Sharing is an offering that makes the love of Christ real for individuals and communities around …

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Tibetan Prayer Flags

These flags are prayers for the Earth.  Folks put their intentions in a prayer as they decorate the flag.  Then …