SECOND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH Bennington Vermont 802-442-2559  
Choira

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 choir and/or handbells 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 and the pastor’s blessing sends us out into the world to live our faith. Hearing assistance devices are available during worship, as well as large print hymnals and bulletins. Our building is wheel-chair accessible.

Other worship opportunities include

  • Communion for all on the first Sunday of each month.
  • Quiet meditative evening services with Taize chants during the 6 weeks of Lent, before Easter
  • Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter services
  • Christmas eve services

Hospitality and Welcome

  • Fellowship and refreshments during social hour after worship Weddings, baptisms, funerals ( Please contact our office administrator, Michelle Marchetti, at 802-442-2559 weekday mornings to inquire about weddings and other special occasions.)
  • Pastoral visits Deacons who visit elders, the sick and others
  • Elders are invited to social get-togethers, including monthly lunches Church dinners and movies, either potluck or put on by the All Church Fellowship
  • 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 Thursday evenings at 6.

Weddings

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 worshipping 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. 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 Civil Union. 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 sugggest 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 civil union in our church.

Our Pastor

Pastor – Rev. Mary H. Lee-Clark -
Mary has been pastor at Second Congregational Church since 1995. Prior to that she served churches in central and northern New York. She graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 1978 and Middlebury College in 1974. Mary and her husband Bruce have two grown children, Meredith and Alex.
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.