Religion in Brief
First Church of Christ, Congregational, Park Square, 27 East St., will explore "being shaped by joy not despair" during the 10:30 a.m. worship service on the third Sunday in Advent.
Between the Banks will share Sarah MacLachlan's "Bring on the Wonder," Carlton Maaia II will play Thad Jones' jazz classic "A Child Is Born," and Holy Communion for all will be shared. There will be childcare and Sunday School for children of all ages.
The Sanctuary is open each day between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. for quiet meditation. In addition, the church celebrates a contemplative Eucharist at 12:10 p.m. on Wednesday.
First Church is an Open and Affirming congregation. The church is handicapped accessible and welcomes guests and visitors to the Berkshires. Further information can be found on the website at www.firstchurchpittsfield.org or by calling the office at (413) 447-7351.
First Church of Christ, Scientist, 17 Wendell Ave., holds service at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. Sunday School for youths up to age 20 is held at the same time. Wednesday testimony meetings are held at 7:30 p.m.
The subject of Sunday's Bible lesson is "Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?" with Golden Text from Psalms: "All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord, and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of the kingdom, and talk of thy power."
The reading room is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Information: (413) 448-8487.
Morningside Baptist Church, 475 Tyler St., will observe the third Sunday of Advent at its 9:30 a.m. service. John and Gail Wickland will offer a reading as they light the third Advent candle, the candle of Joy. Barbara Smith will offer a special reading and read the scripture.
The choir, under the direction of Don Fredenburg, will minister in song. The Rev. Angela Buchauer's sermon, "In Ways We Don't Expect," is based upon Luke 3: 7-18.
Refreshments and fellowship follow the service. All are welcome.
At St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Park Square, 67 East St., the Rev. Jennifer Gregg will celebrate and preach at all weekend services in observance of the third Sunday of Advent.
Worship services are today at 5 p.m. in the Chapel and Sunday at 8 and 10 a.m. in the main Sanctuary. A visit by St. Nicholas and a gathering of gifts for those in need will take place at the 10 a.m. service. Coffee hour follows the 10 a.m. service.
Adult Education meets at 9 a.m. in the Sears Room and Christian Formation for children begins at 9:30 a.m. in the auditorium.
St. Stephen's is handicapped accessible through the Allen Street entrance. All are welcome. Information: (413) 448-8276 or www.ststephenspitts field.org.
South Congregational Church, UCC, 110 South St., will worship at 10 a.m. on Sunday. "Raising Up Stones" will be the sermon for the third Sunday of Advent as the Rev. Joel Huntington focuses on the power of the Gospel to melt hard human hearts into lives of compassion and joy.
In addition, the Advent Candles of Hope, Peace, and Joy will be lit, offerings of socks for the Giving Tree will be received, and laundry detergent to be given out as gifts at the Food Pantry will also be collected.
South Church is handicapped accessible and offers both nursery care and a church school. Following worship, children of the Church School and friends will gather at Berkshire Place for a time of sharing and caroling. All are welcome for worship and caroling.
At Unitarian Universalist Church, 175 Wendell Ave., on Sunday, Sheriff Thomas Bowler will speak about his pro-active outreach service programs and the connection to social action as a spiritual responsibility of the community.
The Sunday service starts at 10 a.m. with Sunday School and child care starting at the same time.
The sheriff's office is collaborating with the church and the George Crane Memorial Center to offer a weekly meditation group led by the Pittsfield UU Meditation Sangha.
The meditation group meets at 6 p.m. on Mondays at the George Crane Memorial Center on Linden Street and is open to the public.
Information: (413) 499-7903 or visit www.uupittsfield.org.
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, (ELCA), 74 First St., at Pittsfield Common, gathers for worship and Holy Communion every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Following worship, all are welcome to stay for coffee hour featuring fair trade coffee and snacks.
"The Rainbow Connection," a joint Sunday School children's ministry with First United Methodist Church, meets at Zion at 9 a.m. No pre-registration is necessary.
The Zion Lutheran/First United Methodist Sunday School Christmas Pageant will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 23, at Zion.
Each Thursday, Zion hosts Jazz Vespers at 6 p.m., a brief time of worship which incorporates elements of jazz, blues, and gospel into the ancient tradition of Evening Prayer.
All are welcome into this community of faith. For more worship information, upcoming events, and daily readings, visit zionlutheranpittsfield.org, become a fan at facebook .com/zionlutheranpittsfield, or call (413) 442-3525. The Rev. Timothy Weisman is pastor. Adams
First Congregational Church, 42 Park St., offers a traditional and contemporary service at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday.
First Baptist Church, 32 North St., offers Adult Sunday School at 9:45 a.m., Praise Time at 10:45 a.m. and the Praise and Worship Sunday service at 11 a.m. Child care is provided. The Wednesday evening potluck dinner is served at 6 p.m. followed by Bible Study at 7 p.m. Coffee and fellowship follow the Sunday services. For information: (413) 743-3649, leave a message.
Berkshire First Church of the Nazarene, 165 North St., will celebrate a theme of "Joy" in the third Sunday of Advent at the 9:30 a.m. worship service. The Robert Trapnell family will bring the readings of joy and light the Advent Wreath. Amanda Swicker will share the reading, "Read The Small Print." Walter Worley, morning worship leader, will also present a musical selection. The Rev. Bryan Lamberton's message, "Restored Joy," will be based upon Isaiah 64: 1-4. All are welcome.
Dalton United Methodist Church, 755 Main St., holds Sunday services at 8 and 10 a.m. (nursery available) with the Rev. Victor Han. Sunday School begins at 9 a.m.
The Christmas Eve service will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24.
A Santos Italiano Supper with lasagna, minestrone soup, salad and dessert, will be served from 5 to 7 tonight. The cost is $10, $5 for kids 6-12, and free for ages 5 and under.
First Congregational Church, UCC, 514 Main St., will gather for Sunday worship at 8:15 a.m. in the chapel and 10:15 a.m. in the sanctuary.
At Grace Episcopal Church, 791 Main St., Holy Communion will be celebrated at 9 a.m. by the Rev. Daina Salnitis. Music is under the direction of organist Laura Saldarini. The sanctuary is handicapped-accessible from the side door, and all are welcome.
The outreach project for December is volunteering for the children's Christmas party at the Christian Center, and donations of funds for Christmas family gifts. Lectionary-based Bible Study meets at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays in the parlor.
Hancock Baptist Church, Main Street, will light the advent candle during the 9 a.m. service on Sunday. The Rev. Charles St. John will lead the worship with his message titled "King" with scripture reading from Matthew 25: 31-36.
Coffee hour and Bible study will follow the morning service.
Christian Faith Fellowship Church, 11 Summer St., holds a worship service at 1 p.m. each Sunday. The Rev. Norman Lee is the senior pastor and Richard Wright is the co-pastor.
North American Martyrs Chapel, 151 Old State Road, Berkshire, has recently reopened after being closed for two years and now holds a 5:45 p.m. Mass on Saturdays. The Rev. David Raymond of St. Mary of the Assumption, Cheshire, is the celebrant.
First Congregational Church of Lee, UCC, 25 Park Place, holds a worship service at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. The Rev. Bill Neil's sermon is "Joy." Sunday School and nursery are available. A Christmas Eve Service/Pageant will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24.
Sing for Joy meets at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays. A community dinner is offered at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Christmas Trees are available for sale. Information: Church office at (413) 243-1033; calendar online at www.ucc-lee.org.
Church on the Hill, UCC, 169 Main St., celebrates the third Sunday of Advent. Esther Roman and Michael Cohen will light the Advent Candle of Love at the 10:30 a.m. service.
The Rev. Natalie Shiras and Barbara Sims will provide the message, "Let Christ's Light Shine" with an invitation to come forward to light candles.
Guest musician Rodney Mashia will sing "This Little Light of Mine" and "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah." The Candle of Witness will be lit by Shirley Benson for the Christmas Fund.
Bible Study takes place in the sanctuary from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Bible Study will be on break after this weekend and will resume on Jan. 13.
All are welcome.
Hope Church, 259 Kemble St., will present "A Night in Bethlehem" from 2 to 4 p.m. today and 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday. This will be a hands-on Christmas experience for the entire family.
The free event will include live animals, a living nativity, hands-on crafts, and free samples. The church is handicapped accessible. For information, call Judy Stelling at (518) 392-9053.
The United Methodist Church of Lenox, 6 Holmes Road, will rejoice in the coming of Christ by listening to the Old Testament reading of Zephaniah 3: 14-20 and the New Testament reading of Philippians 4: 4-7 at both the 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. worship services this Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent.
The Advent mission focus on sending malaria-prevention mosquito nets to Africa will be dedicated. The Christian education hour is at 9:15 a.m. for all ages.
At 4 p.m., The Gospel Gang and The Messengers will be bringing their Christmas Concert to First United Methodist Church on Fenn Street in support of the Pittsfield Area Council of Congregations Emergency Fuel Fund.
The church is fully handicapped accessible, with headsets for the hearing impaired and large print worship resources, including bibles, hymnals, and bulletins. Everyone is welcome.
First Baptist Church, 131 Main St., worships at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The Rev. David A. Anderson is pastor. The morning message is "Principles of Repentance." Rob Lefebvre is the worship leader.
Bible Studies are held on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Adult Sunday School begins at 9:15 a.m. every Sunday with Church School at 10:45 a.m. Child care is available in the nursery/play room.
First Baptist will host a live nativity at 5:30 p.m. today and 2 p.m. on Sunday. All are welcome.
The church is handicap accessible.
First Congregational Church, Main Street, worships at 10 a.m. on Sunday led by the Rev. Ann Clark-Killam. Julie Foutch will be the liturgist and Glenda Phillips will lead the music and the choir. The children will do a special presentation titled "The Parable of the Pine Tree." All are welcome. The church is handicapped accessible by using the rear kitchen entrance.
Peru Congregational Church, 2 West Main Road, welcomes all to attend the third Sunday in Advent worship service at 10 a.m. in the sanctuary. The Rev. Warren Scamman will deliver a sermon titled "Rejoice Always." Dennis Shaw will present the readings which will be taken from Luke 3: 7-18 and Philippians 4: 4-7. Organist Carrie Doyle will provide music.
Charlene Steele will hold Sunday School in the chapel during this service. The children will be preparing to present their Christmas Pageant on Sunday, Dec. 23.
There will be a special time during the service to light the third candle in Advent. Fellowship time will follow in the chapel with light refreshments. Bible Study is held at 7 p.m. every Thursday in the Peru Community Center. Each week the group will study the advent word(s) leading to the arrival of Christ.
Berkshire Community Church, Cemetery Road, will offer a special service at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday. The children of the church will present a Christmas pageant. Joy is the theme of the service, which is based on the Christmas story in the Gospel according to Luke. The Rev. Nancy Lois will offer a reflection, "Do You Know What John Knew?"
Richmond Congregational Church, 1515 State Road, holds Sunday service at 10 a.m. The Rev. Donald Paine's homily will be "The Angel of Joy floods the Soul." The gospel is from Matthew 1: 17-25. The third candle of Advent will be lit.
On Thursday from 8 to 10 a.m., everyone is invited for coffee in Fellowship Hall. Blood pressure checks are offered by the Community Health Association nurse from 9 to 10 a.m.
The Christmas Eve service will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24. The program will begin with music by David Grover and Mark Kelso, followed by a candlelight service at 7 p.m.
First Congregational Church, UCC, "Old Parish," 125 Main St., Route 7, celebrates the third Sunday of Advent at the 10 a.m. service. The Rev. John Wightman will be the guest preacher on what is Human Rights Sunday.
The message, based on Luke 3:7-18 and Philippians 4:4-7, will be "Turning Stones into Children." Margy Larkin will be lay reader. The Advent Candle will be lit by Marsha Wilson and her granddaughter Kayla Martel. "Come Rejoice Believers" is the choir's anthem.
Church School will hold a Cookie Walk at the fellowship hour following service to raise funds for Heifer Project. For more information, call (413) 229-8173
First Congregational Church, UCC, 4 Main St., worships every Sunday at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Donald Hammond. All are welcome to join the All-Church Christmas Party and potluck luncheon followed by a visit from Santa Claus. Attendees are asked to bring toiletries to donate to the Food Pantry.
The Stockbridge Open Table dinners continue from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Thursday at the Stockbridge Grange.
Stockbridge UCC is an Open and Affirming Church. For more information, visit www. stockbridgeucc.org.
The Women's Interfaith Institute will hold its annual Celebration of Light on Wednesday, Dec. 19. The ceremony honors the role light plays in many religions and traditions at this time of solstice, and includes the miracle candles of Hanukkah, the Christed Christmas lights, and the flames of Kwanzaa's worthy principles.
This year's gathering will be led by interfaith ministers, the Rev. Joni Carron, the Rev. Susan Jameson, the Rev. Anne O'Neil, and Rabbi Kaya Stern-Kaufman.
Bring a dish to share for a pot luck dinner at 6 p.m.
The Celebration of Light begins at 7 p.m. WII's monthly gatherings meet at the First Congregational Church of Stockbridge, 4 Main St. All are welcome; suggested donation for non-members is $5-10.
For more information on the Women's Interfaith Institute of the Berkshires, visit www.womensinterfaithberkshires.org or call (917) 748-8463.
Sisters of the Visitation will present a ceremony of Lessons and Carols at 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Monastery of the Visitation, 14 Beach Road. The public is welcome. Information: (413) 243-3995.
Community Bible Church, 160 Bridges Road, worships at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. This Sunday's sermon title is "Mary" from Luke 1: 26-56 by Satyan Devadoss.
A Christmas Eve service for the whole family will be held at the church at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24. All are welcome.
First Congregational Church, UCC, 906 Main St., will hold its Christmas Pageant worship service at 10 a.m. on the third Sunday of Advent.
The church school children and adults will lead the service and read the Lessons about the Birth of Jesus and tell the story. The prelude, "Veni Emmanuel," will be played by the Minister of Music Edwin I. Lawrence. The anthem, "Sing Gloria," will be sung by the Junior Choir.
Immediately after the worship service, the congregation will hold a special meeting in the sanctuary to approve the 2013 Budget.
For more information, call (413) 458-3414, email Office@firstchurchwilliams town.org or visit .
Second Congregational Church, 81 Hancock Road, will celebrate the third Sunday of Advent with a worship service at 9 a.m. led by the Rev. Penny Rich Smith. The third Advent candle will be lit. The sermon, "Deep Advent Joy," will be based on Zephaniah 3: 14-20, Luke 3: 7-18 and Philippians 4: 4-7.
There will be a children's time and special music, after which Sunday School classes will meet for preschool through grade 8. A coffee hour and time of fellowship will follow the service. Youth Musicians rehearse following worship.
The Sunday School Christmas Pageant and Party will be held at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will be held at 9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24, led by Smith. The service will include lessons and carols, special music, the lighting of the Christ Candle, a Christmas Story, and a closing candlelight circle with the singing of "Silent Night."
All are welcome. The church is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call the church office at (413) 458-3467 or visit www.secondcongrega tionalchurch.org.