WORSHIP

“Together We Make Visible the Face of God”

ACCESSABILITY 

Bethany Church is fully accessible via a covered ramp entrance and an elevator. Designated handicap parking is available in the parking lot to the side of the church. There are large print bulletins and assistive listening devices are available.


WHAT TO EXPECT

We worship in the sanctuary every Sunday morning at 10:00 AM from September to mid-June and at 9:30 AM during the summer months. When you arrive in the sanctuary, you will be greeted by a deacon of our church, and receive a bulletin from an usher. 


During worship prayers are offered, Scripture is read, and a sermon is preached. Hymns are sung by the congregation and there is music from our organist, choir, and other musicians. Church members participate in all aspects of the service.


The Sacrament of Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of every month.  


Nursery care is provided each week for our youngest worshipers. Older children are with us in worship for the first 20 minutes and go to their Sunday School classes after a special Children’s Message but children are always welcome to with their parents during worship.


Each Sunday, after worship we gather downstairs for a time of refreshments and fellowship. Join us! 

CENTERING PRAYER

Each Sunday morning from 8:45 – 9:45 there is also a gathering for worship using the practice of Centering Prayer. Centering Prayer is a contemplative practice to make space for God. The practice attempts this by emptying the mind of its usual activity and clamor. That group meets in Bethany House, next door to the church. 

A MESSAGE FROM OUR PASTOR

THANK YOU FOR VISITING OUR WEBSITE. WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT WHAT GOD IS DOING HERE AND LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING IT WITH YOU. 

The Rev. Tony Robinson, a United Church of Christ pastor, writes that “worship is less a noun than a verb. It is not something we go to and watch or that happens at a particular hour each week. It is something we do, an event in which we take part.” 

 

That is an apt description of worship at Bethany Church. Worship is something we do! Each Sunday we gather, all ages together, to honor and give thanks to God, to pray and to sing, to observe the sacraments, to support one another, to learn and to grow in faith, to find new ways to deepen our discipleship in Christ and our service to God’s world.  Worship is enriched by the participation of so many! 

 

Bethany Church is an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ, committed to extravagant welcome.  We are a people of diverse theological and denominational backgrounds, bringing a variety of understandings and experience to our community. Within that diversity we find unity in our understanding that through our care for each other and our neighbors near and far we strive, at least ay, to be the hands and feet of the living Christ, and pray that together we make visible the face of God.

 

Together we celebrate; together we console; together we are ministers to one another; together we work to respond to the cares of the wider community and world; together we are the church.  

 

So come join us!  At Bethany, there is always room for one more…or two…or three…!

 

Whoever you are, wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!  ​​​​​​​

Rev. Kimberly S. McKerley

SACRAMENTS & RITES

“Rejoice with those who rejoice andsection weep with those who weep”.  — Romans 12:15sectionsection

The Sacrament of Holy Communion

Once a month at Bethany we celebrate Holy Communion which recalls the meals Jesus shared with his disciples, and in particular, the Last Supper. During Holy Communion bread is broken and the cup is poured out – symbolizing the body and life-blood of Christ. We provide non-alcoholic and gluten-free elements.


Communion is open to all, including young children (with parental discretion). Teaching about the meaning of the sacrament is offered once a year to our children.

Baptisms

For those who would like to be baptized or have a child baptized, you may contact Anne at the church office to set up a meeting. We know that baptism is a profoundly meaningful sacrament, especially when there has been spiritual preparation. If you are not presently attending Bethany Church and want your child baptized, we suggest that you come to worship for awhile first. Part of the reason for this is the congregation promises to help support parents to raise their child to know and love God, and this is more likely to be authentic if you are already beginning to be a part of the Bethany community.

Weddings

For those who wish to be married in Bethany church, there are two meetings with the pastor to talk about your relationship and the wedding service.


The first step is to talk to the pastor about their availability, and the availability of the church if desired. The use of the sanctuary is free for members; non-members please see rental information.


The pastor can talk to you about the fees for the organist, the facilities caretaker, and the pastor—contact Anne at 802-728-5849.

Funerals

Funerals of members are held in the church sanctuary.


The hospitality committee of Bethany Church often helps to provide a reception after the funeral service of members.


Our minister is available to perform non-member funerals as well, though these usually take place in Day Funeral Home or at the grave site.

MUSIC

“Sing to the Lord a new song.” — Psalm 33

Choir

Bethany’s choir is open to all who love to sing. Rehearsals are every Sunday at 9 AM and every Thursday night at 7 PM, September to June. Marta Borgstrom, choir director, also welcomes those who can come only on Sunday mornings to rehearsal. For further information email Marta.

Offertory Music

Bethany is graced with many talented singers and musicians. Choirs, organ, three bassoons, steel drums, strings, flutes, brass, hammered dulicmer, and congregational singing shake the windows with joy…Alleluia! Each Sunday, in addition to the choir anthem, a soloist, instrumentalist, or small group of musicians provide the offertory. Each Thanksgiving, Christmas Sunday, and Easter, a brass choir comprised of Bethany adults and teens adds festive joy on the hymns of the day. The whole congregation and choir, with strings, brass, and timpani, sing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus each Christmas Sunday.

BETHANY UCC’S ORGANISTS

Marilyn Polson has been the organist of Bethany Church since 1990. She is assisted by Larry Leonard, Bethany’s honorary associate organist, who often plays duets with Marilyn and substitutes as needed. For questions related to the organ, email Marilyn. Read about Bethany UCC’s organ.

BETHANY ORGAN

“When in our music God is glorified…It is as though the whole creation cried: Alleluia!” — Fred Pratt Green

Historic Hutchings Organ

The organ in Bethany Church was built in 1894 by George S. Hutchings of Boston, Massachusetts, as his Opus 341 for the Christian Church, which stood on the site of the current Chandler Music Hall. The Congregational Church housed a two-manual, nine rank J. W. Steere & Son organ Opus 318 of 1891. When the Congregational and Christian churches merged in 1905 to become Bethany Church, the Hutchings organ was moved to the Congregational Church and the smaller Steere instrument was moved to the Methodist Church, which until 1992 was the Masonic Temple. The Steere organ was moved again to the Roman Catholic Church in Woodstock in 1984 where it exists today.

A 1914 rebuild of the Hutchings by C. H. Belknap probably included the alteration of the 4’ Violina to 8’ pitch, and the gold leafing of the once decorated case pipes. The Violina was later returned to its original pitch. The electric blower installed in 1920 by the Estey Organ Company cost $287, but the hand-pumping mechanism is still intact. At the time of the 1948 redecoration of the auditorium the finish on the oak case was removed and wiped with light blue paint and the case pipes were painted light blue with gold mouths.

In 1992 what could have been a disastrous fire was discovered in time but the auditorium and the organ received extensive smoke damage. Because the centennial anniversary of the organ was near at hand, a committee was formed to have restorative work done to the organ during the time the pipework was out being cleaned. The firm of Watersmith Pipe Organs of Enfield, N.H. was engaged for the work. The organ was pitched to A-440, slide tuners installed and the wind returned to 3” pressure, thus restoring the original brighter-sounding voicing. The casework was again stripped and restored to the former golden oak color, and an oil finish applied. The case pipes were stripped and repainted a medium brownish grey with gold mouths and stenciled bands near the tops, producing a very handsome appearance. A set of Deagan chimes added in 1961 has a small keyboard below the Great manual.