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Church Plans Turkey Dinner September 19, 2017

Shiloh Presbyterian Church (SPC) will hold its annual turkey dinner on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Oxford Presbyterian Church, 6 Pine St., Oxford. Diners can eat buffet style or obtain takeouts.

There is a fee, but children under age 4 may eat for free. For more information, contact SPC at 610-932-9256.

Private School

Club Slates Diaper Drive September 19, 2017

Avon Grove Charter School Leo Club will hold a diaper drive for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. The items needed are baby diapers in sizes 4 to 6; adult diapers in sizes M/L and X/L; baby wipes; and formula. Diaper packages will be accepted even if opened.

Items can be dropped off at the Avon Grove Charter School, 110 State Road, West Grove. Monetary donations will also be accepted. The collection will conclude on Friday, Sept 29.

Items will be delivered to the Texas Diaper Bank in San Antonio, Texas. For details, call 484-667-5000.


Bethany Christian Services Banquet

When Anne Pierson, founder of House of His Creation (HOHC), Loving and Caring Inc., and Bethany Christian Services (BCS) of Central Pennsylvania, was asked what she would include in her address for Bethany's annual banquet, she did not pause before responding. "I will tell (the audience) how Bethany got here," she said. "(Bethany) got here because we needed them."

Pierson will share her perspective on Bethany's past and future when she speaks at the organization's Reflections of Hope banquet on Tuesday, Sept. 19, in the Harvest View Barn, 338 Sunnyburn Road, Elizabethtown. Appetizers will be served at 5:30 p.m. in conjunction with the start of a silent auction, and dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Pierson's journey in Pennsylvania began in the early 1970s when she was living in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband and two children. She and her husband led a church youth group, and they were looking for Christian activities for the teenagers. "We heard about this revival going on (at Upper Octorara Presbyterian Church in Parkesburg), so we headed up here to check it out," said Pierson. The Piersons became well acquainted with the minister, Jim Brown. He suggested the couple and their two children move to the Parkesburg area and start a program for unwed mothers. Shortly after his suggestion, they were contacted by a woman who knew of an elderly couple that wanted to sell their Coatesville farmhouse to a Christian ministry. Pierson and her husband looked at the house and then chose a bank to finance the project. The banker had heard Pierson speak, and he was able to help them secure the necessary funds.

In 1973, the couple opened HOHC. "We started the home, and before we knew it we were full," said Pierson. "We built a second house behind the (main) house for the girls who (made adoption plans)." Because the houses were full to overflowing, the Piersons began searching for another house. They saw a home in Lititz that was owned by a friend. "When I went in there, I knew it would be perfect," said Pierson.

With three family homes for unwed mothers, Pierson was challenged to find adoption agencies that would place babies in Christian homes. "I founded Bethany here because we needed an adoption agency," she said. Prior to founding the local branch of Bethany, Pierson had first connected with Bethany Christian Services in Michigan, and the organization referred her to an office in New Jersey. She worked with that office until logistics began to interfere. "I called (the Michigan office) and said, 'What would it take to start a Bethany in Lancaster?'" Pierson was told that she needed to raise $10,000 and organize a 10-member board. "We started meeting and raising money, and our first office was in Millersville in a basement," said Pierson. Bethany Christian Services of Central Pennsylvania was officially founded in 1984.

Now, in addition to infant adoption, Bethany offers international adoption, pregnancy support and counseling, foster care services, safe family services, and refugee resettlement services. As the organization looks forward to the banquet, a fundraising campaign has been organized at www.bethany.org/LancasterReflections. By following instructions at the web address, participants may create their own online giving pages and invite friends and family to help them raise funds for the organization.

"Bethany has grown out of the need (for these services)," explained Pierson. "It's so much bigger than just doing adoption."

There is no cost to attend the Reflections of Hope banquet, but reservations are necessary. Readers who would like to attend must register by Tuesday, Sept. 5, at www.bethany.org/lancaster/events/reflections-of-hope, by emailing CentralPAEvents@bethany.org, or by calling 717-399-3213.

Groups/Bible Studies

Lifetree Cafe

Lifetree Cafe will discuss whether the church is still relevant in today's world on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the building adjacent to Zion United Methodist Church, located at 1715 Altland Ave., York. The program will also be offered at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17, and at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at St. Paul's United Church of Christ (UCC), 2173 Stoverstown Road, Spring Grove. Lifetree Cafe is a place where people gather for conversation about life and faith in a casual, comfortable, and safe setting.

The program, titled "Is Church Obsolete: Has God Left the Building?" will explore emerging trends showing the church is quickly losing membership and eroding in influence. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss their views of what is fueling the precipitous decline in church attendance around the country.

Admission to the 60-minute event is free. For details on the program, readers may contact Chip Hoover at 717-792-3153 or chip08@aol.com or lifetreezion@gmail.com. Readers may also visit www.facebook.com/LTCYork or www.facebook.com/Lifetree.Cafe.Stoverstown.PA/.

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