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St. James Church To Host Sale January 16, 2019

St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church, 25 N. Adams St., York, will host a sale on Saturday, Jan. 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There will be books, puzzles, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, and lunch items for sale.

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Program For Seniors Slated January 16, 2019

The Well, 107 W. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, will meet from 9:30 to 11:45 a.m. on Wednesdays starting on Jan. 23 for coffee, snacks, games, art, crochet/knitting and Faith Talk. All seniors are welcome to participate.

The Well is a ministry of Hopewell United Methodist Church. For more information, readers may call 610-269-1545.

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Sponsorships Sought For Winter Blast Retreat January 16, 2019

Both Carl Edwards, youth center director with CrossNet Ministries, and assistant youth center director Shanice Smith-Starr agree that one of the best reasons to take area high school students to Camp Orchard Hill each year for Winter Blast is that the retreat gives students and staff a chance to build relationships. "That is why students continue to pester Shanice and me about when registration is starting," shared Edwards. "They have been asking for weeks."

The 2019 Winter Blast will be held Friday, March 8, through Sunday, March 10. The weekend, which is specifically designed for students from urban youth centers, will bring together more than 200 students and will feature a Christian hip-hop artist and speaker Josh Ott, a Schuylkill County pastor. In addition to four sessions with Ott, the students will have the chance to enjoy activities such as sledding, snow football, an indoor climbing wall, inflatables, hockey, and bubble ball. The theme for this year's Winter Blast is "The Greatest," based on I Corinthians 13:13, which reads, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

According to Smith-Starr, the sessions with Ott can be powerful experiences for the students. "Usually that last session ... includes the Gospel (message of salvation)," said Smith-Starr. Last year, three CrossNet students accepted the Lord during Winter Blast. "(These sessions have) been a blessing, especially as the students hear teachings and worship," Smith-Starr added. "They are exposed to the Gospel during that time, so they are connecting with their peers and hearing God's Word."

Edwards noted that the atmosphere at the event helps students feel comfortable. "We appreciate that Camp Orchard Hill creates a weekend for our students," said Edwards. "(Camp Orchard Hill staff members) allow students to be who they are without a sense of judgment. They preach the Gospel (because) they want to see students come to Jesus, so they make sure the students are safe and cared for and that it's a different (experience) than going to a church."

When students who make a decision for Christ during the retreat return to New Holland, CrossNet staff members take steps to help disciple them. "We are thankful those (young people) made those decisions," explained Smith-Starr. "We try to be intentional with them when they come back from that weekend."

Because Camp Orchard Hill staff members plan and organize the retreat, Edwards and Smith-Starr have the opportunity to focus on the students they have brought. "We get to be leaders. We get to be fully invested," said Edwards. "We get to be with our students to learn together and grow together. It's so great."

This will be the 10th year that the center has taken a group to Winter Blast. Each year, the CrossNet youth center staff members endeavor to take 35 to 40 students on the trip. The total cost to send one student to the event is $150, and CrossNet is seeking scholarships to help fund the trip. "Anyone can sponsor a student," noted Edwards. "Churches can come together to take a group." Each sponsorship covers travel, food, lodging, and camp fees. Sponsors will receive ways to pray for the student prior to the trip. After the trip, sponsors will receive a group photo and a thank-you note from the student. Readers who are interested in contributing toward sponsorship of a student may contact either Edwards at carl@elancocross.org or Smith-Starr at shanice@elancocross.org or call 717-355-2454.

CrossNet Youth Center, located at 100 W. Franklin St., New Holland, is now open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. and Fridays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Each night, dinner is served at 6 p.m. Round table discussions are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:15 p.m. The center is open to groups of sixth- through 12th-grade students, with Tuesdays designated for male students and Thursdays designated for female students. The center is open to all students on Wednesdays and Fridays.

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Centennial Church Posts Schedule January 16, 2019

Centennial Lutheran Church, 1330 Hares Hill Road, Kimberton, has posted its schedule of activities.

On Sunday, Jan. 27, there will be a worship service at 9:30 a.m. The service will include a message by pastor Jerry Tancredi and the celebration of Holy Communion. The annual congregational meeting will be held following the worship service. and a celebration luncheon will follow the meeting.

On Sunday, Feb. 3, all adults are welcome to join in for a new eight-part series during the Education Hour at 10:45 a.m., following the worship service. The series will review the book "Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again" by Rachel Held Evans. Participants may contact the church office to obtain a book.

All are invited to Scout Sunday on Feb. 10, when several of the Scouts from the church community will participate in the worship service.

Information about church events is available at www.centenniallutheran.org or by emailing info@centenniallutheran.org.

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Quilting Group Slates Meeting January 16, 2019

The Mission Quilters at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Coatesville will meet on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 1 to 3 p.m. to create quilts that will be donated to Lutheran World Relief and distributed worldwide. Volunteers are invited to help tie the quilt layers together during meetings of the group, which are held on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. No experience is needed.

The group is also seeking fabric donations.

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd is located at 107 S. 17th Ave., Coatesville. For more information about joining the Mission Quilters or donating fabric, readers may email Jean Broderick at rnjean@ptd.net.

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Hopewell UMC Packs Meals January 16, 2019

Members of Hopewell United Methodist Church (UMC), 852 Hopewell Road, Downingtown, recently took part in an effort to feed those across the world suffering from hunger.

Proceeds from the Hopewell UMC congregation and Hopewell vacation Bible school raised more than $6,765 in order to pack 23,328 meals for those in need around the world through Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now), an international relief effort that apportions food and aid to impoverished countries.

More than 100 volunteers of all ages helped to pack the meals within a two-hour time frame.

Greg, one of event's organizers, shared his story of how hunger impacted his childhood and why he gives his time to Rise Against Hunger.

For more information about the church, readers may visit www.hopewellumc.org.

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Churches Take Part In Concert Series January 14, 2019

St. Joseph Church in York hosted an Epiphany Concert Series on Jan. 4 to 6 leading into Epiphany Sunday. Churches from York and the greater York area were invited to showcase their varied musical types, groups, soloists, ensembles, and choirs in order to celebrate the continuing Christmas season and the spirit of community.

The churches that participated include Eastminster Presbyterian Church, York First Church of the Brethren, Pine Grove United Methodist Church, Saint John the Baptist Church, and Christ United Methodist Church in Yorkana. The program created a unique blend of different concerts each night.

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Released Time Program Sets Open House January 14, 2019

The first in a series of Warwick Released Time (WRT) open houses will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at Lititz Trinity Church, South Cedar and East Orange streets, Lititz, at 7 p.m. All students are to arrive at 6:45 p.m. All are invited, including parents, families, grandparents, and public school staff.

All third- and fourth-grade Lititz Elementary Released Time students will present a program of song, Scripture, and skits, which will show what they are learning in their weekly classes. The theme this year is "WRT: Faith, Fun, Friends - JOY."

The third-grade students study the Old Testament under the direction of teachers Heidi Limbert, Faith Meier, and Bonnie Norris. Fourth-grade students study the New Testament of the Bible under the leadership of teachers Emily Myallis; John Courchesne, who is also a pastor; Sue Weiser; and Dawn Youndt. The on-site director is Mel Rohrer, and the director is Sue Rohrer.

The student program will begin with the third and fourth grades singing "My God Is So Great." The program by the third grade will follow with Meier's class presenting "Creation," Norris' class presenting "The Tower of Babel," and Limbert's class sharing songs about the Bible and Scripture.

The fourth-grade program will feature "Fruit of the Spirit" presented by Myallis and Courchesne's class and the song "These Are the Books of the Bible" by Weiser and Youndt's class.

An offering will be received to benefit the WRT program. Meier will provide special piano music for the offertory.

The program will close with the congregation and students singing "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

WRT has been in existence in the Warwick School District since 1965.

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ESL, Citizenship Classes Slated January 11, 2019

Elizabethtown Alliance Church, 425 Cloverleaf Road, Elizabethtown, has slated its second semester of English as a Second Language (ESL) and citizenship classes. The classes were scheduled to start in January and will continue on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. through May 8.

New students are encouraged to come for the new semester, sign up for a class, meet teachers, visit classrooms, and look at materials. There is a registration fee for first-time enrollees. Returning students need only report to their classes as before.

In the ESL classes, students will be placed in class levels in which they are comfortable. Vocabulary building and conversational English will be emphasized at all levels.

In addition to ESL instruction, a class will be offered in citizenship covering the U.S. Constitution and American history. This class is open to anyone interested in preparing for the American Citizenship Test. It will be held at the same time and place as the ESL classes.

For more information, readers may contact Kara Werner at 717-769-1579 or the church office at 717-367-2995.

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Day Of Prayer Service Planned January 11, 2019

Women from the Warwick Association of Church Women met recently to plan the annual Lititz Day of Prayer Service, set for Friday, March 1. The service will start at 7 p.m., with music beginning at 6:30 p.m. The group voted that the host church will be Lititz Trinity, located at South Cedar and East Orange streets, Lititz.

The Lititz Moravian Trombone Choir and St. James Folk Group will be invited to provide the prelude music. Additionally, the group voted to have pastor Ryan Taylor as the featured speaker. He is the associate pastor at Trinity. The women on the committee are planning to have light refreshments following the service, as well as a time of fellowship.

Posters will be placed throughout the community to announce the event.

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Church Plans Community Breakfast January 11, 2019

Florin Church of the Brethren, 815 Bruce Ave., Mount Joy, will offer a free community breakfast on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

A variety of breakfast foods will be offered. Free parking will be available at the lower end of the parking lot, and attendees should enter through the double glass doors under the drive-through.

Reservations are not needed. For more information, readers may call 717-653-1202, ext. 2.

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Lifetree Cafe Program Planned January 11, 2019

Lifetree Cafe is hosted at The General Sutter Inn, 14 E. Main St., Lititz, every Monday at 7 p.m. Lifetree is a weekly program that involves friendly conversations about various topics.

The Jan. 21 program, "Kids Without a Country: An Illegal Immigrant's Story," features the filmed story of Reyna Grande, who crossed the border with her family illegally when she was 9 years old. The Lifetree program will explore immigration reform, including issues surrounding children of people who entered the country illegally.

All are invited to the free community event. For details, visit www.lifetreecafelancaster.us, search for "Lifetree Cafe - Lititz" on Facebook, or contact Pastor Jason at 717-333-9238 or jbperkowski@gmail.com.

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ValleyView Alliance Plans Chili Cook-off, Silent Auction January 10, 2019

The SURGE Student Ministry at ValleyView Alliance Church, 200 Alliance Ave., York, will host a chili cook-off and silent auction on Sunday, Jan. 27, at 11:45 a.m. Admission is free.

The chili cook-off continues a tradition that began in 2013. Youth pastor James O'Handly and SURGE students and leaders are excited to host this friendly, family cooking competition and see whose chili can claim the title of ValleyView's Best Chili 2019. Attendees will be able to vote for their favorite chili, with a winner being announced at the end of the event. In addition to several types of chili, a variety of desserts and beverages will be available for people to enjoy.

"This is an event that allows our church family to show off their culinary skills and share it with others," says O'Handly. "It is our hope that those in Hellam and surrounding communities would join us for an afternoon of good food and friendly competition."

Silent auction items have been donated by York Revolution, local restaurants, attractions, and more.

The event will serve as a fundraiser for the nine SURGE students and four leaders who will be attending the Christian and Missionary Alliance's triennial conference, LIFE, in July in Orlando. The LIFE Conference is designed for high school students ages 13 to 19.

This year's conference theme will be "Awaken: Awaken to life in and with Jesus." LIFE Conference is a gathering of the next-generation Alliance family that wants to experience God and expand His kingdom locally and globally. LIFE Conference seeks to glorify God in worship, word, and community; expose God's heart for the lost; introduce Jesus Christ into the whole life of each student; and inspire students to join the global Alliance family.

For more information or to inquire about contributing a pot of chili or a silent auction item for the event, readers may contact Crystal Bolton at 717-755-0193 or cbolton@valleyviewcma.org.

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Bornman Presents In Netherlands January 10, 2019

Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) worker Jonathan Bornman presented at an event on Nov. 30, 2018, at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands. The event's theme was "A Dialogue Comparing the Divine and the Human in Islam and Christianity." Along with Bornman, the presenters included Dr. Yaser Ellethy, Dr. Khalid Hajji, and Dr. Bert de Ruiter. The Muslim and Christian scholars had been invited to participate by Tyndale professor and EMM worker Dr. Philip A. Gottschalk.

Attendees were predominately seminary students and faculty, but community members were also present. Gottschalk hosted the event as part of a course he teaches titled "Ethics of War, Peace, and Peacemaking."

Bornman, a Christian-Muslim relations consultant, highlighted the belief that humanity is created in the image of God. He said that humans' ability to creatively solve problems is an example of humans reflecting God. Illustrating this creative problem-solving, Bornman shared the story of M.J. Sharp and his work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sharp, who was murdered in 2017, creatively sought to promote peace in a challenging setting. Bornman's main purpose in sharing this story was to emphasize how the creativity of God within humanity can be used to do good in the world.

Several students who were in attendance had been raised as Muslims but had later converted to Christianity. One student shared they were surprised at how openly the presenters could discuss theological differences in a respectful manner.

EMM's Christian-Muslim Relations Team, of which Bornman is a member, seeks to encourage church leaders to interact with Muslim clerical leaders.

In addition to his work with EMM, Bornman is a Ph.D. candidate at Middlesex University London. His dissertation is focused on the nonviolent practices of a Senegalese Sufi order called the Muridiyya. He served as a Bible teacher in Senegal from 1999 to 2009 but is currently doing research in the Murid community in Harlem, New York City.

Tyndale is an international, English-language seminary. The school has had students from more than 80 countries.

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Youth Ministry To Expand January 10, 2019

Factory Ministries youth advocate Micah Leaman, who is co-leader of the Factory Youth Center with Elizabeth Hoover, is looking forward to expanding the center's offerings beginning in early February. "We will have an after-school program on Tuesdays from 3 to 5 p.m.," said a beaming Leaman. "We're excited to open (for) another opportunity (to serve area students) during the week."

The new program will be open to students in grades seven through 12. Transportation to the center will be provided by Pequea Valley School District (PVSD). Leaman noted that the program will offer one-one-one tutoring for students and hopefully workshops to help students work on making wise career decisions in the future. "It will be a fun atmosphere, but more focused on academics and developing (career) resources," he said.

Leaman said the idea for the program grew out of the original goals the youth center has always worked to meet. "The mission (is) to be a safe place where area youths can come to have fun and grow closer to one another and to caring adults and to be very relational and offer a spiritual component," said Leaman.

According to Leaman, student responses to the center show that those goals are being met, but he and Hoover, who have been directing the center together for about a year, wanted to offer more. "(We were seeing) students graduate, no longer coming to our programs, and (dealing with) difficult situations," said Leaman, who noted that not having the skills or training to find gainful employment was chief among these. One of the program's goals is to incorporate CareerLink and other similar skills workshops. "We want to expand into these new areas and develop more resources for the future," said Leaman, who added that he and Hoover would like the center to be a place students can come for advice.

Toward that end, the center has already partnered with PVSD. "We have an incentive program coordinated with the school with parental permission," explained Leaman. "We can have more involvement (with students) and help them put together goals." Leaman pointed out that because of the relationship between the ministry and students, the leaders and volunteers can interact with students about career options. "I have conversations weekly with students about what they are interested in and what we can be doing now (to help them prepare)."

In one room at the center, students can reap the rewards of taking part in an incentive program. "This is our Factory Store," said Leaman. "(Students) can earn points for good attendance, grades, and behavior, and we have T-shirts, (beverages), and snacks they can (purchase when they) redeem points. It's a concrete motivation and a reward for their (efforts)."

Currently, the Factory Youth Center holds Open Door Night every Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. "We usually have 55 to 70 teenagers here," said Leaman, who added that local organizations volunteer to provide a hot meal for the students. "It's a huge blessing," said Leaman. The evening includes a short lesson. "We send a message that we are here, and we understand life is difficult," said Leaman. "Our job is to be available for these students and walk with them and encourage them." In addition, students may enjoy free time, games, and opportunities to express themselves musically or artistically. Each room at the center is staffed with a volunteer and has a camera.

The center is open for a men's basketball program on Sundays from 6 to 8 p.m.

Readers who are interested in learning more about The Factory Youth Center may visit http://thefactoryministries.com.

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Church Plans Roast Beef Dinner January 9, 2019

Evangelical United Methodist Church, 157 E. Water St., Middletown, will serve a roast beef dinner on Monday, Jan. 21, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dinner will include roast beef, cheesy potatoes, glazed carrots, applesauce, rolls, beverages and dessert.

The dinner is open to the public. There is a fee for the meal, and takeout meals will be available. The church is handicapped-accessible. For more information, call 717-944-6181.

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Atglen Church Reopens For Sunday Worship January 9, 2019

After being closed for several months last summer, congregation members at Atglen Missionary Baptist Church have announced that the church has reopened. The church, located at Main and Dallas streets in Atglen, is now holding Sunday services at 11 a.m. The worship leader is the Rev. Joe Newsome.

According to church member Dora Yates of East Fallowfield, the historic church was built in 1858. "The church was started by Hephzibah Baptist Church in the 1800s as Glen Run Baptist Church," she explained. "In 1858, they vacated the church where Glen Run Cemetery is located and built the present building in the town of Atglen."

The vacated church building at Glen Run slowly deteriorated and was later taken down. A chapel was built at the entrance to the cemetery in 1890. The chapel is still used for funeral services and special events.

After a series of pastors through the years, Atglen Missionary Baptist Church's most recent leader was the Rev. Charles Montgomery, who served at the church until June of 2018. "The membership had dwindled, and the church (closed its doors) in June," said Yates. "On Nov. 4, we began meeting again."

She noted that church member Carson Arnold spearheaded the effort to reopen the church. "He went to Nottingham Missionary Baptist Church to ask (pastor) Michael Moore if there was a way to reopen the church," Yates related. "They were very instrumental in helping their sister church. Michael Moore sought out Joe Newsome, an evangelist and supply pastor, to help us out until a permanent pastor can be found. The Rev. Newsome is not the permanent pastor, but he is willing to stay as long as we need him."

Yates said that the current church congregation is composed of new members and those who attended the church prior to its closing, including her and her husband, Ernest. "We attended there years and years ago, so we have come back to help," she said.

With the exception of stained-glass windows that were added in the 1970s, the church building has remained unchanged since it was built. "It's a beautiful building," Yates said. "Back in the 1970s and '80s a lot of maintenance work was done on the building and the stained-glass windows were put into place. They were just frosted windows before that."

All are welcome to attend the 11 a.m. services, which feature music, Scripture readings and prayer. "We have an organ and a piano but no one to play them, so everything is a cappella," Yates said. "We open with song, then we have prayer and an offering. Pastor Joe then brings the sermon. His sermon is based on the Scripture we read that day."

She said future plans call for the church to have a choir and possibly add more services. "As the church grows, we will open early for Sunday school and have mid-week services and Sunday night services," she said, adding, "Pastor Joe announced that on April 10 through 14 we will have a five-day revival meeting with special singing each night and concluding on April 14 with Communion (at the Sunday service)."

For more information, readers may search for "Atglen Missionary Baptist Church" on Facebook.

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Program Will Discuss Immigration January 9, 2019

Lifetree Cafe will host a discussion on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 9:15 a.m. and on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 1 p.m. at St. Paul's United Church of Christ (UCC), 2173 Stoverstown Road, Spring Grove.

The program, titled "Kids Without a Country: An Illegal Immigrant's Story," will feature a video about Reyna Grande, Grande, who crossed the border with her family illegally when she was 9 years old. The program will explore immigration reform, including issues surrounding children of people who entered the country illegally.

Admission to the event is free. For details on the program, readers may contact Chip Hoover at 717-792-3153 or at chip08@aol.com.

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Church Sets Pancake Breakfast January 9, 2019

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 107 S. 17th Ave., Coatesville, will hold a pancake breakfast on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 8 to 10 a.m. in the church fellowship hall. The community is invited.

The meal will feature pancakes, French toast, bacon, sausage, eggs and omelets made to order, hash browns, dried beef gravy, baked goods, fruit, coffee, tea and juice.

Suggested donation amounts have been set for adults and for children ages 5 to 13. Children under age 5 may eat for free. All profits from the breakfast will be donated to community causes.

For more information, readers may call 610-384-2035 or visit www.luthgoodshep.org.

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Hope's Closet Sets Hours January 9, 2019

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. All men's and women's sweaters in a range of sizes will be available at a special price.

A final clearance sale on Christmas decorations will be held, including tree trimmings, lights, wall and door decorations, table centerpieces, and more. A large selection of scrubs as well as games, toys, and books will be available.

Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages. Free food and bread will also be available. For more information, readers may call Pathway Church at 717-793-8070 or visit "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook or at www.pathwaycc.org.

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