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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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Preschool Plans Open House January 9, 2019

Little Lambs Christian Preschool will hold an open house and registration event for new students on Tuesday, Jan. 29. Parents and children may visit the preschool, which is located at High View Church of God, 2470 Leaman Road, Ronks, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Staff and current parents will be available to answer questions.

Little Lambs will accept registrations for the 2019-20 school year during the event. The preschool program offers a two-day play group for 2-year-olds on Mondays and Wednesdays. The 3- and 4-year-old class is a two-day program on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The prekindergarten program for 4- and 5-year-olds offers a two-day option on Mondays and Wednesdays and a three-day option on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Classes run from 9 to 11:30 a.m. All preschool classes are taught by Pennsylvania certified teachers.

Little Lambs, a nonprofit mission outreach program of High View, is a Christian-based program that has a mission to provide the finest in early childhood education, to prepare children for kindergarten, and to direct attention to moral values. Daily activities include biblical lessons, chapel time with the pastors, play, stories, music, art experiences, reading and math readiness activities, outside play, field trips, and class visitors. Children from all religious backgrounds are welcome; no specific doctrine will be taught.

Little Lambs is located in the Conestoga Valley School District. While the majority of the students are from Conestoga Valley and Lampeter-Strasburg school districts, students also attend from Pequea Valley and Solanco school districts and the School District of Lancaster.

For more information or to arrange for a personal tour, readers may contact Kerri Shindle at 717-687-0523 or littlelambsks3@gmail.com. Details are also available at www.hvcog.org. Registration forms may be obtained at the church or online.

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MOMS Club Plans Preschool Fair January 4, 2019

Elizabethtown and the surrounding areas are rich in resources and opportunities, but sometimes finding and sorting through all of those options can be overwhelming - especially for parents scouting out potential schools for their children. That is why the MOMS Club of Elizabethtown hosts a preschool fair every year. President Erica Leilous stated that the purpose of the event is to highlight educational offerings of local preschools in order to help parents make the right choice for educating their young children.

The ninth annual MOMS Club of Elizabethtown preschool fair is set to take place on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 9 to 11 a.m. at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 398 N. Locust St., Elizabethtown. Admission is free. In the case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for Saturday, Jan. 26.

Leilous noted that preschools typically begin sign-ups and enrollment for the fall in the spring of the same year, so exploring options early is key. "While most schools start when the child is age 3 or 4, some, such as Elizabethtown Community Nursery School, can start as young as age 2," added Leilous. "Those attending Children's Playroom of Lancaster County can start as infants."

Schools and organizations scheduled to take part in the event include Bossler Christian Preschool, Children's Playroom of Lancaster County, Elizabethtown Child Care Center (ECCC), Elizabethtown Community Nursery School, Fishburn Flock Christian Day Care and Early Learning Center, GEARS Kids Center, Kids Playhouse at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church, Kraybill Mennonite School, Lancaster Mennonite School - Hershey Campus, Mount Calvary Christian School, Play 2 Learn, Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, Susquehanna Waldorf School, Tiny Timbers Christian Preschool, and Under the Willow Preschool.

"It is a great opportunity to explore all the schools at one time, in one location, versus researching all the options on your own," Leilous remarked. "It is great to have the face-to-face interaction and to meet individuals that could possibly be working with your child."

Additionally, the MOMS Club of Elizabethtown will hold a bake sale at the fair. A local business that offers educational classes and camps for toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children will have a table of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) activities set up for attendees to try and purchase. Plus, a local school bus service will have a bus parked outside for another Touch-A-Bus experience, which Leilous said was a popular part of last year's preschool fair, too.

Leilous described the MOMS Club of Elizabethtown as a group of mothers that are currently at home raising their children. Members must have an Elizabethtown, Mount Joy, Bainbridge, Marietta, Maytown, or Lawn address to join officially, as the club is an official chapter of MOMS Club International.

The group gathers monthly at an official Club Connections meeting, typically held on the first Friday of each month at a location in Elizabethtown. "This meeting is where club news, planning, and event discussion take place while children play," said Leilous.

Members also take turns planning and hosting play dates, activities, outings, and child-friendly field trips to local places. "It is a great way for moms to make friends with other moms in the area that are also currently home and gives children opportunities to interact and play with others," commented Leilous.

For more information on MOMS Club of Elizabethtown, interested individuals may stop by the membership table at the preschool fair or email etownmomsclub@gmail.com.

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Program Set For Preschoolers January 4, 2019

The Mountville Church of the Brethren, 60 W. Clay St., will offer Tots 'n Tunes, a free program for preschool children and their parents, grandparents, or other caregivers, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Mondays from Jan. 14 through March 25, except Feb. 18.

The program will include free play as well as a music class and time for parachute play. Adults should feel free to bring appropriate snacks for their child.

No preregistration is necessary. More information about the church is available at www.mountvillecob.org.

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Dementia/Alzheimer's Support Group To Meet January 2, 2019

Dover Bethany United Methodist Church (UMC), 4510 Bull Road, Dover, will host a dementia/Alzheimer's support group meeting on Monday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m. Individuals who who like more information about Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, as well as how to care for loved ones who have dementia, are welcome to attend.

The group meets on the second Monday of each month. Readers with questions may call the church at 717-292-2716.

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Faithfully Serving Conestoga Valley December 26, 2018

Organization Brings New Programs To Area

"We have some new programs," said Angela Trout, director of development with Conestoga Valley Christian Community Services (CVCCS). Trout was referring specifically to Back-on-Track Financial Coaching and the Rooted After-School Tutoring and Mentoring Program. Back-On-Track just completed its first year at CVCCS. The Rooted program just finished its second year serving Smoketown Elementary School students.

According to Trout, the after-school program began in 2017 under the mentorship of a Center for Champions, based in Harrisburg. "(Center for Champions) sent us a program coordinator who guided us," explained Trout, who added that in 2018 a group of CVCCS staff members began collaborating to run the program.

Currently, the program is serving 13 at-risk Smoketown students in fourth through sixth grades. Volunteer mentors from area churches meet with the students beginning at 3:15 p.m. each Tuesday school is in session from October to May. They spend time in Bible study, and the students read to the mentors and play math games. "The mentors talk (to the students) about Jesus and how Jesus loves us," explained Trout, who added that the program is blessed with more mentors than students this year.

At this time, Rooted is only offered to Smoketown Elementary students who walk to the CVCCS location adjacent to the school at 2420 Gehman Lane, Lancaster, and then are delivered to their homes by bus when the session ends. Trout noted that CVCCS would like to see the program offered in Leola and Brownstown as well, but she added that the expense of materials and solving the transportation issues have prevented Rooted from being offered in more locations. "We are working to strengthen this program now and hoping that in the future we could expand this to other schools," she said.

Back-on-Track kicked off in January 2018 and served its first client in May. Clients must live within or attend a church located within the Conestoga Valley School District. The program involves individual financial coaching for clients who are generally referred by churches. Trout explained that clients of Back-on-Track may not normally qualify for CVCCS services, but they are generally living paycheck to paycheck and may be only one car repair or medical bill from a downward spiral of debt that could eventually lead to homelessness. "(Back-on-Track) is a customized program because each situation is unique and different," explained Trout. "We meet with (the clients) to find out what their needs are."

According to Trout, clients qualify for the program based on specific situations and whether CVCCS is able to assist them. Clients who qualify must agree to attend three one-on-one financial coaching sessions tailored to their specific needs. Trout noted that financial coaches Dottie Slothower and Gayle Smith are often teaching basic financial literacy, including how to make good financial decisions, balance a checkbook, understand compound interest, and spot predatory loan practices.

Both Slothower and Smith have been educating themselves about training programs and affordable housing issues because many of the clients are considered underemployed. Programs such as the Workforce Talent 2020 Project administered by the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center Foundation, New Choices for Development, and CareerLink can help people access free training. Affordable housing help can often be obtained from Homes for Hope, Tabor, or Rapid Rehousing.

Because CVCCS wants to help the clients reduce debt, clients will be allotted up to three visits at the CVCCS Food Pantry and the CVCCS Clothing Bank.

In addition to the food pantry and clothing bank, CVCCS operates a Weekend Blessings program, which provides food items to students throughout the school district who qualify for free and reduced lunches. The organization also held a Christmas party for clients on Dec. 15, 2018.

Readers who would like to learn more about CVCCS and its programs may search for CVCCS on Facebook, visit http://cvccs.org, or call 717-208-3711.

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Hope's Closet To Open Doors December 26, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Jan. 5, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. All men's and women's sweaters will be available at a special price.

A final clearance sale on Christmas decorations will be held, including tree trimming, lights, wall and door decorations, table centerpieces, and more. A large selection of winter clothing for children 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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Support Group Will Not Meet December 13, 2018

The Memory Loss Support Group for Caregivers will not meet on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, due to the New Year's Day holiday.

The support group usually meets monthly at Mount Joy Mennonite Church.

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Hope's Closet Sets Hours December 10, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Children age 12 and under will be able to buy Christmas gifts from the Children's Secret Gift Shop. All items will be nominally priced.

Men's and women's sweaters and slacks in sizes from extra small to 3X will be available for 50 percent off. Cardigans in various styles, colors, and designs will be available. There will be a large selection of children's winter sweaters, tops, pants, and more, along with a variety of children's games, toys, and books.

There will be a special on Christmas decorations, including tree trimmings, lights, door and wall decorations, table centerpieces, and more.

Attendees may register to win a name-brand set of china or a Christmas gift basket that includes a gift card. No purchase is necessary to enter the drawing.

Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages, and there will be also be free food and bread.

For more information, readers may call Pathway Church at 717-793-8070, search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook or visit ww.pathwaycc.org.

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Parenting Support Program Slated December 7, 2018

Willow Street United Church of Christ, 2723 Willow Street Pike, Willow Street, has announced that its Community Outreach Parent Enrichment (COPE) Play Cafe will be offered on Thursday, Dec. 20, as well as on Mondays, Jan. 21, Feb. 18, April 22, and May 20, 2019. The program will take place from 10 to 11 a.m., and attendees should enter through the back doors under the carport.

Parents may enjoy coffee and connect with other parents as they engage in parenting discussions and gather resources. Speakers will discuss relevant topics such as meal planning, reading development, and postpartum depression. The purpose of the COPE Play Cafe is to provide a safe place to ask questions, get support, and learn about crafts and activities.

Playtime and other activities will be available for children.

The program is open to anyone in the community. For more information, readers may call 717-464-0720 or email wsuccpreschool@yahoo.com.

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Turkey Donations To Benefit Local Families December 6, 2018

York County Food Bank partnered with six area churches for the first-ever Bring Your Turkey to Church Day on Dec. 9.

In celebration of the holidays, the purpose of Bring Your Turkey to Church Day was to help to feed local residents in need. Members of the following churches brought frozen turkeys with them to the service: Chapel Church, 3050 Cape Horn Road, Red Lion; St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 25 Springettsbury Road, York; Unitarian Universalist Church of York, 925 S. George St., York; St. John's Blymire Church, 1009 Blymire Road, Dallastown; St. Peter's Lutheran Church, 947 N. George St., York; and Trinty United Church of Christ, 32 W. Market St., York.

York County Food Bank volunteers were slated to pick up the turkeys from the participating churches and bring them to the food bank.

Community members who would still like to donate a turkey may bring it to the food bank, 254 W. Princess St., York, before Friday, Dec. 14.

All of the turkeys collected will be used to help to provide 1,600 holiday meals packed through the Food Bank's Give A Meal program. The Give A Meal program partners with 10 school districts throughout York County to assure that no family goes to bed hungry this holiday season. Holiday meals are packed and distributed to the school districts, which then give them to families in their area who are in need of a holiday meal.

For more information or to learn how to help, readers may contact Debbie Krout at 717-818-4557 or email debbiek@yorkfoodbank.org.

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Support Group Meeting Posted December 5, 2018

Dover Bethany United Methodist Church (UMC), 4510 Bull Road, Dover, will host a dementia/Alzheimer's support group meeting on Monday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. Individuals who who like more information about Alzheimer's disease or other form of dementia, as well as how to care for loved ones who have dementia, are welcome to attend.

Readers with questions may call the church at 717-292-2716.

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Children Celebrate Giving November 29, 2018

The children of the Riverside Chapel Sunday school and the Make a Joyful Noise Choir of New Beginnings Church recently celebrated giving in various ways.

The Sunday school classes participated in the Samaritan's Purse outreach by filling boxes with personal hygiene items, coloring books, crayons, toys, clothing, and other items. The boxes will be delivered to people in need around the world.

The children's choir members gave thanks for their blessings through songs of praise. They sang "Give Thanks" and "Whisper a Prayer" at a morning worship service.

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Support Group Meeting To Include Meal November 27, 2018

Dover Bethany United Methodist Church (UMC), 4510 Bull Road, Dover, will host a meeting of the Dementia/Alzheimer's Support Group on Monday, Dec. 10, at 5:30 p.m. The event will include a covered dish meal, and attendees are asked to bring a covered dish to share.

Place settings and beverages will be provided.

Readers may call Dover Bethany UMC at 717-292-2716 with any questions.

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Hope's Closet Sets Hours November 21, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Children age 12 and under will be able to buy Christmas gifts from the Children's Secret Gift Shop. All items will be nominally priced.

Men's and women's sweaters and slacks will be available for 50 percent off, with sizes from extra-small to 3X. Cardigans in various styles, colors, and designs will be available. There will be a large selection of children's winter sweaters, tops, pants, and more, along with a variety of children's games, toys, and books.

There will be a special on Christmas decorations, including tree trimmings, lights, door and wall decorations, table centerpieces, and more.

Attendees may register to win a name-brand set of china or a Christmas gift basket that includes a gift card. No purchase is necessary to enter the drawing.

Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages, and there will also be free food and bread.

For more information, readers may call Pathway Church at 717-793-8070, search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook, or visit www.pathwaycc.org.

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Holiday-Related Grief Program Posted November 20, 2018

Bethel United Methodist Church, 1674 Furnace Road, Brogue, will show the GriefShare video "Surviving the Holidays" on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 9 a.m. The video offers ways for people who have lost a loved one recently or in the past to cope with their grief over the holidays.

The program is open to the public. Registration is encouraged. To register, readers may call Darlene at 717-297-9117, Gloria at 717-244-5237, or pastor Kim at 717-927-9380. The presentation is sponsored by the GriefShare program.

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Emmanuel's Closet Offers Assistance November 20, 2018

Emmanuel's Closet, a community pantry for people in need, serves the Dallastown Area and Red Lion Area school districts and is open from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Emmanuel's Closet is located in the basement of St. Paul's United Church of Christ, 205 W. Main St., Dallastown. An appointment is required to register before receiving any services.

Donations are requested to meet the needs of the community. Needed items include canned cooked meat, canned beef stew, canned tuna, spaghetti sauce, dry pasta, canned vegetables, soup, canned fruit, hamburger/tuna/chicken stovetop meals, gelatin, pudding, cake and dessert mixes, icing, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix, and fruit juice. Monetary donations are also accepted.

All donations can be delivered to St. John's Blymire United Church of Christ, 1009 Blymire Road, Dallastown. For more information or questions, readers may call St. John's church at 717-244-0655.

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Hope's Closet Posts Extended Hours November 7, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Nov. 17, with extended hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Men's and women's sweaters and slacks will be available for 50 percent off. Christmas gifts, decorations, and children's coats and other clothing will be available. Children's games, toys, and books will also be available.

Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages, and there will be free bread.

Shoppers may enter a drawing for a Christmas gift basket, including a gift card. No purchase is necessary to enter the drawing.

For more information, readers may call Pathway Church at 717-793-8070, search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook, or visit www.pathwaycc.org.

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Faith Harvest Sunday Scheduled November 7, 2018

Spry Church, 50 School St., York, will celebrate Faith Harvest Sunday on Sunday, Nov. 18, at the 9, 9:45, and 11 a.m. worship services. Attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items. The items will help stock the church's food pantry, which serves many families of the community each week. Faith Harvest Sunday will be a day for attendees to give thanks to God for all He has given them.

Anyone needing assistance from the food pantry may contact the church office at 717-741-1429 on or before any Wednesday for pickup on Thursday morning between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. If this time is not suitable, the food pantry is also open on the second Monday of each month for pickups between 6 and 7 p.m. To reserve food to pick up at this time, readers may call the office any time before the Monday pickup time.

Spry Church welcomes the public to attend its worship services and events. For more information, readers may email office@sprychurch.com.

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Church Sets GriefShare Event November 1, 2018

Harmony Grove Community Church, 6390 Harmony Grove Road, Dover, will host a special meeting of the GriefShare support group titled "Surviving the Holidays" on Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. GriefShare groups are led by people who understand what attendees are going through and want to help.

There is no fee to attend. For more information, readers may call the church office at 717-292-3659.

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