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GriefShare Sessions Planned September 20, 2018

Norrisville United Methodist Church, 2811 W. Church Lane, White Hall, Md., will offer GriefShare support group sessions starting on Tuesday, Sept. 18, and continuing every Tuesday for 13 weeks. Sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The group is nondenominational, and attendees need not be members of the church. There is a cost for materials.

For more information or to register, readers may call the Rev. Melissa McDade at 410-692-6179 or email thomasjsullivan@hotmail.com. Individuals may call for updates in the case of inclement weather.

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Memory Loss Support Group To Meet September 14, 2018

The Memory Loss Support Group for Caregivers will meet on Tuesday, Oct. 2, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the community room at Mount Joy Mennonite Church, 320 Musser Road, Mount Joy.

The topic will be "What Is 'The 36-Hour Day'?"

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Grant Provides Van For Food Donation Pickup September 11, 2018

Thanks to a grant from the KTA Funding Hope Foundation, Trinity Assembly of God (AG) has been given a helping hand with its mission to serve hungry people in the community through its Joseph's Closet food bank, part of the church's Trinity Compassion Ministries (TCM) program.

Dave Kovach, president of KTA Funding Hope Foundation, recently visited Trinity AG in West Chester to present the church with a check for $14,000. The funds were used to purchase a 2016 Dodge Ram that is helping to transport food that is donated by local restaurants, fast-food establishments, grocery stores and convenience stores.

"The whole back of the van is used for storage. We pick up food every single day," explained Caleb Gudgeon, TCM director. "We distribute 2,500 pounds of food a week. We literally feed thousands of people in the greater Philadelphia area every single week."

Trinity AG and KTA Foundation logos will eventually be added to the van.

Gudgeon explained that he filled out a grant application at www.ktafundinghope.org, hoping to receive at least part of the money to finance the cost of the van. "I told them that whatever they could do would be helpful," he explained. "They got back to me in a couple weeks, and they said that they wanted to pay for it in full to help out our ministry."

Kovach, a managing partner at Kistler-Tiffany Advisors, explained that the foundation has a mission to provide financial support to individuals and charitable organizations in the community, as well as those that help animals.

"We're a financial planning company, and we created a charitable foundation," Kovach explained. "We do not give to general funds. We want to know that our money is doing something. Buying the van is exactly what we are looking to do. We debated as a board if we were going to give (part) of the money, and we just decided to finance the whole thing."

In addition to the grant to Trinity AG, the foundation recently donated educational materials to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County and provided a grant to Surrey Services for Seniors.

Trinity AG pastor Jimmy Smuda said the van donation was a blessing to the church and the ministry, noting that the church uses three vans to pick up food donations. The items are then delivered to partner organizations for distribution in Coatesville, Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del., among other areas.

"One of the vans totally broke down. We would have really been stuck had (the foundation) not supplied a new one," he said. "It was perfect timing."

The community is invited to help the church with its food ministry. People may donate canned food at any time by placing donations in the waterproof food collection bin located outside the church. Items that the food bank is especially in need of include soup, canned fruit and vegetables, peanut butter and jelly.

The church is also in need of volunteer drivers to pick up and deliver food. A driver's license and a clean driving record are required.

Trinity AG is located at 1022 Pottstown Pike, West Chester. For more information, including volunteer opportunities, readers may contact Gudgeon at 610-692-1897 or calebgudgeon@trinityag.org. Those in need of food are also asked to contact Gudgeon.

More information about the church is available at www.trinityag.org or www.facebook.com/TrinityAGWC.

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Trinity AG Distributes Free Food At Melton Center September 11, 2018

As part of the Trinity Compassion Ministries (TCM) program at Trinity Assembly of God (AG), free food is now being distributed every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Charles A. Melton Arts and Education Center, a nonprofit community center located at 501 E. Miner St., West Chester.

Visitors will receive a bag of nonperishable food, as well as frozen food donated by local convenience stores. No proof of income or residency is required.

"We are giving away canned foods and nonperishable food, and we have them prepacked in bags, so people can just pick them up," explained Caleb Gudgeon, director of TCM. "(However), if people just need canned vegetables, they can (take those); it's very informal.

"We are also giving out frozen breakfast sandwiches, chicken bites and soft pretzels," he added.

At this time of year, the volunteers from Trinity AG are stationed outside the Melton Center on Thursday evenings. "Whenever the weather is nice, we will be right outside in the picnic table area," Gudgeon noted. "In the case of inclement weather and when it gets colder, we will move indoors." He added that signs will be posted directing visitors to the food giveaway.

Gudgeon said that people are still learning about the distribution, which officially began on Aug. 23. "People will get to know us, and we'll grow from there," he said.

The food distribution is the latest effort by TCM, whose mission is to serve hungry people in the community through its Joseph's Closet food bank.

Gudgeon explained that volunteers pick up food every day from local restaurants, fast-food establishments, grocery stores and convenience stores. The items are then delivered to partner organizations for distribution in Coatesville, Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del., among other areas.

"We distribute 2,500 pounds of food a week. We literally feed thousands of people in the greater Philadelphia area every single week," said Gudgeon.

The community is invited to help the church with its food ministry. People may donate canned food at any time by placing donations in the waterproof food collection bin located outside the church. Items that the food bank is especially in need of include soup, canned fruit and vegetables, peanut butter and jelly.

The church is in need of volunteer drivers to pick up and deliver food. A driver's license and a clean driving record are required. Volunteers are also being sought to help with the distribution at the Melton Center on Thursday nights.

Trinity AG is located at 1022 Pottstown Pike, West Chester. For more information, including volunteer opportunities, readers may contact Gudgeon at 610-692-1897 or calebgudgeon@trinityag.org. Those in need of food are also asked to contact Gudgeon.

More information about the church is available at www.trinityag.org or www.facebook.com/TrinityAGWC.

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Preschool Posts Openings September 5, 2018

Little Friendships Preschool currently has openings in the Honeybees class for 2- and 3-year olds. The class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

Interested individuals may contact Friendship Community Church at 717-779-0400 or stop by the church office at 3380 Fox Run Road, Dover.

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GriefShare Sessions Planned September 5, 2018

Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 397 Tyler Run Road, York, will offer the support group GriefShare on Mondays from Sept. 17 to Dec. 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Those experiencing the loss of a loved one are invited. The purpose of the group is to offer support, encouragement, and understanding to help individuals deal with grief.

There is a small fee to cover the cost of materials; scholarships are available. Individuals are asked to register by calling the church office at 717-854-4276 or visiting www.aldersgateyork.com.

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Donations Sought To Benefit CVCCS August 29, 2018

A donation drive is taking place in September to benefit the food bank at Conestoga Valley Christian Community Services (CVCCS). The goal of the drive is to decrease the prevalence of hunger and poverty in Lancaster County.

Individuals who donate two cans of food or a set minimum financial amount to CVCCS will receive admission to a performance of the Magic and Wonder Show from Wednesday, Sept. 12, to Wednesday, Sept. 29, at Bird-in-Hand Stage, 2760 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand. Individuals must present a valid ID at the box office along with their donations.

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Support Group Meeting Posted August 29, 2018

Dover Bethany United Methodist Church (UMC), 4510 Bull Road, Dover, will host a dementia/Alzheimer's support group meeting on Monday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. The guest speaker will be Candy Yingling from the Alzheimer's Association. The group is for people caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.

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

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Church To Offer Support Groups August 28, 2018

Calvary Fellowship, 95 W. Devon Drive, Downingtown, will host support groups from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays starting on Sept. 5 to help people who are going through difficult times.

On Wednesdays, the church will offer Celebrate Recovery, which is designed to help with any hurt, destructive habit, or hang-up, including addictions, and GriefShare, which is for those who have lost loved ones. Wednesday sessions will have child care provided for children in kindergarten and older with prior sign-up.

Continuing the second and fourth Mondays through the fall, the church will offer Parents of Prodigals, for parents of children struggling with drugs and addictions, and Job Seekers, for those who are unemployed or underemployed.

For more information and to register, email care@cfdowningtown.com or visit www.cfdowningtown.com/care.

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Church Sets Cancer Support Group August 23, 2018

Hempfield United Methodist Church (HUMC), 3050 Marietta Ave., Lancaster will offer "Living With Cancer," a lunchtime support group. The group will meet every other Wednesday, Sept. 12 through Dec. 12, from noon to 1:15 p.m. in room 124.

Cancer coach and counselor Brenda Coffin will facilitate the support group. She serves as HUMC's minister of spiritual care and counseling and is also a cancer survivor.

The informal gatherings will cover the mind, body, spiritual and emotional aspects of facing and living with cancer. The public is invited to attend any or all sessions, which are geared toward those currently undergoing cancer treatment, those who serve in a supportive role as a cancer caregiver and friend, and those who are cancer survivors.

For more information and to register, visit www.hempfieldumc.org/cancergroup.

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Hope's Closet Posts Hours August 23, 2018

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

Savings will be offered on all men's and women's jeans, and there will also be a selection of fresh fall fashions for the whole family.

The children's department features back-to-school clothes and toys and games. Household items include curtains, bedding, kitchenware, cookware, gifts, and more, and the newly expanded home decor section features fall decorating items and small-scale furniture.

Free clothing items are available for people of all ages, along with free food items.

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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Donation Supports Bear Bags Program August 17, 2018

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Memory Loss Support Group To Meet August 16, 2018

The Memory Loss Support Group for Caregivers will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 4, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the community room at Mount Joy Mennonite Church, 320 Musser Road, Mount Joy.

The topic will be "Family Dynamics When Caring for a Loved One."

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Food Pantry Seeks Volunteers August 15, 2018

Twin Valley Food Pantry (TVFP), an outreach ministry of Conestoga Mennonite Church, 2779 Main St. (Route 23), Morgantown, is in need of volunteers to work at the upcoming food distribution, to be held on Tuesday, Aug. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. In addition, volunteers are sought to stock the pantry prior to the distribution.

Adult volunteers, as well as high school students, can help stock the pantry on Wednesday, Aug. 22, beginning at 7 p.m. following the delivery of food by the Greater Berks Food Bank and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. Volunteers will also sort and unload food items from local donations and food drives. Stocking volunteers will work for approximately two hours.

On distribution day, volunteers will meet at the church at 3 p.m. About 85 volunteers are needed for the evening for setup, distribution and cleanup. The work is usually completed at approximately 8:30 p.m. Volunteers may work the whole evening or volunteer as much time as they can. Volunteers are also needed to serve as Spanish translators.

As with all distribution days, food pantry clients will also enjoy a homemade meal. On Aug. 28, roast beef will be the main dish. Hot dogs will also be served. Volunteers are needed to provide side dishes such as macaroni and cheese, potatoes and salads. Donations of beverages, including lemonade, punch and soda, are also needed.

For more information on how to contribute to the dinner, readers may email meal coordinator Kathleen Weaver at kmw54_405@hotmail.com.

In the monthly food pantry newsletter, Howard Moss, who runs the pantry along with his wife, Carol, reported that in July, the TVFP served 140 families, representing 571 people.

He credited the community for the success of the pantry, which has distributed more than 1 million pounds of food since it opened at Conestoga Mennonite Church in 2009. Prior to that, the pantry was located at Morgantown Methodist Church for more than 15 years.

"We distributed approximately 16,500 pounds of food, personal health and hygiene items," Moss reported, thanking donors in the community for contributing financially or for coordinating food drives. "Thank you all for the hundreds of volunteer hours each month making this important community mission possible. We can always use help volunteering at the TVFP. Please consider joining (us) this month."

The pantry is also seeking financial contributions, as well as donations of food and other items. Items can be dropped off at the Conestoga Mennonite Church office on Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those who cannot drop off food donations at the designated times may schedule a time to donate by emailing Moss at hamoss@ptd.net.

Items that are needed by the pantry include sugar, cereal, paper products, laundry detergent, dishwashing soap and bars of soap, as well as beverages such as soda, water and fruit juices that do not require refrigeration. Fresh vegetables, fruits and eggs are always welcome a few days before a distribution.

For more information about the pantry, including volunteer opportunities, readers may email Moss, call the church office at 610-286-9124 or visit www.twinvalleyfoodpantry.org or www.facebook.com/twinvalleyfoodpantry.org.

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Church Sets GriefShare Sessions August 14, 2018

Bethel Church, 1674 Furnace Road, Brogue, will host GriefShare from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursdays starting Sept. 6.

GriefShare is a weekly seminar and support group for people who are grieving the death of someone close to them. Attendees will learn information about recovering from grief and renewing hope for the future.

The church is located on Route 425, south of New Bridgeville. For more information, readers may call Gloria Kline at 717-244-5237 or Darlene Kauffman at 717-927-9117, or they may contact pastor Kimberly Cartwright at 717-927-9380 or kmbrly63@gmail.com.

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School Changes Name, Opens Enrollment August 13, 2018

The Christian School of York, 907 Greenbriar Road, York, has changed the name of its accredited preschool program to Christian School of York Preschool. Formerly called the Early Education Center, Christian School of York Preschool changed its name with the goal of more clearly communicating the biblically based education provided to children ages 2 to 5.

Additionally, Christian School of York Preschool will now operate on an open admission model, allowing more students from the York and greater York region to attend the school. Readers may contact the admissions office at 717-767-6842 for more details.

Christian School of York Preschool's 12,000-square-foot Dr. David N. Thompson Center for Early Education was built specifically for preschool education and opened in 2009. It features large, bright classrooms; a dramatic playroom; an oversized recreation room; and a 4,000-square-foot, fenced-in, rubber-tiled play yard. The curriculum at Christian School of York Preschool is designed to grow the hearts and minds of young students through a variety of part- or full-time, multi-day class options for prekindergartners ages 2 to 4. The preschool operates in line with the academic calendar year of the Christian School of York.

Education at Christian School of York Preschool is designed to grow students cognitively, socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Biblical principles are incorporated in every learning domain.

The teachers at Christian School of York Preschool are all accredited, professional educators with degrees in early education, elementary education, child development, or more than one of these fields. The program and facility at Christian School of York Preschool are accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International, signifying strict adherence to best practices in every area, including curriculum, physical environment, teacher training and certification, and health and safety standards.

The preschool facility was named for Dr. David N. Thompson, who briefly served as headmaster of the Christian School of York and had the vision for creating a state-of-the art Christian learning center for preschool students. Shortly after the blueprints were drawn, he was diagnosed with a fast-spreading pancreatic cancer that ultimately took his life before the opening of the preschool center. His vision remains a driving force of the overall mission of Christian School of York Preschool and the Christian School of York.

For more information about Christian School of York Preschool and the Christian School of York, readers may visit www.CSYonline.com.

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God's Clothing Closet Event Planned At Ruhl's UMC August 10, 2018

"It's a huge event, and it's a lot of fun." That is how organizer Kris Gray succinctly described God's Clothing Closet, an annual clothing giveaway held at Ruhl's United Methodist Church, 4810 Elizabethtown Road, Manheim, held just in time for the dawning of a new school year. "We have people who come because they want something new and some people who are in desperate need of something," shared Gray.

The community is invited to shop for free quality used clothing, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and children in all sizes and for all seasons at this year's event on Saturday, Aug. 25, from 8 to 11 a.m. Clothing is organized by size and displayed on clothing racks or tables for ease of shopping. The facility is air-conditioned and handicapped-accessible, and it has plenty of parking. On-site child care will be offered while parents shop.

In addition to clothing, free Bibles and devotional materials will be on hand for adults and children. A limited number of quilts handmade by Ruhl's church members will also be available for new mothers.

Once folks are finished shopping, they are welcome to relax and enjoy musical entertainment, light refreshments, and a game room in an area separate from the clothing setup.

Gray noted that donations of nonperishable food or toiletries for the Manheim Central Food Pantry are encouraged but not required. Currently, items needed for the food pantry include canned fruit, canned meat and soups, peanut butter, strawberry jelly, cereal, and boxed potatoes.

Last year, God's Clothing Closet welcomed 465 shoppers - most of whom arrived in the first hour, Gray said. "The line of shoppers before we opened the doors stretched to the Prayer Garden, and some of those shoppers arrived before 5:30 a.m.," recounted Gray. "Several shoppers who attend every year took the time to stop and thank us for this needed ministry and how it personally blessed them." In addition to giving away clothing, approximately 220 Bibles and 37 handmade comforters were distributed to guests at the 2017 event. Five large boxes of nonperishable food donated by shoppers were given to the Manheim Central Food Pantry.

Any items left over at the event's end will be donated to Community Aid. Collecting clothing, shoes, and accessories for the next God's Clothing Closet is a yearlong process, and donations of quality used items are welcome at any time.

For more details on making a donation or about God's Clothing Closet, readers may call the church at 717-665-3400.

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Hope's Closet Posts Hours August 9, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hope's Closet will hold its semiannual bag sale; there will be a set price per bag for all women's, men's and children's clothing. The sale will not include shoes, accessories and jeans.

Shoppers may browse a variety of women's tops, shorts, capris, slacks, dresses, skirts, and light jackets, including many plus-size items. Men's shirts, shorts, and slacks will be available. Sales will be offered on men's shoes.

There will also be a sale on frames and framed art, Other items will include curtains, bedding, kitchenware, cookware, gifts, and home decor, such as small-scale furniture. The newly expanded children's area will include books, games, and toys, including parts from name-brand creative building sets. Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages, along with free food items.

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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Back-To-School Event To Feature Haircuts, Backpacks August 6, 2018

"We had seven salon chairs donated, and I just filled that last chair (with a stylist). We will have seven top stylists," enthused Drema Duncan, director and prekindergarten teacher of Preschool Pebbles, as she discussed the plans for the Scissors Snipping event she has slated for Sunday, Aug. 20. "We want local families to know they have somewhere to get (free) haircuts for back-to-school."

Scissors Snipping will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at Living Stones Vineyard Church, 2292 Robert Fulton Highway, Peach Bottom, where the preschool is located. Professional stylists will give haircuts to children ages 3 to 10 at no charge. Children will also have the option to accessorize their new hairdos with headbands or barrettes.

To further ensure children have what they need for school, backpacks containing basic school supplies will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for those who need them.

The haircuts will be available to walk-ins, so anticipating that there may be some waits, Duncan has arranged for enjoyable things to do at no cost to participants. Two of the preschool's classrooms will be open for play - the third classroom will serve as the salon - and the outdoor playground will be accessible as well. A movie will be shown, and fresh popcorn will be served by Living Stones pastor Bud Stillman. Other snacks and beverages will be available in the church's cafe. Face painting will also be offered.

Duncan thought up the event and planned it out within a week's time.

"I have had such an awesome response in many ways so far: volunteer stylists and donations of back-to-school supplies and even gifts for kids," she said. "So many people are wanting to help, some as far as York."

Helping others and meeting needs are hallmarks of Living Stones Vineyard Church. Preschool Pebbles was launched in 2013 as a ministry of the church in order to provide a Christian-based safe, caring, and fun learning environment for children in the Southern End. The adults responsible for making that happen are Christine Lewis, who teaches the 2-year-old class; Brooke Wagner, who is the teacher of the 3-year-old class; and Patricia Giffing, who is the aide in Duncan's prekindergarten class.

"We provide a developmentally appropriate curriculum and interest areas to facilitate each child's learning experience," Duncan wrote in the preschool's brochure. "It is our desire that each child grows to love learning, learns a bunch, makes some awesome friends, learns how to be a positive part of a community, and gets to know Jesus."

The preschool is still enrolling for the 2017-18 school year. Classes are available for children who will be 2 years old by Saturday, Sept. 30, through age 5. Two-day and three-day programs are available. Classes will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from September through May. Afternoon classes will be added if there is enough interest.

To learn more about Scissors Snipping or the preschool, readers may contact Duncan at 717-344-4790 or preschoolpebbles@aol.com. The school may be found on Facebook by searching for "Preschool Pebbles."

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Support Group Meeting Planned August 2, 2018

Dover Bethany United Methodist Church (UMC), 4510 Bull Road, Dover, will host a dementia/Alzheimer's support group meeting on Monday, Aug. 13. The group meets on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m.

Individuals who are interested in learning more about dementia and Alzheimer's, as well as how to care for loved ones who have these diseases, are welcome to attend. Readers with questions may call the church at 717-292-2716.

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