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Community Invited To Pack Meals June 22, 2017

Highland Presbyterian Church, 500 E. Roseville Road, Lancaster, will kick off its Summer Sundays on July 2 with 10,000 Meals Sunday.

The event will begin with worship and Communion at both 10 a.m. services. Immediately afterward, volunteers of all ages will convene in the church lobby for about an hour to package 10,000 nutritional meals for hungry families around the world through the Rise Against Hunger relief program.

This will be the third time Highland has joined to fight against international hunger through the program. In 2015, its 10,000 meals helped families in Sierra Leone. In 2016, Haitian families benefited from Highland's efforts.

Community members are invited to join in the family-oriented project. To register, visit www.HighlandPC.org.

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Group Donates Quilt, Funds June 20, 2017

Camp Donegal recently received a donation of a check for $2,329 and a handmade 78-by-86-inch "Pathway to the Stars" quilt, which was started by the late Carolyn Evans-Corder of Delta. Three members of The Quilters Retreat, Jean Bryan, Rose Hoover, and Ginny Buckingham, presented the check and quilt in memory of Evans-Corder, who enjoyed attending the quilters' retreats held at Camp Donegal.

The funds were raised by selling fabric and notions donated by Evans-Corder's husband, Ray Corder. Rose Hoover of East Prospect and Jean Bryan of Shrewsbury finished machine piecing the quilt in 2017, and Karen Davis of Whiteford, Md., long-arm quilted it. The quilt will be available for sale at a later date.

For more information on joining The Quilters Retreat, readers may contact Jean Bryan at 717-580-3869.

Camp Donegal is in Airville on Telegraph Road. Readers may visit CampDonegal.org or call 717-862-3722 for rental or camper information. The ministry and mission of Camp Donegal is to provide a peaceful place away where all may grow in their relationships with Jesus Christ, with others, and with themselves. Camp Donegal was established in 1958 and is a ministry of The Presbytery of Donegal, Presbyterian Church (USA). Camp Donegal welcomes children from all backgrounds and religious affiliations.

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Youth Group Visits Home June 14, 2017

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Grand Opening Held For Compassion Center June 14, 2017

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Church Receives Grant June 14, 2017

Oxford United Methodist Church (UMC), 18 Addison St., Oxford, was awarded a grant of $3,989 from the Clyde P. and Katherine B. Alexander Memorial Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation to support the mission and ministries of the church. Announcement of the grant was made by Pedro A. Ramos, president and CEO of the Foundation.

The Rev. Mark Terry, pastor of Oxford UMC, said the grant will help support the church's missions and outreach programs in the community, including vacation Bible school, a free ice cream social, the fall Family Fun Night, and the church's work as a host church for Family Promise of Southern Chester County. As part of the United Methodist Church, Oxford UMC supports missionaries and missions around the world.

Founded in 1851, Oxford United Methodist Church has had the mission of praising, caring, serving, and sharing. Worship services begin at 8:30 and 10:55 a.m. on Sundays. There are youth groups for youths in grades five through eight and for grades nine through 12. The church also offers Bible studies, two handbell choirs, and adult and children choirs. Vacation Bible school will be held from Sunday through Thursday, July 23 to 27, and the church will host a free concert in Memorial Park in Oxford on Sunday, July 30. For more information about the church, readers may call 610-932-9698 or visit www.oxford1851.org.

The Philadelphia Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. A foundation and a public charity, the foundation connects philanthropic resources to societal needs. More information is available at www.philafound.org.

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Fostering Love Through Blessed Bundles June 9, 2017

Foster care is an amazing ministry that many couples and families answer the call to enter into, and offering support to those involved in the journey is another important part of the process. Knowing how to reach out can be tricky, but a group of people from Trinity Lutheran Church in Mount Joy recently created Blessed Bundles, an outreach that aims to help ease the transition for children entering foster care.

Trinity Lutheran Church member Scott Garcia experienced the hardships of living in several foster homes as a child. Scott explained that typically a child enters foster care in an emergency situation and his or her minimal belongings are often placed into trash bags, or the child leaves his or her home with no belongings at all. Scott and his wife, Melanie, are motivated to help add a sense of security for children who are in an otherwise uncertain situation.

"When you are displaced and on your own so young, there is a lack of pride, trust, and a sense of belonging," said Melanie. "A Blessed Bundle packed with love and a prayer for protection during the journey is the least we can do."

Blessed Bundles began with a collection of new or gently used backpacks, as well as specific items for boys and girls of various age groups to place inside of each backpack. One collection led to another, and now the Garcias are in the process of registering Blessed Bundles as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Once the backpacks are filled, they are delivered for distribution to children through the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center and Families United Network in Mount Joy. The first delivery consisted of 42 backpacks containing items such as toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, school supplies, books, night lights, blankets, diaries, stuffed animals, and more.

"Our goal is to replenish these bags as needed, so we will continue collections of backpacks, diaper bags, and essential items," explained Elayne Olson of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Donations may be dropped off at the church office, 47 W. Main St., Mount Joy, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and on Sunday mornings. For more information or to request a list of specific items to donate, interested individuals may email BlessedBundlesMission@gmail.com.

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Church Posts Library Hours June 6, 2017

Weaverland Mennonite Church, 210 Weaverland Valley Road, East Earl, invites the public to visit the church's library between 9:30 and 11 a.m. on Tuesdays, June 20 through Aug. 22. The library will not be open on Tuesday, July 4.

Readers of all ages are invited to borrow books. The library has a selection of fiction, junior fiction, biographies, and books about Christian life, along with plenty of books for young readers. The library also has a large variety of videos and DVDs that may be borrowed.

Guests are asked to use the newer entrance to reach the library, which is now on the first floor. For more information, readers may call Teresa at 661-7460.

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Groups Plant 400 Tree Seedlings June 2, 2017

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Second Chances Thrift Shop Celebrates 10 Years

When the doors of the Second Chances Thrift Shop, located in the basement of First Presbyterian Church, 7 Marietta Ave., Mount Joy, opened on June 1, 2007, the group of volunteers who started the store were not sure what to expect. But for the past 10 years, the influx of donations and customers has been constantly and steadily growing, and Second Chances has planned a monthlong celebration to say thank you to the community for all the support. "And we want to say thanks to all our volunteers who have put in over 90,000 volunteer hours since we opened," remarked organizer Barb O'Neal.

Second Chances will offer specials to shoppers each week during the month of June. The store is open from 3 to 9 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. On Friday and Saturday, June 9 and 10, items that are green or are marked with a green price sticker will be 50 percent off. The same discount will apply for blue items on Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17.

For Mount Joy's Fourth Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24, a "pick your own discount" sale will allow shoppers to bring items to the cash register and draw a discount - ranging from 10 to 70 percent off - out of a hat. Also on Fourth Friday, refreshments will be served in the fellowship hall from 5 to 8 p.m. and posters showcasing photographs from the last 10 years of service will be on display.

"It's been a lot of fun," reflected O'Neal with a smile. She and Deb Hoffman have been faithfully volunteering for three days each week for the past 10 years, and there are currently approximately 20 volunteers from the church and surrounding areas. "The store hasn't been the labor of one or two people. It has been all the members working together, making it what it is today," summarized O'Neal.

Prior to the store's opening, the church held biannual rummage sales. O'Neal, Hoffman, Barb Stephens, and Lonnie Nolt tossed around the idea of opening a year-round thrift shop in November of 2006. After gauging a high level of interest from church members and receiving approval from church leadership, the committee met with representatives from area thrift stores to gather advice before opening in June 2007.

"In the beginning we just sent out a cry to the church members and said, 'We're going to start a store; how about giving us something to sell?'" recalled O'Neal. "There have always been plenty of donations."

Second Chances sells clothes, shoes, jewelry and accessories, household items, linens, toys, games, puzzles, books, collectibles, home decor, and more - all at low prices. Proceeds benefit the church fund and local nonprofit organizations.

O'Neal and Hoffman have a web of connections they tap into to ensure that nothing goes to waste. Baby equipment, as well as maternity clothing, is sent to the Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services location in Columbia. Upon request, kitchen and household items are packed for Lancaster County Mental Health Court to be distributed to individuals as they readjust to life after being released from prison. Linens, towels, and quilts that are a bit too worn to sell are given to the Columbia Veterinary Hospital. "They love when we have quilts to give especially, because that way when animals have surgery they have something to rest on," said O'Neal.

At the end of each season, leftover clothing is donated to the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Second Chances also supports Midnight Run, F.A.I.T.H. Homes of Donegal, Mount Joy Helping Services, Sunset Gap, Donegal School District, Elizabethtown College Drama Department, Lancaster County Women's Shelter, and area residents who have suffered the loss of their home.

For more information or to inquire about volunteering, readers may contact the church at 717-653-5888 or fpcmj@embarqmail.com.

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Fresh Fruit Fridays Scheduled June 1, 2017

Madison Avenue Church of the Brethren, located in the Avenues Neighborhood at 645 Madison Ave., York, will continue its Fresh Fruit Fridays for the third year as a way of fulfilling its mission of honoring God by growing in faith, service, and love.

On the second Friday of each month during the growing season, church members will distribute free local fruit on the church lawn from 9 to 11 a.m. Fruit to be given away will include strawberries on June 9, blueberries on July 14, peaches on Aug. 11, and apples on Sept. 8.

For more information, readers may contact the church office at 717-854-1885 or macob1936@gmail.com.

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