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Free Lunch Planned For Homeless March 21, 2019

APJC Emanuel, Third and Cherry streets, Columbia, wll host a free lunch for people who are homeless on Saturday, March 30, from noon to 3 p.m. In addition to the lunch, pastries, vegetables and clothing will be given away to the homeless.

For more information, readers may call Jose Rivera Rodriguez at 717-819-7305 or Lourdes Cardona at 717-669-0296.

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MOPS Auction Will Support North Star Initiative March 21, 2019

Memberships to local attractions, restaurant gift certificates, photography packages, massage sessions, and house-cleaning services are among the items the coordinators of the annual Faith Reformed MOPS auction are hoping to receive from donors.

"We're trying to appeal to busy moms," explained co-coordinator Hillary Prickett. "I would bid on (house-cleaning services) in 2 seconds. It's my least-favorite chore."

The auction will be held during the MOPS group's usual meeting time on Friday, April 5, starting at 9 a.m. at Faith Reformed Presbyterian Church (FRPC), 611 Robert Fulton Highway, Quarryville. While meetings typically end at 11 a.m., this special event is expected to continue until 11:30 a.m. A silent auction will open at 9 a.m., and a live auction will start a half-hour later. Donations already received for the auction include several baby quilts, home decor, a date-night meal prepared by a personal chef, child care, collections of children's books, gift baskets, hair products, fair-trade jewelry, handbags, a photography package, restaurant and coffee shop gift cards, and even a year's dues for MOPS membership.

Cash and checks will be accepted as payment for auction purchases. All of the proceeds will go to North Star Initiative, which operates the Harbor Restoration Program, a trauma-informed, strength-based residential program intentionally designed to treat the needs of female survivors of sex trafficking. Following a needs assessment, an individualized care plan is created for each client that may include life skills classes, access to trauma therapy and support, and planning and tools for safe, healthy, independent living. This is the second year that Faith Reformed MOPS has supported North Star through its auction. The 2018 auction generated $2,951, and the coordinators hope to exceed that this year.

"Last year, we chose North Star Initiative because MOPS International's theme was 'Free Indeed,'" Prickett said. "Helping women come out of sex trafficking was (a) perfect (fit for the theme). The ministry (North Star) does is so incredibly needed. We didn't think twice about partnering with them for a second year."

Child care will be available during the auction free of charge, but registration is required by Monday, April 1. To register their youngsters, readers may email andysusanyoung@yahoo.com.

Faith Reformed MOPS meets from 9 to 11 a.m. on the first and third Fridays of every month from September through May at FRPC. New members are always welcome. There is a cost for membership, which includes access to parenting resources, devotionals, newsletters from MOPS International, and lots of support. Prickett noted that during meetings, mothers of preschoolers work on crafts and other creative projects, engage in a faith-based curriculum, and socialize. There are even playdates and Moms' Night Out events.

"It's a good place to meet other moms and do parenting together," Prickett remarked.

For more information about Faith Reformed MOPS or to contribute to the auction, readers may email Prickett at hfprickett@gmail.com.

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Bible Institute Posts Schedule March 19, 2019

Registration is now being accepted for the spring term of Keystone Bible Institute, which will begin on Monday, April 8. Courses to be offered include the following: Prayers That Heal a Wounded Heart on either Monday evenings or Thursday evenings; Biblical Literature of the Books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther on Tuesday evenings; The Study of the Jewish Roots to Christianity on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon; and The Master's Plan for Evangelism on Thursday evenings. All evening classes will be held from 7 to 9 p.m., with all classes held at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York.

The registration deadline is Monday, April 1. Readers may email keystonebibleinstitute@gmail.com or call 717-968-5521 to register. More information is available at www.keystonebibleinstitute.com.

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Hershaull Park Available For Events March 19, 2019

Hershaull Park, a facility jointly owned by three area churches and located at 7677 Church Road, Felton, offers views of the area's country setting in a wooded area and can be used for reunions, parties, picnics and more. For rates, readers may call 717-881-0926.

The community is invited to attend Hershaull's public picnic on Saturday, June 1, featuring the band Set Free.

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Surviving Spouse Social Planned March 18, 2019

Regular meetings of Surviving Spouse Socials are held the first Tuesday of every month except August and December at Faith United Church of Christ, 509 Pacific Ave., York. The next meeting will take place on April 2 at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be available after the meeting.

The purpose of this group is to help those who have been widowed for some time to move on with their lives. All widowed men and women are welcome to attend.

The group offers various social activities, such as a covered dish picnic set for Wednesday, April 3, at Rocky Ridge Park. It will be held in an enclosed pavilion, and a fire will be built in the fireplace. The club will provide either hot dogs or hamburgers.

Additionally, group members will meet at Old Country Buffet on Route 30 on Mondays, April 15, May 20, and June 17, at noon to eat lunch and play cards and other games.

The group also goes out to eat every Thursday at 6 p.m. at different restaurants in York. Individuals can call 717-318-6366 or 717-434-5470 for the name of the restaurant and location or any additional information about the group.

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18 South Plans Day Of Worship March 13, 2019

In preparation for Give Local York, 18 South will hold a day of worship on Saturday, April 13, at 1265 Homewood Road, York, from 2 to 9 p.m. to share its vision and mission and give thanks to God. Worship bands will play every hour. A different worship team will lead each hour.

The public is invited to attend. For full details, readers may visit www.18south.org or call 717-347-8416.

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Embracing A New Reality March 8, 2019

Church Moves To Its First Permanent Location

The leaders of Reality Church had been looking for a permanent facility for the congregation for three years when they learned about the vacant building that had previously held a franchise of a workout company. With a bit of creative thinking, the leaders knew that the 20,000-square-foot space at 2301 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster, in Golden Meadows Park, would work well for the church. Negotiations began in the summer of 2018, and worship services began taking place regularly in the new building during the first week of December.

"We redid about every surface inside. It was a completely awesome team effort," raved lead pastor Joe Castronova. "Church members helped with the woodworking, decorating, painting, and more. The work's not quite done, but we're ready to open to the community."

To celebrate the new facility and the ministry opportunities that have opened up as a result, Reality Church began a grand opening series on March 3. It will continue through Sunday, March 31. Each week has had a different theme relating to the overall theme of "It's Not That."

"People think certain things about Jesus that aren't true," Castronova explained. "Jesus gets a bad reputation."

On Sunday, March 17, "Stamp of Approval" will address the idea that to come to church, folks need to look, act, or think a certain way. "No matter what we do, (Jesus) still loves us and accepts us," said Joette Peters, director of ministry.

"Jesus is comfortable with me following Him even if I don't believe everything about Him yet," Castronova said. "Reality Church is quite comfortable with people having different backgrounds and perspectives."

A chicken barbecue meal will be held after the 9 and 11 a.m. services on March 17.

Sunday, March 24, is part of the opening weekend of Major League baseball, so the theme at Reality Church will be "Three Strikes and You're Out." Assistant pastor Josh Simmons will deliver the message. Ballpark-style snacks will be served during the services, and a hot dog buffet will be offered after each service.

"We focus so much on the rules, but the focus (should be) on our relationship with God. We can never strike out with God," Castronova said. "On Sundays, we want people to encounter God in a personal way. It's not just information."

"Have A Ball" will conclude the grand opening series on March 31. The meal offered after the services will feature ham balls, meatballs, cheese balls, and other spherical foods. An emphasis will be placed on developing community and building relationships.

"We're a hugely relational church," Simmons remarked. Reflecting on the school building where Reality Church had been meeting, he added, "We're very appreciative of the school, but there was no lobby to meet in."

The new facility has a spacious lobby with several seating areas, a coffee bar, and plenty of room for folks to gather to chat. Youth and worship pastor Calvin Hoffman shared his appreciation for the opportunities to host fellowship meals and for people to connect. "(Now, our meeting space) is not an immediate construction zone following services (with volunteers packing up equipment to vacate the school)," he added.

The gathering space will be used for a fundraiser on Sunday, April 14. A Ghanaian-themed meal will be served after each service, with proceeds supporting a family that will be traveling to Ghana for a mobile medical mission.

After Easter, Reality Church will be examining ways to be more compassionate in the community and will be partnering with HOPE International. Small groups are forming and will study the quality of mercy.

On Sunday mornings, the children's ministry offers programming for youngsters age 6 weeks to fourth grade during both services. Fifth- and sixth-graders meet during the second service. Students in seventh through 12th grades meet at the church from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Thursday.

For more information about Reality Church, readers may call or text 717-286-3287, visit www.pursuereality.org, or email info@pursuereality.org.

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Promise Players To Present "Mobile Home Sweet Home" March 7, 2019

"When I picked up the script (for a read-through), I laughed multiple times," Promise Players community Christian theater group director Doreen Creighton said of choosing this spring's play, "Mobile Home Sweet Home" by Pat Cook. "There's a lot of sarcasm, and Tim (Strawser) pulls it off very well."

At the center of it all is Strawser's character, Loff DuVall, who has run the Hampton Court trailer park with his wife, May June (Linda Ross), for more years than he can count. Loff is hoping to take May June on a vacation to escape the zaniness of the residents. Vonell Rafferty (Laura Scott-Wise) tries multiple income schemes, the latest of which is searching for treasure with a metal detector. Lydia Spagway (Melody Risser) needs help removing her grandchild's hand from where it is stuck in a toilet. Rhonda DeFalco (Wanda Jenkins) just wants to gossip, and Goose Halford (Ken Hess) tells long stories, such as how his grandpa has a metal plate in his head. "The kids used to catch him asleep and put 'frigerator magnets on his forehead," Goose relates to Loff.

Compounding the stress is a request from Loff's future daughter-in-law, Anne (Christine Tedesco), who wants to film a reality television show in Hampton Court. And, to add insult to injury, Etta Frobisher (Creighton) has it in for Hampton Court. "She's being nitpicky and trying to find anything to get this shut down," Creighton said of her character. "She's bossy and hungry for power. She's just a bully."

Frobisher is not any kinder to her younger sister, Edith Maxwell, who is played by Creighton's real-life older sister, Karen Ungemach. Ungemach is also a volunteer at the organization that will be benefited by the proceeds from the show's performances. Formed in 2016 in response to a need to go beyond offering emergency shelter, Elizabethtown Community Housing & Outreach Services (ECHOS) provides services to end the cycle of poverty while transforming the lives of families and individuals. Using the Housing First model, ECHOS assists individuals and families experiencing homelessness, at-risk of homelessness, or in need of services who are already connected with the Elizabethtown area, including Elizabethtown, Rheems, Bainbridge, Mount Joy, Marietta, and Maytown.

"You have to be sympathetic (to the people we serve)," Ungemach commented. "I'm so fortunate to have a home, but in other circumstances I could be there (where our clients are)."

Compassion is key when interacting with folks in need, as well as with anyone in general, and that is a message that comes through in "Mobile Home Sweet Home."

"It's about relationships and not judging people," said musical director Nancy Snyder, who will also appear in the show as Jennifer Crown.

"Mobile Home Sweet Home" will be presented at Lampeter Church of the Brethren, 1900 Lampeter Road, Lancaster. Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 28; Fridays, March 22 and 29; Saturdays, March 23 and 30; and Sunday, March 24. Matinees will start at 2:30 p.m. on March 23 and 30 and on Sunday, March 31. The doors will open one hour prior to show time. Child care for preschoolers will be offered during the shows. Ordering tickets in advance is recommended, and readers may do so at www.promiseplayers.org. To learn more about ECHOS, folks may visit www.echoslancaster.org.

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"Gift Of Years" Book Study Planned March 6, 2019

On Sundays, March 24 and 31, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Parkesburg will offer a discussion of "The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully" by Joan Chittister. The discussion will be held in St. Joseph's Hall.

Chittister is an international lecturer on contemporary spirituality and a past president of both the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

The book study is open to all, and neighbors, friends, and community members are invited. Individuals who need transportation or who can offer a ride to someone else should let organizers know.

The church is located at 406 Second Ave., Parkesburg. Books are readily available through the local library, or participants may purchase a copy. Those interested in participating should sign up by emailing marilynrobbins@comcast.net or bethtdavis@gmail.com.

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Creative Arts Contest Posted March 5, 2019

The 34th annual Peace Creative Arts Contest is accepting submissions. The contest is open to all Lancaster County area middle and high school students in grades six through 12. This year's topic is "Give Peace a Chance." Two categories are available - Fine Arts and Essay/Poetry. The deadline for submission is Friday, May 3.

All entries will be on display at the Art Alley at Hamilton Park United Church of Christ, 1210 Maple Ave., Lancaster, from Monday, May 6, through Sunday, June 9. The awards presentation will take place at 2 p.m. on June 9 at the church.

Complete submission rules and age division information is available by contacting lancasterpeaceproject@gmail.com and using "Peace Creative Arts Contest" in the subject line.

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Ward Leaves For Mission March 5, 2019

Benjamin "Ben" Monte Ward, 18, of Springfield Township, will serve a mission in Córdoba, Argentina, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for two years. Ben is a member of the church's Shrewsbury Ward.

Ben left for his mission on Feb. 12. He flew directly to the Mission Training Center (MTC) in Mexico City, where he planned to study the Spanish language for approximately six weeks. After his training, he was scheduled to report to the Argentina Córdoba Mission.

Prior to his high school graduation, Ben achieved the rank of an Eagle Scout in a church-sponsored BSA organization, and he completed four years of early-morning seminary through his church's religious studies program.

Ben graduated from Dallastown Area High School in 2018. He played football, basketball and volleyball. He also played the cello in the orchestra and string ensemble. Ben is a recipient of the Dallastown Educational Foundation Scholarship.

Ben, the fourth of five sons of Monte and Jennifer Ward of Seven Valleys, is following in the footsteps of his older brothers. Jacob Ward served in the Ghana Kumasi Mission, and Samuel Ward served in the Thailand Bangkok Mission. Aaron Ward is currently serving in the Taiwan Taipei Mission and will return home in June.

After completing his mission, Ben plans to attend Brigham Young University and play football.

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Program Seeks Volunteers March 1, 2019

The Bible2School program at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 100 W. Main St., Mountville, serving second-, third- and fourth-grade students from Mountville Elementary School, needs volunteers one to two hours per week in the 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. time slot on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and/or Thursdays. Volunteers will assist teachers in the classroom and help with shepherding students to and from the bus.

Sessions are as follows: second grade, Tuesdays from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.; third grade, Wednesdays from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.; and fourth grade, Thursdays from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Child clearances will be paid for by the program. Those wishing to help may call St. Paul's at 717-285-5020 or Heather Bates at 717-715-2192. Bible2School is a faith-based, nondenominational 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization allowed under the Pennsylvania School Code.

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Homes of Hope Opens House In Manheim March 1, 2019

About three years ago, Homes of Hope, a program of Love INC, had a presence in Manheim, but a lack of partnering churches caused the committee to dissolve. About 18 months ago, Bill Melone, community care minister with Manheim Brethren in Christ, and Karl McKinney, pastor with Erisman Mennonite Church, connected to form a new committee.

Fast forward to March of 2019, and Manheim now has a steering committee of four headed by Melone, and a home in the downtown area occupied by a family that has been approved for the Homes of Hope program. According to Melone, the committee came together with a focus on the need for affordable housing in the area and connected with Love INC, which currently oversees 10 Homes of Hope in eight Lancaster County communities. During the summer of 2018, a house became available in Manheim, and the committee signed a lease and enlisted volunteer help in preparing the home for a family. "People in the community joined together to help with decorating, and all the furniture has been donated," said Melone, who noted that members of the sewing circle at Erisman Mennonite have donated comforters. The comforters, coupled with furniture donated by other volunteers, create a decor that is both contemporary and comfortable. "It has really come together," said Melone.

To qualify, families must complete an intake assessment with a Homes of Hope coordinator. "(Candidates) must be families with children and typically (live) in the school district or an adjoining school district," explained Melone, who added that referrals often come from the school district's social worker. The family must have experienced homelessness, although qualifying families may be staying with family members. A typical stay in a Homes of Hope home lasts four to five months, although a family may stay six months under certain circumstances.

Just as important as the physical home is the support that the occupying family will receive from trained mentors and budget coaches. Rick Thompson, who is a member of the Warwick Homes of Hope committee as a representative of St. James Catholic Church in Lititz, said that regular contact with mentors and budget coaches is essential. "The financial circumstances of these families (call for) weekly guidance with the budget coach mentors," said Thompson, who added that goals and expectations for the families are set by the coordinator as well as the budget coaches and mentors. Financial goals involve finding ways to save for the security deposit and first month's rent on the family's next apartment, but other types of goals are set as well. "(Goals may include) getting on track regarding doctors' appointments or making sure transportation for everyone in the household is taken care of," said Thompson.

Thompson noted that the Warwick program has been in place for more than five years. Five families have lived in the current house, which was acquired for use in 2016. "We have had varied experiences (with families)," explained Thompson. "Sometimes people have run the course and may or may not be equipped to make the jump to independence, but we have had some who made it." He noted that homelessness is not usually the only issue facing families who take part in the program. He named health issues, transportation issues, and employment issues among the problems that the families must overcome. "The jobs of the mentors and budget coaches are admirable," he said, adding that families that take part should always benefit from receiving education that they can transfer to future situations.

The Warwick Homes of Hope committee currently has about a dozen participants representing nine churches. "Most are smaller churches, and this is their way of contributing to the housing needs of local people," explained Thompson.

Looking to Warwick's program as a model, Melone hopes to see more churches represented on the Manheim committee. Readers who wish to help with the Manheim program may contact Melone at bill@manheimbic.org.

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The Well Offers Programming For People Of All Ages February 27, 2019

A support group, a men's Bible study, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and an after-school program for youths are some of the activities taking place at The Well, a community center operated by Hopewell United Methodist Church (UMC) at 107 W. Lancaster Ave. (Business Route 30), Downingtown.

The Well, which was once a private residence and most recently was a funeral home, was remodeled and transformed by volunteers from Hopewell UMC, officially opening in June 2017.

The name of the facility comes from the story in Scripture when Jesus meets a Samaritan woman as she is drawing water from a well and is kind to her despite the fact that she was an outcast and shunned by her own people.

Among the offerings at The Well is an after-school program that is held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. Darlene Alleger, who is co-director of the program with Emmy Shapard, explained that third- through fifth-grade students from a local elementary school are currently taking part in the program.

"This is not a drop-off program. Students are recommended by the school for tutoring and mentoring," said Alleger. "(Students) come at 4 p.m., we provide a healthy snack and the tutors work with them on their homework until about 5 p.m."

This is followed by a devotional period. "We talk about things they want to pray for (as a way) to get to know them better," said Alleger. "They talk about their feelings and we learn about their families."

The after-school program concludes with a time for enrichment. "We try to do a variety of things. We've taken them to the Downingtown police station and (a local sports center)," said Alleger. "In March, we're going to have one of the teachers come and do a science project. We're always looking for hands-on activities for them."

Volunteers, who are required to obtain child abuse clearances, are needed. "I am always open to people who want to tutor or have a skill to share with the children," said Alleger, adding, "We really like it when the high school students (volunteer)."

Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact Alleger at darlene@hopewellumc.org.

Activities for older adults are offered at The Well on Wednesdays from 9:30 to 11:45 a.m. Attendees are invited to enjoy snacks, games, art, crocheting/knitting and a Faith Talk. For more information about the program, readers may contact Jen Lisowski at 610-269-1545 or jen@hopewellumc.org.

The Celebrate Recovery support group is offered at The Well on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Details about the program are available by contacting Becky Bennington at becky@hopwellumc.org or Sue Adams at suzranadams@gmail.com.

ESL classes are offered at The Well on Mondays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Child care is provided on request. For more details, readers may contact instructor Cynthia Lyman at cynthia@hopewellumc.org.

"Dwell at the Well," a men's Bible study, is offered on Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Readers may contact Bob Hancox at reh434343@gmail.com or pastor Dan Hepner at dan@hopewellumc.org for more details.

The Well workdays are held on the third Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. People of all skill levels are welcome for any part of the day to complete remodeling projects at the facility. Lunch is provided. To participate as a volunteer, readers may contact Lee Kentner at LNKentner@aol.com.

For further information about any of the programs listed, readers may call the church office at 610-269-1545. More information is also available at www.hopewellumc.org/the-well and www.facebook.com/thedowningtownwell.

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Event To Feature Movie Showing, Speaker February 27, 2019

St. Peter Church Celebration Center, 2835 Manor Road, West Brandywine, will be the site of an event featuring a movie showing and a speaker on Sunday, March 10.

The movie, "Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer," will be screened at 6 p.m. It is rated PG-13.

At 7:30 p.m., featured speaker Cheryl Sullenger will speak on "The Gosnell Trial and Lessons We Should Learn From It." In 2013, Sullenger attended the Kermit Gosnell trial in Philadelphia and reported on it nationally on a daily basis. She will share her experience of the trial.

Sullenger currently serves as senior vice president of Operation Rescue and blogs almost daily at www.operationrescue.org. She is the primary author of three books.

This event is free, and reservations are not needed. It is sponsored by the St. Peter Respect Life Committee. For more information, readers may email respectlife@saintpeterchurch.net.

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Annual REYS Fundraising Banquet To Change Locations February 22, 2019

Rainbow's End Youth Services (REYS) will hold its annual banquet at a new location this year. The fundraising gathering will take place at Landis Hall at WJTL's Junction Center, 1875 Junction Road, Manheim, on Friday, March 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. REYS' executive director, Joel Hughes, explained that the growth of the annual event over the last several years indicated a need for a larger setting. "The Junction Center gives that opportunity for a new venue with updated facilities," he said.

Hughes anticipates that the Junction Center will have room for the many guests who will want to hear this year's keynote speakers, Jay and Laura Laffoon. "Jay and Laura are well-known for their conferences and are experienced speakers for youth-focused organizations," Hughes noted. He explained that last year's keynote speaker successfully combined comedy and inspiration, so the Laffoons were an obvious choice for the 2019 banquet due to their experience in family ministry and ability to share in a humorous style. "We want everyone to have good fun!" Hughes said.

The community is invited to celebrate the ministry of REYS by joining the board, staff members, and volunteers at the banquet, which will include a family-style dinner featuring local favorites of hamloaf, chicken, potatoes, vegetables, and dessert. Complimentary tickets for the event are available by calling the youth center at 717-653-9511 or emailing office@reys.org. Reservations are requested by Friday, March 15.

The program will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner, testimonies, and a new ministry video designed to offer guests a snapshot of the ministry and needs of REYS. Hughes noted that his hopes for the event are that REYS' mission to impact youths for life will be clearly communicated, that the REYS support base will expand as guests hear the annual ministry update from the board and staff, and that volunteers will be encouraged to continue to reach out in Christian love to local youths.

The Laffoons will speak at 7 p.m. According to https://jayandlaura.com, Jay and Laura met on a blind date 35 years ago and married shortly thereafter. Over the years they have gained insights into youths and marriage as they ministered with Youth for Christ and interviewed countless couples. They founded Celebrate Ministries in 1995, are authors of many books, and are known to be inspiring, engaging, and humorous conference speakers.

During the banquet, guests will be given an opportunity to provide financial support for the ministry of REYS. Funds raised will support the multifaceted programming offered to Mount Joy-area youths through the youth center. Sponsorships are still available for tables of eight at the banquet. Individuals who are unable to attend the banquet but would like to contribute financially may go to www.reys.org for more information on how to donate.

REYS Youth Center, located at 105 Fairview St., Mount Joy, is celebrating its 37th year of ministry to youths. Hughes stated, "The ministry is designed to be a safe place for young people to go after school and a safe place to learn about Christ." To those ends, the programs offered by REYS to the children and youths in the area include academic assistance, music classes and piano lessons, Kids Club, open gym time for teenagers, martial arts, and small group meetings for teenagers. Readers may find more information about REYS' programming at https://reys.org/programs/.

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Zion Lutheran To Host Events February 21, 2019

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1290 River Road (Route 441 and Old Colebrook Road), Marietta, will host two upcoming events, both of which are free and open to the public. For more information on either, readers may call 717-426-1884.

On Wednesday, March 6, the church will offer drive-through ashes from 6 to 8 a.m. Those interested are encouraged to drive into the parking lot, where the pastor will meet them in their car, mark their foreheads with an ash cross, and send them on their way.

"From the Inside: Addressing the Need of Autism and Families" will be held on Thursday, March 7, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Sharing information about autism and its impact will be the Rev. Beth Costlow and her teenage son, who has autism.

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Older Adults Welcome To Enjoy Wednesday Fellowship Program February 20, 2019

Fellowship, healthy snacks, games, art projects and more are just some of the activities that older adults may enjoy on Wednesdays from 9:30 to 11:45 a.m. at The Well community center, located at 107 W. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown. Attendees are welcome to participate in any portion of the morning or stay for the whole program.

Each Wednesday session at The Well, which is a ministry of Hopewell United Methodist Church (UMC), begins with a welcome and refreshments from 9:30 to 10 a.m., followed by an activity, such as games or an art project led by a guest instructor. Folks are also welcome to bring their crocheting or knitting projects to work on.

"We have time for socialization and visiting with each other," said Jen Lisowski, director of congregational care at Hopewell UMC. "We then work on some sort of art project together. It's kind of a fluid hour depending on who is teaching that week."

Attendees recently made scarves for clients at the Lord's Pantry of Downingtown.

Future plans call for possibly adding an exercise program or computer classes.

From 11 to 11:45 a.m., participants take part in a faith talk. Hopewell UMC member Cynthia Lyman, who also offers English as a Second Language classes at The Well, leads the discussion. "Right now, we are studying the 'Upper Room' (devotional)," said Lisowski. "It's very relatable."

Lisowski said that the Wednesday program at The Well is free and open to older adults of all ages; older adults do not necessarily need to be senior citizens in order to take part. "It is for older adults who are home and looking to spend time with people in a healthy environment," said Lisowski. "If they are working on a project at home, why not bring it here?"

According to Lisowski, the program for older adults began last spring and then took a break during the summer months. "We did a quick trial last May and we had a good (number) of people attend. But people were busy over the summer, so we launched it again in the fall and ran it for six weeks," she noted.

The program resumed on Jan. 23. "We don't have an end date, but we will probably run it through the spring," Lisowski noted.

For more information about the program, readers may contact Lisowski at 610-269-1545 or jen@hopewellumc.org. The Well is located on Business Route 30. The building and restroom facilities are handicapped-accessible.

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Quickel Plans "Ashes To Go" February 20, 2019

Quickel Lutheran Church members will be in the Manchester and Zion's View communities from 6 to 8 a.m. on Ash Wednesday, March 6, for Ashes to Go.

Residents do not have to get out of their cars and may pull up for prayer and for ashes to start their day. They are instructed to look for the signs that say "Ashes to Go."

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Released Time Sets Open House February 14, 2019

Warwick Released Time (WRT) teachers and John R. Bonfield Elementary students who are part of the WRT program are preparing for an open house and student program on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. at Lititz Moravian Church, Church Square, Lititz. WRT students are asked to arrive at 6:45 p.m.

The theme for the open house is "Joy - Faith, Fun, Friends," based on John 15:11-12. All are invited to see WRT students as they share what they are learning through the WRT program. Second-graders from Warwick School District and their families are especially invited to attend since they are eligible for WRT classes next school year. They will receive a small gift. The event will include a time to visit the classrooms.

The group singing will be led by Dori Resch and will include the songs "Love the Lord Your God" and "God Is Watching Over You." Resch practices each week on the bus with the students as she escorts them to class.

Third-graders study the Old Testament of the Bible. The class of Mim Thomas will present "I Am Special," the class of Breanna Bergman will present "I Am Who I Am," and the class of Heidi Limbert will share "There Is a Book."

The fourth-grade WRT students study the New Testament of the Bible. The class of Diane Weaver will present "The Unthrown Stone," and the class of Teresa Goodhart will share "New Testament Trivia."

Additional staff members include director Sue Rohrer, on-site director Kim Reese, greeter Jack Blace, bus escort Dori Resch, and bus driver Donna Harnly.

An offering will be received to continue the work of WRT, which has been in existence for 54 years. More information can be found at www.warwickreleasedtime.org or by contacting Rohrer at 717-626-4454.

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