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"Soup, Sandwich, And Talk" Event Planned May 23, 2018

Word UP Community Ministries will host a free Soup, Sandwich, and Talk event on Thursday, May 31, at Gap Fire Company, 802 Pequea Ave., Gap. The meal will start at 6 p.m.

Attendees may leave after the meal or stay and hear a message. All are welcome.

Readers who would like to serve, provide soup, or volunteer may contact Buck Mowday at 717-330-0561 or buckmowday@gmail.com.

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HBIC Continues Doughnut Day Tradition May 18, 2018

National Doughnut Day has been celebrated by the Salvation Army on the first Friday in June since 1938. For the congregation of Hope Born in Christ (HBIC) Church, 2600 Marietta Ave., Lancaster, however, Doughnut Day is every first Friday from April through October.

"Our office isn't open on Fridays, so it's fun: We come in, hand out doughnuts, eat doughnuts, and go home," said HBIC pastor Jan Latshaw.

HBIC has been serving up free coffee and doughnuts for 14 years. HBIC administrative assistant Lisa Groff recalled that the first Doughnut Day was held on a Monday: Columbus Day, Oct. 11, 2004. In the spring of 2005, the schedule was changed to Fridays, and it has remained that way ever since. From 7 to 9 a.m., Latshaw, Groff, Walt and Jo Burnett, and John Gerlach run a drive-through service offering hot coffee, orange juice, and glazed coffee rings.

"They're fresh," Groff said of the pastries. "(The bakery) makes them for us, so they're warm when I pick them up."

There is no cost for the morning munchies or beverages. The church offers the treats to do something sweet for the community.

"We were just trying to figure out a way to reach out to the community," Groff explained about Doughnut Day's origin. Brian Willison, who was pastor of the church in 2004, was part of the event's creation. "The first time, we bought nine dozen doughnuts, but (that was too many). We realized people were afraid we'd be preaching to them," Groff recalled.

While the church members who help with the event are always happy to talk about their faith, there is no proselytizing.

"We have casual conversation, no agenda," Walt said. "We don't pass out tracts or question them about their relationship to religion."

"We don't want to pester them," Groff added.

"We just want to meet people in the community," Latshaw remarked. "Regular people come every month, and you get to know them. We've built up some relationships, but then we have the new ones, who try to pay us."

The Doughnut Day team members are happy to pray with people or just listen to their stories if anyone chooses to share.

"If anyone has a problem and they wouldn't walk through the (church) door, this way, they can say a little something without being afraid of being judged," Jo said.

Walt noted that over the years, a few people have attended the church as a result of Doughnut Day. Guests are always welcome on Sunday mornings. Worship services begin at 10:15 a.m. Nursery care is available for children age 3 and younger. Children's worship is offered during the sermon for children age 3 through third grade. Sunday school will not be offered during June, July, or August.

Beginning in June, Latshaw will preach "... In Christ," which is based on a verse-by-verse examination of the book of Colossians. The series is expected to run for 10 weeks.

HBIC is also planning to host a giant backyard water slide event on the last weekend of August. A worship service and a lunch will be part of the event, which will be open to the community. Details about the festivities will be announced later.

For more information about HBIC and its Doughnut Day, readers may call 717-295-9800 or visit www.HBICchurch.com.

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Thrift Shop Announces New Hours May 18, 2018

Second Chances Thrift Shop, located at First Presbyterian Church, 7 Marietta Ave., Mount Joy, has announced that its Friday hours will now be 3 to 6 p.m. instead of 3 to 8 p.m.

The new hours will take effect on Friday, June 1.

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Workcamp Scheduled May 16, 2018

The Home Helps Faith Beyond the Pews Workcamp will take place from Monday through Friday, June 11 to 15.

Home Helps aims to serve local low-income homeowners by repairing homes, painting, building wheelchair ramps, raking yards, mowing grass, and performing other repairs. Individuals with carpentry, gardening, painting, or cooking skills are invited to volunteer for one day or five days. Home Helps will provide volunteers with a hot breakfast, a packed lunch, and a hot dinner at Chapel Church. Participants may volunteer with friends, family, youth groups, or Sunday school classes.

The workcamp is sponsored by Servants Inc. of Red Lion and Bethlehem United Methodist Church of Dallastown.

To register, readers may complete a Workcamp Volunteer application at www.servants.org/home-helps or contact Alisha Crooks at 717-378-0336 by Friday, May 25. Donations can be made at www.servants.org/support-servants.

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Community Members Send Baby Supplies To Africa May 15, 2018

St. Michael's Evangelical Lutheran Church recently assembled 44 baby layette sets to send to clinics in Liberia, Africa, through Christian Aid Ministries. The layette sets are given free of charge to mothers to encourage them to have their babies at the clinics, where they are able to receive medical help.

More than 64 volunteers from St. Michael's Church, Faith Lutheran United Parish, Boy Scout Troop 146 of Wellsville, and the general community contributed to the layette project by donating baby clothes, sewing homemade diapers, tying fleece blankets, assembling kits, and donating money toward shipping costs. Thrivent Lutheran Action Teams gave a grant to help fund the project.

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Reaching The World May 11, 2018

"Friends in Action's mission is to accelerate the Gospel to the unreached in the different regions of the world," explained project and team coordinator Paul Brosey. Friends in Action (FIA) International, which has its headquarters in Middletown, assists in facilitating and equipping mission work by partnering with Christian believers around the world. Currently, more than 10 construction projects are underway in six nations: Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Moldova.

According to communications manager Shannon Medich, FIA formed in 1992, when missionaries serving with New Tribes Mission had a desire to meet more of the tangible needs of the people living in their communities. Friends of New Tribes Mission, which later changed titles to FIA, became an outgrowth of that.

Construction projects make up a bulk of FIA efforts, such as building a 300-foot radio tower in Bolivia, adding roadways and air strips in Papua New Guinea, and drilling for clean water in Burkina Faso. Medich shared a story from a contact in Bolivia who said that a native pastor was traveling by boat to remote areas to share the Gospel message when he pulled the boat to shore to take shelter from a storm. To his surprise, the people on shore recognized his voice immediately and said, "We came to know Jesus because of you!" The pastor's radio program, which was broadcast throughout the jungle, had been made possible thanks to the radio tower built by FIA.

Medich emphasized that the building projects are done in conjunction with missionary organizations or indigenous people groups already located on the project site who request FIA's help. "We want to meet people's spiritual needs but also the physical and economic needs," shared Medich. "We're honoring who they are." Teaching life skills and educating is another a core part of the organization's efforts - whether that be showing people how to build bricks that are more hurricane-resistant or providing vocational training for mechanics, welding, and woodworking.

"Our focus is on the remote areas. If it's hard to get to, we're probably there," Brosey noted. For that reason, some people are surprised when they learn that FIA is working in the eastern European country of Moldova. "(Moldova) is urban comparatively to the other countries that we're in, but they are remote in the sense that you can't easily get the Gospel in," he said.

On a recent trip to a university the organization supports in Moldova - first through building new dormitories and now in working with students - Brosey asked one student how he could pray for her. The student shared two things: that she was tired from her busy course load and that she was in need of money to pay for an upcoming course. "I sat and prayed with her on a Tuesday and when I saw her two days later she was all smiles and said she wanted to thank me. I said, 'Thank me for what?'" recalled Brosey. She reported that her energy had increased and someone had paid for her course in full. "She asked me if I had paid for it, and I said no because I hadn't. I said, 'That's God at work.' That's encouraging to me - that God reaches into the hearts and lives of these students," Brosey said.

On Saturday, June 9, FIA will host a yard sale at its headquarters at 3950 E. Harrisburg Pike, Middletown. Vendors are welcome to rent a space with a table for a set fee. Interested individuals may email paulbrosey@fiaintl.org by Saturday, June 2. Proceeds from the sale of vendor spaces will help to support the operating costs of the office headquarters.

Folks are also invited to support the work of FIA by participating in a service trip. "As long as a person understands our mission, we can work with anybody," said Brosey with a smile. Readers may learn more about upcoming trips and projects by visiting www.fiaintl.org.

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Shiloh Fellowship Merges With Victory Church May 10, 2018

After a series of mergers, what began 19 years ago as Shiloh Tabernacle is now the Quarryville campus of Victory Church. On Easter Sunday, April 1, the congregation at 15 E. Third St., Quarryville, held its first services as part of the multi-site church.

Counter to what usually prompts church mergers, Shiloh was a thriving congregation. Still, Shiloh's founding pastor and now Quarryville campus pastor, Brett Rush, felt that joining the larger body of believers was the right thing to do.

"My vision started before we even planted the church," Brett said. "Church merger was a foreign concept, but once I learned about it, I wanted to be a part of it."

Shiloh and Victory had similar beginnings. Brett and his wife, Dawn, created Shiloh Tabernacle in the home of his uncle and aunt, Randy and Deb Zimmerman. Randy worked with Brett as assistant pastor until his retirement, and he continues to provide support as needed. Ten years ago, Shiloh Tabernacle merged with Quarryville Community Fellowship, which had been planted by Bart Mennonite Church, and Shiloh Community Fellowship was formed.

Likewise, Victory Church started in a home. The first gatherings were held in 2000 in the Ronks living room of Glenn and Linda Eberly. After meeting at Lancaster Mennonite School for several years, the church found a new home in the Greenfield Corporate Center. When the congregation outgrew that site, a second location was launched in 2011 at Penn Cinema. Two additional sites were added in 2015: Crossings Community Church in Columbia merged with Victory in March, and a new congregation began meeting at the former Strasburg Elementary School in October.

"We're better together," said Victory Church executive pastor Rick Glass.

"That's always been my heart for ministry," Brett added. "It's frustrating to see the church divide itself and limit its resources. As a small church, we had big ideas but limited resources." He noted that with the change, lead pastor Curt Seaburg will deliver sermons via a simulated live feed, so Brett will no longer be solely responsible for preaching on Sundays. "I spent 19 years investing time in a message that I can now invest in people," he said.

"We're better for having them on our team," Rick added.

The Quarryville campus of Victory Church will continue the community outreach begun by Shiloh. The church is part of Solanco Family Life Network and a supporter of Solanco Neighborhood Ministries, Solid Rock Youth Ministry, Young Life, Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Solanco High School, and the Solanco School District. Brett will continue to serve as a chaplain for Solanco sports teams. The leadership of the Quarryville campus includes Michelle Pullins, children's director; Sara Fisher, student ministries director; and Andrew Lehman, band coordinator and worship director. Jodi Unger leads worship, along with Dawn, who also helps with administration.

"We're here to serve, to love," Brett said. "If people feel connected here, we want to (honor) that. We have a simple purpose: to help people take that next step."

"We say this a lot: We're OK with you being here and not being OK, but we don't want you to stay there," Rick added. "We want to help you take the next step in your journey of faith."

Worship services are held on Sundays at 9 and 10:45 a.m. Victory Kids is offered during the services for infants through children in fourth grade. Middle school and high school students meet during the second service. Guests are always welcome, and volunteers will be stationed around the exterior of the church to direct folks to parking on the streets, at the nearby Agway business, or at Quarryville Elementary School.

For more information, readers may visit www.victorychurch.org or contact Brett at brush@victorychurch.org or 717-239-5077.

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Interfaith Work Teams Complete Service Projects May 9, 2018

A Day of Hope, featuring people of many religions working side by side to complete projects in the community, was held on May 5 by the Interfaith Action Community, a new organization consisting of individuals from Beth Israel Congregation in Eagle and several local churches and faith communities.

The event started with a prayer service at Beth Israel at noon, after which volunteers met their assigned teams and learned about their work details. Throughout the afternoon, mixed interfaith teams of volunteer workers completed various projects in the Coatesville area, such as painting the dining room at City Gate, preparing a room for Mother's Day at the Community Youth and Women's Alliance (CYWA) and planting a flower garden at the Mary E. Walker House in Coatesville, a home for women veterans.

"At Mission Relief Services in Parkesburg, crews put together medical supply relief packages," said Beth Israel member John Barnett, one of the event organizers.

At the W.C. Atkinson Memorial Service Center in Coatesville, volunteers revitalized the garden, planting roses and other flowering plants. The shelter, which provides housing for homeless men, is named for Whittier Clement Atkinson, an African-American doctor who opened a small hospital next to his home in the 1930s.

"Dr. Atkinson had a rose garden when it was his home. It was part of his legacy," noted Barnett. "(Planting the roses) was a special request by the director."

Leading the effort at the center was volunteer Vicki Stone from Beth Israel. "We planted the roses where they would get the most sun," she said, noting that the volunteers also planted moonflower seeds.

Also volunteering was Robert Cordivari, a member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Glenmoore. "Our church serves food at the Atkinson Center, and we are very involved in the Interfaith Action Community," he said. "(Volunteering) was a combination of wanting to be involved in a community project and keeping up with our relationship with the Atkinson Center."

The Interfaith Action Community is composed of seven different faith groups - Jewish, Catholic, Quaker, Muslim, Protestant, Hindu and Buddhist. It was formed after the first interfaith Unity Shabbat Service, which was held in January 2017 at Congregation Beth Israel with neighboring faith organizations, including the Islamic Society of Chester County; St. Elizabeth's Roman Catholic Church, located across the street from the synagogue; and St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Chester Springs.

As of 2018, the Interfaith Action Community has grown to include the Downingtown Friends Quaker Meeting, the Hari Om Mandir Hindu Temple in Downingtown, St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Exton and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, as well as the diversity committee from the Lionville YMCA.

According to www.bethisraelpa.org/interfaith, the goal of the group is "to educate each other on our faith traditions, learn about our similarities, celebrate the differences and to cooperate on religious action projects."

"It was a great opportunity to work with so many people who normally wouldn't be interacting," said volunteer Ravi Balike of the Hari Om Mandir Hindu Temple. "It was also a great opportunity to serve and get to know so many people of different faiths."

"It was an opportunity to meet people and learn about their religions and also talk about our (faith) as well," added Jay Balike, also of the Hari Om Mandir Hindu Temple.

For more information about the Interfaith Action Community, readers may visit the website or email IACofNCC@gmail.com.

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Friendship Fest May 4, 2018

Organizers of the 25th annual Friendship Community Fest have two goals for the event. First, they want to offer a variety of activities for guests. "The big emphasis is on the day of family fun," said marketing assistant Kyle Gamble. Second, they hope to reward the anticipation of Friendship residents who eagerly await the fest. "It's a wonderful day for our community to interact with the general community," explained Cynthia Beebe, director of development. "Our individuals look forward to (this day) throughout the year because they (see) friends and donors who support them."

Friendship Community is a ministry that helps individuals with developmental disabilities to impact the world with their capabilities. The 2018 Friendship Community Fest, 5K, and Auction will be held rain or shine on Saturday, May 12, beginning at 7 a.m. at Friendship Community, 1149 E. Oregon Road, Lititz. The day will open with a pancake and sausage breakfast and a plant and baked good sale.

Last year, the day included the organization's first 5K run. Registration for this year's run is now open at www.friendshipcommunity.net, or individuals may pick up brochures at the Friendship office. Registration will be discounted through Friday, May 11, and registration will open at 7 a.m. on the day of the run. "Anyone who registers for the run will get a swag bag and breakfast," noted Beebe.

The general auction will begin at 9 a.m. with gift certificates and gift baskets. Tickets to the Fulton Opera House, a Lancaster Christian theater, and another area theater, along with Harrisburg and Reading baseball games, will also be up for bids. "We have a first-pitch (opportunity) for the Barnstormers (baseball team) and a goodie basket including two tickets to a Barnstormers game," said Beebe. Other experiences will include dinner at a local family-style restaurant, golf passes, a week's vacation at Kiawah Island off the coast of South Carolina, and an extended weekend getaway in Potter County. Additional auction merchandise will include lawn care items and lawn furniture, a motorcycle helmet and jacket, and an Eagles cornhole game.

The Friendship Heart Gallery and the Meaningful Day Academy will share a tent, which will be open from 9 a.m.to 2 p.m.

Activities for children, which will include a bounce house and face painting, will begin at 10 a.m. A petting zoo will be on-site, and the Insanity Factor will be on-site from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and perform a magic show at 11:30 a.m.

A food court will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature chicken barbecue meals including a half-chicken, a roll, chips, applesauce, and a beverage. Chicken barbecue will not be available at a drive-through this year. Other food items will include chicken corn soup, hot dogs, french fries, and walking tacos. An ice cream truck serving cones, dishes, and floats will be on-site.

Friendship began offering a fund-a-need program a few years ago. This year, the fund-a-need roster includes furniture and an electrical upgrade for some Friendship homes, concrete repair, safety lighting, driveway paving, shed repair, a new oven, office chairs, and laptop computers. Individuals may donate to the fund at the Friendship website.

Donations of items for the auction are still being accepted, and Gamble noted that volunteers are always needed. Volunteers may sign up through a link on the website.

Through its many group homes and intermediate care facilities, as well as home-based services and programs, Friendship provides services to more than 230 area individuals. Beebe noted that organizers hope this year's fest will raise $80,000 for the cause. Readers with questions may call 717-656-2466, ext. 1101.

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Church Receives Grant May 2, 2018

Eastminster Presbyterian Church of York has received a Thank Offering grant of $5,220 from Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church (USA) Inc. Eastminster will use the grant money to help fund a backpack program for East York Elementary School (EYES). The program provides nutritious food on weekends for some of the EYES students who are eligible.

In 2014, Eastminster became involved in the food backpack program, and church members began volunteering to pack the food. Two teams pack approximately 290 bags for 10 York city schools.

Funding for the program comes from grants and private donations given to York Benevolent Association (YBA). Members of Eastminster's congregation fund the EYES program. Teams currently pack approximately 50 bags weekly for EYES.

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WSUCC Plans Family Fun Fair April 27, 2018

There is new leadership coordinating the Family Fun Fair that has annually taken place on Mother's Day weekend at Willow Street United Church of Christ (WSUCC), 2723 Willow Street Pike North, Willow Street. Tom Whary had served as director of outreach for at least 10 years before he died on July 19, 2017. As part of that role, Tom spearheaded the plans for the Family Fun Fair. In honor of Tom's service, the group planning this year's event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, has adopted the name Whary's Warriors.

"We've really felt the presence of Tom," said Deb Gilgore, who is co-chairing the event with her husband, Rick Gilgore.

"(Tom enjoyed) seeing the families interact with each other and their kids," recalled Whary's widow, Janet.

The team has opted to include many of the activities that Tom had included in previous fairs. The event will offer games, face painting, balloon art, crafts, rope making, cupcake decorating, an inflatable, and family portrait photography. Hot dogs, fries, popcorn, hand-dipped ice cream, and beverages will be available as well. Vicki Haines is coordinating the children's activities, and Kay Hougendobler is overseeing the food.

In honor of Mother's Day the following day, all mothers will receive a flower. Bluegrass gospel band Short Notise will perform throughout the event. Drawings for door prizes donated by local businesses will also take place at the event.

There is no charge for any aspect of the event, which will be held rain or shine.

"It's a gift to the community. We want to be a positive presence," Deb explained. "There's no obligation to join the church either. This is just a good time for the community to come together for intergenerational interaction."

For more information about the Family Fun Fair, readers may call the church at 717-464-3462.

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Combining Forces For A Common Good April 26, 2018

Kirby-Smith Believers Relay For Life team has partnered with Living Stones Vineyard Church to host a pig roast and yard sale on Saturday, May 19, at the church, 2292 Robert Fulton Highway, Peach Bottom. The yard sale will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the food will be available from 10 a.m. until sold out.

Church member Dave Plastino will smoke the pork, which will be served with chips and a beverage. Tickets for the meal may be purchased by calling Evelma Plastino at 717-201-3199. Although the organizers would prefer that folks buy their tickets in advance, walk-ins will be welcome. Baked goods will be available for a la carte purchase.

The proceeds from the pig roast will be added to the fundraising totals of the Kirby-Smith Believers. The team has been together in one form or another for 15 years. For the last six years, it was the top fundraising team of the Relay For Life of Southern Lancaster County. In June, the team will participate in the Relay For Life of Lancaster, as the smaller relays around the county have been absorbed by the bigger event. The team's seven members have set $20,000 as their fundraising goal for the year.

"Every year we say we want to do a dollar over the previous year," said team captain Pat LeFever.

Part of the team's success is due to team member Dotti Moser, who has been a top fundraising individual. In her first year, several decades ago, Moser raised $1,450, and she is only a few thousand dollars away from a lifetime total of $100,000. She is known for her fudge, which has sold for more than $100 at Relay auctions. Moser said that she will try to have some fudge available for purchase at the May 19 event, but she will definitely have some for sale at the team's tent site at the Relay in June.

"I just like being around people. I like helping people," Moser said, explaining why she is involved in fundraising.

The Kirby-Smith Believers will have a table of items for sale at the yard sale, and community members are welcome to reserve spaces to sell their own items by calling Evelma. Vendors must provide their own tables.

"We're hoping for at least eight vendors," Evelma remarked. She added with a grin, "We would like 100, but if we get eight, we'll be satisfied."

The proceeds from space rentals will go to the church.

"We enjoy connecting with the community. It creates a community gathering, which is always nice," said Living Stones pastor Bud Stillman, explaining why the church decided to host the event. He noted that the church believes that Jesus Christ still heals illnesses today, but he added, "We thank God that He's given (humans) the knowledge to treat cancer."

Members of the church will be available to pray with folks at the May 19 event.

"Jesus loves to heal, especially broken hearts," Stillman commented.

Guests are welcome to visit Living Stones for worship on Sundays at 10 a.m. Child care is provided. Sunday school for adults meets at 9 a.m. A youth program for students in sixth through 12th grades meets on Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

For more information about the church, readers may call 717-983-0131.

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GoBeyond To Provide Service Opportunities April 26, 2018

"The mission is unifying people to serve. It really is that simple," said Brian Bitler, director of strategic advancement for GoBeyond LLC. "Churches are already doing good, but GoBeyond asks, 'What if people already doing good came together to do good under one name?'"

GoBeyond: A Week of Service is one time period in which churches and other organizations make a concerted effort to collaborate for the good of the community. As part of the goal to simplify things this year, Bitler has not made recording numbers a priority. He does know, however, that dozens of churches in Lancaster County and in the Myerstown area are planning events, and hundreds of projects will be happening throughout the community under the GoBeyond banner from Saturday, May 5, to Saturday, May 12.

"GoBeyond is not controlling or managing the week," Bitler explained. "We partner (with churches) to help with logistics (and) promotion and to rally people together."

While numerous private projects will be completed during the week, there are a number that are open to the public. Prayer walks will kick off the event at 9 a.m. on May 5, with locations in Lampeter, Lancaster city, Quarryville, and Myerstown. A diaper drive will be held during the entire event, and folks may drop off disposable diapers size newborn through size 6 at life-affirming pregnancy centers in Lancaster and Lebanon.

Meal packing for refugees will be coordinated through Mount Joy-based Global Aid Network on Monday, May 7. The event will be held at Harvest Bible Chapel Lancaster, 651 Lampeter Road, Lancaster, from 1 to 3 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. The usual suggested donation to cover the actual cost of the materials being packed has been halved for this event. Sponsorships and financial donations to help to cover the cost of the meals are welcome, and folks may contact Steve Baker at steve.baker@gainusa.com to learn more.

Folks with an interest in construction are welcome to join a work crew on projects coordinated by Servants Inc. The crews will provide home repairs throughout Lancaster County for people in need with nowhere else to turn. Materials will be provided, and unskilled workers are welcome. Servants Inc. requests that volunteers commit to serve a minimum of two days between May 7 and Friday, May 11.

Numerous churches are planning blood drives throughout the week. American Red Cross donation sites will be located at Mill Creek Bible Church, Lampeter United Methodist Church, Harvest Bible Chapel Lancaster, and The Fireplace Christian Fellowship. Spots to donate may be reserved at www.gobeyondus.com/blood.

The GoBeyond Citywide Cleanup organized by Teen Haven will take place on May 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The group will gather at J.P. McCaskey High School, 445 N. Reservoir St., Lancaster, and then be transported to areas around Lancaster city to clean up trash. The first 500 people to check in will receive a voucher for a free chicken sandwich at lunch. Those who do not receive a voucher may have hot dogs. There will be a fun fair with inflatables following the cleanup and lunch.

Additional cleanups on May 12 will take place in Myerstown and at Quarryville's Huffnagle Park.

GoBeyond has also coordinated service opportunities at Water Street Mission. Volunteers are needed to work behind the scenes between meals as well as to serve meals. To sign up, readers may visit www.gobeyondus.com/waterstreet.

"We want the week of service to be a jump start," Bitler said, noting that the goal is to encourage people to go beyond serving just once a year. "We really want to encourage people to think beyond themselves and do what they can to meet the needs (around them)."

For more information about GoBeyond, readers may visit www.gobeyondus.com, call 717-393-9711, or email info@gobeyondus.com.

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Preschool Registration April 18, 2018

St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 45 First Ave., Red Lion, is accepting registrations for the 2018-19 school year in the two- and three-day classes. Students are required to be 3 or 4 years of age by Friday, Aug. 31, for admittance.

The classes offer children a classroom setting with structured academic lessons and the use of computers for continued learning. Students enjoy field trips that mix learning with fun throughout the year, and they perform programs and receive report cards twice a year.

The school year runs from September through May. Interested individuals may contact the church office at 717-244-2355 to register. Additional information is available at www.saintpauls-um.com.

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Bereavement Ministry Set April 17, 2018

Mount Wolf Community Church, 98 S. Sixth St., Mount Wolf, will sponsor a Christian Bereavement Ministry on Thursday, April 26, at 7 p.m. The ministry meets on the last Thursday of each month.

For more information, call Gala and Ken Simpson at 717-309-2378 or Mount Wolf Community Church at 717-266-8453.

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Donations Benefit Food Bank April 6, 2018

St. John's Lutheran Church in Maytown observed the season of Lent by collecting food for the East Donegal/Conoy Christian Food Bank. This year's collection focused on peanut butter and jelly, which are provided to all of the food bank's clients every time they pay a visit.

The parish's Social Ministry Committee sponsored the drive, and Betty Henny was noted for her efforts to shop for food. On Easter Monday, 503 jars were taken to the food bank via vehicles driven by pastor Bob Lescallette and deacon George McConnell. The food was presented to food bank president and St. John member Pat Vogel. The supply is expected to last about three or four months.

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MOPS Auction To Support North Star Initiative April 5, 2018

The MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International chapter that meets at Faith Reformed Presbyterian Church, 611 Robert Fulton Highway, Quarryville, holds an auction each year that raises funds for a worthy cause. Last year, the event brought in $1,900 for Pregnancy Resources at Cornerstone. The organizers of this year's auction, which will be held at the church on Friday, April 20, at 9 a.m., hope to exceed that amount.

Auction co-coordinator Hillary Prickett explained that this year's proceeds will be given to North Star Initiative, which aims to restore women who have been trapped by sex trafficking.

"Our theme for MOPS this year is 'Free Indeed." Women being helped out of sex trafficking are being freed," Prickett said. "It's important to us to support the really hard and awesome work this group does."

According to www.northstarinitiative.org, North Star Initiative was started in 2009 as a grassroots movement known as Lancaster Initiative aGainst Human Trafficking (LIGHT). Founder Jen Sensenig spearheaded the groundwork that led to an acknowledgement that sex trafficking happens in Lancaster County. Once she realized that trafficking survivors needed restoration aftercare, LIGHT transformed into North Star Initiative to fill that need. Through Sensenig's dedication as well as the efforts of many like-minded supporters, North Star Initiative opened The Harbor in late 2017. The Harbor is a facility that enables North Star Initiative to house up to 10 survivors at a time, providing a safe place for them to receive physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual care.

Prickett said that North Star Initiative executive director Pamela Pautz shared about the organization's work at a recent MOPS meeting. "When she spoke, you could have heard a pin drop," Prickett recalled. "(Human trafficking) is not something we think about on a daily basis, but it's important that we do."

The April 20 event will begin with a continental breakfast and a silent auction followed by a live auction that will begin around 9:45 a.m. The items donated for the auctions include music players, children's books, refurbished furniture, artwork by Katy Miller, custom stationery, gift baskets, a coffee-themed basket, baked goods, numerous gift cards, and more. Additional donations will be accepted, and auctioneers who would like to volunteer their time are being sought as well. Interested individuals may call Prickett at 717-877-2059 to learn more.

The MOPS chapter at Faith Reformed Presbyterian Church serves approximately 50 mothers in the Quarryville area. The group meets twice a month from September through May. Child care is provided through the preschool-style MOPPETS program. There is a cost for membership, and new members are always welcome.

"Women have a time to meet and share the experience of raising little people," Prickett said of the gatherings.

For more information about the MOPS chapter, readers may visit www.mops.org/groups/faith-mops.

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Summer Soccer League Posted April 5, 2018

LCBC, 2392 Mount Joy Road, Manheim, will offer a summer soccer league for players who want a family-friendly and competitive environment. The league is for adults age 18 and up. The season will run from Tuesday, May 29, through Tuesday, July 31. Games will begin at 6:15 and 7:15 p.m. Playoffs will take place in August.

Participants may register for either the premier, competitive, or recreational division. Players must be age 18 by Wednesday, Aug. 8. Premier division games will be held on Mondays, recreational division games will be held on Tuesdays, and competitive division games will be held on Thursdays.

The registration deadline is Sunday, April 22. To register, readers may visit www.lcbcchurch.com/events/summer-soccer.

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Cornerstone To Celebrate Anniversary March 29, 2018

Cornerstone Youth Center will celebrate its 20th anniversary during an event on Friday, April 6, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church, 996 E. High St. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and attendees will be able to bid on silent auction items until 7:25 p.m.

The program will start at 7:30 p.m. Members of the Barrick family, which includes Andy and Linda and their children, Jenn and Josh, will share their story.

A freewill offering will be received. All donations, including funds raised through the silent auction, will be matched up to $30,000 until Tuesday, April 10.

All are invited. For more information, readers may call 717-367-0000 or visit www.cornerstoneetown.org.

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High-Schoolers Invited To Enter Peace Contest March 28, 2018

The impact of individual efforts to bring an element of peace to the world is the focus of the 33rd annual Peace Creative Arts Contest. Lancaster County students in grades nine through 12 are invited to reflect on the topic "Peace Begins With Me." Students may submit artwork, an essay, poetry, or a video expressing ways to achieve peaceful solutions to conflicts in the world.

"(Students) have so much to say. We discount the importance of our young people," said Libby Nocheck, pastor of Hamilton Park United Church of Christ (HPUCC), which is sponsoring this year's contest. "We want to help (students) embrace the reality of their individual impact. It's like a raindrop on a pond: Every one of us has the ability to affect the world in a positive way."

The contest was created as an essay contest by the Lancaster Friends Meeting in 1981 in order to encourage young people to think about peace and peacemaking. It has been continued by the Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness and rotates through hosting congregations.

"Each congregation takes it in its own direction," Nocheck remarked. "We put a different twist on ours."

This year, the contest has expanded from a strictly writing event to include visual communication.

"We want to give more kids a chance to shine," explained contest coordinator Marti Guglielmo. "We want them to know their communication is important. (Art) is a way they can make a statement and inspire others to say, 'Hey, what a great idea. I can help (to bring peace).'"

The contest is open to any high school student who lives in Lancaster County, regardless of whether they attend public or private school or are homeschooled. Contestants are encouraged to consult with teachers and others in developing their approaches to addressing the theme. The deadline for the submission of entries is Friday, April 27. A panel of distinguished members of the community have been selected to adjudicate the entries.

All of the submissions will be displayed in HPUCC's art alley, and an awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 20, at 2 p.m. at HPUCC, 1210 Maple Ave., Lancaster. A number of cash prizes will be awarded. All of the entries will receive recognition, and contestants are encouraged to attend. The public is welcome to attend the ceremony as well.

"This contest gives (students) a voice in several different ways," Guglielmo commented. "We're hoping it will be a catalyst in their lives."

For more information or to receive a copy of the submission rules and age division information, readers may send an email with the subject "Peace Creative Arts Contest" to lancasterpeaceproject@gmail.com. Folks may also call HPUCC at 717-397-9791 if they have any questions.

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