Freedom Award Project Will Help Educate Campers July 18, 2018
Campers at Woodcrest Retreat in Ephrata now have an added opportunity to learn about the wonders of creation as they traverse the 110 acres the camp offers. In pursuit of his Freedom Award, Trail Life USA trailman David Mease, a member of Trail Life Troop PA 0316, which meets in Lititz, built four outdoor kiosks he calls Creation Discovery Stations to help teach campers about certain insects, trees, animals, and birds, the majority of which are considered native to Pennsylvania.
In January, Mease contacted Woodcrest Retreat executive director Cliff Martin about the possibility of completing his servant leadership project at the camp. "When (Mease) approached us about a project here, (the stations) came up as a great thing to tie into what we do with summer camp," said Martin. Mease said that Martin had photographs of similar stations that Mease could use as a prototype for his own. Mease, who credits his father, Dave, for suggesting the name "Creation Discovery Stations," began fundraising to purchase supplies by sending out sponsorship request letters to family members, friends, and fellow church members between January and April.
By early April, Mease had raised $1,100 to purchase supplies, and he had created a design. He began spending one evening a week in a shop at Woodcrest building the stations. By early May, the four were completed, representing more than 60 hours of planning and preparation and another 70 hours of construction.
Each station uses a series of interactive tiles to teach campers about nature. Each tile contains a photo. When a camper lifts the photo, information about the bird, insect, or tree is underneath. "I included basic information for each (bird, insect, and tree) and their habits and habitats," explained Mease. "The animal tracks (station is) a little different because I put a photo of the track on the front and the picture of the animal underneath." Mease pointed out that one of the animals represented at the station, the mountain lion, may not actually live in Pennsylvania because the presence of the big cats in the state continues to be a hotly debated topic. "We thought the (campers) would think that was fun," added Mease's mother, Amy.
"With our summer camp program, we strive to teach (about) creation and nature," noted Martin. "(The stations are) a fun way for campers to learn on their own as they pass these." Martin added that the stations, which were installed around the camp on June 14, are portable so that placements can be changed and to protect them in winter by storing them in a sheltered place.
"This is quite the accomplishment," noted Martin. "Woodcrest is grateful for (Mease's) investment in the children and adults who come (to Woodcrest)." Mease, who lives in Stevens, is a recent homeschool graduate.
Trail Life USA, which was founded in 2013, is chartered locally by Cornerstone Baptist Church. The organization provides a faith-based outdoor adventure program that includes character and leadership development components for boys in kindergarten through 12th grade. More information about Trail Life may be found at www.trailifeusa.com.
Woodcrest is a nonprofit organization that provides outdoor experiences for more than 1,400 campers each summer. Readers who would like to learn more about Woodcrest may visit www.woodcrestretreat.org.
A Community Of Recovery July 18, 2018
For several years, TTC/Potter's House has hoped to build a faith-based rehab facility to combat drug addiction. On July 14, TTC/Potter's House staff, area representatives, and friends of the ministry gathered at 261 School Lane, Brownstown, located along the Conestoga River, to dedicate the property to that cause and break ground for the recovery center, to be called Still Waters.
TTC/Potter's House is a nonprofit, Christ-centered ministry that offers a holistic approach to physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of pre-release and post-release prisoners and individuals desiring to overcome addictions. The organization is in the midst of a capital campaign seeking to raise $2 million for Still Waters Recovery Center, which will include a 30- to 90-day intensive program in a controlled environment.
Wendell Metzler and Ryan Forbes opened the ground-breaking event by telling their story of an unlikely friendship between a repeat offender, Forbes, and a police officer, Metzler. As Forbes finished speaking, he began to compare the fallow ground near the river to the fallow ground in the hearts of those fighting addiction, noting that the new center will provide the opportunity for the seed of Christ's love to be planted in those hearts.
Lloyd Hoover, executive director of TTC/Potter's House, echoed Forbes' thoughts as he noted that Still Waters can be a place that tells a new story of recovery from addiction. "I declare here today the need for a higher power (to overcome addiction) is an absolute necessity, and that higher power is Jesus Christ, our Lord," said Hoover. "This place (can) become a place of transformation and recovery, and today we are turning soil for a new day."
Rob Wetherholtz, associate ministry director for TTC/Potter's House, whose family had owned the land along the river for decades, spoke of a vision the Lord gave him for the property as a place of healing for the lost and addicted in need of a way home. "This is where we come to the green pastures beside the still waters," he said, referencing both the 23rd Psalm and the name of the facility.
Jay Myelin, member of the TTC/Potter's House board, noted that the capital campaign that the organization began a year ago has raised $750,000. "We have a long way to go yet, but we have a great start," he said, adding, "But it's not about the numbers and buildings; (it's about the staff's) heart and vision for transformation of lives. ... There is nothing we do any more rewarding than that."
Rep. Keith Greiner of the 43rd District told the gathering that he grew up not far from the site of the ground breaking. "In Harrisburg, we know there's a problem with opioid addiction, and we are trying to do things legislatively," said Greiner. "But a ministry like this can mean a story like Ryan and Wendell's can happen to a lot of people."
Rep. Dave Zimmerman of the 99th District said that the Still Waters setting brought to mind the need for quiet spaces. "In Scripture, Jesus would find a secluded place (to pray)," he said. "For all those who struggle with addictions, there is hope."
As representatives and friends of the ministry stepped forth to take hold of shovels and turn the earth, Samuel Mwangi, pastor of Carpenter Community Church in Brownstown, offered the prayer of dedication. "We are trusting God that this property is not just buildings and a curriculum," said Mwangi. "We are trusting God for a divine power to change every life that steps on this property, (where) the name of Jesus will be honored as lives are changed."
Following the dedication, five clients of TTC/Potter's House gave their lives to Christ and were baptized in the river adjacent to the property.
Readers who would like to know more about the ministry may visit www.transitiontocommunity.com.
The Lord's Lunch Celebrates Anniversary July 12, 2018
The Lord's Lunch, which is offered at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 175 E. Main St., New Freedom, is celebrating seven years of serving free lunches made from scratch.
The lunches are offered every Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Anyone who is hungry or who wants to socialize is welcome to attend.
For more information, readers may email email@example.com or call 717-235-2315.
From Lancaster County To The World July 11, 2018
Ministry Reaches Out With Visual Bible Lessons
On a corner in Akron, where Main Street and Route 272 intersect, a small building is home to Bible Visuals International (BVI). The organization, which was founded nearly 60 years ago by area resident Helen Odenwelder, meets needs around the world for visual teaching materials about God.
Tom Luttmann, executive director of BVI, explained that the organization has endeavored to bring the Bible to children and adults in three ways. "We have visualized Bible lessons, which we are updating with a colorization process; visualized biographies of missionaries and other Christians from different eras, and visualized songs for children to sing and (take part in) worship together," said Luttmann.
BVI held its 59th anniversary banquet, with a gathering of nearly 300 attendees, on May 10. Tim Keesee, executive director with Frontline Missions International, served as keynote speaker. Frontline is an organization known for taking the Gospel into difficult regions of the world.
The choice of Keesee as speaker was appropriate, as BVI began when Odenwelder was directing Child Evangelism Fellowship outreaches and searching for a publishing ministry to supply the needs of local clubs. "(BVI) started supplying local needs for Bible clubs that were hosted in people's backyards," explained Luttmann. "It's a ministry that grew in scope with Helen's vision to supply materials not just locally but internationally."
Updating materials that were created some years ago has been an important goal for BVI. Luttmann explained how help in accomplishing that feat is being provided by Sam Gunti, who runs large Bible camps - reaching as many as 18,000 children in a camp - in India. BVI had worked with Gunti to translate and print materials for his gatherings, and Gunti decided to return the favor. During a visit to BVI a few years ago, Gunti brought a thumb drive of updated BVI materials in full color. "It would have cost us quite a bit (to update those materials, so Gunti's gift) has provided a good foundation," Luttmann noted.
Locally, BVI has worked with Bible2School, a Manheim-based mentorship program that offers free, weekly Bible elective classes for public school students in several Lancaster County school districts. "(Bible2School) is growing, and they needed more visuals to go with their curriculum," said Luttmann. "It would be an expensive process (for Bible2School) to have new illustrations put together, (so) we looked through our curriculum and found visuals that would match their lessons."
Luttmann said BVI is in the process of transforming offerings to give more options to those who need them. "We have great resources, but they don't have to be in just (one) format," Luttmann said. "There's a new generation of children and ministry workers who know more about technology, and they are looking for resources they can download or put on a tablet." BVI is working to make resources available digitally and as downloads, and Luttmann is excited to see where the materials are being utilized. "There are huge opportunities in technology to get resources to ministry partners." In addition to special licensing agreements that allow for the use of materials by others, Luttmann described another opportunity that came through an online retailer that offers on-demand printing so that individuals in other countries can have copies of BVI materials printed closer to home.
Gordon Denlinger, who serves as treasurer for the organization, called BVI a hidden gem and noted that volunteers are needed to serve the organization in a variety of capacities. "It doesn't get any better than helping children see Jesus and come to know Him in a faith way," he said. "We want to make sure the Gospel is being presented."
BVI, a nonprofit organization located at 650 Main St., Akron, is overseen by a nine-member board. Readers who would like to know more about the organization may visit wwwbiblevisuals.org or call 717-859-1131.
"Soup, Sandwich, And Talk" Event Planned July 10, 2018
Word UP Community Ministries will host a free Soup, Sandwich, and Talk event on Thursday, July 26, at Gap Fire Company, 802 Pequea Ave., Gap. The meal will start at 6 p.m. Attendees may leave after the meal or stay to hear a message. The event is open to the public.
To serve, provide soup, or volunteer, contact Buck Mowday at 717-330-0561 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HBIC Continues Doughnut Day Tradition July 6, 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.
Program To Address Simplification July 5, 2018
Lifetree Cafe, located at Emmaus Road Cafe, 1886 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, will host a program on Tuesday, July 17, at 7 p.m. Lifetree Cafe is a place where people gather for conversation about life and faith in a casual, comfortable setting.
The program, titled "Simplify Your Life: How a Hollywood Millionaire Walked Away From It All," will feature a filmed interview with Tom Shadyac, a feature film director best known for "Ace Ventura," "The Nutty Professor," "Patch Adams," "Bruce Almighty," and "I Am." The discussion will center on reducing possessions in order to streamline one's life, as well as making purposeful choices.
Admission to the 60-minute event is free. Questions may be directed to Lifetree Cafe - Lancaster at 717-473-9115 or LTCLancaster@gmail.com.
Oxford UMC Receives Grant July 3, 2018
Oxford United Methodist Church (UMC), 18 Addison St., Oxford, was awarded a grant of $4,076 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 helps 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 UMC's mission is to be "Praising. Caring. Serving. Sharing." Worship services are at 8:30 and 10:55 a.m. on Sundays. There is a youth group for youths in grades five through eight and one for youths in grades nine through 12. Vacation Bible school will be held Sunday, July 22, through Thursday, July 26, from 6 to 8 p.m.
The church also offers Bible study, two handbell choirs, and adult and children choirs and has pizza with the neighbors two Wednesdays month. For more information about the church, readers may call 610-932-9698 or visit www.oxford1851.org.
One of America's oldest community foundations, The Philadelphia Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life in the Pennsylvania counties of the greater Philadelphia area (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia). To learn more, readers may visit www.philafound.org.
Local Church Posts Schedule July 3, 2018
On Sunday, July 15, the seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Centennial Lutheran Church, 1330 Hares Hill Road, Kimberton, will host a worship service at 9:30 a.m. Pastor Jerry Tancredi will bring the message, and the Sacrament of Holy Communion will be observed. All are welcome to join in during the education hour at 10:45 a.m. for a discussion of the church's purpose, guiding principles, and strategic initiatives.
During the education hour on Sunday, July 29, and Sunday, Aug. 26, the topic will be a discussion of the forthcoming ELCA social statement on "Women and Social Justice." Feedback from this discussion will be forwarded to the ELCA as it prepares a formal statement on this issue.
Information about church events can be found at www.centenniallutheran.org or by emailing email@example.com.
Organizations Team Up To Meet Needs July 3, 2018
When current New Holland Area Kiwanis Club president, Mike Ireland, learned of transportation needs in the community, he saw a chance for the club to be part of a solution. "Three years ago, when the ELANCO Community Collaboration meetings started, (transportation service) came up as an opportunity," said Ireland.
Meredith Dahl, CrossNet Ministries executive director, was excited to learn that the Kiwanis Club members wanted to help. "We shared the needs (affecting the community), and transportation was high (on the list)," recalled Dahl. "Kiwanis (members) said maybe it was something (they) could do."
Before the club could begin helping, however, it was necessary to obtain a vehicle. "We needed a van that would be available all the time," said Dahl, who went on to explain that LCBC Ephrata and New Holland Toyota partnered at the beginning of 2018 to help CrossNet purchase a van.
Because one goal of Kiwanis Clubs is to help children, volunteers from the club came forward to be trained and receive clearances. They began fulfilling transportation requests in early May. "(To meet the club criteria, the request) needs to be for a child who needs transportation for education or health purposes," explained Dahl, who cited a recent situation where a Kiwanian filled that need. "Two children needed to get an eye exam, and they contacted CrossNet, and we contacted the Kiwanis Club," shared Dahl. "(With help from a Kiwanis volunteer, the children) were able to get to the eye doctor and get the help they needed to get glasses."
Dahl noted that if a child needs transportation, a parent or guardian should call CrossNet. He or she will be referred to the CrossNet social worker, who will contact Kiwanis transportation coordinator Bruce Newell if the request meets the criteria. "Bruce will contact the team of Kiwanis volunteers who can drive and find someone and then get back to (CrossNet)." Dahl added that the parent will need to sign a waiver.
Newell noted that communication is an important factor. "We are able to make sure the driver is there on time and knows where they're going and the person being picked up knows they have a driver," said Newell, who noted that Ireland, Lee Shaffer, and Dick Eby have signed on to drive. Transporation help to anywhere within the county is available to those who qualify living within the ELANCO School District. Newell added that the club has always donated funds for the needs of local children, but a few years ago, the focus began to shift to include volunteering time as well. "When Tom Fanning was president, he said, 'We give a lot of money to support people, but what we don't do so well is having members spending time getting involved with children,'" reported Newell. The transportation program signals a change in that area. "Kiwanis can report the number of hours of community service we perform, and one of our goals as a club is to increase the number of community service hours we put in," said Newell. "(The transportation ministry) is a good initiative."
"We are thankful for the partnership with Kiwanis," said Dahl, who added that a separate transportation program made up of CrossNet volunteers is available through CrossNet to help local adults in need. Readers who are in need of transportation are encouraged to call the CrossNet office at 717-355-2454 to learn if their request can be met.
The New Holland Kiwanis Club meets each Tuesday at noon at Garden Spot Village. Kiwanis International's mission is to change the world, one child and one community at a time. The local club is open to new members. Readers who would like to learn more about the local club may call 717-445-6749.
Event To Support Habitat For Humanity June 26, 2018
Lancaster Moravian Church, 227 N. Queen St., Lancaster, will collect donations for Habitat for Humanity on Friday, July 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. as part of its summer Giving Tree Opportunities. Anyone donating gently used household or building supplies or cash to support Habitat for Humanity and its Restore facility will receive a homemade treat. Bill Dewan, director of development for Habitat, will greet donors and answer questions.
The public is invited to stop by, learn more about Habitat, give a donation, and enjoy a treat. For more information, readers may contact 717-397-9722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Church Holds Groundbreaking Celebration June 21, 2018
Calvary Bible Church of Mount Joy, 629 Union School Road, Mount Joy, held a groundbreaking celebration for its "Building on Faith" expansion project on June 10. The Rev. Dr. Randal E. Pelton, senior pastor, highlighted the church's longstanding focus on "Teaching People to Do the Things That Jesus Said to Do."
The two-story expansion, along with a lower level, will add 15,000 square feet for ministry. It will feature additional classrooms, expanded nurseries and a youth area, administrative offices, a fellowship area, and restrooms. There will also be an update of the current facilities. The church completed a renovation of the sanctuary in 2016.
The project has a completion date of June 2019.
Calvary Bible Church has ministered in Mount Joy for more than 75 years. Further information is available by visiting www.cbcmj.org.
Founder Recalls Early Years Of Learning Center June 21, 2018
Erica Shirk, one of the founders of the New Holland Early Learning Center (NHELC), recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Erica sat down recently to look through a book of photos from NHELC's early days and to recount the center's beginnings in the late 1970s and early '80s.
In 1972, when the New Holland Mennonite Church building committee was considering a new building, Erica was among the voices calling to expand the ministry. "I was one of the persons who suggested (that) this nice big building shouldn't stay empty from one Sunday to the next," said Erica. Church members took a vote and decided, by a close margin, to wait until the new building was paid for before taking steps to open a day care center.
In 1979, the establishment of a day care center at the church, located at 18 Western Ave., New Holland, was approved by the congregation. Erica served on a committee with Ann Roth, Esther Kennel, and Aldine Musser. A drop-in program available two days a week opened on April 2, 1981. Later, a preschool and weekday day care became part of the offerings.
Once the day care center had opened, Erica wanted to volunteer to care for the children, but she learned that governmental regulations would not allow that. "I wanted to volunteer and I couldn't because I didn't have a high school diploma," said Erica. "I could do laundry, but I couldn't be a teacher or a teacher's aide."
Erica's lack of a diploma stemmed from her upbringing in France, where her education in the town of Wissembourg only a few miles from the German border ended at age 16. Twice during World War II, the family was evacuated from their home. In 1939, when Erica was 11, members of the population living within 30 miles of the border were boarded on refugee trains and sent to central France. The family lived in an old mill for several months before being sent to a farm where they lived peacefully far away from the war. They eventually returned home, but the family was evacuated again near the end of World War II, and this time their home in Wissembourg was destroyed.
Mennonite organizations in North America sent workers to help families in Wissembourg rebuild their homes. "They sent a group of 10 volunteers that lived in town," said Erica, whose family spoke German at home. "We had learned a little bit of English in school, and I wanted to practice with somebody," she added, noting that was how she met a quiet and reserved man from the New Holland area who became her husband. Erica married Frank Shirk in France, and the couple returned to the United States in December of 1948, just before Christmas.
When Erica realized she could not work with the children cared for in the center she helped to found, she took steps to remedy the situation. "I thought I had better get my GED (General Equivalency Diploma), (so) I went (to classes) the whole winter two evenings a week rain or shine," said Erica. She received her GED in 1982. Following that time, she volunteered at the center and continued to serve on the board until 1993, when she went to Europe to perform mission work for two years.
According to pastor Dawn Ranck Hower, Erica, who lives in Leola, still checks in regularly NHELC. "She continues to be interested in the center and very supportive," Ranck Hower noted.
NHELC, which is soon approaching its 40th anniversary, now serves children from six weeks old through kindergarten age. A morning preschool and full-day kindergarten is available. Children through sixth grade attend a before- and after-school program. Readers who wish to learn more may visit www.creatingcommunityforkids.com or call 717-354-4440.
Taking A Leap Into Language June 20, 2018
Four local organizations are partnering to hold the third year of the Leap Into Language summer program for middle school students from refugee and immigrant backgrounds.
IU 13 Community Education's Refugee Center and Community School at Reynolds (RCCSR) and School District of Lancaster (SDoL) are the primary organizers of Leap Into Language. Khem Subedi, the community school facilitator for RCCSR, said organizing the program involves recruiting students through home visits and communicating with program partners to plan for the summer and establish the curriculum, among other things.
Additional staff and program support are provided by Millersville University and Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM).
The monthlong program starts with English language lessons in the mornings, taught by educators from RCCSR and SDoL as well as education students from Millersville University.
In the afternoons, EMM provides enrichment activities through local youth groups that participate in its Kingdom Team program, a summer learning and service opportunity. Youth groups practice conversational English with their international peers through games, sports, crafts, and more.
EMM's community engagement coordinator Angie Earl believes that the program is an opportunity for the students to keep up their conversational English skills outside of the regular school year. It also helps some refugee families adapt to the idea of full-day education for their children.
The peer-to-peer interactions help refugee and immigrant students form meaningful local relationships.
Twenty-nine students attended Leap Into Language's first year in 2016. That number grew to 51 students the following year. All students attend SDoL schools. The four organizations will partner again for Leap Into Language this summer from Monday, July 2, to Friday, July 27.
Hope Within Names Director Of Development June 15, 2018
Hope Within Ministries has named Aimee Bergner as its director of development. She began her role in June.
Bergner earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Shippensburg University. For the last 13 years, Bergner has been the center director at Sylvan Learning Center in Palmyra and Lancaster. She brings experience in organizational leadership and development to the position.
Bergner lives in Palmyra with her husband and three children.
Woodcrest Dedicates Enlarged Indian Rock Center June 14, 2018
Event Recognizes Volunteers
On June 7 at 7 p.m., staff, board members, volunteers, and friends of Woodcrest Retreat in Ephrata gathered in the newly renovated Indian Rock Center to dedicate the enlarged building. The building, now more than 12,000 square feet, holds an activity center on the original floor with a covered porch for camp registration. Three meeting rooms are available for rental, and the new dining area holds up to 300 people. A rental kitchen and serving counter with electricity for slow cookers is available alongside the commercial kitchen, and the ground floor now houses a gift shop.
As he opened the dedication ceremony, Woodcrest director Cliff Martin told the group that the remodeled facility has one main purpose. "We are here to celebrate Jesus, our Lord and Savior," said Martin. "This building doesn't mean anything without sharing the Gospel." Martin added that camp staff and volunteers should have the opportunity to share with nearly 1,400 campers over the summer season.
Woodcrest board chair Dave Musselman opened the event with prayer, thanking God for the ministry of Woodcrest and saying, "We especially thank (God) for this new building that will be used to refresh many lives." Musselman's prayer was followed by a time of worship, during which the gathering joined in singing "God of Wonders" and "Jesus Paid It All."
In addition to the dedication, the event was held to show appreciation to Woodcrest volunteers. Adam Fox, summer camp director with Woodcrest, thanked summer camp volunteers who staff the kitchen, teach, and act as counselors. "Volunteers are a blessing," he said.
Facilities director Anthony Sensenig especially thanked those who volunteered to work on the new building, but he also expressed gratitude to those who split wood, mowed, helped with mulching, and aided in maintaining the machines used at the camp.
Program director Will Warner recognized individuals who help the retreat center stage Journey to Bethlehem, a live walk-through Nativity drama that is held over two weekends each December. "More than 100 volunteers are needed each season," he stated, noting that as many as 3,000 visitors have experienced the Journey to Bethlehem.
Martin thanked all volunteers, pointing out that the ministry would not have needed to expand the new building had volunteers not helped bring the camp to where it is today. He specifically mentioned the Ladies Auxiliary, weekend hosts, a group that helps with mailings, and those who help with the golf tournament and benefit auction. Martin also thanked the board of directors and expressed appreciation to Mahlon and Rozanne Zimmerman, who had the vision to construct the original Indian Rock dining hall in the 1980s.
Musselman then offered a devotional titled "Times of Refreshing." "We think about how God refreshes us time and again," he began, asking, "How many of you have worked in a harvest field ... and had someone bring you cold peppermint water?" He quoted Proverbs 25:13, which reads, "Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him; he refreshes the spirit of his master." "I was thinking about the camp program and the lives being refreshed," said Musselman. "I thought about the drink of living water that will be offered here and the camp staff who will offer that living water to those who will come here to be refreshed." He concluded by saying, "As we look forward to using this building, may God's name be praised in all that happens here." Musselman then read a responsive litany, and a purple ribbon was cut to signify the opening of the remodeled center.
Individuals who would like more information about the ministry may visit www.woodcrestretreat.org.
Church Posts Library Hours June 12, 2018
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 through Aug. 21.
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 717-661-7460.
18 South Bids Farewell To Director June 6, 2018
18 South Youth Ministries recently announced that Jessica Cauller stepped down from her position as executive director on May 5 after serving the organization for nearly six years. She has stepped down to focus on her growing family, and 18 South has welcomed Alia Dyke as a new ministry coordinator.
Cauller's involvement with 18 South began in 2011 when she moved to Red Lion to marry her husband, Joshua, who had volunteered at the youth center since it opened its doors in November 2007. She took her post as 18 South's first full-time employee in June 2012, leading both the youth center and the nonprofit.
In March 2016, the organization split her position into two after the birth of her son, Zeek. At this time, she remained part-time as the executive director of the ministry.
An attendee of The Brook Church in Red Lion, Cauller graduated in 2002 from Red Land High School in Lewisberry and received a bachelor's degree in English and communications from Albright College in Reading in 2006.
Under her leadership, 18 South Youth Ministries grew from an organization with two board members and 15 volunteers, serving approximately 30 teenagers a week and raising $8,000 a year, into a ministry with five board members and 30 volunteers, serving 70 teenagers each week and raising more than $70,000 a year.
The youth center is located at 18 S. Pine St., Red Lion. Readers may visit www.18South.org for more information.
"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 email@example.com.