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Marie Monville To Speak At New Hope Banquet September 14, 2018

Marie Monville did not set out to be a public speaker, but as the widow of Charlie Roberts, the man who perpetrated the West Nickel Mines School shooting in 2006, she has sought to turn her pain and tragedy into a blessing for others. She recounted her spiritual journey in her book, "One Light Still Shines: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting," which was published in 2013, and she is part of the Ambassador speakers bureau.

"We have heard incredibly wonderful things about her ministry," commented Neil Uniacke, executive director of New Hope Community Life Ministry, which has invited Monville to be the guest speaker at its 16th annual banquet, set for Thursday, Nov. 1, at 6 p.m. at Refton Brethren in Christ Church, 110 Church St., Refton. "Marie will be free to share her heart," he continued. "She's an amazing speaker."

Uniacke noted that past banquets have featured speakers who talked about the work New Hope does in the community. While Monville does not have a direct link to the ministry, Uniacke was part of the Lancaster County Critical Incident Stress Management team that responded to the school shooting. He spent the tragic day and the week following interacting with the first responders and the families of those in the school community. Uniacke's heart for hurting people is the driving force behind his work at New Hope.

"No judgment - compassion - is the most important part of what we bring to the counseling process," Uniacke said. "Marie is compassionate. When you've experienced hurt, you can recognize it in others."

New Hope offers Christ-centered, biblically based, relational counseling, with a sliding fee scale available for folks experiencing financial difficulty. All of the counselors who work through New Hope provide general counseling services, but they will add a faith element upon request.

"We are people of faith, but we work with (everyone)," Uniacke explained. "The client controls (the frame of discussion). If and when they're ready, we will talk about the spiritual dimension with them."

The annual banquet is one way that the public may support the ministry of New Hope. There is no cost to attend the event, but table sponsorships are available, and there will be an opportunity to donate during the evening. Proceeds will be used to offset costs associated with counseling services, community outreach programs such as Strengthening Families, and the Community Closet thrift store.

A video has been made to tell the story of New Hope and promote Monville's participation in the banquet. Any church, business, or other organization that would like to screen the video is welcome to contact New Hope. The full length of the film is 30 minutes, but seven- and two-minute segments are available. Uniacke noted that a New Hope representative is available for presentations as well. "We want to remind the community we are here and we want to serve," he said.

Tickets for the banquet must be reserved by Friday, Oct. 26. On Nov. 1, the doors will open at 5:30 p.m. The meal, prepared by Esther Smoker, will be served buffet-style and will include roast beef, ham balls, potatoes, a vegetable medley, salad, applesauce, rolls, and dessert.

For reservations or to learn more, readers may call New Hope at 717-786-2802.


Spotlighting A "World Of Wheels" September 13, 2018

Encounter Church, 300 Hideaway Drive, Quarryville, will host its annual "World of Wheels" car show on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 4 to 7 p.m. Vehicles for display may arrive after 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, has been set as the rain date.

"It's been a fun event for five years now," said pastor Stuart Osborne.

"We had a nice turnout last year," added coordinator Jerry Bandy, reporting that about 75 vehicles were exhibited, including several motorcycles and a vintage semi-truck that a man from Ephrata used to start his trucking business a number of decades ago.

There are no restrictions on entries. "It's open to pretty much any vehicle, from vintage cars to diesel trucks. Any modified vehicle that anybody wants to show off, they can come hang out," Bandy said.

In addition to the vehicles, the event will feature music and refreshments, which have included burgers, hot dogs, and desserts in previous years. A prayer station will be set up for folks to pray or talk with a compassionate listener. There will be no cost for any part of the event, and donations will not be accepted, although Bandy said some folks have tried.

"We want people to have good fellowship, to meet people in the community," Bandy explained. "There's no hidden agenda. We want church to be a cool place to hang out again, but (there's) no pressure."

For more information about "World of Wheels," readers may call Bandy at 717-940-0766.


MCC To Host Stewardship Tour September 13, 2018

The Pennsylvania Stewardship Tour, led by Energy Star, will be hosted by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) at its Welcoming Place, 21 S. 12th St., Akron, on Tuesday, Sept. 25, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. This is one of seven locations across the commonwealth where the program will be offered. Area religious congregations are invited to discuss stewardship of financial and natural resources in worship facilities. The event is open to the public.

MCC seeks to act in ways that promote environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Utilizing free, unbiased information and technical support, congregations can learn how they can improve stewardship of their budget's energy dollars and of the earth by reducing energy waste and energy costs, while protecting the environment.

Opportunities will be available after the event to tour the MCC Akron campus and/or the MCC East Coast Material Resources Center in Ephrata to see some of MCC's local sustainability initiatives.

For more information on the event, readers may visit


Moravian Center To Host Ethiopian Speaker September 13, 2018

The Moravian Center of Lancaster, 227 N. Queen St., second floor, will host a presentation by a member of the Kara tribe of Ethiopia on Monday, Oct. 1, at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but a freewill offering will be received to support the speaker's work. Light refreshments will be provided.

The speaker will be Lale Labuko, a member of the animist Kara tribe living in the remote Lower Omo River Valley in Southwest Ethiopia. Labuko is the founder of the nonprofit Omo Child Foundation. His mission is to end the ritual practice of infanticide called mingi, meaning cursed, among the tribes his region. In the region's culture, children born with certain abnormalities are designated as mingi, and tribes believe they may cause illness, famine, drought and other difficulties. Based on ancient superstitions, the children are killed by the time they are 1 year old.

When Labuko learned of this practice, he challenged the tribal elders and kings. Approximately 15 years ago, parents and others began secretly bringing him children to rescue. He and his wife live at an orphanage that houses approximately 50 children.

The film "Omo Child: The River and the Bush" documents Labuko's efforts to end mingi. The film has won more than 25 awards around the world.

Attendees may park in the parking lots across the street from the Moravian Center of Lancaster or in the parking garage on the corner of Chestnut and Queen streets. Parking validation passes will be available for anyone who parks in the garage.

For more information, readers may contact the Moravian Center of Lancaster at 717-397-9722.


SWM Offers Women's Group, Sets Fall Fundraiser September 12, 2018

Women of all ages are invited to take part in the fall session of "The Value of You," a book discussion group that meets every other Tuesday from 7 to 8:15 p.m. at Conestoga Mennonite Church, 2779 Main St. (Route 23), Morgantown. The class, which began on Sept. 18, is taught by Jill Waters, a counselor with Still Waters Ministries (SWM), a nonprofit organization that offers no-cost community counseling services to area residents. Upcoming classes will be held on Oct. 2, 16 and 30; Nov. 13 and 27; and Dec. 11.

The topic of the book study will be "Pursuing Contentment," which is part of the Women of Faith Study Guide Series. The book explores what the Bible says about true contentment and how it is a skill that can be learned. "Our discussion will emphasize the importance of being content in every life experience that comes our way," said Waters.

She emphasized that the class is open to all women from various backgrounds and faiths. "We discuss emotions, relationships, struggles and how to take care of and value ourselves," noted Waters. "This class provides practical application for a woman's daily life. We (learn that we should be) loved and valued."

This is Waters' sixth year of offering the book discussion group for women. She noted that the class takes a summer break from June through August and resumes in September. During the summer months, the women meet for picnics on the church grounds.

No child care is provided during the sessions. Women are asked to purchase the "Pursuing Contentment" book.

SWM recently announced that the Celtic Martins will be the featured entertainment at its fall fundraiser on Friday, Oct. 5, at Conestoga Mennonite Church. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the concert will begin at 7 p.m. A dessert reception and a meet-and-greet with the Martins will follow the concert. There is no admission fee, but a freewill offering will be received.

The Celtic Martins, a family band from Newmanstown, will perform traditional Celtic music, as well as step dancing. The group consists of six siblings who play various instruments, including the fiddle, Irish whistles, bagpipes, guitar, accordion, cello and percussion. They are joined on guitar, bass and drums by their parents and the husband of one of the siblings. The Celtic Martins have been performing Irish tunes and Irish step dance routines since 2004 at various festivals, theaters and other venues.

This will be the second time that the group has been featured at SWM's fall fundraiser. "We are duplicating everything that we did last October because it was so successful," Waters remarked. "It is a very lively, family-friendly show with excellent Celtic music and clogging."

The evening will also include a sale of homemade Amish pretzels and a silent auction featuring products and services donated by local individuals and businesses. The silent auction items will be available for viewing at 6 p.m.

SWM, which was founed by Waters and her husband, Sam, began offering counseling services at Conestoga Mennonite Church in July of 2012. Help is offered to those dealing with anger, depression, fear and anxieties, addictions, self-esteem issues and broken relationships. The ministry also offers an array of services for victims of domestic violence.

Thanks to donations from the church and community, as well as fundraising, services are provided free of charge to individuals who are uninsured or underinsured

For more information about the class or the fundraiser, readers may contact SWM at 610-286-9555 or Conestoga Mennonite Church at 610-286-9124. More information about SWM can be found at or


EBBC To Celebrate 175 Years Of Sharing The Good News September 12, 2018

East Brandywine Baptist Church (EBBC), 999 Horseshoe Pike (Route 322), Downingtown, has planned several events to commemorate its 175th anniversary.

Homecoming Sunday will be celebrated on Sept. 30 with a worship service at 10 a.m., followed by a reception in the fellowship hall. Former pastors have been invited to attend the homecoming event, as well as former parishioners and members of the East Brandywine Historical Commission.

A Community Day open house will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6. The public is invited to tour the premises and to view a display of historical items.

Among the displayed memorabilia will be photographs, stained glass windows from the original church and a list of pastors who served the congregation through the years.

Jubilee Sunday will be celebrated on Oct. 7. People are invited to gather at the church at 9 a.m. to reflect and reminisce about the old church building that served as the meeting place 1842 to 1968. A dedication and worship service will be held at 10:45 a.m. when attendees will focus on the church from 1968 to the present.

The senior choir will sing on both Sept. 30 and Oct. 7.

According to a written history of the church, EBBC was originally known as the Brandywine Meeting House. The original 1.5 acres were purchased from the Kerlin family for $1. The church was planted by a 49-member delegation from Windsor Baptist Church in Eagle. EBBC still maintains a relationship with the congregation at Windsor Baptist through joint services.

The initial church building survived a fire in 1856 and over the years underwent several renovations and dedications. The church purchased an additional 10 acres of land that surrounded the building in 1964. The original church building remained on the property until it was torn down in 1991.

EBBC remains respectful of its history and has placed a plaque on the church grounds where the old church once stood. The plaque explains the history of the original church, stating, "The first East Brandywine Baptist Church, located on Route 322 near Corner Ketch-Lyndell Road, was built in 1842 under the pastorate of Rev. Thomas S. Griffith."

Additionally, the plaque states, "Just to the east of the original church building, a circle of trees honors the 'local boys' who served in WWII. The center tree honors Clarence Krauss, who was killed in action."

Near where the old church once stood is a cemetery where many of the church's original members are buried.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new church building were held on Aug. 20, 1967. The cornerstone for this building, finished in 1968, is inscribed, "To God Be the Glory."

A family center, including a gym, Sunday school rooms and a kitchen, were completed in 1988. The present church building was dedicated on June 12, 2011. Remodeling and redecorating efforts have continued more recently.

The 1968 cornerstone is on display in the current church building along with the original cornerstone from 1842.

Throughout the years of new buildings, projects and renovations, the church's motto has remained, "The Gospel Changes Everything."

For more information about EBBC and the anniversary events, readers may visit or contact the church office at 610-269-8651. Those with old church photos or other memorabilia that can be displayed during the open house are asked to contact the church.


Church Posts Crab Cake Sale September 12, 2018

Red Lion Zion United Methodist Church, 1155 Felton Road, Red Lion, will sell homemade crab cakes. A choice of breaded or unbreaded crab cakes will be available for a fee per dozen.

The food will be available for pickup on Sunday, Oct. 21, from 10:15 to 11 a.m. or by special arrangement. Proceeds will benefit the church's general fund.

To order crab cakes by Sunday, Oct. 14, readers may contact Joan at the church office at 717-244-2585 or


Church Plans Homecoming Event September 12, 2018

St. James Lutheran Church, 2335 Cramer Road, Brogue, will hold a homecoming celebration on Sunday, Oct. 7. Anyone who has ever attended the church or who was baptized, confirmed or married at the church is invited to attend. A worship service will take place at 10:15 a.m., followed by a luncheon.

To make reservations by Saturday, Sept. 22, readers may call 717-927-9497. Callers should specify the number of people in their group.


Annan To Present Talk, Workshop September 6, 2018

Author Kent Annan will give a talk called "Living the Golden Rule With Imagination" at First Presbyterian Church of Lancaster, 140 E. Orange St., Lancaster, on Sunday, Sept. 16, at 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Through stories of his work in Haiti, Annan will challenge attendees to slow down in the practice of service as they become people who do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Annan is author of "Slow Kingdom Coming," "After Shock," and "Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle." He is co-founder of Haiti Partners and a senior fellow at Wheaton College's Humanitarian Disaster Institute.

Annan will also facilitate a workshop for church mission teams on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 1:30 p.m. titled "Choosing Focus." Churches are invited to send their mission teams to explore the five practices of "Slow Kingdom Coming: Practices for Doing Justice, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly in the World." Teams will have time to dialogue and reflect on what they are doing in mission and to consider how slowness and focus might enrich their church's ministry.

For more information, readers may visit


St. Paul's UCC Posts Class Series September 5, 2018

St. Paul's United Church of Christ (UCC) of Birdsboro will sponsor a Creative Contemplatives class series. Classes will meet on the third Monday of each month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Daniel Boone Area High School, 501 Chestnut St., Birdsboro, in room 135. The classes are free and are open to the public. Individuals are welcome to participate in as many sessions as they wish.

The purpose of Creative Contemplatives is to provide a safe venue where participants may engage in contemplative practices and conversations that may lead them to connect with the divine on a deeper level while also fostering connecting with each other. The instructors will be Pat Babel, spiritual director; Janeen Adil, minister of Christian spirituality and spiritual director; and, in December, Dawnita Smith, art teacher and art therapist. The first class will be held on Monday, Sept. 17; the topic will be "Holy Listening."

For more information, readers may search for St Pauls Birdsboro UCC on Facebook or call the church at 610-582-8461 or Babel at 484-366-6700.


St. Mark's Lutheran Church Forms Ukulele Band September 5, 2018

While it is not uncommon to hear praise music coming from a church sanctuary, a unique source of music at St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Birdsboro is its new ukulele band.

During the summer, when Sunday school was not in session, the church offered a ukulele circle during that time period following the Sunday service. The group, led by pastor Jim Farnsworth and congregation member Greg Smith, was open to people of all ages, including beginners.

"We are all learning together," said Farnsworth. "We did ukulele circles this summer, and we had different guest instructors." He noted that one of the sessions featured instructors from a local music store.

Farnsworth explained that some ukuleles were loaned to the group members by the church, while other students chose to bring their own instruments. "(Playing ukuleles) is a big trend right now," he pointed out. "A lot of elementary schools are (offering lessons)."

Even though Sunday school has started for the fall semester, Farnsworth emphasized that the group will continue to play together.

"We will periodically play at services and around Christmas," he noted. "(Our hope) is to go to local nursing homes and sing Christmas carols."

A Saturday evening Blessing of the Ukuleles service took place on Sept. 1, during which the ukulele band performed the hymn "Amazing Grace," among other songs. A reception followed the service.

St. Mark's ukulele band will also perform on Sunday, Sept. 30, during the 9 a.m. worship service. Vocalists will accompany the group, and attendees will also be encouraged to sing along. The community is invited to attend.

All are welcome to join the ukulele band. For information about upcoming practices or events, readers may contact Farnsworth at

St. Mark's is located at 5 Brooke Manor, Birdsboro. More information about the church is available at and


Back To Church Sunday Slated September 5, 2018

Son Light Bible Church, 2503 Oregon Pike, Lancaster, will participate in this year's national Back to Church Sunday on Sept. 16. A meet-and-greet will begin at 10 a.m., and the worship service, led by pastor Mike Nolt, will begin at 10:30 a.m.

The message will be based on J.I. Packer's study guide for the Old Testament book of Jeremiah. The study highlights key biblical themes, clarifies crucial doctrines, and draws personal applications from the book of Jeremiah.


"Back To Church Sunday" Event Planned September 5, 2018

New Creation Community Church, 3005 Emig Mill Road, Dover, will participate in National Back to Church Sunday on Sunday, Sept. 16. Community members are invited to attend the 8 a.m. traditional worship service or the 10:15 a.m. contemporary worship service.

As many as 3.5 million people around the world participate in the annual event.


Churchtown UMC To Celebrate Anniversary September 5, 2018

Churchtown United Methodist Church (UMC), 2170 Main St., Narvon, will celebrate its 180th anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 16.

During worship at 9 a.m., special music will be provided by Glenn Gordon and the 1970s children's choir established by his father. A discussion on the 50th anniversary of the United Methodist Church will be presented by Bishop Peggy Johnson, resident bishop of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. The worship celebration will be followed by a brunch in the fellowship hall.

The church was founded as a Methodist Episcopal Church in 1838. Circuit riding ministers were active from 1800 on, leading to the establishment of the church in Churchtown as part of an 11-church circuit.


NLAM Fall Banquet September 5, 2018

According to Clara Ames, executive director of No Longer Alone Ministries (NLAM), the organization's Fall Ministry Banquet and Silent Auction is more than a fundraiser; it is a chance for those who support the ministry to catch up or get to know each other better. "There's a time for good conversation (and) fellowship," said Ames. "(It's a chance) to reconnect (or) meet new friends."

NLAM will hold its annual fundraiser, based on the theme "Journeys of Hope," on Thursday, Oct. 4, at Calvary Church, 1051 Landis Valley Road, Lancaster. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the vestibule. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m.

A silent auction, which will open at 5:30 p.m., will feature up to 30 items. "Our silent auction is based on the best of Lancaster County," said Ames, who noted stays at local guesthouses and passes to area attractions will be among the items up for bids. "We will have two extravagant chocolate baskets," she added, noting that organizers have put an emphasis on quality rather than a quantity of items on which to bid.

The keynote speaker for the dinner will be Catherine P. Downing, author of "Sparks of Redemptive Grace," which recounts her experience with a family member struggling with mental illness. Downing's topic will be "Sparks of Redemptive Grace: Seeking and Seeing God Amid a Loved One's Mental Illness." "Downing and her husband have walked this journey with their now-adult son who struggles with bipolar disorder," explained Ames. Downing is a trained teacher with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Family-to-Family classes. She is a former missionary who currently works with faith-based nonprofit organizations as a communications consultant. She has been lauded for her compassion and vulnerability in sharing her story.

Special music for the event will be provided by Peggy Grabowski, and local radio personality Lisa Landis will serve as master of ceremonies.

Ames noted that a plated meal, with entree options including pecan-crusted salmon, chicken cordon bleu, and a vegan gluten-free option of quinoa black bean saute, will be served along with salad, bread, and beverages. Ames added that a choice of desserts will include chocolate cake and a seasonal option.

A freewill offering will be received at the dinner. "Our goal is to raise close to $51,000," said Ames, who added that sponsorship options are available.

Tickets are required to attend and may be purchased by visiting or calling the NLAM office at 717-390-4891. Reservations will be accepted through Friday, Sept. 21.


Fall Community Event September 5, 2018

Lancaster Seventh-day Adventist Church, 151 City Mill Road, Lancaster, will host its annual fall community event on Sunday, Sept. 23, from noon to 4 p.m. Parking will be available.

The free event will kick off with food service beginning at noon and continuing until it is gone. Visitors are invited to register at the front entrance for the opportunity to win prizes. The event will also feature a giveaway table. Activities for children will include an obstacle relay race, crafts, and face painting.

In addition, a health booth will offer blood pressure checks and health literature, and a prayer booth will be available. All are welcome.


Active Shooter Presentation Slated September 5, 2018

The Pennsylvania State Police will offer a two-hour Active Shooter Presentation on Monday, Sept. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. at New Hope (Fissel's) United Church of Christ, 3426 Fissel's Church Road, Glen Rock. The presentation will be led by a representative of the Domestic Security Section of the State Police's Intelligence Division.

Audio and video clips will be used to demonstrate what may occur during an active shooter situation. The presentation is designed to cover all venues, such as places of worship, open spaces, education facilities, public settings and shopping facilities. Statistics, trends, and real incidents will be discussed. The presenter will also discuss behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that may contribute to a person becoming an active shooter.

The presentation is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

For more information, readers may call Dave at 717-235-3720, or they may call the church at 717-235-2033 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.


Ministerium Holds Prayer Walk September 5, 2018

The Avon Grove Ministerium held a Prayer Walk on Aug. 21. Groups representing the Avon Grove Ministerium churches and para-church organizations took part. After gathering for instructions and prayer, participants departed for the schools for which they had committed to pray. Some participants prayed around the buildings, and others walked through the schools while praying. The schools included Avon Grove High School, Avon Grove Middle School, Avon Grove Intermediate School, Penn London Elementary School, Avon Grove Charter School, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, and the Nazarene Academy.

Participants in the Prayer Walk ranged in age from kindergartners to senior citizens. Students prayed for their schools and teachers. Parents and grandparents walked with their children in prayer. Additional members of the community prayed for schools, teachers and other staff members, buildings, and administrators.

Some teachers, staff members, and administrators invited participants to pray for them, their classrooms, and the upcoming school year. Other staff members and teachers asked for prayers for more personal joys and concerns, such as illnesses, family members, grief and travel.

The Prayer Walk was originally organized by Marge Pickle more than a decade ago. Her commitment to praying for the local schools inspired the Avon Grove Ministerium to continue the event. This year's walk was organized by Pastor Monica, lead pastor of West Grove United Methodist Church. The Avon Grove Ministerium invites community members to continue to pray for the local schools, students, teachers, and staff members throughout the year.


Church Plans Blessing Of The Animals August 31, 2018

Bird-in-Hand United Methodist Church, 2620 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand, will hold a special service on Sunday, Sept. 30, featuring a blessing of the animals. The service will follow the church's normal 9 a.m. worship service. Attendees may bring pets and livestock to be blessed.

The blessing of the animals service will be held in the parking lot, under a large canopy, but attendees should provide cover in the case of inclement weather. Everyone is welcome to stay for a potluck lunch afterwards.


Block Party Set In Elizabethtown August 30, 2018

The eighth annual Elizabethtown Block Party will be hosted by local organizations and groups at the Elizabethtown Borough Park, 201 S. Mount Joy St., Elizabethtown, on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. The free event is open to everyone.

Last year, attendance numbers increased to about 900 people, and organizers anticipate even greater numbers this year.

Highlights will include food; a visit from Arlo, the K-9 from Mount Joy Township Police Department; character juggler Chris Ivey; and free haircuts with Mary from an Elizabethtown business. A children's area will feature a bounce house, and there will be door prizes. Many local organizations will offer information, as well.

For details, readers may search for "2018 Elizabethtown Block Party" on Facebook.

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