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Centennial Church Posts Schedule January 16, 2018

Centennial Lutheran Church, 1330 Hares Hill Road, Kimberton, has posted its schedule of activities.

On Sunday, Jan. 28, there will be a worship service at 9:30 a.m. The service will include a message by pastor Jerry Tancredi and the celebration of Holy Communion. The annual congregational meeting will take place after the worship service. A celebration luncheon will follow the meeting.

Scout Sunday will be observed on Sunday, Feb. 11. Several members of the Scouting community at Centennial will serve during the worship service.

Information about church events is available at www.centenniallutheran.org or by emailing info@centenniallutheran.org.

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Trinity Lutheran To Host Clothing Giveaway January 11, 2018

Trinity Lutheran Church, 47 W. Main St., Mount Joy, invites the community to its eighth annual clothing giveaway and community meal on Saturday, Jan. 27. Doors will open promptly at 9 a.m., and the giveaway will continue until 12:30 p.m.

The fellowship committee will begin serving a free community meal at approximately 10:30 a.m., and the food will be available until noon or while supplies last. A ham dinner, including a beverage and dessert, will be served. All are welcome.

Anyone in need of clothing is invited to attend the giveaway. There are no qualifications to participate and no limit to the number of clothing items attendees may take home. Organizers simply ask that participants be respectful and considerate of others in attendance.

Clothing in most sizes, from newborn through adult, will be available for attendees to choose from, as well as shoes, coats, and accessories. Volunteers wearing red shirts and name tags will be stationed throughout the church to offer direction and assistance.

According to outreach coordinator Elayne Olson, last year's event went extremely well, with approximately 300 attendees. "Every year we wonder if it will be the last as we think we'll run out of clothing to give away," remarked Olson. Yet every year, she noted, the storage unit fills up in January with donations from members of the church and community.

Interested individuals are welcome to donate new and gently used clothing, accessories, and shoes between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and between 6 and 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. Infant and toddler clothing is always in high demand, Olson noted. Undergarments and bathing suits will not be accepted. Organizers prefer that bags of donations be marked by gender and size and placed in the large storage bin in the church parking lot.

Olson noted that the clothing giveaway and community meal are a way not only to fulfill the call to serve and take care of others, but to put into practice the concept of reduce, reuse, and recycle. Any items left over after the event will be donated to local clothing banks, the Salvation Army, or Goodwill.

Olson said that as the number of local families struggling to pay utilities and placing food on the table continues to grow, this event is a simple way to offer help in supplying needed clothing where funds may not be available. "Three words that always come to mind are reduce, reuse, and recycle," Olson said. "We must teach new generations the importance of not only caring for others, but (caring) for what God has graciously given us."

For more information, readers may go to www.trinitymountjoy.org or call 717-653-4168.

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Centennial Church Posts Schedule January 10, 2018

Centennial Lutheran Church, 1330 Hares Hill Road, Kimberton, has posted its schedule of activities.

On Sunday, Jan. 21, there will be a worship service at 9:30 a.m. The service will include a message by pastor Jerry Tancredi and the celebration of Holy Communion. The education hour will follow the worship service.

On Sunday, Jan. 28, the annual congregational meeting will take place after the worship service. A celebration luncheon will follow the meeting.

Information about church events is available at www.centenniallutheran.org or by emailing info@centenniallutheran.org.

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Church Offers Line Dancing Classes January 9, 2018

"The main objective is for people to have fun," said Beth Defeo, outreach coordinator at Living God Lutheran Church (LGLC) in Honey Brook, when describing the weekly line dancing classes she leads at the church.

The lessons began on Jan. 14 and will run every Sunday through March 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. The classes are free, but attendees are asked to bring nonperishable food items to be donated to the Twin Valley Food Pantry and the Honey Brook Food Pantry.

Defeo, who is also a member of the church council, has been line dancing since the 1990s. "(I started the classes) after the holidays in 2016," she recalled, noting that about 10 weeks of classes are offered at the church in three sessions throughout the year.

Lessons take place in the church sanctuary, which features a hardwood floor ideal for line dancing. "After Sunday service at church, we move the chairs to the front, so we have dancing space in the sanctuary," Defeo explained. "It is a nice wooden floor."

Defeo explained that line dancing involves choreographed steps that people perform at the same time. No partners are required. Line dancing is most commonly accompanied by country and western music. "It's mostly country music, but there is some pop music and funk, depending on what the dance is," she noted.

Defeo added that she tailors each session to accommodate the experience levels of the attendees. "If I have people who came before, I will do some newer dances. If it's people who are new, I will do some of the simpler beginner dances," she said. "My whole intent is to get them out there and get them to like line dancing. A lot of people are intimidated and think they can't do it, but they can if they get the right introduction.

"Some of the more complex dances are more physically demanding, but there are very simple dances that can be taught and get you up and moving and swinging to the music," she added. "You have to have a little bit of coordination, but the beginner dances are simple, so (people) can pick them up and dance (right away)."

Defeo said that attendees should wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Bottled water is provided. "Sneakers are fine," she stated. "You don't have to wear boots and cowboy hats, but some people do."

People of all ages are welcome to participate, although Defeo noted that very young children would probably not grasp the steps of the dances. "Some people bring their tween daughters," she said. "I had a 92-year-old man who came a few times. Generally, it's people between their 30s and their 60s and 70s."

Defeo said that one of her goals is to teach dances that will allow people to attend line dancing events that are held locally at clubs and social halls in places such as Reading, Lancaster and West Chester. She noted that line dancing is offered on Wednesday nights at St. Anthony's Lodge in Downingtown.

"I dance at some of the places in the area and so what I try to do is incorporate dances (from these venues into the classes) so (class attendees) can go to these places. I also provide them information about dancing events in the area," she said, noting that some people visit locations only to watch the dancers. "It's fun to watch, and there are some excellent dancers out there."

Living God Lutheran Church is located at 3200 Horseshoe Pike (Route 322), Honey Brook. For more information, readers may call the church office at 610-273-9383.

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Centennial Lutheran Posts Schedule January 4, 2018

Centennial Lutheran Church, 1330 Hares Hill Road, Kimberton, will hold a worship service at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 14. The service will include a message by pastor Jerry Tancredi and the celebration of Holy Communion. The education hour follows the worship service. All are welcome.

On Sunday, Jan. 28, the annual congregational meeting will take place after the worship service. A celebration luncheon will follow the meeting.

Information about church events is available at www.centenniallutheran.org or by emailing info@centenniallutheran.org.

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Allen AME Church Marks 165 Years Of Service January 3, 2018

Members of Allen African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Oxford brought in the new year with a Watch Night Service and dinner on New Year's Eve, heralding the start of 2018.

This was a memorable night for the church, which commemorated its 165th anniversary in 2017. A special anniversary celebration was held on Oct. 28, 2017, at the Oxford Presbyterian Church, which provided room for the nearly 200 people who attended.

The theme for the occasion was "Celebrating a Great Past, Claiming an Awesome Future." The keynote address was given by the Rev. Stephen Lewis, pastor of Bethel AME Church of Freeport, N.Y. Lewis served as pastor at Allen AME from 2000 to 2004.

Past pastor the Rev. Juanita Hall-Walters and parishioner Jeffrey Webb led the ceremony with current pastor the Rev. Aliston Thomas and presiding elder the Rev. Charles Lett. Oxford Mayor Geoff Henry presented a resolution acknowledging the occasion, and state Rep. John Lawrence brought a proclamation from Harrisburg.

"We have a very rich history, being founded in 1852, and we know there's more work to be done to help the community. Our vision is to advance God's kingdom by making disciples of Jesus Christ and to positively impact Oxford and surrounding communities," Thomas said. "It was a great event. Think about it. 165 years - there's a lot of history there."

Allen AME Church is one of the oldest churches in Chester County. It began in 1852 as Mount Calvary AME Church on Bethel Road in Lower Oxford Township. The church relocated to East Market Street in Oxford in 1886, where it became known as Allen AME in honor of Richard Allen, founder of the denomination

On May 23, 1935, the church building was destroyed by fire. It reopened that fall at the present-day location at the corner of Eighth and Market streets in Oxford. The church still maintains Mount Calvary Cemetery on Bethel Road, where veterans from the Civil War, World War I and World War II are buried.

The church remains active in the community today. "We have about 20 to 25 people on the rolls today, which when the church was covenanted it had about that same number of people. I think 23, to be exact," Thomas said.

He explained that the congregation is a mix of ages, with 60 to 70 percent of the congregants age 65 and above. There are also a number of children or the grandchildren of the members. "We're open to any and everyone," Thomas said. "In Christ we're all brothers and sisters. Anyone is welcome to attend."

Allen AME is a member of the Oxford Ministerium and supporter of the Lighthouse Youth Center. The church is also involved with Lincoln University students. "This year, (the university) choir went to Atlanta. We sponsored the food and drink for that, too," Thomas said.

Upcoming events at Allen AME include a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., in February and an Easter egg hunt in March. The church also holds fish fries several times a year as fundraisers to support its ministries and as an outreach to the community.

"As a church, our desire is to serve God and the community," Thomas said. "Our intent is to serve the community and hopefully make it a better place."

Allen AME Church is located at 788 Market St., Oxford. Sunday services are held each week at 11 a.m., with Bible study held on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. For more information, readers may call 484-746-9063 or visit www.allenameoxfordpa.org. More information is also available by searching for "Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church - Oxford, PA" on Facebook.

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Church Sets Sermon Series January 3, 2018

St. John Lutheran Church, 2580 Mount Rose Ave., York, will offer 'The God Questions," a five-week Sunday sermon series that will address common questions about God.

Topics will include "Is God Real?" on Jan. 14, "Is the Bible Real?" on Jan. 21, "How Can a Good God Allow Suffering?" on Jan. 28, "Which is Right: Evolution or Creation?" on Feb. 4, and "What Will Heaven Be Like?" on Feb. 11.

The traditional service begins at 8:30 a.m., and the contemporary service begins at 11 a.m. For more information, readers may call 717-840-0382 or visit www.stjohnyorkpa.com.

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Taking A Closer Look At The Old Testament January 3, 2018

Susquehanna Grace Community Church (SGCC), 6694 Sunrise Ave., Wrightsville, invites the community to attend a Walk Thru the Old Testament event on Saturday, Jan. 20.

The interactive presentation will figuratively take participants through the Old Testament, discussing the major people and the events in chronological order.

The event at SGCC will take place from 9 a.m. to noon. Early bird registration will be available at a discounted rate through Sunday, Jan. 14. Walk-in registration, which will begin at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the event, will also be accepted. The registration fee will cover materials and snacks.

The course is open to individuals of all ages. According to instructor Dr. Roger Petersen, Walk Thru the Bible events are ideal for people who would like to know more about the Bible, as well as for people who may know a lot of Bible stories but get tripped up on the chronological order of the events and how they all fit together. Middle school-age students are welcome to attend, and Petersen added that even students younger than that could benefit from the presentation if they are genuinely interested in the topics.

Petersen has been a professor at Cairn University, formerly known as Philadelphia Biblical University, since 1982. He is an honors graduate of Cairn University, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and East Tennessee State University, and he earned his doctorate at Drew University. He has studied in Israel and spent time in 26 countries, including many that were visited by the apostles in the first century A.D.

Petersen is one of the more than 25,000 trained instructors who present Walk Thru the Bible events in more than 120 countries, according to www.walkthru.org. Walk Thru the Bible has been in operation since 1976 as a way to help people discover the big picture of the Bible. The organization offers live events on the Old and New Testaments, marriage and family, and leadership and teaching.

Nancy Matarese, a representative of SGCC, said that when the church hosted Petersen last year for the New Testament presentation, the event drew more than 150 participants. "The response was extremely positive. (It was) interactive, memorable, relevant, exciting, and fun," said Matarese, describing the presentation. "Dr. Petersen is an engaging teacher. People felt they had a better grasp of the New Testament, the teaching was active, and the time flew by."

To register for the upcoming program at SGCC, interested individuals may visit www.susquehannagrace.org and click on the event under the Coming Up tab. For more information, readers may call the church at 717-252-1233.

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Impact Increasing At Bible2School - Elizabethtown December 28, 2017

When Sue Martin heard about Bible2School - Elizabethtown on WJTL, she knew that it was something she would like to get involved with since she was positively influenced by a similar program in elementary school. "When I was growing up, our class was bused to a church nearby, and it was great for me because I was not a churchgoer," recalled Martin. "(My teacher) was the most loving person I had ever met.

"I remember her big smile and the love. It impacted me so much, and I thought (now) I can be involved in sharing that kind of love," said Martin.

Bible2School is a Manheim-based mentorship program that offers free, weekly Bible elective classes for public school students in several school districts in Lancaster. The initiative complies with the Released Time legislation, which allows children to be released from school for religious training of their choice. Each week, a Bible lesson is taught, sometimes incorporating music, a skit, or a science experiment, before the children split up into smaller groups, where a volunteer leads discussion, a craft or an activity, and prayer.

In September 2017, Bible2School - Elizabethtown branched out as a member of the parent organization. Three area churches - Emmanuel Baptist, Living Hope Assembly, and Rissers Mennonite - teamed up to form Bible2School - Elizabethtown as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that implements the Bible2School curriculum for second- and third-graders at the East High Street and Mill Road elementary schools.

Students from East High Street Elementary School who sign up meet at Emmanuel Baptist, and Mill Road students meet at Living Hope Assembly. Second-graders learn about the Old Testament, and the third-grade curriculum centers on the New Testament.

"The children love it. We feel like a family now," remarked Martin, adding that the low student-to-volunteer ratio is conducive to building tight-knit relationships. Acting out the story of Jacob and Esau was a recent hit with her class. "Everything we do is interactive, and of course we make it funny, too," she said.

Parents may sign their child up to attend Bible2School by filling out a form available in their child's school office or at www.b2s-etown.org. The program runs through April with open enrollment so that a student may join at any time during the academic year. Bible2School is entirely free to participants and schools, as it is funded through donations and carried out by trained volunteers.

Emmanuel Baptist Church pastor Garret Rain said that when Kori Pennypacker, executive director of Bible2School, approached him about the possibility of Elizabethtown being the pilot for the new partnership model, he had some angst about the transition. However, he said that working together with the other churches on the effort has been a blessing. "We prayerfully worked together about doing it as a team," Rain said. "It's working well."

Rain already has his eye on areas where progress may be made. "We need to grow in the second-grade age group, and there's plenty of room at Mill Road," noted Rain. "Here is an opportunity for us to affect the schools directly and indirectly all at the same time. We're sending little missionaries back into the schools each week." Fourth-grade classes could also be added in the future, and more volunteers are needed to accommodate that level of growth. Rain would also like to see the program added for Bear Creek School and the other elementary schools.

"In any of our lives we all have to struggle with the darkness of the world, and having an opportunity to take a break, even just one day out of the week, allows children to see that there's something else," said Rain. "This inspires hope and joy."

To inquire about volunteering with Bible2School in Elizabethtown, readers may contact Daryl Heistand at 717-917-3483.

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Centennial Church Posts Schedule December 27, 2017

Centennial Lutheran Church, 1330 Hares Hill Road, Kimberton, will hold a worship service at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7.

The service will include a message by pastor Jerry Tancredi and the celebration of Holy Communion. The education hour will follow the worship service. All are welcome to attend.

Information about church events is available at www.centenniallutheran.org or by emailing info@centenniallutheran.org.

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A Consignment Sale Of A Different Kind December 27, 2017

Event To Offer Nuts, Bolts, And More

Consignment sales of clothing and supplies for infants and children have become big business in recent years. After attending one such event, Boni Henry had the idea to host a similar event but with a more rugged theme.

Thus, three years ago, the Nuts 'n' Bolts consignment sale was first held at Middle Octorara Presbyterian Church (MOPC), 1199 Valley Road, located 4 miles east of Quarryville on Route 372. The fourth annual event will be held at the church on Saturday, Jan. 13, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. In the event of heavy snow, the sale will be rescheduled for Saturday, Jan. 20. Coffee and snacks will be available free of charge during the sale.

Community members may drop off items at the church between 5 and 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 12. Folks with a large number of items may reserve entire tables for their goods. Consignors do not have to be at their tables during the sale. They may return to the church at 1 p.m. on Jan. 13 to collect their unsold items, or they may donate their items to the church.

While the specific merchandise will be unknown until Jan. 12, Boni suggested that general categories will include tools, fishing and hunting gear, building supplies, construction materials, landscaping equipment, handmade crafts and pine furniture, antiques, and vintage jewelry and decor.

"This is an opportunity for you who wish to sell some of the stuff you find in your garages, basements, shops, sheds, and attics," Boni said.

"I've gotten rid of some stuff," added Boni's husband, Dan Henry.

This year, Boni is focusing on antiques and vintage jewelry, and she has invited professional vendors to participate. That addition to the sale was suggested at the inaugural event, and now is the time to make it happen, she said.

The sale will be held in MOPC's fellowship hall, and there will be room for at least 20 vendor tables. Folks who would like to reserve a table may call Boni at 717-808-4534 or Dan at 717-381-9947.

The church will retain a portion of the proceeds from the consignment sale, and the funds will be put toward the annual mission trip to Tamshiyacu, Peru. Dan's brother, David Henry, is an associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Jefferson City, Mo., and he has led a trip to Tamshiyacu regularly for a number of years. The groups work with Medical Mission Inc. and the Amazon Mission Fellowship to provide primary medical care, medications to eradicate parasites, water purifying systems, public health education, and fellowship to members of a local church and its surrounding community.

Typically, the group hosts a vacation Bible school for the area children and provides labor and construction expertise for projects at the church and at the school it operates. One of the goals for the 2018 trip is to work on a church elder's house.

"My brother was there in November and found out it needs extensive repair," Dan said, relating that the house had sustained significant water damage.

"We're always looking for people to go with us," Boni added.

Interested individuals may call Dan or email him at DanLHenry55@aol.com to learn more about the 2018 trip, or they may visit www.fpcjcmo.org/gs/international-missions/international-mission-peru/.

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Banner Dedication Ceremony Slated December 26, 2017

Prospect United Methodist Church, 9 Orchard Park, New Park, will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2018. Events to commemorate the occasion are planned throughout the year. On Sunday, Jan. 14, the celebration will start with a banner dedication ceremony at 11 a.m.

All are invited to attend the special service. For more details, readers may call 717-382-4188.

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Jump For Joy Plans Session December 21, 2017

Trinity United Church of Christ (UCC), 40 W. Pine St., Palmyra, will host an 11-week session of Jump for Joy, a Christian exercise program for women, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:05 p.m. The first class of the winter session will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. Each class will begin with a 10-minute devotional and prayer time. Lynn Kuhn will be the instructor.

Jump for Joy classes are choreographed to upbeat Christian and positive mainstream music. The aerobics dance routines offer a complete body workout. Classes include weightlifting and a core workout on the floor, with optional modifications for some of the moves. Participants are asked to bring a mat, weights, a ball the size of a soccer ball, and a water bottle.

Jump for Joy is celebrating its 30th anniversary. For more information, readers may call 717-838-4682 or visit www.jumpforjoychristianfitness.vpweb.com.

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Rissers Church To Show Movie December 21, 2017

Rissers Mennonite Church, 8360 Elizabethtown Road, Elizabethtown, invites the community to a New Year's Eve movie on Sunday, Dec. 31, at 7 p.m. The movie "All Saints" will be shown.

"All Saints," starring John Corbett, is based on the true story of salesman-turned-pastor Michael Spurlock, who is assigned to a country church with orders to close it down and sell its land. However, when the church begins welcoming refugees, former farmers from Burma, the congregation attempts to turn the land into a working farm to pay the church's bills and provide food for its newest members.

All are welcome. Refreshments and a time of fellowship will follow the movie. For more information, readers may call 717-653-4549.

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ESL, Citizenship Classes Planned December 20, 2017

The Elizabethtown Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, 425 Cloverleaf Road, Elizabethtown, has announced that ESL and citizenship classes will resume in the new year. Classes will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, at 6:30 p.m.

ESL classes are arranged in three levels to accomodate various entry levels for learning English. Citizenship classes are designed to prepare students for the USCIS test which is part of the process in becoming a US citizen. Classes will cover U.S. history and government.

For more information, students may contact the church office at 717-367-2995.

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Dancing, Etiquette Classes Planned December 19, 2017

St. John Episcopal Church, 140 North Beaver St., York, will offer ballroom dancing and etiquette classes for youths beginning on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, from 6 to 7 p.m. The series is for children and youths in grades four through 12.

The eight-week course features six weeks of ballroom dancing instruction followed by two weeks of etiquette classes. The basic ballroom instruction will include the waltz, swing, the foxtrot and the mambo. The etiquette class topics will include table manners, note writing, phone and cell phone etiquette, polite conversation and manners in a changing world.

There is a fee per student. For more information and the registration form, readers may visit www.stjohnyork.org. The church may be contacted at 717-848-1862.

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Church Plans Series December 19, 2017

St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, 100 Fellowship Road, Chester Springs, will conduct a series called "Catholics Coming Home" beginning on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, at 7 p.m. in the church.

The sessions are for Catholics who are seeking answers to questions about returning to the church. There will be informal sharing and an update on the Catholic faith.

For more details, call Deacon Barry Midwood at 610-646-6526.

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Word Of Grace Church Plans Community Day December 13, 2017

Word of Grace Church is a young congregation. A small group of people who gathered in homes to pray grew into a church that launched Sunday services this past September. The group worships at 1930 Lyndon Ave., Lancaster, which is located off Route 222 between Lancaster and Willow Street.

The congregation is led by pastor Daryl Driver, who previously pastored a Dayton, Va., congregation for 13 years. Prior to moving to Virginia, Driver and his family lived in Elizabethtown, and he had worked as a reporter for newspapers in neighboring counties.

"I always had a vision for church planting," Driver said. "The Lord providentially arranged this connection up here."

The church is part of a conservative Mennonite conference out of Rosedale, Ohio, but people do not need to be Mennonites to be involved, Driver said. He added, "Most of all, we want to be following Christ and what the Word teaches us, and we invite others to do the same."

The structure of the church has been established with care, and four principles have been set. These are corporate services that are vertical, small group meetings that are relational, activities that are essential, and leadership that is intentional.

"We have a strong belief in worship and teaching the Scriptures," Driver said. "We have seen lives changed by the grace of God through worship."

The name of the church was also carefully chosen. Driver remarked that the New Testament chapter of Luke 1 is meaningful to him on a personal level. The chapter accounts the announcement of John the Baptist's forthcoming birth. The name "John" means "Grace of God."

"On the one side of the coin, grace is unmerited favor for salvation," Driver said. "On the other side of the coin is the power to do God's will. 'Word of Grace' gives us so much to meditate on."

As the church has established itself and begun to grow, its members now want to embrace the community in which it is located. "We want to bless and serve people and to help people know Christ," Driver commented.

To accomplish the first part of that goal, Word of Grace Church will host a community day on Saturday, June 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the congregation's farm property located nearby at 196 Eckman Road, Lancaster. Tethered hot air balloon rides will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., thanks to a neighbor and weather permitting. There will also be an inflatable activity center, barrel train rides, games, crafts, and face painting. Roast pork sandwiches and homemade doughnuts cooked on-site will be offered in addition to other refreshments as supplies last.

Admission to the event will be free of charge, and every aspect of the event will be free as well. Guests may bring lawn chairs for seating, although some chairs will be provided.

Community members are also welcome to visit Word of Grace Church on Sundays. Services are held at 10:30 a.m., and a children's ministry is offered during the sermon. Beginning on Sunday, June 25, and continuing for the next four weeks, Driver will preach a series titled "Why Christianity?" He will answer commonly asked questions, such as why suffering is allowed and why Christians believe God is real.

In the event of rain, the community day will be held after the service on June 25 from 2 to 7 p.m. Updates will be posted at www.wordofgracepa.com.

For more information about the church or community day, readers may email wordofgracepa@gmail.com or call 717-842-4085.

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Raising A Star To 2018 December 11, 2017

Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Winters Heritage House Museum are teaming up once again to offer a family-friendly, community New Year's Eve celebration, Welcome 2018, from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 31.

The church, located at 125 E. High St., will offer chicken barbecue dinners made by a local barbecue company to eat in the fellowship hall or for takeout from 3 to 6 p.m. Meals will include a half-chicken, a baked potato, an apple, a candy bar, and a bottle of water. Any leftover food will be donated to the Water Street Mission or the Community Cupboard of Elizabethtown, noted organizer Phil Clark. Advance tickets for the chicken dinners may be purchased at the church.

At the church, music will be provided by disc jockey Jonathan Dice throughout the evening. Free hot dogs, popcorn, and hot chocolate will be available inside a tent, and two types of homemade soup will be for sale. Weather permitting, a fire pit will be blazing for attendees to make s'mores.

Free bingo for people of all ages will be offered at the church with a variety of prizes. The Friendship Fire Company, Elizabethtown Borough Police, and Northwest Emergency Medical Services will have vehicles in the church parking lot for attendees to tour. "The kids love that," Clark remarked.

The historic church building will be open for tours, and pastor AJ Domines will be on hand to answer questions and provide historical information.

The Winters Heritage House Museum, 47 E. High St., Elizabethtown, will offer a variety of free children's activities and crafts. Volunteers will present hearth cooking demonstrations, and samples will be available.

Welcome 2018 will culminate with the raising of a lighted star at 7 p.m. outside of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. Church member Ross Buettner designed the star and creates all of the visuals for the annual celebration.

By raising the star at 7 p.m., the church is carrying on a tradition that Elizabethtown held for many years in conjunction with its sister town of Letterkenny, Ireland. At 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in Elizabethtown, the clock strikes midnight for residents welcoming the new year in Letterkenny, explained Clark.

Last year's event benefited from pleasant temperatures, and organizers are hoping for more of the same this year. "Two years ago it was freezing," recalled organizer Vicki Yaider. "But last year it was nice. We ran out of hot dogs, so we're buying even more for this year."

Funds raised at Christ Lutheran's root beer float stand at the Elizabethtown Fair help to ensure that the activities at the New Year's Eve celebration can be offered free of charge. This marks the fourth year for the church to host a celebration, and Clark hopes to have even more organizations, churches, and businesses join in the tradition in future years.

"It's a family-oriented event to welcome the neighborhood in. It's a fun, fun night for everyone, and it's nice to be in bed early," Yaider said with a laugh.

For more information, readers may call 717-367-2786.

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Cowboy Church To Celebrate Christmas December 6, 2017

"Silver Spurs Cowboy Church" - The Hopewell Project - will celebrate Christmas on Sunday, Dec. 17, at the Lewis Family Farm (Mason-Dixon Game Outfitters), 2200 Channel Road, Pylesville, Md. The community is invited.

The children's message will begin at 12:30 p.m. The praise and worship service at 1 p.m. will be led by Brad Rineholt, an ordained Cowboys for Christ chaplain. The service will include receiving the sacrament of Holy Communion. The celebration will feature the singing of Christmas carols, and attendees will hear why the story of the Savior's birth is a source of joy.

Following the service, there will be a potluck dinner. Turkey and ham will be provided, and attendees are asked to bring a side dish or dessert if they are able.

Dec. 17 will be the last day to bring donations for the Children's Home of York.

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