The Salvation Army is looking for a cook for their soup kitchen. The Christmas season is approaching and they want to continue to be able to run their soup kitchen as well. Please use this link to apply for the position. Please contact Nichole with any questions at 301-733-2440 extension 2.
Recently, there has been an influx of refugee families in Washington County and no one to help them outside of the Refugee Welcome Network (RWN). We need funds, furnishings and food for all of them to stabilize them while we work with them toward self-sufficiency.
Just in the last two weeks, the RWN settled two new families into housing with a third currently waiting for housing and help. At the same time, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) just became available to our Afghan families who are undocumented; this is a chance to become documented and an opportunity to receive work permits much faster than through the asylum process, as well as a path to citizenship! However, TPS costs $1,190 per family x 3 families = $3,570.
The community has been incredibly generous in helping our refugee friends become settled and self-sufficient. Several families are nearly ready to “graduate” from this support network, so we know the system works and has been a blessing. Thanks to all who have been a part of that through your contributions of time, treasure and talents! However, RWN funds are super low and we need your help to cover monthly rent payments and TPS applications, not to mention other urgent needs that arise for food, medical and more. We estimate needing at least $20,00o over the next 5 months just to bring the current families to self-sufficiency and obtain TPS for three families. If you can help with even a small gift, please donate via the HARC website and designate “refugees.”
We also need many furnishings to set up housing for our newest families. Here’s what we currently need below. If you can help with anything, please contact Jane Powell at email@example.com or 240-469-5084. Keep in mind that the families are in small apartments with limited space and narrow staircases, so large pieces of furniture don’t work well.
Sofa (not sectional)
TVs & tables for TV
area rug (carpet)
kitchen table with 4 chairs (small to medium size, not dining table)
queen mattress & frame
bedding (blankets, sheets, pillows)
dresser (tall style, not long)
area rug (carpet) prefer 6 x 8 or bigger
toddler sippy cups
toys and books
table with a chair to use for study/work and make-up
something to put shoes on
Grocery gift cards or Visa gift cards
After a month and a half of collecting books for the Community Book Drive, the effort culminated with the Day of Caring book sorting. A group of 40+ volunteers sorted, counted, and boxed 13,036 books! Around 3,000 in the birth-5 age range received stickers with reading tips. These books will be distributed to children ages birth-5 at the Community Book Warehouse, and all the other books went to the United Way’s Books United program to distribute throughout the community as needed, with a focus on vulnerable youths and adults.
The Community Book Drive is a partnership of HARC, the United Way of Washington County, the Judy Center and the Early Childhood Advisory Council. Special thanks to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for hosting the Day of Caring book sorting with awesome volunteers and a great gym.
Thanks to all the houses of worship (21 in total), businesses, organizations and individuals who collected books! (See the full list of collection sites here.) Thanks to our pick up volunteers who drove around and picked them up, hauling them to the LDS church, and to Weiss Brothers for hauling 5 pallets of books to the United Way’s warehouse after the sorting.
Thank you also to all of the volunteers who helped with the mass sorting project in record time! Groups from the Judy Center, Reach, the Library, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Hagerstown Rotary Club, Hagerstown Healthcare, and individuals from churches and the United Way made this huge project fast and FUN.
Finally, a shout out to our amazing planning team: Terri Gwizdala (co-leader), Kelli Tencer (United Way), Kim Halsey, Kathy Kerns, Elaine Rose, Jocelyn Hauer, Kendal Neel, and Kathy Powderly (co-leader).
The Community Book Drive is truly a community effort and example of Living United in Washington County, and the power of faith communities (and community members) working together.
The Interfaith Roundtable
The first half of the today’s episode Rabbi Mark shares the origins of his faith and how he found his spirituality in Judaism. The second half Mark is joined by the president of the Islamic Center of Hagerstown, Basheer Azizi. Their focus is at the Center is on connecting the local community and to give people a place to practice the faith. Azizi speaks on what it looks like to serve as a Muslim in Hagerstown and how that has changed over the decades. Mark and Basheer break stereotypes within Islam and Judaism as well as speaking on the extremists in both of their groups. Listen to the podcast. Listen to the show live every other Saturday morning on 98.9 FM/ AM 1490 WARK at 9 am.
Christ’s Reformed Church United Church of Christ, a historic Church in downtown Hagerstown, Maryland, is seeking an Office and Communications Support Associate (15-20 hours per week). The Office and Communications Support Associate will be responsible for the daily running of the Church office to include preparation for Sunday mornings and additional functions of the church. The best candidate will be self-motivated, attentive to details, organized, and flexible while having computer and audio-visual skills. Weekly tasks include computer system management, worship bulletins, newsletters, maintaining the church website and Facebook page and coordinating with the treasurer team. Knowledge of Microsoft Office required. Experience with Canva and Zoom a plus but not required. Starting salary $18-$20 per hour based on experience. For any questions or to apply with Cover letter and resume, contact Rev. Norville at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 7th.
Do you have a service ministry in mind for your church? Would you like to offer leadership experience or help in developing church leaders? This is for you.
A rare opportunity has arisen for a Sunday General Christian Worship Service to be held on the 2nd Sunday of every month from 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. It is a ministry for a church aiming to spread “The Good News” to residents and patients at Western Maryland Hospital Center in Hagerstown.
Those who are interested, or have questions, please call 301-745-4285
Zion Reformed United Church of Christ welcomes the Rev. Dr. E. Scott Winnette
Eric Scott Winnette was raised in a suburb of Murfreesboro, TN. Weekends were spent at the Winnette and Woodward farms helping some with chores but mostly playing in the farm fields.
Prior to his work as a pastor, he was a computer programmer receiving a Bachelor of Business Arts degree in information systems from the Middle Tennessee State University. It was a good fit but not the best fit, the Holy Spirit was nudging for a change. A careful soul, it took two years as a Presbyterian mission delegate to the Ghost Ranch Conference Center and ministries in England to discern a call to ministry.
Responding, he earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Louisville Theological Seminary. While in seminary, he served as a student pastor in Salem, Oregon and Helvetia and Pickens, West Virginia. His first ordained call was with the Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, MD. After fifteen years, Scott was called to be Pastor of the Rockville United Church, a union church of the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Scott is married to Anthony Stephen Moscato JR., an attorney with the United States Homeland Security in immigration. They live on a small farmette in Myersville, MD. His exercise consists of push mowing the 3 1/2 acres and digging and planting wildflowers and vegetables. Together Anthony, Scott and Scott’s mother are staff to two cats, two dogs, 13 chickens, 1 rooster, 3 ducks plus a pond packed with fish. Both Anthony and Scott are dedicated to learning from history and spend much time advocating for historic preservation. Their home is on the National Register of Historic places as a great example of an 1820’s Maryland farm house.
Scott is passionate about ministry building a family of Christ, crafting meaningful worship services, inspiring service, and pursuing a life of humble faith.
Hebron Mennonite Church will be offering a program of Sacred Listening Circles this coming year starting in October. These monthly gatherings are a form of Group Spiritual Direction. Small groups will meet together for contemplative prayer and personal sharing on the first Tuesday evening from October 2023 to May 2024. It is a process where small group members gather regularly to support one another in an ongoing responsiveness to God in all of life, based on the belief that in Christ, God enters our pain and joy. Circles will be facilitated by Ed Poling, retired Church of the Brethren minister and spiritual director, and Rebecca Rothenhoeffer, trained lay leader in the United Methodist Church. Both have been trained by the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington, DC. Monthly gatherings will meet at Hebron Mennonite Church located in Paramount, north of Hagerstown. For more information and a brochure, contact Ed (phone: 301-766-9005 or email: email@example.com) The first meeting is on October 3.
Pastor Anna Ressler from Kidron, Ohio begins her ministry at Hebron Mennonite Church on Highlane Street in Paramount on September 1. She graduated from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana in 2023 with a Master of Divinity degree. She majored in Pastoral Ministry and received the seminary’s award for Excellence in Biblical Interpretation.
When asked what drew her to the Hebron congregation, Ressler said, “One of the things that caught my attention was the name – Hebron – and the idea behind it of being a place of refuge. It struck me as exactly what the Church should be, and what I want my church to be – a place of refuge. As I learned more about the congregation, not only did they seem to beautifully embody that identity but nearly everything else (from the size, to the worship style, to the community garden) seemed like a good fit for me.”
Mike Martin, co-chair of Hebron’s search team, noted: “As a search team, we were impressed with Anna’s speaking and storytelling skills. With each interaction during the interview process, we became more convinced that Anna and our congregation and community would be a good fit together. We look forward to the creativity and energy she brings.”
Ressler added: “I look forward to interacting with other communities of faith in the Hagerstown area (I’ve heard a lot of great things about HARC) and possibly participating in community theatre or choir.”
Ressler grew up in the Sonnenberg Mennonite congregation where from an early age she was encouraged by her family and congregation to lead in worship in many ways. She attended Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), graduating with honors in 2020, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. While in college, she participated in various music events and theater productions, as well as spending a semester in the Middle East as part of EMU’s Cross-Cultural program.
Pastor Anna is an avid baker and Biblical storyteller. She enjoys acting, singing, hiking and dark chocolate. Her first sermon as pastor at Hebron will be on September 10. The congregation eagerly anticipates learning to know her through her ministry here.
Sunday worship at 13315 Highlane Street begins at 10 am, with coffee and fellowship time from 11-11:30, followed by a second hour from 11:30-12:15 with discussion for adults and classes for children. The 10 am service is streamed on the “live” tab at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuzq-91FZKd8MXVYqbsC8og.
Hebron Mennonite Church is a community that believes in Jesus’ call to love and welcome all people. www.hebronhag.net
Download a copy of this post.
“God’s Favorite!” – September 8-10, 15-17
The Potomac Playmakers Performing Arts Center
17303 W. Washington Street, Hagerstown
Neil Simon comedy: “God’s Favorite!” In the play, successful businessman Joe Benjamin is a modern-day ‘Job’ who is confronted by a Messenger from God with a test of Joe’s faith. The jokes fly fast and furious as Neil Simon spins a contemporary morality tale like no other! Showtime Friday & Saturday 8:00 p.m., Sunday 3:00 pm. All tickets $18, available at the door or online at https://www.potomacplaymakers.org/get-tickets/. For more info, contact The Potomac Playmakers at www.potomacplaymakers.org, firstname.lastname@example.org or (240) 513-6260.