Thanksgiving Happiness Delivered

Thanksgiving 2020 is in the books… and is one for the books!

Our tradition of hosting a large group celebration in the Trinity Center was thwarted this year by COVID-19. We had originally planned to provide meals to-go and delivery but with the quick increase in cases in the area and a few positive cases at The Hope Center we decided to provide delivery only as an option for our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast.

Since we’ve never done delivery as an option we were basically working the unknown. But once the delivery reservation date came and went we were better able to see how it would all go down.

Our volunteers started trickling in the week of Thanksgiving to start preparing some of the foods for the delivery feast. From Dorcas creating the delicious stuffing, to Becky roasting all the turkeys (19 in total), to Laurel, Melanie, and Keith taking the meat off the bones, our pre-Thanksgiving crew worked hard to make sure our feast was ready for the big day. Then came the arrival of all the pies provided by Germantown Church of God and delivered by our wonderful friends, Mark & Sue Hosler.

Then bright and early on Thanksgiving – actually earlier than the sun – staff and volunteers descended on the kitchen to start preparing all the different elements for our feast. From Michelle and Melanie making the sweet potatoes and Doug carving the turkey breast, our kitchen came to life like it would on any Thanksgiving Day. Our faithful friend, Amanda, showed up like she does every Thanksgiving to help all over the kitchen, and good friends of The Hope Center Sue & Dan Thornton arrived to provide a huge help to the day. And then our mashed potato man, Larry, dropped by to make sure we provided the best mashed potatoes as he does every Thanksgiving.

Once the pies were cut, the cranberry sauce in individualized containers, and all the food prepared, our dining room became a food delivery factory! We had volunteers dipping the food, volunteers filling delivery boxes, and volunteers driving the food all over the Hagerstown area for our community friends to enjoy!

It was a long day but it was a huge success! While we absolutely missed seeing all our volunteers, guests, family, and friends, we are still so happy we were able to continue the tradition of providing Thanksgiving for our community! We’ve been providing this Thanksgiving Feast since the very beginning when the Rescue Mission was founded by Jim & Ellen Resh all the way back in 1955. Coronavirus may have caused a few hiccups but it didn’t keep us from being able to celebrate all the blessings God has provided during this unconventional year.

And speaking of God’s blessings – what a year of blessings it’s been! God has provided for us repeatedly this year in so many awesome ways!! And this Thanksgiving celebration was just another visible way of God showing His faithfulness to our ministry. Every time things looked more difficult than we expected, God sent someone or something to give us hope. Our volunteers on Thanksgiving were absolutely amazing. From Sue Thornton working her magic in the kitchen to all the food servers filling the delivery orders, to all of our happy drivers who dropped off meals to families and came back to deliver more! In the midst of this challenging year God has continually showed up for this ministry and provided in miraculous ways.

We hope each of you had a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving this year! And while we enjoyed seeing our delivery feast make everyone happy we can’t wait to host everyone in person next year!

Thanks to all of our donors, volunteers, and staff for going above and beyond for our unprecedented Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast! We honestly thank God for each and every one of you who helped to make it a success. Thank you so much!!

We’ve REOPENED… Again!

Our Hagerstown Thrift Store and Donation Center were briefly shut down due to COVID-19 but we’re happy to announce that both are open and operating on normal schedule!

And to celebrate the reopening, our Hagerstown Thrift Store is having a DOUBLE SALE! From now through November 25th enjoy 50% OFF WOMEN’S CLOTHING and JEWELRY! This is an incredible sale that’s perfect for that special someone on your Christmas list. And with new merch hitting the shelves daily you never know what interesting item you might find each visit.

Our Hagerstown Thrift Store is open M-Sat from 9am – 4:30pm. The current sale is only good through Wednesday, November 25th so don’t wait too long to take advantage of these great sales! For more info about our sales or Thrift Store please call 301.739.1114.

Our Donation Center has reopened too! We’re happy to accept your gently used items. Our Donation Center hours are M-Sat from 9am – 4pm. For a list of items we accept/cannont accept please visit https://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com/in-kind-gifts

Please note that our Thrift Stores (Hagerstown & Chambersburg) and our Donation Center will be closed on Thanksgiving, Thursday November 26th.

If you or anyone you know would like a free Thanksgiving meal delivered please call us at 301.739.1165 by noon on Monday, November 23rd to reserve a delivery!

Thanksgiving Day Update

As Thanksgiving Day quickly approaches we’ve had to make a tough decision. Unfortunately with everything that’s currently happening with the rise of Covid-19 cases we’ve decided to serve delivery meals for Thanksgiving only.

We had originally planned on providing carry-out meals along with delivery but for the safety of our staff, volunteers, and guests we’ve chosen to only provide delivery meals to the Hagerstown area. Meals will be delivered between 11:30am – 1pm on Thanksgiving Day.

The delivery meals will provide all the same delicious items that we’d serve carry-out orders. From roast turkey, to our delicious stuffing, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, succotash, sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, fruit cocktail, and pie, each delivery meal will be packed full of amazing Thanksgiving goodness.

Reservations for delivery meals are required. To reserve a delivery meal for yourself and anuyone in your household please call 301.739.1165 by noon on Monday, November 23rd.

Our Thanksgiving Feast is free for anyone and everyone in the Hagerstown area. Call to reserve your meal and then share this with everyone you know!

We will also host our daily Soup Line on Thanksgiving. Soup Line doors will open at 12:45pm and close promptly at 1:15pm. Soup Line meets each day in the Trinity Center (215 W. Church St). MASKS MUST BE WORN and SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES ARE ENFORCED. Seating is limited for Soup Line due to social distancing regulations.

To place your delivery order or for more info please call 301.739.1165.

Who’s Ready for Turkey?

Halloween is just a week away which means the holiday season is upon us!

We’re kicking off Thanksgiving month with our second Community Grocery Giveaway! We’re opening the doors of the Trinity Center on Friday, November 13th from 9-11am (or while supplies last) for anyone in the community who needs food assistance. Our first Community Grocery Giveaway in the summer was a hit so we’re happy to give out more food to those in need in November. Reservations/tickets are not required for this event but masks must be worn. Each person will be able to choose from a wide selection of various non-perishable items and an assortment of breads and pastries. For more info please call 301.739.1165.

And with Thanksgiving just around the corner we’re happy to announce that our annual Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast will take place this year! With that being said, it’s going to look a little different. We will be providing meals for carry-out and delivery this year. There will not be a service nor kids activities this year.

The menu for our feast this year will be exactly as you remember it from the past. You and your family can enjoy roast turkey, mashed potatoes, our crowd-pleasing stuffing, sweet potatoes, succotash, sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and more!

The Trinity Center doors will open at 11:30am and each person will be able to receive a delicious meal to take home. Reservations are not required for carry-out. Doors will close at 1pm or while supplies last. Please remember to wear a mask.

Delivery will begin at 11:30am also and will be for residents inside Hagerstown city limits. Delivery reservations are required. Please call our office at 301.739.1165 by November 16th to be put on our delivery list. Delivery meals will be the same menu as carry-out.

We are in need of volunteers to help again this year at our Thanksgiving feast. We need people to help serve, prepare delivery meals, and help deliver meals around the city. If you or anyone you know would like to volunteer this year please call 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com immediately. Please help us spread the word! Thank you!

Please remember that our kitchen is open every day of the year to serve meals to anyone and everyone in the community. If you are in need of a delicious meal please join us each day. Also, if you or your family are in need of grocery assistance please call us to reserve a complimentary food bag. For more info about food bags, our daily meals, or any other programs and services at The Hope Center please call us at 301.739.1165 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com. To learn more about The Hope Center please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

11 Pipers Piping…

The eleven pipers are piping with glee because our week 11 countdown sale is 50% OFF ALL TOYS!!

Our latest 12 Weeks of Christmas Thrift Store Countdown kicked off this morning with a great sale on all the fun things for the little ones on your Christmas list. And let’s be honest, you might just find some great items for the kids at heart in your life too!

Stop by our Hagerstown Thrift Store from October 9 – 15 to enjoy this huge sale on all of our toys. And come back often because we’re always putting out new items on our shelves so you never know what perfect gift is waiting for you.

This sale is at our Hagerstown Thrift Store only. Our store is open Mon – Sat from 9am – 4:30pm. It’s located at 215 W. Church Street and we have plenty of parking on our central lot. For more info call 301.739.1114.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

It’s the sound of 12 Drummers Drumming to announce the arrival of our 12 Weeks of Christmas Thrift Store Countdown! From October through December we’ll be counting down the weeks until Christmas with special sales starting each Friday. These sales are BIG but only last for a week.

And those 12 Drummers are beating their drums in excitement for our first week sale. From October 2- 8 all MEDIA will be 50% OFF!! This includes records, tapes, CD’s, and videos. There are so many classic titles, random finds, and collectors items in our media section. And each visit you may find something new that would be perfect for someone on your Christmas list!

Our Hagerstown Thrift Store is located at 215 W. Church St. The store is open Mon – Sat from 9am – 4:30pm. For more info please call 301.739.1114 or email info@hagerstownhopecenter.com.

The 12 Weeks of Christmas Thrift Store Countdown is at our Hagerstown Thrift Store only.

Embracing the Hope of Easter in These Uncertain Times

by John Miller

JohnMiller (2)Easter is a time to embrace our need and celebrate God’s provision! Our need is to be forgiven of sin, God’s provision was to give us the Savior Who would not only offer us pardon by His death on the cross but also Victorious Life by His resurrection from the dead! Jesus Christ is God’s answer to our “virus” of sin.

During these uncertain days of COVID-19, we’re reminded about how fragile life is and how mortal we are. One little microscopic life form has brought planet earth to a standstill. By a simple inhale in the wrong place at the wrong time, we can become the next victim. Hearts are anxious and lives are in upheaval because of this invasion of what has been called “the invisible enemy”. Our prayers go out to all who are affected by this in any way, some more than others. And we applaud all who are on the front lines working to provide healthcare and supplies to hospitals, stores, postal services, feeding programs such as The Hope Center, banks, and every facet of service that is engaged in this war.

As bad as this pandemic is, sin is much worse than any coronavirus. COVID-19 can take a life, but sin can take a soul. The enemy of our souls invaded the human race all the way back in the Garden of Eden. Sin entered our spiritual lungs and began to suffocate the Life of God out of our lives. Mankind no longer breathed the fresh Presence of God. Over the years, old testament sacrifices were made that served as foreshadows of a future Sacrifice on a hill called Calvary but could not take away sin or provide us with a new nature. Jesus is the “Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world” and implants within us a new nature by being born-again, born spiritually.

When Jesus died on the cross as the perfect, sinless “Lamb of God” He did so to provide atonement. The word “atonement” can be better understood as “at” “one” “ment”. God and man had become divided through sin (much like social distancing). God and man could not enjoy the fellowship they once had due to the “sin virus”, so distance was put between us until Jesus came to live a perfect life for us and then offer His life as a sacrifice, much like a blood transfusion, to give us life and restore us to “at” “one” “ment” with God = Atonement! His sacrifice is enough for a full payment of our sins!

But, that’s not the end. When Jesus said “It is finished” while hanging on the cross, it was only getting started! Did God accept Jesus’ offering as a sufficient remedy for our sin virus? During the old testament days, when God wanted to show that He had accepted a person’s offering, He’d raise it up by some spectacular fashion, such as with Cain & Abel in Genesis 4, Gideon in Judges 6, and Elijah in 1 Kings 18. It wasn’t enough just to offer a sacrifice. Would God accept it? Was it good enough?

If God saw that Jesus’ offering was sufficient, then He will raise Him up! Romans 1:4 tells us in no uncertain terms that “Jesus was declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead.” God raised up Jesus to say to the world: “YES! JESUS IS ENOUGH! MY SON DID IT. I ACCEPT HIS SACRIFICE IN PLACE OF YOURS!” Had Jesus only died on the cross without a resurrection, then we’d have to conclude that God did not see it as sufficient, but HE DID! And He proved it!

You see friends, we deserved to die on that old rugged cross! We do not deserve to go to Heaven. But if we will simply place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, all is forgiven. Jesus Christ is the only remedy for this sin-virus that runs rampant in the human race. Just as COVID-19 has invaded the planet, sin has invaded the human race. The only vaccine is Jesus. And to accept Him as Savior means so much more than just getting a “vaccination” or “ticket to Heaven”. It’s about relationship.

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior? Has there been a time in your life when you know you were born-again and that you and God have been restored to “at” “one” “ment” through the Atonement of Jesus?

If not, why not today? Right there, call on Jesus to rescue you from the virus of sin that threatens to take your soul. Turn from sin and look to Jesus in full repentance from sin and open arms to receive Him into your life.

We’d like to encourage you in your faith, especially if you just asked Jesus into your life. Will you let us know? Contact The Hope Center to let them know about your decision to follow Jesus!

HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY! JESUS IS ALIVE!

To talk to someone at The Hope Center please call us at 301.739.1165 or email us at info@hagerstownhopecenter.com. Learn more about The Hope Center, our response to COVID-19, and all the programs & services we offer the community free of charge by visiting http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

John & Melissa Miller are familiar faces around The Hope Center. As former pastor at Faith Christian Fellowship, John & Melissa would help with evening chapel services and have both ministered in various ways to our residents and guests at The Hope Center in the past. Currently they are the V.P. of Operations/Missionaries for Churches in Missions. To learn more about the Millers go to http://www.johnandmelissamiller.com or visit http://www.churchesinmissions.org.

Once Upon a Time…

Good Friday 1I love a good story. I mean, we all do, right? Stories entertain us. They ignite our imagination or pull at our heart strings. They encourage us or motivate us. They teach us lessons or bring the past to life. We all love a good tale as old as time. The excitement of that ‘once upon a time’ and the contentment of ‘happily ever after’.

A good story is what we all need now. It’s what we’re all longing for. An escape from the reality of this pandemic. A way to shelter ourselves from the death and fear surrounding us. A story to put our mind and heart at ease and remind us that things will be ok again.

As a kid in church I loved when my Sunday School teacher would use the felt board to tell Bible stories. I secretly always wanted to own one so I could tell the stories myself. Those visuals helped to bring those stories to life and live inside our minds.

But also as a child in church there was another medium used to tell stories: songs. We all remember Father Abraham and Deep and Wide. Classics in Sunday Schools across the country. But for me, there was one song as a kid that I’ve always loved. I can’t sing it for you as you read this but I’m sure you’re familiar with it too and your brain will instantly jump right back into this song and you might even bust out loud singing. It goes like this:

“I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory

how He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me

I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood’s atoning

then I repented of my sins and won the victory

Oh victory in Jesus, my Savior forever

He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood

He loved me ‘ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him

He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.”

What a story! So powerful, so encouraging, so timely. And that’s another thing about a successful story — timing.

We tell stories to help in situations. A story isn’t only as good as its content or subject matter but as when the story is told and how it will change the person or group who hears the story.

And that’s what makes this all so significant. In the darkest time of this pandemic comes Easter. The most powerful, life-altering, history changing, good vs evil story known to humankind. Easter! In our most challenging days arrives the most encouraging story.

It’s got darkness and despair. A world falling apart and desperate for help. It’s got loneliness and heartache. Bad decisions and bad motives. It’s got fear and death. And it’s got an ending to end all stories.

This timing didn’t surprise God. It’s a message for us. It’s a reminder that He is still here even when we feel so isolated and scared. It’s His story of hope. It’s His story of victory. It’s His story of love. And it’s His story of our ‘happily ever after’.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the news and images we see and hear constantly. It’s easy to be unnerved by closed businesses and empty parks. It’s understandable to feel alone. Imagine the disciples and family watching as Jesus was paraded down the road broken, humiliated, carrying His cross. Imagine as they watched Him hang on that cross desperate for air. Imagine as they watched Him breathe His last breath. Imagine the fear they felt as the stone was rolled in front of that tomb.

I imagine that you, like the rest of us, are experiencing the same types of feelings now.

In fact this morning was especially hard on me. There’s only so much of the darkness and evil in the world that I can take before the feeling of hopelessness takes over. But in that minute when my desperate heart cried out to God to intervene He put a song on my lips. “I heard an old, old story…”

Victory in Jesus! If that isn’t the ‘happily ever after’ the world needs now then I don’t know what else to say. In the darkest point in our lives, is a holiday celebrating the most powerful and victorious story ever told!

God knows our fear and our pain — He’s gone through it. God knows our loneliness — He’s been there. God knows our heartache as loved ones die — He’s experienced it. And God knows the hope of victory — because He’s already won it.

Sure, this Easter is gonna be strange and different for us but in no way is COVID-19 changing the message of hope. In no way is the virus rewriting the ending of the story. In no way does the fallen world win.

There’s victory in Jesus! And now more than ever the world needs to hear this story…now. This is the story of life. The story of victory. The story of HOPE.

May you and your family have a safe and HAPPY EASTER!

 

Here’s to a Wonderful 2019!

We’re just hours away from not only a new year but a brand new decade! And with this new year comes another chance to celebrate a milestone: 65 years of The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission! We’re so excited to celebrate another year of God’s miraculous work in Hagerstown and surrounding communities. We have some exciting changes in the works and 2020 is the perfect year to kick off a major project that will bless the lives of so many in the decades to come.

But before we jump into 2020,  we want to take the opportunity to thank God for all His continued blessings and faithfulness to this ministry and all the amazing things He did and provided in 2019. Each year He continues to amaze us and reminds us that we aren’t in this fight alone. We are truly blessed to have a God who loves us and cares so deeply for this ministry and the people we help each day of the year.

God shows His faithfulness in many ways but one of those ways is with the continued support of people like you. We want to thank each of you for partnering with us to bring the hope of God’s Word to so many people in many different ways. From our daily soup line, to our overnight homeless shelter, to the men in our rehabilitation/life recovery program, to all the precious children who’ve attended a Wildside Youth event, God has done amazing things in 2019 and each of you have been a part of this story.

We look forward to all the great things that God has planned for 2020 and beyond! As we mentioned, 2020 is a big year as we celebrate 65 years of continued hope for our community. But we do have some big news coming that we’ll be sharing with you in the near future. Until then, please continue to help us as we fight the good fight to bring healing to the broken, food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, and love to all of God’s people.

To learn more about our programs and services, how to get involved, how to give, or how you can get help, please go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

And don’t forget to make plans to join us in April for our annual Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess! We kicked off this race back in 2015 to celebrate our 60th anniversary and here we are still going strong! The 5K is on Saturday, April 25th at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown. And we’re proud to announce that our Rock the Run 5K: Pirates vs Princess is once again sponsored by our good friends at Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe in Chambersburg. As you plan your New Year’s parties don’t forget to pick up some of their delicious potato rolls! To learn more about our upcoming 5K please visit http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com.

So as we bid farewell to 2019, join us as we take a quick look back at all the beautiful faces who were a part of our amazing year. From staff, to guests, to volunteers, these smiling faces are what it’s all about! Thank you for helping us have another miraculous year of hope in Hagerstown!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

 

“The Best Gravy You’ve Ever Had!”

Another year hosting our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast is in the books!

Our annual holiday celebration, which is one of the oldest and longest continually running community Thanksgiving meal in the city, was another success as people from all over the area joined us to volunteer or enjoy the feast as guests.

Our kitchen was busy days before the feast preparing various dishes for the buffet including the roast turkey and our famous (and delicious) stuffing.

But as the sun rose on Thanksgiving our kitchen crew knew exactly what to do: prepare the best Thanksgiving buffet in town!

And they sure did! The feast this year was absolutely delicious. From the amazing stuffing made by Dorcas Black to the “best gravy you’ve ever had” by Diane Ellis, our guests, staff and volunteers sure did have a great spread to enjoy on Thanksgiving.

But before the meal was served , our guests were treated to a great message by Matt Sargent who was the former director of our Foundations Life Recovery program. Matt had a little fun with the crowd by presenting them with a plated preview of the Thanksgiving feast which turned out to be the meal Snoopy served to Charlie Brown. But then he came clean and presented everyone with an actual plate of the delicious food they were about to enjoy. He brought it all together to remind each of us that God has great things for our lives and that we shouldn’t just settle for the “Snoopy meal” of life when God is busy working to provide us with an amazing “Thanksgiving feast” in life.

Once the message was concluded and the meal was prayed over, our guests were eager to hit up the buffet line! Everyone enjoyed all the wonderful food and most had no problem going back for seconds.

We are so thankful for all of our volunteers and staff who helped to make this Thanksgiving successful. There are so many people who work behind the scenes in preparation to the feast, and so many wonderful volunteers who give up their holiday to serve others. We are beyond grateful for everyone who played a role in our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast. There are many names we’d like to mention – but more on that at a later time.

Our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast is a chance for us to celebrate all that we’ve been given throughout the year and to come together to give thanks to God for His continued blessings and faithfulness in our lives and at The Hope Center.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to come together to collectively give thanks to our great God. But we are always in a spirit of gratitude to God for all He does at The Hope Center throughout the year. From the men in our Foundations Life Recovery program whose lives have been changed and freed from the dangerous addictions and abuses that have caused so much physical, emotional, and spiritual pain, to the families who receive clothing assistance, to the kids who are learning and growing spiritually at Wildside Youth, to being able to provide safe overnight housing to homeless men and feeding thousands of hungry people each year, God continues to wow us with all His blessings and continued faithfulness to this ministry and our call to reach the least, the last, and the lost for Him.

And we can see God at work each and every day because of the faithful and generous people in our community who have partnered with us to keep our doors open for almost 65 years. And not only do we keep our doors open – we don’t charge our neighbors in need a dime to receive services. And even more amazing is that we receive no tax money from the government. Each day operating is a miracle because God continues to send all the right people to help provide all of our needs. And we can’t thank Him enough for each of you.

Each of you are having a profound impact on our community and in individuals lives whether you totally realize it or not. Every time you drop off a bag of clothing, buy a can of coffee, donate financially, volunteer an evening, you are helping to fight the good fight and bring HOPE back to thousands of people.

So thank you for your compassion and dedication to The Hope Center. Each life is precious and we are using the resources that you help to give to remind each person who comes to The Hope Center that they are important, they valuable, and they are loved – by a great God and His incredible people.

This Thanksgiving, and every Thanksgiving, we are so genuinely thankful for you! You’re making a difference. So again, thank you. We hope God blesses you this Christmas season.