Thank You, Dorcas, For Your Lifetime of Service!

As we bid farewell to 2017 and joyfully welcomed a new year, at The Hope Center we said goodbye to a long-time employee. Dorcas Black, known to many simply as Aunt DSC_0463 (2)Dorcas, retired from 48 years of full-time ministry at The Hope Center. Dorcas, daughter of founders, Jim & Ellen Resh, has been actively involved in many different areas of ministry at The Hope Center in her 48 years of service. From singing with The Missionaires, to directing The Lighthouse Puppeteers who entertained and ministered to hundreds of people throughout the area, to directing Echoes of Hope TV broadcast, to creating Conoco Camp, Just Kids TV show, helping in our Ladies’ Auxiliary, cohosting Koffee Klatch, and supervising the Sorting Room just to name a few. Her impact and influence has been a major part of the formation of many ministries and programs at The Hope Center, most notably the long-running children’s ministry that she started, now known as Wildside Youth & Camp Wild, which to this day is still reaching kids in Hagerstown’s downtown neighborhoods.

Dorcas has been a faithful servant of the Lord in her time here at The Hope Center. So inDSC_0447 (2) December we threw her a retirement luncheon in our former “studio” building where she spent so much of her time creating Just Kids and Echoes of Hope TV shows. Our staff joined the pride of Dorcas’ life, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in celebrating her career and all of the things she’s done while serving God here.

With all she’s experienced and accomplished at The Hope Center, we asked Dorcas to give us her thoughts about the 48 years of her ministry to reaching so many for Christ. Here are her thoughts:

“48 years… sounds like a really long time, but when you think about it, it’s almost like yesterday. And after 48 years of employment here at The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission, I have retired. I never thought that I would retire but it was the right time and the right thing for me to do. I really never considered my years here at the Mission as “employment” but rather as service and I am so thankful for the opportunities that the Lord gave me to serve. Actually I was here from the very beginning which was 62 years ago. My siblings and I watched as our dad and mom followed God’s call to start a rescue mission in Hagerstown. When we moved to the apartment above the Mission on Jail Alley, we soon realized that our neighbor was the county jail. We had no yard. We could not go out on the street under any circumstances so it was quite an adjustment for all of us five kids. But there was an excitement about this as we watched miracle after miracle take place as the Lord used our parents to minister to “the least, the last, and the lost” – as Dad used to say.

At the age of eighteen, I married Carl Black. That was July 9th, 1960. In May of 1962, with our two baby boys, Carl Jr. and Curtis, we moved to York, PA where Carl directed the York Rescue Mission for seven years. Moving back to Hagerstown, Carl became assistant to my dad and I started my employment as a clerk in the Thrift Store. That was August, 1969.  It has been quite a journey as I reflect on the past 48 years. For 34 years, I directed the Conoco Day Camp for children, the Lighthouse Puppeteers, Just Kids TV, Just Kids Bible Club, as well as helping in other areas of the ministry. Then in 2004 I took over supervising the Warehouse (Sorting Room) in place of my mother who was having some serious health issues – she was 87 years old and a faithful worker.

On November 3, 2015, while working, I tripped on a box and fell, breaking my hip. Following surgery and many, many weeks of therapy, it was determined that the bone was not healing properly, so a second surgery was performed in May of 2016. Again, after months of therapy and very little progress in healing, on November 2, 2016, I was sent to Baltimore where I had total hip replacement. Then seven weeks after this surgery, a knock came to my door. It was Sonny, Becky & Laurel (my sisters). Sonny informed me that my son, Curtis, age 54, had dropped over with a massive heart attack. I was totally devastated. It was difficult. The Lord had called my husband home to Glory in December, 2007. I was blessed to have two wonderful sons who had been there  to help me with anything I needed (even though they were grieving the loss of their father). And now my youngest, sweet Curtis, is gone. I can’t express the pain as I go through this grieving process, but I can express the wonderful sweet presence and peace of my Heavenly Father.

I never cease to be amazed at the sovereignty of God, knowing that He is in control and that He makes no mistakes and that He is faithful. I draw upon the precious promises of His Word which assures me that “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5. Jesus is the healer of broken hearts. He is mending my heart as I depend on Him. I have wonderful memories as a wife and mother and I am slowly learning that even death cannot rob me of the joy of all those many sweet memories.

And now that time has come to retire. It was such a hard decision to make but through much prayer and soul searching I knew it was what I needed to do. I will still be involved in many ways. But as I adjust to this new schedule I know that the Lord will direct my path as I trust in Him, lean on Him, and acknowledge Him. And, I will always look back on those many, many memories of serving here at the Mission – some heart-wrenching, some hilarious, some miraculous. I am truly blessed.”

Aunt Dorcas, thank you for your creativity and passion and being willing to do so much to reach all people, young and old, churched and unchurched, for Christ! You will never know your true impact while on earth but Heaven is most certainly keeping track of all you did – and will continue to do even in your retirement.

Please join us in thanking Dorcas for all that she’s done to further the Kingdom of God in her 48 years of service! To God be the glory!

 

 

2017: A Year to Remember

I don’t know about you but it just seems that each year gets a little shorter and goes by a little faster. 2017 is quickly coming to an end but it literally feels like it just started. It’s definitely been one interesting year.

2017 had it’s ups & downs, good times  & bad, high points & low points but with everything going on in our nation and in the world in general, we’ve seen God working and doing things at The Hope Center more than ever. God has been blessing this ministry and He has given us so many wonderful people in the community who have helped us make 2017 one of the best years ever!

From hosting another successful Rock the Run 5K in April, to Camp Wild in the summer, The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast, and all the other activities in between, it truly has been a great year and we’re thankful to each one of you who volunteered, donated, supported, and prayed for us in 2017.

But we’re excited and looking forward to all the incredible and amazing things God will do in the upcoming year. And once again we will be hosting our Rock the Run 5K in April except we’ve got a pretty big (and fun) twist on it this year! You and your friends & family will definitely want to be a part of that. And along with our 5K we have so many other activities, events, and opportunities for you to get involved in bringing hope to Hagerstown.

And as we’re on the cusp of a brand new year we want to give one final salute to 2017. And there’s no better way to do that than posting pics from all the various things that happened at The Hope Center this year. And if these pics aren’t enough and you just need to see a few more then jump over to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com and click on the ‘More’ tab in the upper tool bar. There you can click on the Year In Pictures gallery. Enjoy the look back at 2017! And Happy New Year!

My, My What a Spring It Was!

Summer has officially arrived! We love those long, hazy and hot days of summer. The smell of grilling out, the taste of a cold glass of lemonade and the chance to cool off by taking a dip in the pool are some of the things we like the best about this season. But we also love hosting hundreds of kids each summer at Camp Wild, our free summer day camp for kids in Hagerstown.

But before we kickoff Camp Wild season at The Hope Center, we want to take a moment to look back at Spring 2017.

From our 3rd annual Rock the Run 5k, to Easter celebrations, to Soup Line parties and more, our spring was loaded with activities.

We started celebrating random “National Holidays” with our Soup Line guests. On any given day we would include our guests in a “holiday” of sorts which could include prizes and a themed meal. There’s so much negativity and hurt in the world today so we wanted to have some fun with our guests and bring smiles to their faces as they celebrate such days as Oreo Day, Strawberry Day and, of course, St. Patrick’s Day.

But of all the springtime celebrations, of course nothing can compare to the importance of Easter. And this Easter we had so much going on! We hosted everything from a Wildside Youth party complete with a huge Easter Egg Hunt, to our Auxiliary bake sale, Easter celebration with our staff, residents and guests and an Easter cantata performance by the choir from Maranatha Brethren Church with a delicious meal too! Easter is obviously so important to our ministry because it is the basis for the change and hope that we offer at The Hope Center. The power of Christ’s resurrection is what makes all this change possible. So we make sure that our residents and guests understand how important this celebration is to the power of hope.

As soon as Easter was over we were tying our running shoes for our 3rd annual Rock the Run: A Race for Hope presented by Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe. Each year our race gets better and better as we see so many new faces. But with all the new faces, we’re so thrilled to see so many participants returning to support The Hope Center. From our sponsors, to our volunteers and participants, our race this year was an overwhelming success! And we’ll be hosting it again in April, 2018 so plan to join us. Learn more about the race at http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com.

And just this past weekend the awesome folks at Germantown Church of God hosted our residents for an evening of fellowship and great food! The people at the church have been hosting this picnic for years upon years and it’s an activity that our men genuinely love. We were so thrilled to have some of our staff join our men as we mixed and mingled with the people from Germantown Church of God. In fact, our very own Sue (she’s the voice you hear every time you call The Hope Center) is wife to Mark, the pastor of Germantown Church of God. We’re so thankful that the church continues to provide this evening of relaxation and fellowship for our men.

So as we bid farewell to yet another spring, we excitedly look forward to what God has in store for this summer. Camp Wild is just weeks away and things here are focused on making sure that our campers have another safe, fun and action-packed experience this year. Keep up-to-date on Camp Wild by visiting http://www.campwildusa.com. If you’re interested in volunteering or donating supplies for Camp Wild 2017 then call us at 301.739.1165.

We want to thank each of you who have prayed for us, supported us and volunteered with us thus far in 2017. We couldn’t do all that we do without the loving support of each of you. Your gifts, time and talents do not go unnoticed by our staff or our Heavenly Father. Thank you for caring and sharing and investing so much in the lives of so many! We look forward to all the great things in store for the rest of the year!

If you would like to learn more about all the different ways that The Hope Center is working in our area then go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com. Thinking about volunteering? Great! We’ve got the information you need at http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.

 

A Picture’s Worth

The holidays kicked off with another great Thanksgiving celebration at The Hope Center. And as soon as we polished off that last piece of pumpkin pie it was as if we were ringing in the New Year!

The holiday season goes by so quickly and there’s so many activities and things to do that it sometimes feels like you can’t even catch a breath. But we love the holiday season because it gives us a chance to really see how incredible our community is. Each year we’re reminded that God has given us a support system of volunteers, donors and friends who continually give their time, energy and resources to help others in need.

From Thanksgiving morning until the last Christmas cookie was eaten, we had so many volunteers and supporters making the season bright. We cannot thank each of you enough for all you did this season. From the homemade treats, to the food donations, to all the gifts given and time invested, our residents and guests were able to see God’s love through each of you. And a time of year that can be very difficult and lonely for so many wasn’t at The Hope Center because of kind people like yourselves who did so much to make it so memorable for everyone.

Enjoy some pictures of the some of the different faces who volunteered, donated items or were guests of honor this holiday season. From our annual Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast, to Wildside’s Christmas party, our Ladies’ Auxiliary party, Maranatha Cantata, Kingdom Heirs party and more, these pictures give a quick snapshot of the festive celebrations hosted at The Hope Center.

If you would like to volunteer at The Hope Center, go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to learn more or call 301.739.1165.

 

Another Great Party-in-the-Park!

On Saturday, October 22nd we hosted our second annual fall Party-in-the-Park at Wheaton Park in Hagerstown.

This Halloween themed event is designed to be an outreach event by going into our surrounding neighborhoods and meeting the many wonderful families and residents of these areas.

Originally meant to be an actual park party, we eventually moved our party into the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center due to high winds. We are very thankful to the staff of the  Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center for offering the building for use for our event. We appreciate being a part of such a kind and giving community!

Even though our event was indoors, that didn’t stop anyone, including our 30 volunteers, from having fun! From games, to face painting, entertainment, food and more our volunteers worked hard to make this event a success.

We enjoy being able to go out into our community to build stronger relations with our neighbors. This may only be our second time hosting this party but it most certainly won’t be our last. We want to build strong bonds with our neighbors so that we can work together to make Hagerstown a better place.

This event was sponsored by our Ladies’ Auxiliary. All the expenses of this event were underwritten by the Auxiliary and we are so thankful for their commitment to this ministry and our community. As you can see our Ladies’ Auxiliary are a very important and beneficial part of The Hope Center. This event and many other events are sponsored by this wonderful group of women. If you are interested in being a part of our Ladies’ Auxiliary then call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. We are always looking for more women to get involved and help us keep events like the Party-in-the-Park going year after year.

As successful as this party was, we know that we couldn’t have done it without the help from all of our great volunteers! We firmly believe that we have the best volunteers in the tri-state. Thank you to each of the volunteers who gave hours of their Saturday to help us create so much magic and fun for our guests! We welcome you back to help us with any other event or activity that we’re hosting. And we need to give a special shout out to Gene Ridenour, president of our Board of Directors, and Jeff Reed. Both of these men have been very vital to all of our party events. Gene entertains kids and adults alike with his balloon modeling and Jeff makes everyone happy by being the best grillmaster in Hagerstown! Thank you both for giving of your time to reach our community.

If you’re interested in volunteering at The Hope Center then please go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com and learn more about the various ways you can be involved. You can also contact us by calling 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

 

 

Where is Your Hope?

One of my favorite hymns, On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, states in the first verse, “My HOPE is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” It states in the third verse, “When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my HOPE and stay.”

The ministry of the HOPE Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission is reaching out to the many who have nowhere else to turn. They are not aware of the blessed HOPE that is Jesus Christ until they find their way to the Rescue Mission. Lives have been changed through the sharing of the HOPE of the Gospel. (Romans 8:24 & 25)

Hebrews 11:1 states: Now faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things to come. As this message of HOPE is given to so many who are down and out and have no place else to turn, the love of God through His Son Jesus gives a whole new perspective. Not only are our sins forgiven, but Titus 2:13 tells us, Looking for that blessed HOPE and glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. We now know where we will spend eternity, and His return could happen today.

But are believers sharing this HOPE, the good news of our salvation? 1 Peter 3:15 says, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the HOPE that is in you with meekness and fear.

I praise God for the ministry of the many Rescue Missions founded by my dear Uncle Jim Resh and the HOPE they have given to thousands over the years. As we are living in the end times when the rapture could happen at any moment, believers need to be ready to share the Gospel at every opportunity. We also need to give our support to ministries like The HOPE Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission.

Lynette Brewer

Written by Lynette Brewer

Lynette Brewer lives in Westminster, Maryland, has been President of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Westminster Rescue Mission and has recently become a member of their Board of Directors.

2014 Year in Pictures: Part 1

2014 has all but come & gone. Each year seems to go faster than the one before. And the end-of-year festivities wouldn’t be complete without a look back at the year that just was.

So the next few days we’re going to post some pictures from all the various events, ministries, and activities that took place at The Hope Center.

You’ll see pictures of volunteers, staff, guests, residents, donors and anyone else who helped to make 2014 another great year in Hagerstown!

And while we’re putting 2014 behind us, we’re so excited for the year that’s coming. 2015 is going to be a big year at The Hope Center as we celebrate 60 years of ministry in Hagerstown!

Very soon we’ll be bringing you some information about all the upcoming 60th Anniversary activities that are happening in 2015 so be sure to keep checking back.

We want to thank everyone who helped to make 2014 such a success. From all of our staff, to volunteers, and donors, we appreciate each one of you and your commitment to this ministry. Thank you so much for your support and prayers in 2014 and we look forward to your continued support in 2015!

And now, we bring you the first series of pictures from 2014.

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Become a Volunteer!

Do you have that feeling that you just want to make a difference in your community?

Have you been trying to figure out how to get involved?

Why not join our team of volunteers?

Since 1955, The Hope Center (formerly known as Hagerstown Rescue Mission) has been reaching the least, the last, and the lost for Christ. We’ve been successful because God has always supplied our needs, including providing the best volunteers!

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Volunteers come in many different shapes, sizes & ages! Our volunteers have many different interests but they all share the same goal: to help others.

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Depending on the gifts, talents & personality that God has given you, we can help you find the best place to fit into our ministry. If you love working with kids, we’ve got the perfect spot for you. Wanna feed the hungry? We’ve got a kitchen ready for you. Would you rather tinker, clean or do something with your hands? We’ve got jobs just for you.

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There are so many different ways to get involved that you may have a hard time deciding which you want to do. Well don’t worry about that either, you don’t have to do just one task! From photography, to food service, to painting, to donation sorting, to our Ladies’ Auxiliary, we’ve got plenty of interesting, challenging and spiritually fulfilling volunteer jobs for you.

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And the best part of volunteering, you can help as little or as much as you want! There are volunteer opportunities that take place each day or once a year. It’s up to you to decide how involved you’d like to be. And you don’t have to do it alone. We welcome volunteer groups, families or just a handful.

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Ready to take the next step? Excellent! Go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com and take a look around. Click on the ‘Opportunities’ in the top tool bar to read through the many different volunteer positions that are available. If you’re feeling frisky, click on the ‘Urgent Needs’ tab to see what volunteer positions we desperately need immediately. Even if you’re unable to help with that job, you might know someone who can. So go ahead and take a look at how you can get involved.

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Once you’re ready to get started you can click on the ‘Why’ tab and fill out the email form at the bottom. Someone will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Or you can always call us at 301.739.1165 or email us directly at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

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We look forward to having you join our team of fantastic volunteers! Since we don’t receive any money from the government, we rely heavily on the support from our community of friends. From prayers, to donated goods, to financial support & volunteers, our friends in the community help to make this ministry possible and have helped to reach thousands upon thousands of lives for 60 years!

We have a great legacy of ministry in Hagerstown and we’re looking forward to a great future! Why not be a part of it?

Thank You, Volunteers!

Friday, October 18th was a night dedicated to some of the most important people we know, our wonderful and dedicated volunteers!

We hosted our 2nd annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner for more than 160 of our volunteers who gave valuable time during this past year to help us reach thousands of people in Hagerstown.

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Our volunteers log hundreds of hours a year helping in many different ways at The Hope Center. From serving food, to building relationships with kids at Camp Wild, to preparing food bags, to teaching & counseling, to sorting items for our thrift stores, and helping to keep our facilities clean and up-to-date, our volunteers truly do help make a difference and keep this ministry moving forward.

We understand that everyone’s time is precious so that’s why we appreciate all the hours that our volunteers give. And this dinner is just a small way of saying “thank you” for partnering with us to bring hope to Hagerstown.

Our volunteer appreciation event was started as a way for us, and our residents, to say thank you to everyone who helps throughout the year. Our residents have a very unique opportunity to meet so many different people who help all over the place at The Hope Center. So this is a way for them to show their gratitude to all the faces that they’ve met while in the program.

The delicious meal was catered by Leiters’ Fine Catering. Our Hope Center residents were the servers for the evening. And to provide a touch of class, our residents wore tuxedo shirts loaned to us from J&B Bridals in Chambersburg. Each resident was assigned a table that he was responsible for serving food & drink as well as talking & mingling with our guests of honor.

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In addition to serving, our residents sang for our volunteers and two of our residents, Dustin & Dave, gave testimonies. Gene Ridenour, The Hope Center Board President, lead the men in singing and his wife, Holly, sang two solos.

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Ron Shank, Director of Pastoral Care at Brooklane, gave a short message to the volunteers, thanking them for their service and dedication to The Hope Center.

We were also pleased to have nine of our Board members in attendance. It’s good for our Board to see and meet some of the people who give so much to this ministry.

But we want to take a minute to thank some other very important supporters of this ministry, our Ladies’ Auxiliary. These wonderful women made all the delicious desserts for the event. In addition to that, they helped to set up the event and clean up afterwards. We can’t thank them enough for all the support that they provide The Hope Center throughout the year. We love them and are truly thankful for their faithful service to this ministry.

We thank God for all the people He has sent to partner with us to reach Hagerstown for Christ. God has sent us a very faithful group of friends to help us spread hope and love to so many who have been left behind or forgotten. We cannot even measure the eternal impact that our volunteers have had throughout the years.

We love our volunteers so incredibly much! Thank you for finding the time, energy and spirit to serve the least, the last & the lost. You’re truly making a difference in the lives of so many.

If you would like to join the ranks of the greatest volunteers in Hagerstown, call or email us immediately! There are plenty of ways to get plugged in. We can help find the right place for your talents and gifts. Call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@verizon.net today.

Great Evening at our Annual Picnic!

Each year, our staff, residents, Auxiliary, Board of Directors and family members come together for an evening of sports, fellowship, activities and delicious food.

Our annual Hope Center Picnic was held on Friday, September, 27th at the Washington County Regional Park.

Our residents enjoyed an evening away from our downtown facilities to play softball, horseshoes, Frisbee and socializing.

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Approximately 60 people attended. Our Auxiliary provided chicken & sodas and other guests brought delicious side dishes, salads and desserts.

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We always enjoy this event. It’s a nice, casual way to get to know each other outside of The Hope Center and it provides our Board of Directors and Auxiliary to really get to know some of our residents and staff on a more personal level.

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This is a wonderful opportunity for our residents to meet some of the loving people who help in many different ways at The Hope Center. The men in the program get to meet and talk to the people who are their invisible support team helping each of the men reach their spiritual, physical and emotional goals.

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We are so thankful for our staff, Auxiliary and Board of Directors. These people care so much for this ministry and the hundreds and thousands of lives who are reached by the various programs at The Hope Center.

If you would like to get involved with The Hope Center by joining our Auxiliary, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

  • Auxiliary provided fried chicken and sodas