Christmas Bazaar Countdown

Tomorrow is the big day when our Auxiliary kicks off the holiday season with their annual Christmas Bazaar fundraiser. Stop by the Trinity Center between 9am and 1pm for all sorts of Christmas gifts, decorations, food, and more! And don’t worry, we’ll turn on the heat for you! For more information or any questions please call 301.739.1165 or visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Christmas Bazaar

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The Heart of Evangelism

by Lynn Harney

Lynn Harney“Sing to the Lord, all the Earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations; His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods.” 1 Chronicles 16:23-25 NKJV

The above verses are a part of the first psalm David sang at the arrival of the ark of God in Jerusalem for the first time. In it I find both the mission and the heart of evangelism. We are told what to proclaim, when to proclaim it, where we should proclaim it, who we should be talking about and why.

What we are to proclaim is “His salvation”, that is the salvation He provided that we were unable to achieve on our own. More to the point, we would not even have come up with such a great plan on our own. The evidence of this is overwhelming, every other option for having a relationship with God is through our own good works. We are told in the New Testament in many ways that it is only through Jesus that we can come to the Father. “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 “There is no other name by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 “There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5 Just to name a few. This shows us this is His salvation, His idea on His terms.

Once we receive Christ we are to proclaim His glory and His wonders. Glory, now that is not a word we use in the every day world and we Christians might be at risk of taking it for granted. One of its meanings is to give an accurate opinion of a person or a thing. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the gift of God, is the most accurate description of God there could ever be. In it we see His love, mercy, holiness, and justice. Hebrews 1 tells us Jesus was “the express image of God” or the exact representation of Him. There is no more wonderful thing in life than that Christ would give His for mine that I could share His.

We are told to proclaim it, from day to day. Our lives are to be a continual proclamation of His salvation. Need I say more?

Where we are told to proclaim it. Among the nations to all the peoples. There are no cultural boundaries, racial or economic divides. It is for all people. Some claim the Gospel to be exclusionary and in one way it is that is, in its means or how one is saved. But who it is for, is everyone who is willing to come, on His terms. So we make the Gospel available to everyone all of the time.

Finally, we are told why. “For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods.” Once again the character of God becomes the focus. Mans’ need for a savior is not the focus, though implied, by God Himself. When people see what God is really like their need becomes obvious. Isaiah saw the LORD and fell on his face, “Woe is me, I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips.” So our lives should evidence the character of God.

David through this Psalm was rededicating his life focus to the person and work of God so that everyone would know how great is our God. We call ourselves The Hope Center not merely because people’s physical needs can be met but because our wonderous God can be met in their time of need.

 

Lynn Harney is the co-director of Foundations Life Recovery program at The Hope Center. He and his wife, Wanda, served with New Tribes Mission for 22 years among the Manjaku people as church planters in Senegal, Africa. They have four children, a daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren. 

Mark Your Calendars: The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast is Coming!

Thanksgiving is one of America’s most treasured holidays. And unfortunately it often gets overlooked between the excitement of Halloween and all the festivities of Christmas. But this holiday is one where families and friends come together to celebrate, reflect, reconnect, and, most importantly, give thanks to God for all the blessings of the year.

Thanksgiving 1Thanksgiving shouldn’t be spent alone which is why we have hosted a community Thanksgiving feast since our beginning. When The Hope Center first started in 1955 we were just a small facility on Jail Alley where alcoholic men could find refuge and safety and a chance to start anew. But Jim & Ellen Resh, our founders, didn’t just want it to be a rehabilitation facility. They wanted the men who were struggling with their addiction to feel like they were valued and were a part of a family.

So naturally, the holidays became an important part of The Hope Center. And as the years passed we welcomed the community to join us as we host a Thanksgiving buffet for anyone and everyone in the community who just wants some great food and good company on Thanksgiving.

We never want anyone to go hungry or feel lonely. God has blessed our ministry since the beginning and we continue to show His love to our neighbors each and every day in as many ways as we can. We are so thankful to still be able to host The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast again this year – continuing a tradition since the 1950’s and hosting one of, if not the oldest and continually operational Thanksgiving meals in the community.

So we are extending the invitation to anyone in the community this year who is looking for a wonderful place to celebrate and give thanks. The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast starts at 11:30 am at the Trinity Center (located on Walnut Street next to our Thrift Store in Hagerstown). And since this is an activity for everyone, even kids, we’re hosting activities for your children that day as well starting at 11am. All are welcome to come and we hope that you spread the word to your friends and family!

If you already have plans for Thanksgiving but want to still be a part of this tradition then why not donate some food for the event? We plan to serve around 300 guests that day so you can imagine all the bread, corn, potatoes, butter, cranberry sauce and turkey that’s needed to keep our buffet stocked. And on top of that we’ll still serve breakfast and dinner to others so we’ll go through a lot of food that week. Any donation of food or other resources can make a big impact. If you’d like more information about donating then please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. You can also check out more info on our food programs at http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com. Thank you for helping us keep our Thanksgiving tradition going year after year! Happy Thanksgiving!

Your Autumn Must-Do List is Here!

We’re halfway through October already! 2017 is just flying by. We’ve had a great year at The Hope Center but before we hit the busy holiday season and bid 2017 goodbye we have a few upcoming events

Hopeful Hearts (2)This Saturday, October 21st, students from Youth for Christ who attend Barbara Ingram School for the Arts will host Hopeful Hearts, a benefit concert for The Hope Center. The concert admission is free but a freewill offering will be collected and donated to The Hope Center. The talented students from BISFA will host their concert at Bridge of Life Church located at 14 S. Potomac Street in Hagerstown at 7pm. There is plenty of parking in downtown Hagerstown including the garage located just down from Bridge of Life on Potomac Street. This is a perfect opportunity to have a lovely evening in downtown by visiting one of the great restaurants in the Arts District and then joining us for a wonderful evening of talented young people helping their community! Invite your friends and family to join you this Saturday for Hopeful Hearts! For more information please call us at 301.739.1165. To learn more about The Hope Center visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Fall-O-Ween 2017Then on October 24th, kids between the ages of 5-12 are invited to come to Wildside’s annual Fall-O-Ween celebration at the Trinity Center at The Hope Center! Each year kids in Hagerstown come for a night of revelry, fun, food, prizes and a good ole Halloween costume party. This event is free but please register all children beforehand. Transportation is provided but space is limited. To register please call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com. To learn more about FAll-O-Ween or other Wildside activities be sure to visit http://www.wildsideyouth.com.

And now that we’re wrapping up October that means that we will be carving turkeys and mashing potatoes soon. That’s right, our annual Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast will be here before you know it. If you’re interested in volunteering for this event please call 301.739.1165 as soon as possible. If you’re unable to help serve that day but would like to be a part of our celebration then why not consider donating food or hosting a food drive? Our food services provide multiple meals a day every day of the year and we also provide tons of food for families through our food bank all year long. To learn more about our food programs please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Also in November, our Auxiliary will their annual Christmas Bazaar on November 11th from 9am – 1pm in the Trinity Center. The Bazaar will feature items for sale like Christmas ornaments and decorations, dishes, jewelry, books and other holiday merchandise. In addition to those items, the Auxiliary will have their lunch stand open featuring delicious homemade soups, sandwiches, hot dogs, baked goods, and more! Proceeds from the Christmas Bazaar benefit the various programs and ministries at The Hope Center including the Christmas party for our Foundations Life Recovery residents hosted by our Auxiliary. For more information about our Auxiliary or the Christmas Bazaar please call 301.739.1165.

 

Hopeful Hearts Benefit Concert

Members of the Youth For Christ Club at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts are hosting a special benefit concert for The Hope Center on October 21st, 2017 at 7pm at Bridge of Life Church at 14 S. Potomac Street in downtown Hagerstown.

Hopeful Hearts (2)This concert will feature the talented Youth for Christ students who attend the art school located in downtown Hagerstown.

The concert is a free event and open to everyone to attend but a freewill offering will be taken and all proceeds will go towards the various programs, ministries, and outreach events at The Hope Center, including our current plans to renovate our kitchen and dining area to increase the size to be able to feed more people on a daily basis.

Mark your calendars so you don’t miss this opportunity to see local students using their gifts and talents to help reach people in need in their community. It’s wonderful to see young people who have been given such incredible talent use their gifts to help their community. Please support these young people by coming to the Hopeful Hearts Benefit Concert later this month. And be sure to spread the word to your friends and family!

For more information about the various programs and ministries at The Hope Center please go to http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Spiritual Growth

by Jerry Cooper

JerryCooper (2)God has many purposes for The Hope Center. But I believe that first and foremost God desires that we preach the Gospel for the salvation of men, women, and children. In addition, God desires the spiritual growth of all who do trust Christ as Lord and Savior.

Through Peter, the Holy Spirit commands all believers to grow in their faith.

2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Spiritual growth is one of the reasons that The Hope Center offers a 13-month discipleship program for men. Sonny, Rick, Lynn, and other staff are always seeking and looking for the spiritual growth of the men in the residential program.

Sadly, not all who believe in Christ grow spiritually as God desires. Some follow poor examples as those described in Hebrews 5.

Hebrews 5:12-14, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

“By this time” means that these Christians had time to grow spiritually, but they were still immature. They needed “the basic principles of the oracles of God,” or spiritual “milk”. Each of them was a spiritual “child”.

This passage also teaches that the Word of God is essential for spiritual growth. Sadly these immature Christians were “unskilled in the word of righteousness.” Either they did not read the Scriptures and study them, or they did not listen when others taught the Scriptures.

Therefore, the Mission staff and churches preach and teach the Word of God at every opportunity. Men in the program memorize Scripture. They are urged to be active in a local church and study their Bibles.

Spiritual growth is also important because a Christian is useful to God when he is growing as God commands. The Holy Spirit spoke through Peter and explained who is effective and fruitful.

2 Peter 1:5-8, “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

God is saying that every Christian should grow in spiritual character: virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. The word “increasing” means that these words are not static, they are growing. But if they are not increasing, then the Christian is “ineffective” and “unfruitful”.

Let’s always pray for ourselves, that we grow spiritually and not be “ineffective”. And let’s pray for the men in the program, that they will grow spiritually and be fruitful.

 

Jerry Cooper is the pastor at Virginia Avenue Baptist Church and an evening chaplain at The Hope Center. He and his wife, Barb, currently reside in Hagerstown. For more information on Virginia Avenue Baptist Church visit http://www.vabconline.org. To contact Jerry please email him at jtcooper51@gmail.com

 

Yo Ho! It’s A Pirates Life!

On Tuesday, September 19th, we celebrated one of America’s most important holidays, Talk Like A Pirate Day!

That’s right, all guests who came to our daily Soup Line were a part of a pirate party! In addition to the delicious meal prepared by our fantastic kitchen staff, our guests were given pirate treats, prizes, candy, and even got a little free piratical entertainment thanks to our in-house pirate, Lynn Harney, who works in our residential men’s program, Foundations Life Recovery.

It was a fun day for everyone as we ate, laughed, and enjoyed great food & company.

Our Soup Line is a free lunch program that we host every day of the year, including holidays and during inclement weather. Anyone of any age is welcome to join us for a warm meal and the occasional random celebration like our Pirate Party this week. For more information on our Soup Line or other food services programs at The Hope Center please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com or call us at 301.739.1165.

Want to help fight hunger in Hagerstown? You can easily help us in our daily fight against hunger in our community by donating food to our food services program. Between the several fresh meals we serve daily to our food bank program and various large community events like our annual Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast, there’s a lot of food that we need to keep our pantry stocked and to make sure that no one in the greater Hagerstown area has to worry about their next meal.

If you’d like to donate food, host a food drive or just learn more about all of our various food programs then get click here: http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com/food-programs