Hagee to Pull Double Duty at Praise Dinner
Nationally known Pastor Matthew Hagee will pull double duty as inspirational speaker and singer at the 18th annual Wenger Foundation Praise Dinner on Thursday, April 18, at 6:00 p.m., at the Lebanon Expo Center. The event will benefit COBYS Family Services and three other ministries.
Hagee is Executive Pastor of the 20,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he serves in ministry with his father John Hagee. Since 2011, he also has been the tenor for Canton Junction, a talented new Southern Gospel Quartet featuring Hagee, Michael Sykes, Aaron Crabb, and bass Tim Duncan.
In addition to Hagee's message and the quartet's music the Praise Dinner will include a buffet meal catered by Country Home Catering. Other ministries benefitting from the event are Evangelical Seminary, Friendship Community, and On Fire Youth Ministries.
The cost to attend is $100 per person or $1,000 per table of 10 guests, with a challenge donation of $125 per person. One hundred percent of donations support the designated ministries. Underwriting all of the event's expenses are: John Byler; Country Fare Restaurant; Dutch Valley Foods; Roger & Marjorie Gerhart; Bud & Joyce Mitstifer; Tom B. Morrissey TV & Appliance; Roger & Carolyn North, North Group Consultants; Plain 'n Fancy Kitchens, Inc.; Sight & Sound Ministries, Inc.; and Wengers of Myerstown.
The Wenger Foundation, Inc., was established in 1996 as the charitable giving arm of the Wenger Family of Companies. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $2 million to a variety of Christian and community ministries, including $267,140 to COBYS, which first became a beneficiary of the Praise Dinner in 1999.
Last year's Praise Dinner attracted a record attendance of more than 800 people, and for the first time giving exceeded $100,000, including $23,834 for COBYS.
For more information, please contact the Wenger Foundation at 717-866-2130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
COBYS Family Life Center to Host April 28-29 Open House
COBYS Family Services will host an Open House for its new Family Life Center on Sunday, April 28, and Monday, April 29, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. each day. Staff will be available to give tours and tell about COBYS Family Life Education programs and services. Light refreshments will be served.
COBYS purchased the 5,400-square-foot facility on October 1. Family Life Education staff moved from the main office to the new building in early December, and began hosting programs there in January.
Located at 171 E. King Street, Lancaster (corner of King and Lime Streets), the Family Life Center includes first floor office space, a large childcare area and small classroom for children on the second floor, and one large and one small adult classroom on the third floor.
On Sunday, free on-street parking is available. For the Monday portion of the Open House, guests will need to park in metered on-street spots or in the East King Street Parking Garage, located at 150 E. King Street.
The COBYS Permanency Unit building, located on the same block at 134 E. King Street, also will be open for tours during the Open House.
Click here for a printable invitation.
19th Annual Family Fun Walk Set for May 5 in Harleysville
COBYS Family Services will host the 19th annual Family Fun Walk on Sunday, May 5, at Peter Becker Community, 800 Maple Ave., Harleysville. The walk begins at 4 p.m., with registration at 3:30.
The event consists of a three-mile walk, followed by ice cream, refreshments, and awarding of door prizes. Walkers enlist sponsors to benefit COBYS ministries to children and families.
Motivated by Christian faith, COBYS Family Services educates, supports, and empowers children and adults to reach their full potential. COBYS carries out this mission through adoption and foster care services, counseling, and family life education. Based in Lancaster County, COBYS serves children and families from several counties, including Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and Lancaster.
A total of 59 participants at the 2012 Fun Walk raised $7,500. Goals of 90 participants and $9,000 have been set for this year.
Top fundraisers can choose between grand prizes of a weekend stay for two donated by Pilgrim's Rest Bed & Breakfast, overlooking Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, and two tickets to Noah, donated by Sight & Sound Theatres, Lancaster. All participants receive a free t-shirt, ice cream and refreshments, and a chance to win a door prize. Youth groups who raise $1,000 or more receive a free gym and pizza night.
Costs of the event are partially underwritten by Bauman Family Fruit Butters and Cider, Sassamansville. Additional business supporters are being sought. The event will be held rain or shine.
Click here for a printable brochure/sponsor sheet. For more information about the event or becoming a business sponsor, please contact Don Fitzkee at 800-452-6517 or email@example.com.
Local Play Promises to Benefit COBYS
A Lampeter community theatre production in April promises to benefit COBYS Family Life Education ministries.
The Promise Players will stage "Snapshots and Portraits," a two-act play about family by Paul McCusker on April 12-14 and 18-21. Show times are 7:30 on the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday dates, with matinees at 2:30 on Saturdays and Sundays.
Written for Focus on the Family's Odyssey radio and video series, the show, says Promise Players board member and actor Tim Strawser, "touches on some very real issues that are brought out with a lot of humor."
The Promise Players are a non-denominational Christian community theatre troupe that is based in and partially supported by the Lampeter Church of the Brethren. Doreen Creighton is Artistic Director.
Since 1995 the all-volunteer non-profit group has been staging full-length plays, and donating proceeds to a local organization whose mission is related to themes presented in the play.
"This play deals with family relationships, specifically a father and son relationship and the difficulties that they are having," says Tim. Because the play includes a jail scene, Promise Players leaders were eager to support an organization involved in some type of prison ministry, as well. COBYS provides family life education at Lancaster County Prison. "So COBYS really fits many themes in the play," says Tim.
Last year The Promise Players donated $8,200 to Water Street Medical Ministries.
The suggested donation is $7 per person, with children 12 and under free. Childcare is provided for each performance. Advance reservations are recommended. In addition, those attending are invited to donate a card or board game for COBYS educators to provide to families enrolled in COBYS programs.
For more information or to reserve a seat, contact the Lampeter COB at 717-464-2050. Learn more at promiseplayers.org.
COBYS Conference to Address PTSD in Foster Children
COBYS therapist Laura Miller, LCSW, will lead a one-day seminar on "PTSD in Children, Adolescents, and Youth" on Friday, May 31, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lancaster Church of the Brethren, 1601 Sunset Ave., Lancaster.
"Trauma affects so many people," says Miller, "especially children and adolescents who are part of the foster care system. As adoptive and foster parents strive to parent traumatized kids, these caregivers sometimes find themselves at the receiving end of all the behavior related to past trauma."
Designed for professionals and foster and adoptive parents, the training will offer insight regarding how trauma affects the brain, how PTSD manifests across the lifespan, and how to recognize symptoms related to secondary trauma in caregivers. Participants will learn coping strategies for the whole family, as well as some effective tools to parent traumatized family members.
The cost for the event is $30 for professionals and $10 for foster and adoptive parents. CEUs are available through the College of Graduate and Professional Studies at Millersville University for an additional fee.
A poster and brochure/registration form are available here.
To learn more, contact Emily Rice at 717-656-6580 or Emily@cobys.org.
Prairie Home Companion Banquet Shatters Attendance, Giving Records
Judging by the huge jump in attendance and giving at the COBYS A Prairie Home Companion Banquet,« people evidently like radio host Garrison Keillor, young female banjo and guitar players, corny humor, COBYS ministries, and hamloaf. Not necessarily in that order.
Held March 14 at Middle Creek Church of the Brethren, the mock radio show attracted a capacity crowd of 549 and resulted in giving of nearly $44,000, shattering records of 407 and $34,307, set in 2012. That's a 35 percent jump in attendance and a 26 percent rise in giving.
"We were thrilled with the response," said Director of Development Don Fitzkee, who planned the event and played the part of Prairie Home Companion host Keillor. "We had a lot of fun again this year," Don added, "and people really seemed to appreciate the silly and serious parts."
Admittedly, there may have been more silly than serious. The program utilized the format and some familiar tunes from Keillor's weekly radio show.
Woven into "The News from Lake COBYGone," were presentations by Family Life Education Supervisor Abby Keiser, who told of education opportunities afforded by the new COBYS Family Life Center in Lancaster; Elizabethtown COB pastor Pam Reist and Adoption Supervisor Janae Allgire, who highlighted casework services COBYS provides to churches through Community Connections; and resource parents Josh & Laura Zimmerman (introduced by Senior Caseworker Stacy Bashore-Steury), who shared a portion of their adoption story.
EMazinGrace, a guitar/banjo duo comprised of high school students Grace Kensinger and Emily Stoltzfus, provided a pleasing mix of bluegrass tunes and pure harmony.
Other program highlights included a "Lives of the Cowboys" sketch, in which cowgirl Nicole "Nifty" Lauzus (who also supervises the COBYS Permanency Unit) highlighted the COBYS counseling and permanency programs; a radio juggling act in which Mark Cunningham's juggling didn't quite match the far-fetched description being provided for radio listeners; a quartet singing "Turn Your Radio On;" and a jokes segment by Executive Director Mark Cunningham and "Director of Amusement" Heather Yeater. Mark and Heather also provided sound effects for the evening.
Gene Wenger's Meats & Fine Foods sponsored the event and donated the hamloaf for the family style meal. Their generosity was rewarded with a whimsical hamloaf theme song and generous helpings of hamloaf humor served up throughout the evening.
The program concluded with Heather and Board member Brenda Spence issuing an invitation to give in the style of a public radio pledge drive, and a brief slide show highlighting COBYS events and ministries.
In addition to EMazinGrace, assisting with music were Carolyn Fitzkee, soprano, fiddle; Dave Koser, guitar; Cindy Umberger, piano, alto; Norm Yeater, tenor.
Banquet photos are available on our Facebook page. View the video of the full program on YouTube.
Contact Don Fitzkee at firstname.lastname@example.org to suggest a theme for next year's banquet, which is slated for Thursday, March 13.
Video Clip Highlights Adoption as Life-Affirming Option
The politically charged debate surrounding abortion sometimes drives people apart, but adoption is a life-affirming option that people of diverse perspectives can embrace.
COBYS Family Services has prepared a three-minute video segment for churches to use in their observance of Sanctity of Life Sunday on January 20. The video highlights the story of Beverly, who received free birth parent counseling through COBYS and chose to make an adoption plan for her soon-to-be-born daughter.
View and download the video here. Or check it out on Facebook and help spread the word to your friends. DVDs also are available for congregations who request them.
For more information about the video, contact Janae Allgire or to learn more about COBYS Birth Parent Counseling services, please contact Melanie Swansfeger or go to http://www.cobys.org/birth_parent_counseling.
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