On Sunday, September 29, Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church celebrated Founders’ Sunday, its 15th anniversary and its 10th year in its current building. The Stevensville congregation celebrated with a chili and cornbread cook-off after its 11 o’clock service, during which a brief history of the church was recalled and a reading of the founding members’ names was presented. During the fellowship of the chili cook-off, church pastor F. Todd Williams dedicated a memorial brick garden listing the founders’ names. Families of Lighthouse Christian Academy, a Classical school and ministry of the church, and congregation members purchased memorial bricks as part of a fundraiser to complete the construction of the new playground for the school and church children. Pastor Williams dedicated the playground as well in his remarks. The engraved bricks include dedications, memorials, Bible verses, student handwriting, and more. A few remaining bricks in the design are still available for engraving. The brick layout, in a cross pattern, was designed and placed by Jay Roche, owner of Natural Surroundings, Inc. , of Damascus. Lighthouse Christian Academy and Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church are located in Stevensville at 931 Love Point Road. For more information, go to www.lcacademy.org.
Don’t miss the Matthew Smith of Indelible Grace concert at Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church on Thursday, September 6th at 7pm. Tickets on sale now – $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Call 410-604-1700 for more info.
By Avra Sullivan
Over the last few years the economy has hit lows many people didn’t think we would ever see. This has left families that were once able to live comfortably, having to make wrenching decisions whether to buy food, or toothpaste. While government programs have helped greatly to supply food stamps and other assistance for those whose income has been affected, they do not cover all necessities, and many who struggle, don’t qualify. Toiletries, cleaning supplies, baby products, laundry detergent, are all vital and yet for many can be what they go without at the end of a month that is longer than their paycheck. Bountiful Blessings is a non-profit program that gives away theses necessities to those in need. Based out of Pennsylvania, they cover three states including Maryland.
Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church in Stevensville had been trying to form a program for the past 7 years. Upon completion of an addition to their building, they had the space to do so and in April they began offering basic living staples to those in the area. Stacie Mcginnes heads up a group of volunteers from Safe Harbor who handle donations, stocking of shelves and distributing. “We’ve had a whole mixture of recipients,” says Stacey. “Many people on fixed incomes such as social security and disability are finding the program extremely beneficial. Very few of the individuals who come are actually on any sort of government assistance.” Stacie says all are extremely grateful.
There are no income requirements or application to receive products from Bountiful Blessings. Simply show a photo ID each time you come. Baby products such as wipes and diapers are available to children up to 24 months of age and require a birth certificate for those products. One unique condition they have is that all recipients must give 3 hours per year of volunteer time. This can be simple tasks such as helping sort donation items, be a greeter to those coming in, or helping at a church work day.
Stacie says it’s more than just handing out goods and sending them on their way. “We talk to them, get to know them, take prayer requests. It’s such a blessing for us to have the opportunity to actually befriend the recipients. It shows then that they are cared for, without judgment, which is the greatest gift we can give.”
While the main warehouse in Pennsylvania helps provide items, Stacie says they can always use donations. Anyone wishing to donate items or make a monetary contribution can contact Safe Harbor Church at 410-604-1700.
Bountiful Blessings is held the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month from 9-11am at Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church, 103 Love Point Road in Stevensville. More information about the program can be found at www.bountifulblessings.org
MOPS groups are local communities that help moms be better moms by understanding their unique needs, challenges and joys — in this vital season of early mothering. For over 35 years, MOPS has been creating authentic communities where moms gather to experience encouragement, support and hope. But, it doesn’t stop there! Through training and development customized to women in this stage of life, and through do-able service opportunities, MOPS grows moms to make a better world.
“MOPS has changed my life. I am a better daughter, wife and mother because of MOPS,” says MOPS mom Amanda.
Every mom is welcomed, accepted and inspired to reach her potential and recognize her influence within her family and her world. MOPS believes that better moms really do make a better world.
How does MOPS help make better moms that make a better world? Primarily through MOPS group that meet all over the world in more than 30 countries and in over 4,000 groups in the United States. One MOPS mom, Nicole, says, “My MOPS group has made me feel that I am not alone.”
In addition to groups, MOPS International provides relevant mom-tested resources, including MomSense magazine — a premier benefit of the MOPS International Membership — and also through the MOPS Web site (www.MOPS.org) and books written specifically for moms.
Although mothering preschoolers is at times a lonely challenge, MOPS is providing a welcome break for moms; a chance for moms to make new friends and an opportunity for moms to know they are not alone in the struggles and joys of raising young children.
For more information about MOPS International or to find a group that is in your area, visit www.MOPS.org.
By Sandra Zunino
For Christian Graham of Stevensville, faith is as much about what you do as what you believe. As Youth Pastor of Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church for the past nine year, he sets the example of community service.
“Community service is very important,” says Christian. “The kids enjoy it and when they start to learn that early on, it sticks.” Christian is in charge of ministry for middle school, high school and college-age students who attend his church and other churches as well as non-churchgoers.
Weekly gatherings provide a time of youth fellowship and bible study. Meetings start with movies, popcorn, games and just hanging out. “I never pressure them to sit in on bible study,” he says, “but they tend to trickle in and listen.”
Additionally, the group undertakes many outreach projects throughout the year such as cooking for the local homeless shelter, assisting with the Queen Anne’s County Christmas in April organization and helping with the Fifth Quarter celebration at Kent Island High School’s football games.
“We want the kids to experience Christian community,” he says. Each year he takes a group of enthusiastic kids to West Virginia to help repair homes for the elderly and impoverished. Youths enjoy the camaraderie of the group and the reaction of gratitude from the recipients, according to Christian. Christian emphasizes the relationships the kids develop are more important than the work they do.
“Once the kids cook at the homeless shelter, they all want to go back every year,” says Christian. “In general, people are pretty selfish, but once the kids understand the difference they can make, it’s an enjoyable thing.”
Connecting well with youth is second nature to Christian. In high school, he worked with middle school kids when his parents ran the youth programs in their church. While attending college, he worked in the Young Life youth program.
During Christian’s college years, he also turned his fascination with magic into a career. What started as a sideline eventually led to performing all over the country to both children and adults, including celebrities like Vice President Al Gore, President George Bush and ESPN’s Kenny Mayne.
“I’m kind of extreme in my personality,” says Christian. “I don’t do anything half way.” As testimony, Christian built his home using trees from his own property, milling the timber himself.
Additionally, he takes thousands of pictures each year from nature photos from backpacking trips to pictures at youth group members’ events. “If they are in a game or a play, I try to attend and takes pictures,” he says. “The pictures are a great way to connect with the families of the kids.”
Since 2001, outside of the youth program, Christian has traveled 15 times to El Salvador as part of a non-profit group. When a devastating earthquake leveled a third of the homes there, Christian was approached by a friend who wanted to help rebuild. “We brought down people, tons of clothes, toys, toiletries – 30,000 pounds of supplies over the years,” says Christian, “and we built about 40 houses.”
How one accomplishes so much in a lifetime is a mystery even to Christian. “I don’t know how I do it all,” he says “but I can’t not do it.” He credits his wife, Marianne, a volleyball coach at Annapolis Area Christian School, for support and his parents for setting the example.
Anyone interested in joining the Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church youth program may contact Christian at 443-262-1737 or email@example.com.