Church of God Home Blesses Soldiers with Help from War College Neighbor
The U.S. Army War College and Church of God Home have been good neighbors for 50 years and have been supporting for each other for a long time. A Veterans’ Day Breakfast is held each year to recognize Church of God residents and staff who served in the armed forces. This day includes guest speakers from the War College and active personnel who take the time to greet each veteran, especially those not able to attend the breakfast.
At Christmas time, Church of God residents swing into full gear and do what they can to make sure those women and men serving during the holidays are not forgotten. This year, over 200 Christmas cards were signed with love and remembrance to our soldiers from the residents at Church of God. Todd Masterak, of the Army War College, provided assistance to assure that these holiday greetings will make their way to U.S. Marines deployed in Afghanistan as well as wounded veterans currently hospitalized at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The Christmas cards were sent along with a letter sending their heartfelt prayers and love this holiday season. “This is a wonderful thing to do at this beautiful time of the year. We appreciate this close connection with our neighbors at the War College,” shared Robert Fodor, executive director at Church of God Home. Thank you, Church of God Home, the U.S. Army War College and our active and veteran service people throughout the world.
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LOCAL TALK SHOW EXPLORES LIFE AND FAITH
Everything from politics to prayer will be featured at a new weekly experience called Lifetree Café. This “conversation café”—located in the Players' Lounge at StoneRidge Poplar Run, 440 East Lincoln Avenue, Myerstown—is part of a national network of locations that offers participatory events related to life and faith.
The Lifetree Café experience is a scheduled hour of “stories and conversations to feed the soul,” according to Poplar Run’s Chaplain Dana Logan, who leads the discussion. The hour typically includes a short original film and guided conversation. “It’s sort of like a live, local talk show—with an inspirational twist,” Logan said.
Topics, which change weekly, focus on popular life issues such things as loneliness, immigration, health, angels, guilt, prayer and life after death. The exclusive documentary-style films feature everyday people and well-known people with unusual stories.
National Lifetree Café founder Thom Schultz said, “We engage people of all ages in a national conversation through local Lifetree Cafés as well as a robust online presence.” The organization’s website, LifetreeCafe.com, invites visitors to participate online in the same topical conversations that occur each week at the live venues.
Schultz said, “We’ve found that people today want to participate in the conversation. It is not enough to simply hear someone lecture on an important topic. People want to share their thoughts, ask questions and tell their own stories. Lifetree offers a safe place and time to do that.”
Lifetree Café will be offered at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays beginning January 10. Admission to the 60-minute events is free. Snacks and beverages are available.
Questions about Lifetree Cafe may be directed to Dana Logan at 717.866.3507.
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Cedar Crest Choir Brings Cheer to Poplar Run's Tree Lighting
The annual Christmas Tree Lighting at StoneRidge Poplar Run in Myerstown was made especially festive this year with the addition of the Cedar Crest Middle School Performance Choir. Once the stunning 18-foot Concolor tree was lighted, sparking a joyous response from the crowd, the choir began performing a variety of choral Christmas songs with several new and interesting pieces included. Leslie Rauchet, middle-school director of choral activities, led the 30 singers who sang with real spirit and filled the large space with festive sound! Poplar Run Chaplain Dana Logan’s sharing of the nativity narrative from the Gospel of St. Luke completed a lovely evening.
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Myerstown Holiday Parade Winners
Sunday was a gorgeous day for the annual Myerstown Holiday Parade. It was a good call to postpone it from Saturday, which turned out to be a total washout. Temperatures Sunday were in the 50s, spirits were high, candy was literally flying and fun was in the air.
Pictured here is Liana Raihl and Amanda Torres, both of Myerstown and employees of StoneRidge Poplar Run. They also volunteer as two of the five coaches for the Myerstown Panther Cheerleading organization that had two exhibits in the parade. Both involved lots of cheers, dancing and music. Among the “Walking” units in the parade, the Panther Cheerleaders won first prize! Nice Job! To discover more about Myerstown Panthers Cheerleading, please email email@example.com.
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StoneRidge Vets Marked Veterans Day with Public Event
In commemoration of Veterans' Dat, the StoneRidge Military Veterans Association will hosted their annual Veterans’ Day event to honor veterans and recognize their service to our country. The group is comprised over 75 military veterans living at both the Poplar Run and Towne Centre retirement communities in Myerstown.
The featured speaker this year was, Berks County historian, and Air Force veteran Barry L. Kauffman who presented “The Four Heroines of World War I” based on his book of the same title. It tells the fascinating story of four local women who served courageously during WWI. Three of them, graduates of the Reading Hospital School of Nursing, served as nurses and the other as a volunteer.
While all three have amazing stories and local connections, nurse Marie Hidell received the high honor of being posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, the nation’s second-highest decoration awarded for valor in combat. Kauffman drew attention to Hidell’s story after learning that this heroic woman, one of only three women to be awarded the Navy Cross, was buried in an unmarked grave the Woodlands Cemetery in Philadelphia. Bringing attention to her story became a personal crusade for him, and Hidell’s family gave Marie’s Navy Cross to him. He later presented it to the Alumni Association of the Reading Hospital School of Nursing for safekeeping.
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