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Germantown Church of God

by Theresa Dardanell

On Sunday, August 25, take a scenic drive to a historic mountaintop church in Cascade and join the members of the Germantown Church of God for the Sunday worship service and a community picnic. Of course, the invitation to join them is not limited to August 25. Pastor Mark Hosler said that everyone is welcome at all times for worship, fellowship, study, and service. 

When the original church was built in 1871, Cascade was known as Germantown. The present-day church was built in 1948, and the cemetery is now located where the original church stood. When the congregation celebrated the 100th anniversary in 1971, the new educational wing was dedicated. A Family Life Center was added in 1996. 

The additional space gives the members lots of room for the Sunday School classes, Bible study, social events, service projects, and an impressive library. Sunday School classes are held after the 9:30 a.m. service. There is one class for small children, one class for the youth, and three classes for adults. The Women’s Ministry meets on the first Tuesday of every month; Bible study follows a brief business meeting. Banquets and breakfasts are held in the Family Life Center. Bible School for children ages three through sixth grade will be held August 5-9, and will feature uplifting music, inspiring Bible lessons, games, and snacks. The library, located in the educational wing, is actually two rooms, filled with DVD’s and books for adults and children. Historical items are on display in one of the rooms. Church librarian E. Joy Poling said that there are currently 11,500 items in the library, with more added every month. Subjects include fiction, non-fiction, history, inspiration, and christian living.

Service to others includes helping church members, as well as supporting local and worldwide community organizations and missions.

A ride to Sunday services for several members without transportation is provided by one of the parishioners. On the third Wednesday of each month, members worship together and then serve a meal to the guests and residents at the Hagerstown Rescue Mission. “Food for the First” on the first Sunday of every month gives everyone the opportunity to donate money and food for the Help Hotline Food Bank. The church generously participates in the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox program, which provides gifts of toys, school supplies, and hygiene items for children all over the world. They also provide financial support to worldwide missions and missionaries; a portion of the church income is designated for this purpose.

Mission trips by members are part of the ministry and have included trips to New Mexico, Haiti, and South Africa. Also, one church family has traveled to areas where natural disasters have occurred to provide assistance.

There are lots of opportunities for fellowship. Movie nights, summer campfires, dinners, and breakfasts are some of the social activities enjoyed by all.

The Sunday service at 9:30 a.m. includes reflection, announcements, prayers, scripture reading and message, and contemporary and traditional music with piano and organ accompaniment. Communion is offered once a month.

Christian Education Director Ann Donatto said that children through third grade are invited to participate in children’s church, where they can experience a worship service designed for them. A nursery is also available. 

Coming up on Sunday, August 4, the service will feature the Gospel group, Daystar. 

Pastor Mark Hosler expressed, “Our purpose is to move people toward Jesus through worship services, Sunday school, and service projects. Jesus can bring healing and restoration and wholeness to people’s lives. We want to move people toward him.”

Visit the Germantown Church of God at 16924 Raven Rock Road in Cascade or call 301-241-3050. 

 

Pastor Mark Hosler (front row, left) with members of the Germantown Church of God.

The Catoctin Banner is distributed via direct mail to approximately 8,500 households in Emmitsburg, Thurmont, Sabillasville, Cascade, Lewistown, and Rocky Ridge, Maryland. It is placed for free pick-up in surrounding towns in high-traffic areas. Those towns include Woodsboro, Taneytown, Detour, and Smithsburg in Maryland and Blue Ridge Summit, Waynesboro, and Fairfield in Pennsylvania.

Aaron Shaw of Frederick took the top honors in both the spring and fall 2018 bass tournaments, hosted by Cobblestone Hotel & Suites and held on Lake Royer at the former Fort Ritchie property in Cascade. The events featured adult and youth divisions.

Joining Shaw on the podium for the fall tournament, held on Saturday, September 22, were Jacob Martin (second place), along with Dave Fisher and Josh Smith (tied for third place). Cash prizes were awarded for the top three finishers. In the youth division, Jesse Leisinger of Smithsburg took first place, followed by Chad Moser with second place. Youth division winners earned gift cards. Shaw’s winning fish was 13.25 inches, and Leisinger’s measured 13.5 inches.

The Cobblestone Hotel & Suites’ Bass Fishing Tournaments are held annually in the spring and fall, with proceeds benefitting the programs of the Fort Ritchie Community Center. Cobblestone Hotel & Suites has more than one hundred facilities across the United States, with the closest location to Fort Ritchie being in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. For more information on the community center, please visit www.thefrcc.org.

Aaron Shaw (far right) won both tournaments in 2018; pictured with Shaw are (from left): Josh Smith, David Fisher, and Jacob Martin.

Jessie Leisinger (right) won the youth division, and Chad Smith earned second place.

St. Stephen’s United Church of Christ, Cascade

by Theresa Dardanell

How does a church with a small congregation not only exist — but thrive — for over 125 years? St. Stephen’s United Church of Christ has continued to flourish, because it’s not only a place to worship but also a place where the community comes together.

The church celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2017. Originally named St. Stephen’s Reformed Church, it was built in 1892. Over the years, there were additions and renovations. Stained glass windows were installed, and a new organ was purchased; the kitchen, bathroom, and offices were remodeled. These improvements added to the beauty and functionality of the church. The addition of a community prayer room and a pavilion, complete with an additional kitchen, transformed the church into a community gathering place.

The annual Fall Festival, which features food, music, games, and an auction, is a popular community event. The pulled pork and beef sandwiches, homemade soups, French fries, ice cream, and baked goods receive great reviews on Facebook. After current renovations are complete, the community prayer room will be open day and night to provide a quiet place for prayer and meditation. The facilities are also used by a local group for A.A. meetings. Vacation Bible School is usually held at St. Stephen’s; this year, a joint Vacation Bible School was held at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rouzerville, Pennsylvania. Christmas is a special time for children attending Cascade Elementary School (CES); a Santa shop is set up either at the church or at the school. Members of the congregation provide sweet treats and inexpensive gifts that the children can purchase in secret for loved ones.

Members of the congregation are generous with contributions for local and worldwide needs. They donate food and household items to the CES food pantry; they purchase Christmas gifts for residents at Homewood and also for families in need at CES. Donations from local businesses and members of the congregation were assembled in emergency clean-up buckets that were sent to Church World Service and distributed to areas affected by natural disasters. A bake sale at Sabillasville Elementary School during Mountain Fest weekend provides some of the funds for these contributions.

Pastor Beth Firme said, “The people in this church truly have a heart for the work that God is giving them to do. They don’t let their numbers or lack of numbers stop them. They’re not afraid to work. They’re not afraid to share. They’re welcoming, they’re kind, and they want to include people in what they’re doing. They don’t always talk about what God does but you see it in what they do.  Their actions speak louder than anything else.”

Everyone is invited to join them for the 10:00 a.m. service on Sundays; there is communion on the first Sunday of each month.  St. Stephen’s United Church of Christ is located at 25445 Highfield Road in Cascade, Maryland. Check out its Facebook page for information and lots of photos.

Pastor Beth Firme (front row, on left) is pictured with members of St. Stephen’s United Church of Christ.

Photos by Theresa Dardanell

Submitted by Bill Eiker, SAL Historian

On October 1, 2016, the Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Post 239 in Cascade held their fall Gun and Cash Bash on the old parade grounds at Fort Ritchie.

Of the 2,000 tickets sold, there were more than 750 people in attendance. Considering the gloomy weather, it was quite a crowd!

Attendees enjoyed visiting with friends, playing the games, and winning the raffles. “Fisher House,”  “SAL Person(s) in Need Fund,” and the community will be recipients of the proceeds of the event.

There was plenty of pulled pork and beef, along with other picnic items, including Jen’s ice cream, to satisfy the hungry and the thirsty.

A heartfelt thanks to those who attended, especially the devoted volunteers who made this benefit a winning success.

The fortunate winners of the event were: J. Waggoner, F. Sheibs, A. Bare, D. Pryor, P. Fleagle, C. Cartee, G. Reese, L. Bell, B. Culison, S. Mummert, B. Gladhill, E. Kleen, S. King, C. Knott, J. Schnars, H. Portner, W. Haden, and K. Coyle.

The next Gun and Cash Bash will be held in the spring. Watch for upcoming information about the date and where to get your tickets.

Joan Fry

goes-with-aunt-joan's-writeOn June 18, 2016, the Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Post 239 in Cascade held their spring Gun and Cash Bash on the grounds of Fort Ritchie.

Of the 2,500 tickets sold, there were more than 1,050 people in attendance.

The weather was perfect and attendees enjoyed visiting with friends, playing the games, and winning the raffles. Fisher House, SAL Person(s) in Need Fund, and Cascade School’s Christmas Party will be prioritized in receiving the proceeds of the benefit.

There was plenty of pulled pork and beef, along with other picnic items, including Jen’s ice cream, to satisfy the hungry and the thirsty. Heartfelt thanks to all who endeavored to make this day a big success. Just preparing 900 pounds of meat is quite a feat. It takes a lot of people, and they’re all volunteers!
Winners of the ticketed event were D. Miller, B. May, E. Miller, J. Wagaman, P. Pritt, J. Frye, S. Pelland, A. Scott, E. Willard, R. Martin, D. Hensley, D. DeLauter, E. Toms, S. Berger, J. Edwards, T. Bloyer, P. Ambrose, and C. Dayhoff.

The next Gun and Cash Bash will take place Saturday, October 1, 2016. Watch for tickets.

M&T Bank contributed $6,000 to the Fort Ritchie Community Center in Cascade. The funds helped sponsor the 2016 Mountaintop Heritage Days event that celebrated the 90th anniversary of Camp Ritchie.

“M&T Bank’s investment in the community goes beyond sponsoring Mountaintop Heritage Days,” said Buck Browning, executive director of the Community Center. “All of our programs and events are better off because of M&T Bank’s support of our area,” he added.

Mountaintop Heritage Days brings crafts and food vendors, carnival rides and games, and performances by groups such as the U.S. Army Fife and Drum Corps to the former military post located in Cascade. The event concluded with a fireworks show over Lake Royer. The event has been restarted after a two year hiatus with hopes to restore its prominence throughout the region. An estimated crowd of more than 3,000 people visited the event this year.

The Fort Ritchie Community Center provides programs and activities for people of all ages. For more information on how you can get involved in the Community Center, visit www.thefrcc.org.
Fort-Ritchie-Comm-Center--M
Anthony Bagley (back row, left) and Neil Davidson (back row, right) of M & T bank present Buck Browning, director of the community center, and three community center summer camp participants, with a ceremonial check in the amount of $6,000 to support activities and programs that serve local residents.