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Church offers spirited education

March 02, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

From the trendy Sunday Night Live and Spirit Wednesday to programs with seniors in mind, Christian education at the Presbyterian Church of Hagerstown is vibrant and on the move.

Paulette Laing, the new director of Christian education, plans to build on that established diversity and add some wrinkles of her own.

"We have started a new adult group that is doing a yearlong study of the Bible," Laing said, noting that 25 people have signed up. "Already, we had to get more Bibles."

Laing was pleased the response was strong.

Laing, who started this new phase of her life on Dec. 1, is a member of the church. She said she has enjoyed the way all members of the congregation are served, both within and without the stone walls of the church.

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"There is something for everyone," Laing said.

For instance, each Sunday there is a contemporary service and a traditional service.

Efforts to keep children interested in the church are a high priority since the future of any institution is dependent on the next generation.

Spirit Wednesday was put in place some time ago. It is designed to attract and hold children at the church after school through a variety of activities and a meal, Laing said.

There is a middle school youth group that Laing said addresses some of the difficulties that age group often encounters.

"They have to face terrible pressures," Laing said.

She said the youths who are in the group "have become really close."

For the older youths, there is Sunday Night Live, Laing said. That group recently went on a skiing trip.

They are now planning a weeklong music camp at Camp Skycroft near Washington Monument Park with the church's music director. "On May 21, they will be putting on a musical," Laing said.

Although she grew up in Washington, D.C., Laing has called Washington County home for 19 years. She and her husband, Garry, have three children ranging in age from 19 to 28.

"My youngest is in college now," Laing said.

For 13 years, Laing administered food programs for licensed day-care providers in Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties. She also was involved with education for day-care centers.

When this opportunity arose, Laing began thinking about a change.

"I felt that God wanted me to do this," she said, noting her belief that it isn't the first time God has opened doors for her.

Laing wants to maintain the programs she feels promote healing and transformation of people's lives.

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