Church raises funds for new sanctuary

July 27, 2004|by Alicia Notarianni

ROHRERSVILLE - They must call it Friendship Hall for a reason. If the Saturday, July 24, pig roast and chicken dinner was any indication, gatherings at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church offer more than just good food. The meals cost a small fee, but the friendliness was flowing free.

People walking into Friendship Hall between 3 and 6 p.m. were welcomed at the door and chatted with church volunteers working the buffet line. By the time they reached the tables and sat down for their meals, most diners seemed to have caught the friendly spirit and were greeting their neighbors and striking up lighthearted conversations as they helped out the church.

The event brought in more than $975 for the church's building fund.

"Coffee, tea or little old me?" were the playful beverage options offered by Mac Palmer of Hagers-town. Palmer, a member of the Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, volunteered at the dinner along with his wife, Sara Jane Palmer.


Gale Kline of Boonsboro went to the dinner along with his wife, Patsy Kline, a church member. The Klines dined along with Patsy's mother, Madeline Smith of Rohrersville, a church member and event volunteer who took a brief break to eat. On Friday, Aug. 6, Smith will celebrate her 91st birthday.

"This is the church I've grown up in since I was 13," Smith said. "That's almost 80 years."

Brad Kiracofe, 12, of Greencastle, Pa., savored his chocolate cake with chocolate icing and sprinkles, one of many dessert options. Kiracofe was the youngest of four generations and two sides of his family present at the event.

Brad Kiracofe's parents, Lisa and Ken Kiracofe, attended the pig roast and dinner along with Ken's parents. Lisa Kiracofe's mother, Bonnie Hargett of Boonsboro, is a church member who served as a volunteer while her mother, Mildred Griffith, 87, enjoyed a meal.

While some people at the dinner were Mt. Zion Lutheran Church members and friends or relatives of church members, many were not. Dorothy Moser of Rohrersville, a church member who worked the ticket table at the event, said the fund-raising committee had advertised widely and drew people from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia, in addition to people from the local area.

Friendship Hall was built a short distance up the road from the Mt. Zion Lutheran Church sanctuary in 1997, and the congregation is now saving money for a new sanctuary next to the hall. Dan Dunlap, chairman of the building committee, said the congregation has outgrown the current sanctuary.

A roughly 150-year-old stone structure, the sanctuary has inadequate space for church activities and Sunday school, and it lacks a parking lot. Each Sunday, churchgoers park at Friendship Hall and walk to the sanctuary, then children and teachers walk back up to Friendship Hall for Sunday school.

"It will just be nice if we can have everything together," Dunlap said.

Construction of the new sanctuary is tentatively scheduled to start four years from now. Dunlap says the church will need to raise nearly $500,000. The church plans to keep and maintain the current sanctuary, though exact plans for its use have not been determined.

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