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More than 500 celebrate faith in fun way at park

August 22, 2004|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - An early-afternoon downpour gave way to late-afternoon sun Saturday, allowing more than 500 people to celebrate their church and faith at City Park.

This is the third year that Crossroads Church in Hagerstown has held its Saturday in the Park. Music, food, games, entertainment - all of it was free.

"We're just trying to show God's love of people," said Chuck Frank, a pastor at the church. "We want to express our appreciation to the community."

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A youth band and a dance ministry performed on the band shell.

Michael T. Myers, a magician, touched on religious themes in his act. He put handcuffs around Frank's wrists, then invited children to help find the key to unlock them.

"You know something? Sin can really put you in chains," Myers said.

Children reached into bags and pulled out the words "fun," "won" (representing success) and "ton" (representing wealth). None was the answer Myers wanted and no bag had a key to the handcuffs.

Finally, the bag containing the word "son" had the key that freed Frank.

"Ladies and gentlemen, there's only one thing that will release our sins - the son of God, Jesus Christ," Myers said.

As soon as his act was over, children scattered to the games. They putted at "Goofy Golf" and tried for prize tickets at "Bean Bag Bullseye" and aimed a slingshot at "Get the Bug."

Cathy Lacy of Crofton, Md. - whose sister, Connie, helped organize the event - handed out rewards for game tickets at "Prize Palace."

One ticket was worth a pencil, an eraser or a pencil sharpener. Three tickets earned a small box of crayons, five earned a ruler and eight earned a small note pad.

There were other prizes, too, but much of the table was school supplies.

"It helps the parents a little bit," Lacy said.

Crossroads Church members and Hagerstown residents Cecil Beachley and Patrick Moran registered people to win larger prizes, including a TV/DVD player, a CD player and a microwave.

Frank said the church spent about $1,000 on Saturday's event, but many of the items were donated.

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