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Churches raise money for Habitat

February 21, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Lutheran parishioners from across Washington County used a 90-minute service Saturday at the Hagerstown Hotel and Conference Center to raise $683.82 for Habitat for Humanity.

About 100 people attended the event, which included music, prayer and a skit that delivered the message of God's love.

Pastor Torben Aarsand said the parishioners came up with the idea in October.

"What we really wanted to do was open our doors," he said. "It's really fun to see how the people have come together."

Although the venue cost nearly $600 to rent, Aarsand said, Habitat for Humanity received all of the money that was collected.

Audience members sang along with a choir and clapped their hands in unison to songs such as "Awesome God" and "Shout to the Lord."

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Amanda Huntsberry of Chambersburg, Pa., said she hopes the churches continue to hold events such as the one Saturday.

"I thought it was great to see a number of churches come together for one cause," said Huntsberry, who attends St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Hagerstown. "It was a lot of congregations, but we all believe in the same thing."

Kathy Powderly, director of development at Habitat for Humanity of Washington County, said she was thrilled when she heard the churches would hold the service/fundraiser.

"The churches have always been supportive of Habitat," she said.

Powderly said Habitat for Humanity has built 26 homes in Washington County since 1994. The organization relies on hundreds of volunteers to build the homes, which are sold at affordable prices to people in need, she said.

"We couldn't do it without them," she said. "We could not do this without the volunteers."

Habitat for Humanity of Washington County has at least three homes planned for construction in 2009, Powderly said. One of those homes will be built by the Lutherans.

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