Local Churches Offer Encouragement


Judy Sterba, Arvid Thompson and Elaine Rackley served up free food to picnic-goers at the community Block Party sponsored by the Church on Randall Place on June 16 at the Pine Community Center.

Judy Sterba, Arvid Thompson and Elaine Rackley served up free food to picnic-goers at the community Block Party sponsored by the Church on Randall Place on June 16 at the Pine Community Center. Photo by Joy Hafford. |

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We’ve all seen the dismal statistics for unemployment and child poverty in our county. Most of us know someone who is unable to find work or is underemployed. Even someone with a positive outlook can find themselves experiencing loneliness, stress, worry, depression and even despair.

You don’t have to look very far to find a supportive friend. Churches, like all of us, come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. While no two are exactly alike, all share a common purpose: to help the people in the communities they serve.

“People are struggling,” said Simone Lake, wife of Pastor John Lake of the Church on Randall Place. “Sometimes people just need someone to talk to.”

The couple has ministered to the community through the church in Pine for the past 11 years.

The annual Block Party sponsored by the church was last Saturday and was fun for all who attended with a free community barbecue, friendly people, great music and games. The event originated many years ago when the Lakes came to church one evening and discovered the parking lot filled to capacity. As it turned out, it was the Fourth of July and the church parking lot was the best place for people to view the fireworks from their vehicles. The next year the church joined in the celebration by offering red, white and blue treats. Eventually fireworks were banned from our forest, but that “loss” gave birth to the annual Community Block Party.

Many churches like the Church on Randall Place, Pine First Baptist, and Strawberry Chapel in the Pines have a community outreach through various programs and services for adults, teens and children that strengthen our families and community. They offer free community dinners and sponsor prayer breakfasts, holiday programs, music concerts, Bible studies, women’s luncheons, men’s groups, couple retreats and vacation Bible school. Churches also provide opportunities to put your talents to good use with limitless potential for personal and spiritual growth, ministry to others, and involvement in the church community.

Pine and Strawberry are rich with history of the Mormon pioneers who first settled the area. The early settlers shared their provisions with others and established the original Mormon pioneer chapel that now houses the Pine Strawberry Museum. The Pine Ward LDS Church on N. Willow Tree Lane continues the spirit of community instilled by their predecessors. They provide food baskets for needy families and are a source of caring and sharing within the community.

Simone Lake of the Church on Randall Place stresses that, “The church is for everyone. We are here to help people any way that we can. Sometimes all a person needs is a kind word, listening ear and some encouragement.”

The churches of Pine and Strawberry invite you to visit them where you will always receive a warm and friendly welcome.

Community Center Thrift Store

The Thrift Store in Pine, operated by the Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation (SCAF), invites you to shop at the “Pine Mall” where you will always have fun shopping. June 20 to 23 celebrate the country’s independence with patriotic collections. Odds and ends will be on sale for 5 cents. On June 20 to July 1 lamps and televisions will be 50 percent off.

At the Fourth of July Arts and Crafts Festival, June 30 and July 1, the ever-popular Navajo tacos will be sold in the senior dining hall behind the thrift shop. The taco sale is an annual SCAF fund-raiser.

Store hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Thrift shop proceeds fund SCAF programs including senior lunches and Meals-On-Wheels. For donation collection, call (928) 476-4633.

Pine Library Friends

The Pine Library Friends’ potluck is at noon, Monday, June 25 in the Library Activity Room behind the Cultural Hall at the Community Center. The community is invited. Place settings and drinks will be provided. Bring a dish and enjoy good company and conversation. This social event is always fun.

The Friends’ Fourth of July Book Sale is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, June 29; from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 30; and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, July 1 and is held in conjunction with the Arts and Crafts Guild Festival. The book sale will be in the Library Activity Room.

Ribbon cutting

A ribbon cutting is set for 5:30 p.m., Friday, June 29 to celebrate the grand opening of THAT Brewery & Pub at the Rimside, formerly the Rimside Grill. New restaurant items include amazing locally made beers, hummus, and local cheese and sausage platters. Owners, Steve and Tamara Morken invite the community to join them and the Chamber of Commerce at the newly remodeled restaurant and brewery located at 3270 N. Highway 87 for the celebration.

Kids Quilt Camp

The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library and Strawberry Patchers quilting group is bringing Kids Quilt Camp to the library from July 9 through July 11 for children ages 8 to 12. Register by June 30 by calling (928) 476-3678. Students will complete a quilt and present a Student Quilt Show on July 12. Class size is limited to 10 students (who have not attended before) and who reside in the P/S community.

Arts and Crafts Festival

The Fourth of July Arts and Crafts Festival, sponsored by the P/S Arts and Crafts Guild, is next weekend, June 30 and July 1, at the Community Center in Pine. This juried arts and crafts show with exceptional artists has been a highly anticipated event for 32 years. Come celebrate the spirit of America with homegrown artists and craftsmanship. For more information, visit www.pinestrawberry artscrafts.com or call (928) 978-0469.

Please send your P/S happenings to hafford joy1@gmail.com or call (602) 790-0248.

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