Back to Church proclamation

DSC_0188Tamaqua Mayor Chris Morrison reads a proclamation declaring Sunday, Sept. 18 as Back to Church Sunday in the borough of Tamaqua. With Morrison is the Sassaman family, Ron, Hunter and Dorothy, from St. John’s UCC, and Ruth Kerr and Pastor Darryl Kensinger from Trinity UCC. Back to Church Sunday is national observance. All Tamaqua congregations have been urged to participate. Local churches and their worship times can be found at Back to Church Sunday is sponsored locally by the Tamaqua Area Faith Fellowship Network, a group of lay leaders from area congregation with the goal of promoting understanding and cooperation among all organizations doing God’s work in the community.

Hunger Walk checks presented

Hunger Walk checks

Paul Dodson, Tamaqua Hunger Walk chair, presents checks for $2,133.49 each to Maj. Sharon Whispell of the Tamaqua Salvation Army and Tina Kensinger, director of the food bank at Trinity United Church of Christ, Tamaqua. Primitive Methodist Church in Tamaqua also received a Hunger Walk check. Together, the three food pantries serve over 250 families in the community. Hunger Weekend was May 13-15 with activities including an Empty Bowl Dinner hosted by Zion Lutheran Church and a family film night hosed by Bethany Evangelical Congregational Church. Rainy weather forced the actual walk to move to May 22. Cash donations from walkers as well as area churches, businesses and organizations totaled over $6,300, up from $3597 last year. Eighty-three boxes of food were collected by churches and community organizations and distributed equally to the three food banks. That was up from 48 boxes last year. Tamaqua civic and service organizations interested in participating in the 2017 Hunger Weekend can contact Paul Dodson at 570-668-0289 or by email at The Tamaqua Hunger Weekend/Walk is a project of the Tamaqua Area Faith Fellowship and the Tamaqua Area Community Partnership.

Tamaqua Area VBS programs

St. John’s United Church of Christ, 150 Pine Street, Tamaqua is holding its Bible school program June 6 to 10, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Contact Beth Job at 570-668-2573 for information and registration.

New Life Assembly of God and the Salvation Army are holding a combined Bible program June 20 to 24 at the Salvation Army, 105 West Broad Street, Tamaqua, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The program is Ocean Commotion: Diving into God’s Word. Contact 570-668-4059 or 570-668-0410 for information or registration.

St. John XXIII Roman Catholic Parish is offering Parachute with the Angels and St. Catherine LaBoure, June 27 to 20 from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact Jane Habel at 570-668-1211 or at

St. John and Zion Lutheran churches are offering Deep Sea Discover from July 5 to 8 at Zion Lutheran Church at Mauch Chunk and Greenwood streets, Tamaqua. Contact 570-668-2180 or for more information or registration.

Trinity United Church of Christ at 22 Lafayette Street, Tamaqua, is offering Cave Quest: Following Jesus, the Light of the World, July 11 to 15 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Contact 570-668-4139 for more information or registration.

Bethany Evangelical Congregation Church at 223 East Broad Street, Tamaqua, will hold its Bible school program, Ocean Commotion: Answers in Genesis, July 18 to 22 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Contact 570-668-2520 for information and registration.

St. Peter’s Union Church at 184 St. Peter’s Road, Mantzville, is offering Cave Quest: Following Jesus, the Light of the World July 18 to 22 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Contact 570-386-4388 for information and registration.

Hunger Walk wrap up


Tamaqua Hunger Walk organizer Paul Dodson, third from the left, presents checks to representatives of Tamaqua’s three food bands: Samantha Gibbons for Trinity UCC; Major Sharon Whispell of the Salvation Army; and the Rev. Rodney Hall of the Primitive Methodist Church.

This year’s Hunger Walk in May, raised $3,597 and collected 48 boxes of food to distribute between Tamaqua’s three food banks. Both food and cash donations we up over last year’s totals and 66 people walked this year compared to 35 in 2014. Plans are already under way for a 2016 Hunger Weekend, May 14-15. “We would love to expand our ‘fighting hunger’ theme to the entire week, and we even have some ideas,” says organizer Paul Dodson from Bethany ECC in Tamaqua, “but we need champions to step forward who are willing to help develop those ideas.” Organizations or individuals interested in helping next year can contact Dodson at 570-668-0289.