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New Thing’s 3rd anniversary is a blessed event

New Thing’s third anniversary is upon us, and we are so excited.

Dec. 1 will be the anniversary of our hard launch. So much has happened. Some expected. Some we could have never imagined, but then, that is the very nature of the God we serve.

Our hope three years ago was that we would be a place of connection for people in the neighborhoods of Highspire and Lower Swatara Township. Our hope was that we would reach people who had never had a relationship with Jesus and perhaps those who had abandoned the community of faith. That has happened. But we have been surprised that we have also become home for people from Middletown and Steelton. 

We have been surprised that God has allowed us to be a place of safety and healing for families with children on the autism spectrum, for people with physical and developmental disabilities, for survivors of domestic and child sexual abuse, for people in recovery from various addictions, for people experiencing life transitions. It is a place where the hopeless are finding hope, the rejected are finding acceptance, the broken are being healed.

It is also a place with a stronger sense of connection than we could have projected. Unlike many churches, a majority of New Thing people are very engaged in the life of the community of faith. Whether it is worship or Bible study or a mission project or participation in God’s Kitchen or an outreach event, New Thing people show up to participate and/or accomplish the goal. 

But it is not just members of New Thing who show up. We also have members of other communities of faith and people who don’t/won’t align themselves with any faith community who are committed to missions, Bible study and outreach at New Thing.

Throughout our three years, we have been blessed by the people we call “New Thing’s Army.” These are the people who come alongside us with prayer support, contributions of materials, helping hands and, yes, financial support. Some of these people we have never met. Some have moved to different ministries but still invest in all that God is doing here. Without all of you, New Thing would not be able to accomplish all that God has allowed us to accomplish.

We are located in an economically marginalized community. We have a core group of people who are committed to trusting God through tithing. Many of our folks struggle day by day to make ends meet, yet they are growing in their faithfulness, taking consistent steps to live into God’s call to stewardship. But we could not do all that we do without the help of so many others. 

We have learned that we serve a “just-in-time” God. Again and again, God has given us a vision, it has seemed to be impossible to accomplish, but just-in-time, the right combination of committed people and resources has come together to achieve the unimaginable. And we are beyond grateful.

JoAnn M. Darrow

lead pastor

New Thing Community

2285 W. Harrisburg Pike



Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:31

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My candidate lost, but we wish Trump the best

I am thankful the Press And Journal gave space in the run up to the election for viewpoints in favor of each of the two principal candidates. This is especially important since two elected officials in the town vociferously came out for Donald Trump. 

We now know that the state of Pennsylvania flipped to red for the first time since the 1980s. 

If I feel crushed that my candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost, I can only imagine how she is feeling right now. Clinton won the popular vote and yet lost the election. 

Fortunately, she was gracious in defeat and the markets were encouraged by the calm meeting between President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump on Thursday. 

Writing in the Washington Post on Saturday, Colbert King said we have been speaking in euphemisms, being unwilling to say out loud we resented Obama and his family being in the White House for eight years.

“White people put Trump in the White House,” he wrote, noting that those who voted for Clinton are a diverse group. The so called “forgotten” white men in rural America, comprising a large part of Trump’s support, nevertheless were found to be earning on average $70,000.

I hope Middletown will continue to be a place where all will feel welcome and have a sense of belonging. The Blue Raider football team is an example of successful working together to reach a winning goal. Penn State students from near and far add much to our community and have made new business ventures possible. 

We all hope for the best when Trump is inaugurated in January.

Hermine Clouser


Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 November 2016 14:46

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I’ll build Historical Society railings for free

To the trustees of the Middletown Historical Society regarding their Nov. 2 letter to the editor:

Regarding your new treated lumber steps — if you like them, I’m happy for you. They go well with your plastic mini-blinds.

To anyone else who agrees with me that they are an architectural travesty, please support the zoning overlay being proposed to Borough Council.

The purpose of my original letter was to express my support for the overlay. I wasn’t trying to offend the well-meaning members of The Historical Society. Ironically, in a very pleasant phone conversation with a trustee of the Historical Society, she said that they also support the overlay. I guess that means they support it for everyone else.

In an attempt to avoid the unpleasantness of a letter-to-the-editor battle, I offered, in an email to the trustees, to pay to prepare plans for their approval; to provide all material, consisting of red mahogany, Western red cedar and Douglas fir and; to provide all labor to rebuild the steps, along with appropriate handrails, posts, caps and balustrade. 

This material (all to be purchased from Middletown Lumber, unlike your treated lumber) would be primed with three coats of paint (you don’t have to wait a year to paint good quality material) and be ready for a colored finish coat.

These suggested woods have been chosen throughout colonial times to the present because they hold up well to weather and, unlike treated lumber, they don’t twist, check, crack and splinter.

I guess my offer was rejected since I never received a response, other than the letter to the editor from all the trustees, defending their creation.

Finally, whether you received a building permit or not, the flat 2-by-4 stair rail doesn’t meet building code requirements for “graspability.” An actual, appropriately sized, enclosed hand rail should be added on both sides, inside your treated-lumber-railing-thing. I would be happy to supply and install these railings after submitting pictures for your approval, at no charge.

Herbert C. Moore


Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 November 2016 16:37

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Museum’s new stairs adhere to history, borough codes

This is in response to the Oct. 26 letter to the editor that mentions the replacement of the stairway at the Historical Museum in Middletown.

1. The stairway is architecturally correct for an early colonial house of the period at which it was built. It is simple in lacking fancy turnings of a later period. Examples can be found in any reference book on early Pennsylvania homes.

2. As for the materials used, treated lumber have been proven to last twice as long as untreated lumber. Since the Historical Society depends on donations as well as volunteers, we want it to endure the elements of harsh Pennsylvania winters. Following one year of exposure, it will be painted in appropriate color tones.

3. The question of the building permit: It has been displayed in the front window one week before construction began, where it remains to date. The permit was approved by the proper borough officials as well as being signed by a certified civil building engineer, following a strict adherence to all building codes.

Constructive criticism is always welcomed by the Historical Society in our efforts to improve our museum. 

However, inaccurate criticism due to lack of facts is unwarranted.

Robin Pellegrini, Jenny Miller, Leslie Givler, Earl Bright, III and Gary Barkley

Trustees of the Middletown Area Historical Society


Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 November 2016 15:10

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Donald Trump as president? The very thought is terrifying

I am writing in reference to Diana McGlone’s Sept. 21 column, “Here are the reasons I’m voting Donald Trump for president.”

She is quoted as saying, “Donald J. Trump is an example of the American dream and success story. He exemplifies that if one works hard and remains persistent, they too can be successful.” She truly believes that he will bring back jobs and improve our economy, make our borders safe by building a wall and all his other absurd, egotistical promises.

I’m not sure if Ms. McGlone is aware that he inherited his “American dream” from his father. For a man who wants to bring back jobs and “make America great again,” why does he have at least six different companies in other countries? 

He is paying minuscule wages and receiving large profits, at the American worker’s expense. He considers this “The Art of the Deal” and “being smart.” 

Mr. Trump claimed bankruptcy six times. By not keeping his financial word, he forced many small companies to go out of business (not because he couldn’t afford to pay, but because he has high-powered attorneys that know all the loopholes so he can legally avoid paying his fair share). He considers this “The Art of the Deal” and “being smart” as well.  This is also why he refuses to release his tax returns. 

His attitude and disrespect for women is deplorable. He is obsessed with thin, beautiful women, and is quick to point out other people’s indiscretions and offenses. However, what makes Mr. Trump the moral compass? 

Mr. Trump has blatantly insulted many races and nationalities. He was quoted as saying his No. 1 source for foreign policy advice was himself, because “I have a very good brain, and I’ve said a lot of things.”

He claimed to know “more about ISIS than the generals do.” And, if elected president, he will fire all the generals and hire his own people. He has tried to minimize the many sacrifices of our military, in particular Sen. John McCain and those who have lost loved ones, to his perceived sacrifices.

The thoughts of this narcissist being our country’s leader terrifies me for not only America’s future, but for the entire world.

Paula L. Kinney


formerly of Lower Swatara Township

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 October 2016 15:10

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