Operation Christmas Child craft night set

Operation Christmas Child will have a craft night from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, at Messiah Lutheran Church, 2000 Main, to make items for inclusion in 2020 shoeboxes.

Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization headquartered in Boone, N.C. Each year thousands of individuals place small toys, school supplies and hygiene items into shoeboxes that are then distributed to children in need around the world.

Rachel Albin, the organization’s Northwest Kansas area coordinator, said three different crafts would be made: fleece baby doll tie blankets, washer necklaces and bracelets, and cross necklaces. All supplies and materials will be provided, although "monetary donations will be gratefully accepted," Albin said.

Individuals do not have to have a special skill set, she said, adding there will be tasks for all skill levels, including children.

"If you want to take some of the items you make that night for your own shoeboxes or your church’s shoeboxes, that is absolutely fine," Albin said. Participants are also welcome to bring items they are making for their own shoeboxes.

"This will be a fun time when we can gather together as an inter-denominational group and work on projects and share ideas. But most of all, it is a way to keep the excitement of Operation Christmas Child going throughout the year."

Albin said that she is wanting to schedule a craft night each month through October, and she is seeking other churches in the area who would be willing to host one.

Albin can be reached at (785) 639-1325 or at ralbinmik@yahoo.com.

Campus panel to explore mental health issues

The stigma of mental health disorders in various cultures and populations will be the topic of a presentation from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, in the Black and Gold Room of the Fort Hays State University Memorial Union.

The panel discussion is titled "Can You See Me?". It is being held in conjunction with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) chapter on campus and AP Productions. The event has been organized by Demetrius Chance and will be hosted by Grady Dixon.

According to a news release, the discussion will feature "the untold stories of psychological struggles, triumphs, and essential resources for support and healing."

Featured panelists will include Hugo Alvarez, Medhavi Ambardar, Claudia Carvalho, Nuchelle Chance, Seif Sekala, Joshua Tanguay and Hsin Yen Yang.

Kenneth Windholz, NAMI adviser, and Tisa Mason, FHSU president, will make closing remarks.

More information is available at https://tigerlink.fhsu.edu/event/5523346.

Ashes will be available at First Presbyterian

In observance of Ash Wednesday on Feb. 26, ashes will be available at First Presbyterian Church, 2900 Hall St., from either Pastor Celeste Lasich or Becky Rogowski, Generations in Faith Together coordinator.

Rogowski said, "Please use the east doors by the preschool and come down the long hallway to the offices. It is advised to call (785) 625-2847 or email presbychsec@gmail.com to be sure someone is there. The office is generally staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m."

Catholic churches set Mass times for Ash Wednesday

Area Catholic churches have scheduled Mass times for Ash Wednesday, Feb. 26. They are:

Catherine, 7 p.m.

Comeau Catholic Campus Center, 506 W. Sixth, 12:15 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, 1805 Vine, 6:45 a.m.; 8 a.m. (Holy Family Elementary Mass); 5:30 p.m.; and a bilingual Mass at 7 p.m.

Munjor, 5:30 p.m.

St. Joseph, 215 W. 13th, 6:30 a.m.; 12:05 p.m.; and 5:30 p.m.

St. Nicholas of Myra, 2901 E. 13th, 12:05 p.m. and 7 p.m.

FHSU student groups to provide ashes on campus

Two student ministries at Fort Hays State University, accompanied by the Rev. Kathy Bannister, will offer ashes from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 26, on the FHSU Quad. In case of inclement weather, the event will move inside the Memorial Union.

The two groups are the United Methodist Student Organization and Us 4 U. Both regular ashes and Glitter+Ashes will be available. Bannister is the adviser for the Methodist group. Us 4 U is affiliated with Trinity Lutheran Church of Hays and St. John’s Lutheran Church of Russell.

Trinity Lutheran plans Ash Wednesday service

Trinity Lutheran Church, 27th and Fort, will have an Ash Wednesday service at 7 p.m. Feb. 26. The Rev. Brenda Roger, the church’s new pastor, said the church would also have Wednesday evening services each week leading up to Holy Week, April 5-11.

Service, prayer vigil set at Methodist church

First United Methodist Church, 305 W. Seventh, will hold an Ash Wednesday service at 6 p.m. Feb. 26. In addition, the church will hold a prayer vigil from Good Friday, April 10, through Easter Sunday, April 12, in the church’s chapel.

Amazing Race fundraiser is March 7

First Call For Help, a community assistance agency, is gearing up for its 5th Annual Amazing Race on Saturday, March 7. Teams will check in at 9:15 a.m. The race will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 1 p.m.

Teams of four will solve clues to secret locations and compete in various challenges. Each team must have a licensed driver and vehicle. All contestants will receive a complimentary T-shirt and snacks.

The first team to cross the finish line will win bragging rights and First Call’s new traveling trophy. There will also be prizes for individuals who raise an additional $100, $200 and $300.

"But the ultimate winner is really our community," said Laura Shoaff, race coordinator.

"Our Rent Assistance Program strives to help people remain in their homes and avoid eviction. In 2019 FCFH paid out $22,304 to help people remain in their homes," Shoaff said.

First Call also provides utilities assistance. "During 2019, we spent $4,985 helping those in crisis of utility disruption. Although it’s not possible to help everyone needing a hand, 229 people were assisted by us last year seeking either rent or utility assistance," she added.

The race entry fee is $50 per person or $200 per team. Pre-registration is required by midnight Monday Feb. 24. No walk-ins will be allowed. Teams may register online at firstcallelliscounty.com/amazing-race, or by calling (785) 623-2800, or by printing off and returning a registration form to First Call’s office at 607 E. 13th.

Shoaff said that First Call would be happy to match individuals who want to compete with a team still needing members. Participants must be age 12 or older.

TMP Singers to perform for Christian women’s group

The TMP Singers, under the direction of Kathy Amrein, will "Sing Into Spring" at 7 p.m. Monday, March 9, for the Hays After 5 Christian women’s group.

The dinner program will take place at the Rose Garden Banquet Hall, 2250 E. Eighth St.

Also on the program will be inspirational speaker Gayla Hicks of Wichita. Hicks and her husband, Gerald, own Perfect Peace Christian Lifestyle Store in Wichita.

Gayla Hicks, attended Oklahoma State University, where she majored in business management. She has three children, whom she home schools. Her talk is titled "The Path to Perfect Peace."

Cost is $12.50. Reservations are due by Thursday, March 5, to (785) 202-1036 or to daisymae0917@yahoo.com. Hays After 5 is affiliated with Stonecroft Ministry of Overland Park.