2013-03-14 / Local & State

Christian Social Services To Offer Homeownership Class

Participants to develop budgeting and saving skills
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

NEWS EDITOR

Whether they’re collecting much-needed furniture or helping a family get caught up with their utility bills, Christian Social Services continues to live by the motto it determined many years ago in “helping others, help themselves.”

Established many years ago following the loss of the Lutheran Social Services case management here, the nonprofit organization associated with a multitude of area churches currently sets up shop in the McConnellsburg United Methodist Church’s education building on North Second Street. Manned by director and longtime Christian Social Services (CSS) advocate Lynn Miller and volunteers Carol Ramsey and Janet Ingiosi, CSS offers numerous programs to local residents, including furniture outreach, goal and fiscal planning, financial assistance with food and utilities and, most importantly, counseling and a supportive relationship.

“We believe in a mission to help others, not just spiritually, but also in tangible ways,” Miller reported in a recent CSS newsletter. “Spirituality, though, is what separates us from many other service organizations.”

As part of its goal to continue offering a helping hand to local residents, CSS is partnering with PathStone of Chambersburg to host a financial fitness program in Fulton County. The purpose of the program is to help participants develop budgeting and saving skills as well as repair their credit to help prepare for homeownership. Classes will be in a group-setting, typically as a two-part training series headed by PathStone’s homeownership division. Staff from various banking institutions will also be onhand to make presentations.

Miller and Ramsey shared with the “News” that a homeownership class will be held in neighboring Franklin County on April 6. However, it is their desire to host a seminar here if enough individuals sign up for the six-hour class. They noted at least 10 people must preregister for the event to be held in Fulton County.

“It’s a wonderful program, and it’s our aim to bring it to Fulton County,” said the women.

Interested individuals are asked to contact CSS at their current McConnellsburg office. As the Mc- Connellsburg United Methodist Church plans to rebuild a bigger and better education building, CSS is beginning to search for new office quarters. With their own funding very limited, Miller and her dedicated volunteers remain hopeful they can find new office space free or at a reduced cost.

Meanwhile, Miller is moving forward with her ultimate goal of uniting the churches within the county. CSS involves participation from a wide variety of denominations including Catholic, United Church of Christ, Methodist, Charismatic, Pentecostal, Bible Church, Brethren and Presbyterian. Any area churches, youth groups or Sunday school classes are welcome to become a “partnering member” of CSS.

More information on CSS’s philosophy, its programs and seminars or how to make a donation to this nonprofit organization can be obtained by contacting the CSS office at 717-485-5796.

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