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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

“A Night in Bethlehem” Comes to Yardley for Christmas Eve

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This Advent season, Woodside Church has been breaking down misconceptions with “The Advent Conspiracy” and spreading love through acts of service. This message series focuses on Hope & the real Reason for the season, what can happen when we spend less needlessly, give to those in need, and express love to all people. 

Woodside Church invites everyone to join in the celebration of Jesus’ birth with “A Night in Bethlehem”, a fun, immersive experience for the whole family on Christmas Eve. 

“A Night in Bethlehem” is a chance for the local community to explore and re-discover the real Reason for the Season! This family-friendly event is a free 1-hour immersive experience where kids & their families can explore faith and the city at the time of Jesus’ birth. All are welcome (always!) Through hands-on experiences they’ll find out about The Child that changed the world forever. This special event is a children’s worship service that will be a one-time only event that starts at 1:30 PM on Saturday, December 24, 2022.

Stephanie Hermesmeyer, Director of Woodside’s Children’s Ministry talks about this unique Christmas Eve service format “We want every family to know what Christmas is really about. How much God loves each and every one of us, that He sent us the most precious Gift–Jesus!”

Families new to Woodside are encouraged to reach out to the Children’s Ministry for more information.

Woodside Church is known for its warmth, relatability, and ongoing service partnership in surrounding communities as well as other areas of the world. Woodside Church is hosting CodeBlue, a pop-up shelter in partnership with AHTN for the month of January. They offer traditional and contemporary style weekly worship services, Children & Youth Ministries, a variety of service opportunities, growth groups, to invite everyone to explore and build a relationship with Jesus throughout the year. 

“We love because God first loved us” Pastor Doug Hoglund references scripture in a recent sermon message. This Advent, Woodside continues to show their love to people near and far. Over 400 children will open gifts through Woodside’s partnership with Operation Christmas Child. 3,000 hygiene kits will be provided for those in need. No-sew blankets are being collected for children in hospitals & those living on the street on Christmas Day at 10 AM. 70,000 people will have a sustainable source of food & income from the PACKHOPE vegetable seed-packing event. And, Woodside continues to provide much-needed support through “Hope for Ukraine” in partnership with the Outreach Foundation.

On Christmas Eve, there are five worship services: the 1:30 PM: “A Night in Bethlehem” Children’s service & interactive family event. The 4 PM Classic service featuring traditional hymns led by the choir. Worship with contemporary music will be featured at the 5:30 PM & 7 PM Celebration services, and the 9 PM Higher Ground service; all led by their respective bands on Saturday, December 24.

Woodside Church is located at 1667 Edgewood Road, Yardley, PA 19067.

For additional information on worship services or to find volunteer opportunities, please call 215-493-4145 or email woodside@woodside-church.org.

 

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

New LBTQ+ Advocacy Group Fairness Pennsylvania Launches

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Fairness Pennsylvania (FPA), the first full-time statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights program in several years kicked off on Monday, June 3 with Pennsylvania organizers, advocates, and legislators  at the state Capitol.

“We are ready to hit the ground running,” said Sarah Hammond, Fairness PA’s State Director, in a press release. “There are so many engaged activists and strong voices working right now in communities across the state. Our first priority is to identify ways that a new, statewide organization can assist these dedicated activists to move the needle here in Harrisburg and around the state.”

Hammond said. “…FPA is dedicated to promoting equality and fostering nondiscrimination principles in PA so that our LGBTQ+ community can be open, honest, and safe at home, at work, and in our communities across the state.”

In a statement, Governor Josh Shapiro said, “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was founded on the ideals of tolerance and understanding and I’m proud to stand alongside Fairness PA as they work to promote those values and build a better, stronger Commonwealth for all.”

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“No matter what you look like, where you come from, who you love, or who you pray to, you deserve equal protection under the law in Pennsylvania….” said Shapiro. “It’s long past time we put partisanship aside and pass a nondiscrimination law that protects LGBTQ Pennsylvanians,” continued the press release.

Hammond said that an immediate priority for Fairness PA would be passage of the Fairness Act, which would ban discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations in the state, according to the press release. The Fairness Act passed in the state House in April 2023 but has yet to be considered in the state Senate. Shapiro earlier this year called on on the General Assembly to finally come together and pass the Fairness Act.

Fairness Pennsylvania can be found online at fairnesspenn.org or @FairnessPA on social media.

For more information, please visit Fairness PA or contact Pete Shelly at pshelly@clearpointpa.com.

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Man Charged for Possessing Kiddie Porn

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A Bensalem man stands accused of uploading and saving pornographic images involving children to his Google account.

Michael Dunbar, 55, was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Michael W. Gallagher Thursday morning on one felony count of child pornography and one count of criminal use of communication facility with his bail set at 10 percent of $300,000.00.

According to Bensalem Police,  on Thursday, April 25, 2024, a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) was received.  The tip referenced a particular Google account that had uploaded and saved numerous videos depicting child pornography, including prepubescent boys and girls engaging in sexual acts with each other. Detectives began an investigation and were able to determine that the owner/user of the Google account was Dunbar.

On Thursday, June 20, 2024, Bensalem Detectives served a search warrant on Dunbar’s residence.  The suspect was interviewed, and he allegedly admitted to intentionally uploading child pornography into his Google account after finding the videos on the Dark Web.

Bensalem authorities did not comment about the results of the  executed search warrant.

Dunbar was unable to post bail as of early Friday morning and was remanded to Bucks County Correctional Facility. He is currently scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on July 2 and has no attorney of record presently, according to court records.

 

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Health - Bensalem Township

THE Giant Co. & Customers Raise More Than $400,000 For Healing Our Planet Initiatives

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Through its Healing Our Planet initiative, The GIANT Company today announced it raised $403,360 in partnership with its customers to support Planet Bee Foundation™ and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful™. During the month of May, customers at GIANT, MARTIN’S and GIANT Heirloom Market stores were invited to round up their grocery purchases to the nearest dollar to support each organization.

“Action inspires action and small changes such as tree plantings and pollinator awareness can make a big difference when it comes to helping our planet, so thank you to our customers who rounded up at the register to support these green initiatives,” said Courtney Hopcraft, manager of charitable giving and community relations, The GIANT Company. “Over the four years of our Healing the Planet campaign, more than $6 million has been raised to grow health and sustainability initiatives centric to creating healthier communities and a more sustainable future.”

Announced earlier this month, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful in partnership with The GIANT Company announced it will award Healing the Planet grants later this summer to local community organizations for tree plantings across Pennsylvania. Additional funding from The GIANT Company will support Pick Up Pennsylvania and local clean up, recycling and greening events.

“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is grateful to The GIANT Company for their support of native tree planting in their operating areas in Pennsylvania. Funding will also support our Pick Up Pennsylvania program, so we can continue to meet the needs of families, friends, neighbors, civic groups, nonprofits and municipalities working towards a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania,” said Shannon Reiter, president, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “Cleaning and beautifying communities tends to reduce littering and other illegal behaviors, making it a better place for all residents and providing a foundation for community and economic development.”

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Planet Bee Foundation drives awareness for pollinators and the importance of bees as a pathway to STEM, conservation, and innovations in agriculture. Funding raised by The GIANT Company will support local beekeepers, research programs, and school and community programs.

“On behalf of Planet Bee Foundation, I wish to extend our deepest gratitude to The GIANT Company for their donation, which has educated and impacted over 109,000 youth. Their generosity has sponsored STEM and Agriculture Education programs in schools, provided supplies to teachers, offered grants to local beekeepers, provided education at public events, and maintained beehives in community gardens, exemplifying their commitment to local communities,” said Debra Tomaszewski, founder and executive director, Planet Bee Foundation. “We are humbled and inspired by The GIANT Company’s commitment to sustainability, the health of our planet, and the well-being of the families they serve.”

For more information on The GIANT Company’s Healing Our Planet initiative, click here please.

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