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  • Tuesday, August 27, 2013

By Taylor Griffith/Journal Scene
Summerville resident Paula Schaefer has set out to start a local chapter of the national nonprofit organization, The Compassionate Friends. The organization is a support group for families who have lost a child.
Schaefer lost her daughter in 1999 and said while the grieving process was difficult, The Compassionate Friends was “the answer” for her and her family.
“There is a definitely need for grief support in Summerville,” she said.
Hoping to spread grief support through empathy, Schaefer has organized the chapter’s first meeting to be Sept. 5 from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Hampton Inn, located at 1015 Jockey Ct.
The group will meet the first Thursday of every month.
Alpha rolling out ad campaign:
St. Paul’s among churches offering Alpha
Is there more to life than this?  If God made everything, then who made God? Why is there so much suffering in the world? What about other religions? These are just some of the questions people will be asking this fall when Alpha USA and Alpha South Carolina roll out their annual “invitation,” a national ad campaign being held in more than 500 cities.
Among the local churches offering the Alpha program is St. Paul’s Church in Summerville. The course begins there Sept. 10.
Designed to help Alpha’s partner churches reach outside their four walls and energize their congregations in the process, the campaign asks people “are you searching for more?” People who respond to the ads are invited to a relaxed dinner where they can learn more about Alpha, a 10-week exploration of the Christian faith that answers questions about God, the meaning of life and more.
Churches nationwide representing every major denomination will work concurrently on the campaign, using everything from bumper stickers and yard signs to billboards and buses. Every year, thousands of people from all walks of life respond to the ads, including atheists, those revisiting their own faith, even people from different religions.
“We sometimes forget that the church is a wonderful organization for those who are not its members,” notes Margaret Cotton, Alpha’s South Carolina Regional Director.  “Alpha is a way for churches to get back to the work of evangelism and outreach that Jesus called us to, and to get people thinking without making them feel judged.”
This year, across the USA, Alpha has a goal of reaching 3 million individuals —many of whom have been through hard times and are looking for answers.
For more information about the Charleston courses, contact Margaret Cotton - margaretcotton@alphausa.org, 843-971-1893, or visit the Alpha South Carolina website:  www.alphausa.org/southcarolina
Free Spa Day
Friday September 6 • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m
Ladies, come and be pampered at the Free Spa Day on. We are offering: Free manicures, free facials, free neck/shoulder massages and free haircuts. Luncheon served 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by the God in Shoes Ministry (a ministry by women for women and their families) and the Summerville Community Seventh-Day Adventist Church.)
Childcare provided for ages 1-10. Free gift bags for the first 100 women.
 Location: Summerville Community Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 520 Gahagan Road, Summerville.
Contact:  Ellen; 821-4787.

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