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Spiritual notes

Dispensation offered

During this year of St. Joseph, in observance of the Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of Mary, Bishop Mark L. Bartchak has dispensed all from the Lenten requirement to abstain from meat today, March 19.

It is the practice of Catholics to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays during the season of Lent. Catholics will once again be obligated to not eat meat on Friday,

March 26. Good Friday, April 2, is a day of abstaining from meat and fasting (one full meal and two smaller meals that together do not equal a full meal).

Scavenger hunt planned

Jesus’ Journey Scavenger Hunt will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 28, at Hollidaysburg Alliance Church, 183 Jefferson St., Hollidaysburg. The event will follow the last week of Jesus’ life and will be held rain or shine. All ages are invited to participate.

Community Good Friday service scheduled

A community Good Friday service will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, April 2, at Weyant United Methodist Church, Mowry Mills and Heritage Road, Osterburg. Sponsored by the Claysburg Ministerium, the service will be held inside and also in a virtual format in the parking lot. Masks and social distancing are suggested. The offering will benefit the Claysburg and Imler volunteer fire companies. All are welcome to attend.

There will be no Easter sunrise service at Upper Claar Church of the Brethren this year. Plans are being made for the National Day of Prayer service to be held May 6 at Claysburg Community Park.

Free soup offered

St. John’s Reformed Church, 906 Maple Ave., Hollidaysburg, will offer a free soup and bread giveaway from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 20. The drive-thru giveaway will take place in the church parking lot at the rear of the church. There will be several varieties of soup available in quarts and pints, plus loaves of bread. A limit of four pints or two quarts of soup and one loaf of bread per car will be available while supplies last. An offering will be accepted but is not mandatory.

Bagged lunches available

— Second Ave United Methodist Church, 130 Second Ave., Altoona, will hold a free to-go bagged lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., or while supplies last, on Saturday, March 20. Lunches will be handed out at the Second Street door. Those attending are asked to keep a social distance while waiting in line and wear a mask if possible. All are welcome. For more information, call 814-943-2072.

— Providence Presbyterian Church, 2401 Broad Ave., Altoona, will offer a free bag lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 20. The lunch will include a hot dog, baked beans, dessert and fruit. One bag lunch will be handed out per person. The lunches will be handed out in the church’s parking lot for drive-thru and walk ups until the supply runs out. A member of the church will deliver the lunches to cars.

Joint services planned

The joint parishes of Mardorf and Fairview United Methodist churches in Altoona will host drive-in services at 10:30 a.m. Sundays in the parking lot at Mardorf United Methodist Church, 3429 Juniata Gap Road, Altoona. The service is also available within 1 mile of the church on 87.7FM or it can be watched live on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MardorfUMC. The services are available on the Facebook page and on Instagram TV, @mardorfchurch.

The churches hope to resume in-person services for Easter.

Reservations needed for Easter services

Trinity Lutheran Church of Altoona will hold three services on Easter Sunday. Worship times will be 6:30, 8:15 and 10:45 a.m. All three services will include Holy Communion.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, attendance is limited. Anyone wishing to attend one of these services should call the church office at 814-943-3972 with their selection of worship time and number of people attending. As with current worship practices, masks will be required.

Fish fry dinners available

— St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish, Altoona, will hold Lenten Fish Fry Dinners from 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays during Lent through March 26, at Father Kelley Hall on 25th Avenue and Fifth Street. The menu includes choice of baked or fried fish, choice of two sides and dessert. Cost is $10 per dinner. Curbside order and delivery service will be from the side door on Fifth Street. Orders will also be accepted by calling 814-330-9582 or 814-369-0798 with the pickup site approached through the main parking lot of the church to the side lot of Father Kelley Hall.

— The Second Avenue United Methodist Church youth group will hold to-go fish dinners from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Fridays during Lent, excluding Good Friday. The church is at 130 Second Ave., Altoona. Meal orders may be placed beginning at 4 p.m. Fridays by calling 814-943-2072. The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids under 12.

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