EVENT: Local Church Celebrates Anniversary of Two Locations

Open Arms Community churches of Bradford and Port Allegany are celebrating their anniversaries with a picnic and bonfire Oct. 5 at the Otto Township Pavilion near the school along R. L. Sweitzer Drive.​

The event is set for 4-8 p.m. with hamburgers​,​ hot dogs and drinks being provided. People should bring a dish to pass.

As the Bradford area church turns 12 years old, and Port Allegany is celebrating being open one year, Pastor Mike McAvoy reflected on the years gone by.

“As we have cooperated with God and kept His heart for reaching the world with the Good News of Jesus as the priority, we continue to see new people coming and their lives being changed,” McAvoy said. “The things we do and the way we do them connect and resonate with the people of today. They make sense and people find them practical and relevant to their daily lives.”
Assistant Pastor Justin Willoughby said those attending the two churches can expect an accepting and relaxed environment with no pressure.

“They can expect to see real people who are not perfect, but who are all trying to learn more about a God who is perfect, loving, and accepting,” he said. “Open Arms is unlike any church experienced that I have had. Open Arms, and the way we do things has the potential for you to experience God in a real, tangible way. It has changed my life, and it can change yours too.”

Port Allegany Site Pastor Chris Stavish said the first of the year of the church has been fantastic.
“God is continually meeting people where they are at, and guiding them through the every day struggles that we all face,” he said. “It is humbling to know we are apart of a community that is growing more and more in love with Jesus, and we get front row seats to changed lives.”
He pointed​ to a woman named Lindsay who has been changed after attending Port Allegany Open Arms.

“Depressed, on multiple forms of medication to aid in her discomfort, turning to everything destructive in order to bring her comfort, decides to come to church one day,” Stavish said. “As she walks in, grabs a seat… she hears about Jesus. Upon leaving, she feels something different; something never before felt and that is empty, but more hopeful than before the service started

Shortly after hearing about Jesus, she made the decision to follow Him and since then, has been off medications, abusive habit situations, all because she found something never before discovered by her… that is the love, acceptance, and peace of a Heavenly Father giving her joy and direction in the middle of overwhelming circumstances.”

Open Arms is gearing up for their annual Fall Kickoff Weekend, which will start in Bradford with a new Saturday night service Oct. 4 at 6 p.m., and on Sundays at9:15 and 11 a.m In Port Allegany, service times are 9:45 and 11:30 a.m. Both churches will be covering a new series of discussions entitled “Supernatural: Exposing the Dark Side of Spirituality.”

For more information contact the church office at openarmsoffice@gmail.com or814-368-8846.

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