Echo Spring 2021 - 6

By Amy Mongiovi, M.A.
hose who drive down West Franklin Street
in New Holland, Pennsylvania, may notice
several orange doors popping up on both
sides of the road. To some, the bright color
may be a smart branding and logo decision. But
to others, the orange doors have a much deeper
meaning.
The cheerful orange is synonymous with
CrossNet Ministries, which has a mission to
offer help and hope in the name of Jesus by
empowering people in eastern Lancaster County.
Through four ministry pillars-youth, community,
social services and food and nutrition-CrossNet
helps open doors year after year for those who
are under-resourced.
Meredith Preston Dahl
Like many other ministries and non-profits across
Pennsylvania and the country, CrossNet has ties
to Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary
& Graduate School. Led by Executive Director
Meredith Preston Dahl ('06 & '12) and supported
by Director of Development Carl Edwards Jr. ('10
& '18), CrossNet is home to several others from
the LBC | Capital family as well.
The ministry began in 1988 as Cross Connection
Youth Center, an outreach of Weaverland church
in East Earl, where youth gathered five nights a
week. The economy crashed and the poverty rate
doubled that same year, so Dahl joined the team
when programs needed to expand.
" We were seeing a lot more needs, " Dahl
remembered. " Kids were coming in hungry. "
A few years later in 2011, another partnership
was formed with Elanco Social Services Network
to help families with financial and physical
needs, such as food insecurity. By 2017, CrossNet
Ministries became its own agency focusing on
the four pillars that drive the ministry today. Dahl
became the Executive Director, and building
relationships with the community became even
more of a priority.
Carl Edwards
Lisa Kerstetter joined CrossNet in 2013 when
the ministry consisted of just a few employees.
Before serving as Director of Marketing and
Events, Kerstetter worked at LBC | Capital in the
Church & Ministry Leadership Department for
nearly a decade. While she loved her time at LBC,
Kerstetter was ready for a change where she
could impact her local community even more
directly.
After starting as a volunteer at CrossNet, Kerstetter
now oversees the ministry's significant outreach
events such as back-to-school giveaways,
coat drives, community meals, food pantry,
promotional efforts and partnerships with
businesses and organizations like Anchored
Ministries, which spearheads monthly clothing
distributions at CrossNet.
Across the four pillars, CrossNet provides a wide
range of services. In the youth realm, this includes
an orange door opening to the Youth Center, as
well as mentorship relationships for third-graders
to young adults, tutoring and homework help and
the Parents as Teachers program for parents of
young children in conjunction with Community
Action Partnership.
In the areas of food and nutrition, CrossNet is
active through a free summer lunch program,
meals at Christmas and Easter and the Power Pack
Project, which provides students with nutritious
food over the weekend when school breakfast
and lunch programs are unavailable.
Yet another orange door opens up to CrossNet's
food pantry, which serves hundreds of families
each month, as they are empowered to choose
nutritious food, including non-perishable items,
meat, cheese and dairy products and colorful
fresh produce spread across a huge table. As
families get the food and supplies they need,
volunteers are blessed as well.
" People love serving in the food pantry, " Kerstetter
said. " There is so much joy and respect there. "
In fact, food is central to many CrossNet services,
whether stocking the food pantry, hosting holiday
meals, sending students home with weekend
supplies or handing out snacks during mentoring
and tutoring sessions.
" We want to make sure that anyone in our
community who comes has access to food, " Dahl
said. " We don't want anyone to go hungry. "
6 ECHO

Echo Spring 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Echo Spring 2021

Echo Spring 2021 - 1
Echo Spring 2021 - 2
Echo Spring 2021 - 3
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