WEST COUNTY--Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills

December 18, 1992

Church battles commercialism with ad drive

The commercial side of the Christmas holiday is being challenged head on by an Odenton church that is using clever advertising to promote a religious theme.

The Ark and Dove Presbyterian church is passing out fliers urging, "This Christmas, take your family window-shopping" at the top and reminding them that "The real story of Christmas isn't told in store windows but in church windows."

All pretty nifty, except that the Ark and Dove Church doesn't have stained-glass windows. In fact, the church, which opened a year ago, doesn't even have a building yet. That will come next year.

In the meantime, the 100 worshipers congregate at an office park called Arundel Crossing West, on Blair Drive off Telegraph Road. The new church will be on Piney Orchard Parkway.

The pastor, the Rev. Tim Stern, said he bought the ad for $25 from a company called Church Ad Project, in Eagan, Minn.

"Commercialism often replaces the true meaning of Christmas," Mr. Stern said. "I have no problem with people making a living, but when you substitute buying things for religion, that is a mistake."

Cash register stolen from cleaners

Burglars smashed the front window of a Crofton dry cleaning business Wednesday evening and made off with the cash register, county police reported.

A woman in a car in the lot of Eddie's Pizza in the 1200 block of Route 3 at 7:57 p.m., told police she heard glass breaking and saw someone climbing out of the front window of American Cleaners carrying a cash register.

POLICE

* Odenton: Burglars broke into the High's Dairy store in the 1600 block of Annapolis Road Tuesday night and stole $100.

* Laurel: A resident of the 300 block of Brockbridge Road reported that someone broke into his home Wednesday and took papers.

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