MASON — “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
Romans 12:13 is perhaps one of the many verses that helped inspire the recent work of the members of the Mason United Methodist Church. Several members have been hard at work, gathering donations and various other items in order to open up a thrift store called the Zerkle House of Hope.
What sets this particular store apart from other thrift stores is that it’s located in an old, historic house of former church members. Sisters Jennifer Zerkle-Hart and Claudia Zerkle-Thomas grew up in the house and are very glad to see it put to good use. Hart and Thomas didn’t know the exact date the house was built, but many church members said it was the oldest building in Mason that is currently still standing. Hart and Thomas said their grandparents, Lem and Magdaline Ruttencutter, received it for a wedding present around the early 1900s, who then passed it on to their parents, Peck and Lilah Zerkle, who were life-long members of the Mason United Methodist Church.
The Zerkle House of Hope offers a variety of items including clothing items for all ages, a library full of books and several movies and games, as well as several purses and decorative glass items. Church member Susan Yeager said there are several more items still in storage, as well as seasonal items, that will be displayed when that time of year comes around. Yeager explained that the proceeds from the store will go toward the church’s fund to build a multipurpose building for the church and the community, which will include include a basketball court.
In addition to opening a thrift store, located outside the house is the church’s community garden. Yeager stated this was the second year for the community garden, which provides those in the community who are in need the option to come to the garden and get fresh vegetables. Several vegetables have already been planted and will soon be ready for harvest.
The Zerkle House of Hope is operated by volunteers from the church and is open from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The store will also be open on the third Tuesday of every month, which will coincide with the opening of the Bend Area Food Pantry. On this day, the Zerkle House of Hope will also serve a free breakfast. Donations can be made to the Zerkle House of Hope during the hours of operation. The store is located along 2nd Street in Mason, near the Mason United Methodist Church.