Terri Bocklund of Ellicott City has been working for three years as Contemporary Worship Leader at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church on Route 108.
In that role she attended the 21st Annual Christian Artists' Seminar in the Rockies in August.
At the last minute, Ms. Bocklund decided to enter one of her musical compositions, "All Things Work for Good," in the Contemporary/Rock competition.
Not only did her song win first prize in her category, but it also won the grand prize for the best composition submitted this year.
The benefits from winning this grand prize include a trophy and $300. Later Ms. Bocklund will receive career coaching from an industry leader and a chance to make a full-production demo tape.
"It's a great expansion of what I can do for ministry," she says. "I was blown away."
In her musical work with the church, Ms. Bocklund is a member of Cornerstone, a contemporary band. David Chiarenza, Fred Williams and Kenny Wolfram are the other members of the band, which performs at church services and has a compact disc.
Ms. Bocklund is a single mother of four small children and attends Lutheran Theological Seminary.
This summer, Howard High School's Spanish teacher Janis O'Neal again chaperoned a group of 16 high school Spanish students on the Columbia Association's Sister City Exchange Program to Tres Cantos, Spain.
Howard High School participants included Jennifer Koontz, Jessa Munion and Jessica Rudd..
The group left Dulles Airport June 22 and returned July 10. Each student lived with a host family to learn the Spanish culture and language.
Later in the summer, the host Spanish teen-agers returned the favor and visited Howard County.
The gala opening of art galleries and studios in Ellicott City and Oella will happen this Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Six galleries, the Mill River Gallery, National Quilting Association, Department of Education Gallery, Howard County Center for the Arts, and Margaret Smith and Sheppard Art Galleries, will present new exhibits, opening the fall art season.
Events such as a live jazz performance and silent auction add to the fun.
Call the Howard County Center for the Arts at 313-ARTS for a complete schedule of events.
The Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department invites you to an All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday.
The menu includes pancakes and eggs, sausage, toast, hash brown potatoes and beverages.
Adult tickets cost $4, youngsters 5 to 12 cost $2, and children under 5 eat for free.
Mayfield Woods Middle School PTA President Stan Rappaport announces that motivational trainer Sandy Queen will be visiting local schools Thursday.
She'll split her daytime hours between Deep Run Elementary and Mayfield Woods Middle, speaking to the children, then talking with parents on "How To Be A Parent and a Human, Too" at 7:30 p.m. at Mayfield.
Ms. Queen founded and directs Lifeworks, a consulting firm in Columbia. A well-known international speaker, she helps people to look at their lives with humor.
Carita Carlyle, guidance counselor at Deep Run Elementary, brought Ms. Queen to the attention of the PTA.
Four school PTAs sponsor the talk: Mayfield Woods Middle, Deep Run Elementary, Waterloo Elementary and Phelps Luck Elementary.
The public is welcome to attend.
On Wednesday, Burleigh Manor Middle School Principal Jim DeGeorge will be topping his head with a McDonald's cap.
Working with the teachers between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., he'll flip burgers and serve fries at Ellicott City's U.S. 40 McDonald's restaurant.
A portion of the night's proceeds will benefit the school.
I think that little neighborhood rituals help to make a community out of a group of people coincidentally living on the same street.
To its credit, my street has such a ritual: We gather twice a year in the summer to eat together in the shade of the large spruce tree on the circle.
Everyone brings their own meal and shares a goodie. The Clancy family sets up a grill and pulls their table and chairs off the patio for people to share.
Grouped around the circle are lawn chairs, tricycles, skateboards and assorted balls.
Last weekend, the Bickertons came from the adjoining street. The Geigers and the Bonds came from around the corner to supply the party with some big boys.
The little children were the small Duffs and the twin Mertz boys, accompanied by their parents.
The Rudolfs and the Blumbergs, families who live on the circle, merely stepped out of their front doors to attend the party.
While the burgers, hot dogs and kebabs sizzled on the grill, we caught up with each other and felt the chill of fall in the air.
If you're wondering how to solve the multitudinous plant problems in your gardens, think of giving the Howard County Master Gardeners a call.
They have a small group of volunteers who will visit your garden with an eye for insects and plant diseases.
Paul Rutter, who has 20 beautiful rose bushes in his Elkridge yard, is the rose specialist in the group.
He recently visited the home of a family in southern Howard County, to find the canes being consumed by borers, a result of improper pruning techniques.
For information, about this service, call Georgia Eacker at (410) 313-2707.