Religion Notes

February 02, 2007

24 faith communities support Grassroots

Twenty-four faith communities have pledged support and contributed to the Grassroots Renovation and Expansion Campaign.

Linden-Linthicum United Methodist Church has pledged $47,500 and St. John Baptist Church has committed $20,035.

Five churches have pledged $15,000 each: Bethany United Methodist Church, Glen Mar United Methodist Church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church and St. Louis Roman Catholic Church. The Jewish Federation of Howard County has pledged $15,000.

Fourteen churches are participating in the Grassroots cold-weather shelter program, providing a haven for individuals and families when the Grassroots shelter is full.

Grassroots provides the county's only shelter for homeless people and is headquarters for the county's Mobile Crisis Team, which responds to family crises and psychiatric emergencies. Renovations to the Grassroots facility on Freetown Road will more than double the building size, and shelter rooms will be increased from 32 to 55.

Smith accepts post as New Spirit pastor

New Spirit Community Church of Ellicott City has announced that the Rev. Dana Smith has accepted the church's call to become senior pastor.

After completing post-graduate work at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, Smith served as an associate pastor in Malvern, Pa., and most recently as chaplain and sophomore New Testament teacher at Lexington Christian Academy in Lexington, Mass.

His wife, Kristen, was a missionary in Paris for two years before earning a master of divinity degree at Gordon-Conwell.

New Spirit Community Church, a nondenominational church, meets at Homewood Center on Route 108. Sunday services begin at 10 a.m.

Center to hold Day of Prayer

Bon Secours Spiritual Center, 1525 Marriottsville Road, Marriottsville, will hold a "Friends' Day of Prayer" from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Rev. Joseph Kenna will discuss Matthew 25:40. Mass is included.

The cost is $25 a person, and includes lunch. Registration is requested by Monday.

Information or registration: 410-442-1320.

Trinity to mark 150th anniversary

Trinity Episcopal Church, Waterloo, will celebrate its 150th anniversary (1857-2007) with a Mardi Gras Dinner and Dance, to be held from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Feb. 17 at Snyder's Willow Grove Restaurant, 841 N. Hammonds Ferry Road, Linthicum.

The cost is $30 a person. A cash bar is planned.

Information: 301-490-5516, or e-mail: Trinity150th@verizon. net.

Trinity's Gift & Thrift Shoppe, 6010 Waterloo Road at Old Montgomery Road in Elkridge, has fall and winter clothing available. A bag sale (each bag of clothing costs $3) is planned for this month and next.

The shop is at Pfeiffer's Corner, behind St. John's Lutheran Church. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and the first and third Saturdays of each month.

Information: 410-799-9175.

Service to honor Shabbat Shirah

Columbia Jewish Congregation and Bet Aviv Congregation will hold a joint Shabbat Service at 8 p.m. today to celebrate and honor Shabbat Shirah, the Sabbath of the Song at the Sea (Exodus 13:17-17:16), the song of praise and gratitude to God sung by the Israelites at the miracle by the Red Sea.

The congregations will sing songs of peace and sow seeds.

Rabbi Sonya Starr, Cantor Margery Auerbach and Cantor Jan Morrison will lead services, which will be held at the Meeting House, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia.

The congregations also will prepare for Tu B'Shevat, the New Year for Trees, when the sap begins to rise in trees in Israel. The holiday is celebrated tomorrow.

Everyone is welcome.

Information: 410-730-6044.

Personal-growth course is offered

The Lubavitch Center for Jewish Education, 770 Howes Lane, Columbia, is offering a Jewish Learning Institute course, "The Kabbalah of Character," strategies for profound personal growth, at 10 a.m. Sundays, through March 11, at the Lubavitch Center, 770 Howes Lane, Columbia. The cost is $75 for the eight-week course, which includes materials. Couples pay $135.

Information: Rabbi Hillel Baron, 410-740-2424.

Conservative Jewish rulings on agenda

Rabbi Susan Grossman of Beth Shalom Congregation is offering the last session in a four-part course on recent "responsa," or legal decisions, decided for Conservative Judaism by the movement's Committee of Jewish Law and Standards, of which Grossman is a member.

The role of women as witnesses is the topic at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday. Sessions have been held on decisions on stem cell research, same-sex relationships and organ donation.

The cost is $5 a class. payable at the door. Beth Shalom Congregation is at 8070 Harriet Tubman Lane, Columbia. Information: 410-531-5115.

If you have an announcement for Religion Notes, send it to howard.religion@baltsun. com or fax it to 410-715-2816.

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