If you believe that a mind is a terrible thing to waste, take advantage of these learning opportunities offered by churches in the area:

• Dr. Tom Little offers a course on "Spirituality and Prayer" from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursdays in St. Clement Catholic Church, 2700 Washington Ave.

The Carmelite tradition, building a union with God, will be discussed Oct. 20.

The Ignation tradition, discovering God's will, is the topic on Oct. 27.

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All sessions are free and open to the community.

Call 410-242-1025 for prayer notes.

• Adults from all faith traditions, or those without, are welcome to join the 26-week Rite of Christian Initiation classes at 7 p.m. every Tuesday in Ascension Church's parish center, 4603 Poplar Ave.

Essential areas of learning delve into the Bible's lessons, spiritual growth, worship experiences and more of what the church teaches.

Deacon Tom Yannuzzi takes questions at 410-242-2292.

• Break bread at Our Lady of Victory Church Sunday, Oct. 23, and hear Christian educator Gloria Smith's inspirational message at the Sodality Breakfast Hour. An 8 a.m. Mass precedes this feast at 4414 Wilkens Ave. The buffet costs $15.

Reservations are required. Call Theresa Cusic, 410-242-2972.

Spook-tacular Halloween fun

Halethorpe-Relay United Methodist Church, 4513 Ridge Ave., welcomes little ones from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. Seasonal games, fun crafts, tasty nibbles and costume parade. Take a pumpkin to decorate.

Carve out particulars at 410-242-5918.

Hope Presbyterian Church, 4748 Shelbourne Road, calls costumed youngsters to join the party from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. A parade, ghostly crafts and games plus yummy treats are promised. Bring a snack to share and cereal for Southwest Emergency Services' food pantry.

Details at 410-247-4673.

Lansdowne United Methodist Church's youth will distribute empty grocery bags in the area Oct. 28. Their goal is to scare hunger away by collecting staple foods for the SWES pantry. Fill a bag and place it outside on Oct. 30, for pick up in the afternoon.

Laurie Slack leads this group. Talk to her at 443-610-4456.

• "Trunk or Treat" at Arbutus United Methodist Church, 1201 Maple Ave., also benefits the SWES ministry. From noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, costumed youngsters may savor a yummy lunch, some pumpkin decorating and games. Donate food for the pantry. Rain or shine.

Kathy answers questions at 410-242-9029.