St. Barnabas Episcopal Church has good news to share. On All Saint's Sunday, Nov. 3, the Sykesville parish broke ground on a new hall, designed to accommodate growth and better serve the community. Interim Rector Carol Bustard-Burnside kicked off the project by blessing the newly broken ground. Barnabas Hall, as the addition is called, will be ready for use in spring of 2014.

Although St. Barnabas began as an offshoot of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Eldersburg, it ultimately replaced that parish and has operated continuously since 1850. Originally, it served Sykesville mill workers who did not have the means to travel three miles to the Eldersburg location. In fact, town founder James Sykes, a Holy Trinity parishioner, sold the land for St. Barnabas for the token amount of $5. Today, the church continues to serve worshipers from both Howard and Carroll county sides of the Patapsco River.

In January, the church sold its previous parish hall, which it had occupied for nearly 70 years. This building began life as a fire hall shortly after the Civil War and thus possesses great historical value, but it could no longer accommodate a growing membership. The parish is very excited to realize its dream of a larger, more modern facility for fellowship and Christian education activities.

To learn more about St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, go to http://www.stbarnabassykesville.org, call 410-489-2800 or email parish@stbarnabas.ang-md.org. The address is 7609 Main Street.

Lynne Quinn, of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Glenwood, would like to alert the community that no feast will take place in December because of the Christmas holiday. Instead, please mark your calendars for the next community feast on Thursday, Jan. 23, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Get ready for some beautiful sounds of the season from Mt. View Middle School! The music department will present its Winter Choral and Orchestra Concert on Monday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m., and its Winter Band Concert on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. Both performances will take place in the Marriotts Ridge High School auditorium. For more information, call the Mt. View office at 410-313-5545.

Both the Marriotts Ridge High School chapter of the National Honor Society and the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department will accept donations for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program again this year. Simply purchase new, unwrapped toys for children ages infant through 12 and deliver them to one of the drop-off locations.

The fire department, which lies on the corner of Routes 32 and 99, will collect through Friday, Dec. 13. The high school will stop collecting on Monday, Dec. 16. If delivering to the high school, drop off the toys in the front office between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Questions? Call the fire department at 410-313-5403 or the school at 410-313-5568.