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Church offers pancake supper, Blessing of Ashes

Having added a drive-through Blessing of the Ashes last year for Ash Wednesday, Bethesda United Methodist Church continues to expand its program of Lenten and pre-Lenten observances, with the addition of a Shrove Tuesday pancake supper from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17.

"Our new pastor, Rev. Ernest Thayil, suggested that we have the Shrove Tuesday meal," said church member Linda Joyave.

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Church members will be serving up pancakes, sausage, applesauce, juice, coffee and tea. Everyone is welcome to come to the supper and enjoy the fellowship.

There is no charge for the meal, but a freewill offering will be accepted to help those in need in the community.

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For Ash Wednesday on Feb. 18, community members are invited to come to the church to receive a drive-through Blessing of Ashes, which will be offered from 7 to 8:30 a.m. and from 5 to 6:30 p.m. "They don't need to get out of their cars," said Joyave.

"Ashes are placed on the forehead in the sign of the cross to remind us of our own mortality, that of others, and the suffering and death of Jesus Christ for all humanity," Joyave wrote in an email. "To receive the ashes, just pull into [the parking lot in] the front of the church."

Joyave said, "Last year was the first year we've done it, and we had more than a dozen participants, so we're hoping to have more this year. Our former pastor had the idea, and it's really to help people who wouldn't have the opportunity to receive the ashes at the evening service. It's very brief."

The church will still have its regular Ash Wednesday worship service at 7 p.m. in the church sanctuary. All are welcome to attend the evening service.

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The drive-through Blessing of Ashes is an outreach effort by Bethesda United Methodist Church. "It's really more to serve the community, because most of our congregation will come to the evening worship service," Joyave said.

Bethesda United Methodist Church is at 328 Klee Mill Road, Sykesville.

For more information, contact the Rev. Ernest Thayil at 301-865-4443.

'Annie, Jr.' on stage

Carrolltowne Elementary School will host its fifth annual performance by The Carrolltowne Players this month. "Annie, Jr." is this year's show at the school.

The Carrolltowne Players includes Carrolltowne Elementary School students from kindergarten through fifth grade. Mary Vaccarino, who founded the theatre group in 2010, is directing this production.

"Annie, Jr." is recommended for audiences of all ages. The show is a one-act version of the 1977 Broadway hit "Annie," based on "Little Orphan Annie," a comic strip that ran from 1924 to 2010.

Performances of "Annie, Jr." are scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 20 and 21 and for 2 p.m. Feb. 21 and 22. The doors will open an hour before each performance.

In case of school closings due to inclement weather, the shows will be offered Feb. 27, 28 and March 1.

Tickets are $8 per person, or $9 at the door, if available. Tickets for the Carrolltowne Players usually sell out early, so don't wait to get your tickets.

Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.carrolltowneplayers.com. You can also purchase a cookiegram message for your favorite young actors at the price of $1 each.

Carrolltowne Elementary School is at 6542 Ridge Road, Eldersburg.

For more information, call the school at 410-751-3530 or visit the website listed above.

Nancy McKenzie covers Berrett, Eldersburg, Flohrville, Gaither, Gist, Johnsville, Louisville, Marriottsville and Sykesville. Contact her at 410-848-2260 or mckenzietimes@comcast.net.

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