Teens' play to explore problem of evil ELLICOTT CITY/ELKRIDGE


"Why do bad things happen to good people?" The youth group at Bethany United Methodist church will attempt to address this question on Sunday in the form of a musical play called "The Big Picture."

The plot of the musical, written by Michael W. Smith of Word Music Co., is of two teen-agers involved in a serious car accident. One lives, but is maimed, and the other dies. Explaining how God fits into this scenario absorbs the audience for the balance of the play.

Does this theme sound too "heavy" for teen-agers to face? Not so, says the play's co-director, Betty Christopher.

"Kids are used to heavy things, but they don't know what to do with them," she explained. Helping teens to understand "the truth of God's grace" in the presence of tragedy is an important part of their development.

The play has involved many church members beyond the youth cast of 20-odd kids.

Unsung members of the congregation have worked to put together the backdrops, props, and costumes. With Ms. Christopher, co-director Dianne Smith is the choreographer.

Graduating seniors who are in the cast include Kary Thompson, Meredith Wissel and Bill Chedester. Younger cast members are Julia Stephens, Erica Leamon, Katie Ciccarello, Chad Hawthorne, Kristen Hawthorne, Matt Hottle, Kendra Dunbar, Steve Plumlee, Nicole DePuy, Kate Fenner, Sunmy Kang, Tom Bien, Alex Wissel, Jennifer Crivelli, Angie Henderson, Kevin Smith, Ryan Smith and Mark Noble. My old friend Sarah Boyer is one of the stage hands.

The play will be given in the Church Fellowship Hall at 2875 Bethany Lane at 11 a.m. and again at 7 p.m. A love offering is requested to help defray expenses. For directions, call the church at 465-2919.


Do you have a little space in your home and life to share with a Spanish teen-ager this summer? Culture and Language Services can help you to fill that space. They're looking for host families for 25 students who will arrive from Spain on July 6.

They all speak English and are from 14 to 20 years old. Ellicott City and Columbia families can play hosts for one month before students leave Aug. 2.

If you can't spend a month in Madrid, there is no better way to learn about the Spanish culture. The information exchange between our teens and the guests was continuous, as everyday occurrences became opportunities for learning.

Each teen-ager is insured and comes with spending money. There are plenty of group activities to ease the need to entertain your visitor.

If you are interested in participating in this program, call coordinator Sondra Taylor at 997-3623.


Here's a fun possibility for Memorial Day Weekend: spend a day in Historic Ellicott City, at the Founder's Day Weekend. The event will be on May 29 to 31, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., rain or shine. There, with the help of historical reenactors, you will help to celebrate the Ellicott brothers' founding of Ellicott City in 1772. The South River Sutlers will set up camp at the B & O Station Plaza at the corner of Main Street and Maryland Avenue.

They will demonstrate daily chores necessary in 18th Century life. Typical of their demonstrations are open-fire cooking, weaving and spinning, blacksmithing, and candle and soap making. Other reenactors are welcome to visit the camp.

This event is presented free of charge as a community service by Historic Ellicott City, Inc. and Mumbles and Squeaks Toy Gallery.

L Questions? Call the B&O; Railroad Station Museum at 461-1945.


Three Centennial High School Speech and Debate Team members qualified for national competition in West Palm Beach, Fla., over Memorial Day Weekend.

Congratulations to Jackie Callier, Amita Shukla and Jenny Lee.


Fascinated by your ancestry? To help the beginning researcher to find their ancestors, the Howard County Genealogical Society will sponsor a free Genealogy Workshop for Beginners from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the Howard County Historical Society at 8324 Court Avenue, Ellicott City. Group leader will be Duane Smith, author of "Genealogy is More than Charts."

To reserve a space or ask directions, call 465-6696.


On Sunday, Gallery 44 at 10194 Baltimore National Pike in Ellicott City, will present a one-day exhibit of student photography and art from students attending its educational partner, Bushy Park Elementary School. The gallery has professionally matted the student art and has donated exhibit space for this day.

The gallery will be open from noon to 4 p.m.


If you live with artistic children, perhaps you'd like to encourage them to enter Howard Soil Conservation District's Poster contest, "Hands of Healing." The posters should promote wise use and protection of soil, water, and other natural resources.

Each winner by age group at the state level will be given a $50 bond, and the winner's poster will be sent to the national poster contest.

Posters should be 24 by 36 inches, and taken to 9025 Chevrolet Drive, Suite J in Ellicott City by June 7.

For further specifications on the poster, call the Howard County Soil Conservation District at 465-3180.

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