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Tu B'Shevat, a Jewish Arbor Day, is today

Tu B'Shevat, a Jewish Arbor Day sometimes called the New Year for Trees, will be observed by the Calah Congregation at 7:30 p.m. today at Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia.

The holiday is celebrated at the time of year when sap begins to rise in trees in Israel.

Platters of fruit and nuts, red and white wine, and red and white grape juice will be served during a Tu B'Shevat seder to celebrate the gift of trees and the congregation's renewed commitment to preserve and enhance the environment.

Calah is an unaffiliated congregation. Its services include traditional melodies and prayer books compiled by Herbert Kumin, the congregation's rabbi emeritus.

Information: 410-792-8029.

Journeys Community theme for Sunday is love

Journeys Community's theme for this week's 10 a.m. Sunday service will be "Love is our connection to God and to each other. What does it mean to open up ourselves enough to give and receive love?"

The group's Sunday services are held in the second-floor auditorium of Vantage House Life-Care Retirement Community, 5400 Vantage Point Road in Town Center, Columbia.

Information: 410-730-6079.

Barbecue planned Sunday at Lubavitch Center

The Lubavitch Center for Jewish Education, 770 Howes Lane, Columbia, will hold its midwinter barbecue at 6 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are requested. There is a small fee.

The center is offering a new class in Torah and Haftorah reading at 8:30 p.m. Thursdays. A class in Talmud is offered at 8 p.m. Both classes are free. A new class in conversational Hebrew is being held from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at a private home.

A class in "Tanya: Leading a balanced life with joy and humility," based on the 18th-century classic text of Jewish mysticism by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, is offered at 8:30 p.m. Mondays, and a women's Bible study class with Morah Chanie (Rebbitzin Chanie Baron) is held at noon Wednesdays. Children are welcome.

Information or to reserve a place at the barbecue: 410-740-2424.

Gospel Extravaganza is slated tomorrow at Rouse Theatre

The Howard County Office on Aging and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity will sponsor the fourth Gospel Extravaganza, a fundraiser to assist Howard County senior citizens with emergency needs and provide scholarships to local minority students.

The annual concert will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at Jim Rouse Theatre at Wilde Lake High School, 5460 Trumpeter Road, Columbia.

Performing will be the St. John's Baptist Choir; Handel and Victoria Smith of Celebration Church; Guilford Baptist Men's Choir; Morgan University Dance Ensemble; Gospel Revelations; and Tage Steel Drum Band.

Donations of $20 are requested for adults; $8 for children.

Information or tickets: Ed Franklin, 410-730-5665, or Mike Clark, 410-730-7624.

Church thrift shop is holding a bag sale this month and next

Trinity Gift & Thrift Shoppe, a project of Trinity Episcopal Church, will hold a bag sale this month and next. Patrons can fill a shopping bag with clothing and other items for $3 a bag.

The thrift shop is at Pfeiffer's Corner, at Old Montgomery and Waterloo roads. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and on the first and third Saturdays of each month.

Information: 410-799-9175.

Christ Church Link offers referrals to service agencies

Christ Church Link, a program of Christ Episcopal Church in Columbia, offers referrals to service agencies in Howard County and Maryland.

Information or to request help: 410-309-9695.

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