First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3604 Chatham Road in Ellicott City, is sponsoring "Honoring Our Neighbors' Faith: An Evening of Dialogue and Understanding" from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday.
The last in a series of dialogues about other traditions and beliefs, will focus on "Our Roman Catholic Neighbors." The Rev. Richard Tillman of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church will speak.
Train garden, open house
The ninth annual Firefighters Holiday Train Garden and Open House is open at the Ellicott City Fire Station, 4150 Montgomery Road, Ellicott City.
The train garden will feature a vintage fire engine.
Hours are 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, through Jan. 2. The train garden will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas Eve but closed on Christmas Day. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. New Year's Eve and Day.
Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.
The department also is collecting new, unwrapped toys for needy children through Dec. 23. Toys can be dropped off at the train garden or at any Howard County fire station.
Musical drama -- Bethany Lane Baptist Church, 3030 Bethany Lane, Ellicott City, will present The Mystery of Christmas, an original musical drama, at 5 p.m. today. Tickets are free but must be reserved. 410-465-0150, Ext. 14, or www.bethanylane baptist.org.
At the library -- The Miller branch library, 9421 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, will offer "Gingerbread Man-ia," a program with stories, games and a craft for children ages 3 to 7, at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. tomorrow; 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday; and 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Registration is required. 410-313-1955.
Learning English -- The Miller branch library offers an English Conversation Club from 7:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Mondays for people who speak English as a second language. First-time participants must register in advance. 410-313-1950.
Holiday food drive -- The Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department is sponsoring its 16th Christmas Holiday Food Drive for needy families in the Elkridge area. Donations of food, checks or cash are welcome. Checks should be made payable to the Christmas Food Drive, c/o Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department. Donations will be accepted any time at the fire station, 6275 Old Washington Road in Elkridge, or can be given to Santa and Mrs. Claus when they visit Elkridge neighborhoods Wednesday to Dec. 17. Turkeys, hams, desserts, butter and margarine, juices, stuffing and other boxed, nonperishable items are needed for holiday food baskets. Joe Slavotinek, 410-984-1796.
An all-you-can-eat Breakfast with Santa will be offered from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. today at the Fire Department. The cost is $7 for adults; $6 for those ages 55 and older. Children up to age 5 eat for free. 410-313-4901.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will ride a fire engine to visit neighborhoods in Elkridge, weather permitting, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and Dec. 17. When neighbors hear Jingle Bells sounded on the air horn of the engine, they should gather at the nearest street corner. Wrapped gifts for needy children will be accepted. The gifts should be labeled "boy" or "girl" and marked with the age of a child who might enjoy them. Every child who visits with Santa will be given a candy cane. Capt. Rob Lisle, 410-984-2101.
Winter concerts -- The Mount Hebron High School choirs will present their Winter Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the school auditorium. The Madrigal Singers, Girls' Chorus, the Chorale, the Concert Choir, BarberShop and BeautyShop groups will perform. On the program is Vivaldi's Gloria, performed with orchestra. The school's bands will present concerts at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19. The Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble will be featured. The Symphonic Band, Symphonic Winds and Dixie Jazz Combo will perform Dec. 20. Admission is free. Bob Johnston, 410-313-2880.
Elkridge library -- The Elkridge library, 6540 Washington Blvd., Elkridge, offers a parent-child book club, for ages 11 to 17 and a parent, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month. Registration is not required.
Help with homework will be available for those ages 11 to 14 at the library. Snacks will be provided, and registration is requested.