Covenant signing to be celebrated

Christ United Methodist Church will honor the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Columbia Cooperative Ministry Covenant at a 10 a.m. worship service Sunday. It will be held at Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way.


The covenant, which was signed Jan. 23, 1977, at The Mall in Columbia, was an agreement between three Protestant denominations -- United Methodist, Episcopalian and Presbyterian USA -- and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore to cooperate on ecumenical and interfaith projects, said the Rev. Marilyn Newhouse, pastor of Christ United Methodist.

George Martin led the Cooperative Ministry from the late 1970s until his death in March last year. The ministry sponsors the Coalition for Compassion, which provides food and works to promote affordable housing and social services for the needy. It also conducts ecumenical services on Good Friday and Easter Sunday and an interfaith service at Thanksgiving, all in Columbia.


Martin's widow, Betty, will attend the commemoration.

Information: 410-381-6329.

Service to honor Shabbat Shirah

Columbia Jewish Congregation and Bet Aviv Congregation will hold a joint Shabbat Service at 8 p.m. Feb. 2 to celebrate and honor Shabbat Shirah, the Sabbath of the Song at the Sea (Exodus 13:17-17:16), the song of praise and gratitude to God sung by the Israelites at the miracle by the Red Sea.

The congregations will sing songs of peace and sow seeds.

Rabbi Sonya Starr, Cantor Margery Auerbach and Cantor Jan Morrison will lead services, which will be held at the Meeting House, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia.

The congregations also will prepare for Tu B'Shevat, the New Year for Trees, when the sap begins to rise in trees in Israel. The holiday falls on Feb. 3.

Everyone is welcome.


Information: 410-730-6044.

Australian singer set to perform

Australian folk singer Iain Campbell Smith, whose songs and activism were documented in the film Bougainville Sky, will perform in the next One World Coffeehouse at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12; $6 for students.

The One World Coffeehouse is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia.

Information: 410-381-0097.


Conservative Jewish rulings on agenda

Rabbi Susan Grossman of Beth Shalom Congregation will offer a four-session course on recent "responsa," or legal decisions, decided for Conservative Judaism by the movement's Committee of Jewish Law and Standards, of which Grossman is a member.

The committee issued two contradictory decisions on human sexuality, Grossman said; both received a majority vote.

"One decision upheld the universal prohibition against gay relationships, while the other narrowly defined the biblical prohibition to thereby allow most forms of gay relationships, including ordination and commitment ceremonies," she said.

Grossman, who was head of the subcommittee on family, gender and human sexuality that oversaw the editing of the decisions, will explain both positions from 7:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A session on organ donation is planned for Jan. 30; the role of women as witnesses is the topic Feb. 6.


The cost is $5 a class, payable at the door. Beth Shalom Congregation is at 8070 Harriet Tubman Lane, Columbia.

Information: 410-531-5115.

Jewish womanhood classes scheduled

The Lubavitch Center for Jewish Education is offering classes to introduce girls ages 11 to 13 to Jewish womanhood.

"How to be a Jewish Woman" is being held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. The class will include crafts, poetry and discussion. No synagogue affiliation is required; there is a fee for the class, which runs for 12 to 15 sessions.

A free women's Bible study class (children welcome) is offered at noon Wednesdays, and a text-based Torah study class is offered from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays. The cost for materials is $36.


Information: Rebbetzin Chani Baron, 410-740-2424.

The Lubavitch Center will offer a Jewish Learning Institute course, "The Kabbalah of Character," strategies for profound personal growth, at 10 a.m. Sundays, this week through March 11, at the Lubavitch Center, 770 Howes Lane, Columbia. The cost is $75 for the eight-week course, which includes materials. Couples pay $135.

Information: 410-740-2424.

Spiritual seekers meet Sundays

Journeys Community, a nontraditional spiritual-seekers group, meets at 10 a.m. Sundays in the second-floor auditorium of Vantage House Life-Care Retirement Community, 5400 Vantage Point Road in Town Center, Columbia.

Journeys Community has published a book, Seeking the Spirit: How to Create a Community of Seekers.


The book describes the history of the Columbia group and its nontraditional liturgy, which draws on many cultures and faith traditions.

Information: 410-730-6079.

Thrift shop has fall, winter clothing

Trinity Episcopal Church's Gift & Thrift Shoppe, 6010 Waterloo Road at Old Montgomery Road in Elkridge, has fall and winter clothing available.

The shop is at Pfeiffer's Corner, behind St. John's Lutheran Church. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and the first and third Saturdays of each month.

Information: 410-799-9175.


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