Joyfest 2016: St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 8550 Pioneers Blvd., in Lincoln, will host Joyfest 2016 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today featuring comedian and author Chonda Pierce. The event is for women of all ages to enjoy a day of laughter, fun and fellowship. Cost is $40 and includes a light breakfast and luncheon buffet. Seating is general admission.

Forum series: First Central Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, will continue its Open Forum series Sunday. Sessions are free and begin at 9:10 a.m. The church is at 36th and Harney Streets. This Sunday's topic will be "Confronting Our Global Environmental Crisis — Grounds for Optimism." The featured speaker will be John Schalles, professor of biology at Creighton University and a member of First Central. For more information, call 402-345-1533.

Free concert: Grammy Award nominee New York Polyphony will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Cecilia Cathedral, 701 N. 40th St.

Grits 'N' Gumption: Cherri Beam-Clarke will present a free program titled Grits 'N' Gumption at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at Underwood Hills Church, 851 N. 74th St.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper: St. John's Lutheran Church in Schuyler, Nebraska, will hold a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at 821 Denver St. The menu will include pancakes, breakfast sausage and scrambled eggs. The all-you-can eat meal costs $6.50 for adults and $4 for those ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and younger are free. Proceeds benefit the Christian Education programs at St. John's. Tickets will be available at the door. Women of the ELCA will be selling tickets for $1 each for a quilt to be given away, and proceeds from the drawing will be used to buy food for the Schuyler Food Pantry.

Ashes in the Park: First Lutheran Church worship staff will pray and distribute ashes from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday at Midtown Crossing near Cold Stone Creamery.

Ecumenical briefing: Church Women United of Nebraska will sponsor an Ecumenical Legislative Briefing Day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 13 at Christ United Methodist Church, 4530 A St., in Lincoln. The theme for the day is "Work for Justice." The cost, which includes lunch, is $25 at the door. For more information, contact Mary. Spurgeon@fumcomaha.org or 402-556-6262, ext. 1004.

German Heritage Dinner: St. John Lutheran Church of Mineola, Iowa, is having its annual German Heritage Dinner on Feb. 13. Serving begins at 4:30 p.m. The menu includes: mettwurst, fried potatoes, sauerkraut, green beans, salad, homemade German rye bread and desserts. Cost is $12 for adults and $6 for those ages 5 to 12. Takeout orders will be available. For more information, go to stjohnlutheranmineola.org or call 712-526-2268.

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