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The Baltimore Sun

Enjoy fireworks and avoid crowds on grounds of two churches

Freedom rings, booms and sparkles when fireworks light up the night sky July 4. Enjoy the rockets' red glare from the comfort of these church lawns in Arbutus. Both offer spectacular views of the annual display at Catonsville High School:

• St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 901 Courtney Road, invites neighbors to bring lawn chairs and snacks as dusk settles. The church will be open for use of the facilities.

Call the church office, 410-242-0422.

• Arbutus United Methodist Church, 1201 Maple Ave., serves supper at 6 p.m., featuring pit beef and pork, franks, burgers, homemade potato chips and fries, desserts and beverages. Bring chairs or blankets as well as your appetite.

Call the church office, 410-242-9029.

Scoop up luscious treats at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 141 Laverne Ave., on Sundae Sunday, July 10, following the 10 am. worship hour. All you need is your sweet tooth!

Iced tea hours are also featured throughout the summer on the front law. Cool beverages and seasonal treats follow services.

Call 410-242-2141 for tasty tidbits.

Early worships at 8:30 a.m. are available in these churches during July and August. Casual dress, contemporary tunes.

Arbutus United Methodist Church, 1201 Maple Ave.

Halethorpe-Relay United Methodist Church, 4513 Ridge Ave.

Call 410-242-5918.

St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 901 Courtney Road. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. for 9 a.m. service.

410-242-0422.

Vacation Bible schools are every parent's answer to wails by restless youngsters that, "There's nothing to do!"

For your convenience, consider these local church for July:

Halethorpe-Relay United Methodist Church, July 11-15, 9:30-11:30 a.m., for ages 4-11 years.

Bible-based crafts, games, music, lessons and treats every day. Pizza party on Friday. Collecting school supplies for Southwest Emergency Services. Register through the church office. Walk-ins welcome, too.

Arbutus United Methodist Church, July 11-15, 6:15-8:30 p.m., for ages 3-11 years.

"Shake it up Bible Café" is the tasty theme, dishing up culinary crafts, music, games and Bible stories. Family night on Friday. Love offerings. Call the church to register or just walk in.

Christ United Methodist Church, 2833 Florida Ave, July 18-22, 6-9 p.m. for the whole family.

The "Sonsurf" theme is awash in innovative activities about Jesus' ministry. Lively music, nightly supper. Freewill offering.

Margie Snyder accepts registrations at 410-789-9544 or call the church, 410-789-9058.

Lansdowne United Methodist Church, 114 Laverne Ave., July 18-22, 5:45-8:30 p.m., for preschoolers through middle school age.

The "Panda Mania" theme provides fun activities, based on real heroes. Nightly supper served. Fee is $5 per child but scholarships available.

Register with Virginia Mullins at 410-242-3039 or on site.

Hope Presbyterian Church, 4748 Shelbourne Road, July 25-29, f9 a.m. to noon, for ages 3-11 years.

The "Shake it up Bible Café" promises life changing recipes for enjoying God's bounty through its seasoned lessons and activities. Free registrations before July 18. Afterwards, cost is $5.

Call 410-247-4673.

The Baltimore County Christian Workcamp calls people of faith together in a common cause: provide home repairs and renovations for low-income or homebound seniors in communities nearby.

Hit the nail on the head by participating July 17-22.

Special needs for skilled workers but anyone over age 16, with a willing heart, is welcome.

Daily flex hours to fit individual schedules.

Registration required through Chip Day, 410-744-2794, or Frank Thomas, 410-667-1725.

Please remember the SWES ministry's pantry when you shop for groceries.

Demands on this outreach escalate in the summer when school lunches aren't available for hungry youngsters. SWES is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 9-11:30 a.m., 1201 Maple Ave.

Most area churches also support SWES. Drop donations at the one closest to your home if that is more convenient.

Call 410-247-8154.

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