Vacation Bible schools provide answers to prayer on hot summer days. Children receive welcomes in air cooled church halls, where Bible stories, games, crafts, activities and themed music feed their spirits while assorted refreshments feed their growing bodies. For your information, we offer this schedule of weekly camps at area churches:

Halethorpe-Relay United Methodist Church, 4513 Ridge Ave., July 8-12, 9:30-11:30 a.m., ages 4-12. "Everywhere Fun Fair" theme concentrates on Jesus' lessons about loving one another. Freewill offerings. Friday pizza lunch. Daily color scheme. Call Lynn Elliott to register, 410-242-5918.

Halethorpe Community Church, 1312 Francis Ave., July 8-12, 6-8:45 p.m., ages 5-10. Theme is "Kingdom Rock," where youngsters learn how to stand strong for God. Freewill offering. Registration preferred. Call 410-242-7408.

Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 141 Laverne Ave., July 8-12, 6-8 p.m., preschoolers-fifth grade. Jesus' parables build Christian character in the "Tell Me the Stories" sessions. July 12 is also family night. Plate offerings. Registrations accepted at 410-239-0302.

The whole family may attend Christ United Methodist Church's "Tell it on the Mountain" vacation Bible school July 8-12, 6-8:30 p.m., at 2833 Florida Ave. Supper precedes intergenerational activities, stories and songs. Freewill offerings. Call 410-789-9058.

Arbutus United Methodist Church, 1201 Maple Ave., July 15-19, 6:15-8:30 p.m., ages 3-12. "Everywhere Fun Fair" theme is based on Jesus' great commandment to love one another. Freewill offerings. Pre-registration helps planners. Call 410-242-9029.

Violetville United Methodist Church, 3648 Coolidge Ave., July 22-26, 6-8 p.m., ages 3-11. Theme is "Sonrise National Park," a children's journey to Jesus. A $5 fee per child. Register with Missy Troll at 410-525-3191.

Hope Presbyterian Church, 4748 Shelbourne Road, July 22-26, 9 am. to noon, ages 3-11. Theme is "Everywhere Fun Fair." Jesus' words of "love one another" will be the week's focus. A $5 donation per child accepted. Registration required due to limited space. Call 410-247-4673.

Fourth of July celebrations

Observe Catonsville's fireworks display from St. Stephen Lutheran Church's vantage point at 911 Courtney Road. Bring chairs or blankets. Free sodas provided. Arrive by dusk or call 410-242-0422.

Arbutus United Methodist Church opens its grounds to fireworks observers, too. Bring your own seating. Light supper fare will be bargain priced. Fun begins at 6:30 p.m. when musicians strike up the band. Call 410-242-9029.

This and that

Southwest Emergency Services, 1201 Maple Ave. has changed to its summer schedule. Ministry hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9-11:30 a.m. Thrift shop hours are similar with added Saturday operations between 9 a.m. and noon. Coordinator Betty Okonski asks that donors abide by these hours when delivering their gifts.

Talk to her at 410-247-8154.

Chick-fil-A at Lansdowne Station will give a free chicken sandwich every Monday in exchange for your church's Sunday bulletin until Labor Day. Yum!

A summer series "The Bible" is underway in St. Clement Catholic Church, 2700 Washington Ave., on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Share light refreshments, view the movie, then join the discussion. Free. Reel in particulars at 410-242-1025.

The sodality's bus jaunt to Myrtle Beach, Sept. 15-19, has space for you. This all-inclusive vacation features oceanfront lodging, meals, show, side trips and outlet shopping.

Expert tour director Eileen Kus takes reservations at 410-859-0988.