By KEVIN BRADY
It’s hot, sticky and muggy outside — a perfect time to celebrate Christmas. So say the folks at Calvary Lutheran Church in Apollo Beach.
Calvary’s “12 Days of Christmas in July” kicked off July 21 and runs through Aug. 1.
“This is a tradition we have had at this church for at least 20 years,” said Jayne Lauve, director of volunteers and programming at Calvary Lutheran. “It’s a time for us to come together and celebrate the birth of Christ without the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. It’s really nice to be able to just worship and understand the reason why we celebrate.”
A special highlight of the event will be the church’s annual Christmas in July Dinner with turkey and all the usual trimmings as well as a traditional Christmas Eve Worship Service July 23. Lauve and her husband Richard help with cooking the meal, which has attracted up to 275 guests in the past.
All the proceeds from this event will be donated to Mary & Martha House, a Hillsborough County shelter for abused women and children.
The church will also be collecting backpacks and school supplies for underprivileged children at the event. Ticket are $8 per person or $28 per family. Guests are asked to call the church for reservations.
The church will also host a special Calvary Christmas Vacation Bible School 5:45 to 8:15 p.m. from Monday, July 28, through Friday, Aug. 1. Each evening will begin with a light dinner and a free will offering, followed by stories, crafts, dramas and the retelling of the Christmas story. Bible School children will present an old-fashioned Children’s Christmas pageant followed by a reception Aug. 1. A booklet will be available outlining activities for families and devotionals.
A senior movie day is set for 1 to 3 p.m. today, Thursday, July 24, with Holiday Inn featured. A family movie night is also planned for Friday evening with Elf on the big screen and refreshments available.
The 12 Days of Christmas in July is open to the entire community.
For more information on Calvary Lutheran Church, 5309 U.S. 41, call 813-645-1305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.