Staff Report

With summer heat at its peak, the Christmas spirit is alive at Calvary Lutheran Church, and the community is invited to join in the holiday festivities. 12 Days of Christmas in July, begins Monday, July 21 and runs through Friday, August 1. 

For over 18 years, Calvary has held a Christmas dinner and service in July with all proceeds benefitting the Mary & Martha House, a Ruskin-based shelter for abused women and children. To date, donations total more than $25,000. Calvary is expanding on the Christmas in July theme to include a full 12-day program and a Calvary Christmas Vacation Bible School. 

Derek Hoven, Calvary’s Associate Pastor said, “We are excited to take some time apart from the busyness of the Christmas season to focus on the story of Christmas and what it says about God’s unconditional love for all of us.”

Senior Pastor Jack Palzer said that the Christmas story is relevant every day of the year. “The Christmas story is about God’s love coming to us, all of us, in the person of Jesus. We are called to share the love, grace and peace of Christ to all, especially those who most need His care and compassion.”   

 In addition to holiday and home church activities, noteworthy events include: 

Christmas in July Dinner and Christmas Eve Service on Wednesday, July 23 at 5:30 p.m. with a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and a traditional Christmas Eve worship at 7 p.m. A goodwill offering will be taken at both events and all proceeds go to the Mary & Martha House; a senior movie showing of Holiday Inn on Thursday, July 24 at 1 p.m.; Family Christmas Movie Night featuring Elf on Friday, July 25 at 7 p.m.; and Vacation Bible School from Monday, July 28 to Friday, August 1 and will be a fun-themed Calvary Christmas free VBS from 5:45-8:15 p.m. nightly. Each evening will begin with a complimentary light dinner followed by stories, crafts, dramas and the retelling of the Christmas story. On Friday, August 1, the VBS kids will present an old-fashioned Children’s Christmas Pageant. 

To pre-register for any of the events, visit  Beginning Monday, July 21; there will be a 12 Days of Christmas Devotional available on the Website’s blog.  It’s open to children of all ages and parents are invited to an onsite Bible discussion held during VBS. 12 Days of Christmas in July is open to the entire community. Everyone is encouraged and welcomed to experience the Christmas story this summer.

For more information on Calvary Lutheran Church, call 645-1305.

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