This column is usually written around 9 p.m. on Thursday nights, after I get home from Bible study. That time frame also gives folks until the last possible minute to email or call with a church activity. With the holiday, it's being done earlier in the day.

It's nice to see that we have a bright, sunny day for the Fourth, as so many in the past have not been. I'm looking forward to this evening. The cookies are baked for the potluck - the event at church will, I'm sure, be lots of fun - and the fireworks from that vantage point will be great unless the fog rolls in.

The "serenade" last night was a bit frustrating, and the realization that it will likely continue for the next two weeks, judging by past years - even more so, but, "this too shall pass." Did you ever try to measure a teaspoon of something just as a big boom startles you and the measuring spoon goes flying?

There may have been cinnamon dusted across the counter, but the cookies taste just fine. I guess this aging nervous system just isn't as tolerant of being startled as it used to be. Perhaps I should simply invest in some ear plugs!

Except for Vacation Bible School programs, there is only one other thing this week.

On Thursday the Ladies Christian Fellowship will meet at 10:30 a.m. in the Trinity Center of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

I've been a part of this group for several years now, and they really are a great bunch of folks. All women are welcome to come, regardless of (or lack of) religious affiliation. The membership is multi-denominational, representative of probably just about every local church. We have an enjoyable time of fellowship, speakers and music, and a very nice meal catered by Northwoods (with the exception of a couple potlucks each year).

We help to support Team Redwood and Reach Out Ministries.

Each meeting we bring canned and nonperishable foods for ROM's food kitchen, and support for Team Redwood is both financial and in needed supplies, which are being collected for their November Haiti trip.

Items being gathered are children's Flintstones Completevitamins (or generic equivalent), infant vitamin drops (Fer In Sol, Poly Vi Sol), adult multivitamins, prenatal supplements with iron and folic acid, and iron tablets.

Both organizations bring periodic status reports, and what's happening in Haiti each time they go is really something.

The lunch catered by Northwoods is $10 per person, or $3 if you just want coffee. They do need you to make reservations to be able to order sufficient food. For reservations or more info, call Liz at 464-3539.

Vacation Bible schools at this point are:

andbull; Gasquet Bible, July 8andndash;12

andbull; Pelican Bay EV Free, July 8andndash;11

andbull; Foursquare/Cornerstone, July 15andndash;19

andbull; Smith River Baptist, July 22andndash;26

andbull; "Summer Day Camp," a Bible-based program at the Fairground arts and crafts building, also runs July 22andndash;26. Call 464-9849 to register.

Seems to me we used to have a lot more VBS programs. Some of our churches apparently can't afford to do them or have too few kids. What Foursquare and Cornerstone are doing - working together - might be a solution for some of those churches. After all, while we may have some denominational differences, our basic belief is the same. Let's see what happens next year!

To contact Martha Williams, call 460-3000, or email