*Note: This post is written by APC member Kim. All photos used in it are from this year’s VBS. This article, including the photos, are copyright protected and may not be shared outside of “proper use” U.S. copyright law. All photos used in this post are used with the permission of the children’s parents.*
Last month APC had an energy surge! More than a dozen children graced our church for Rocky Railway-themed Vacation Bible School (VBS). Adult and teenage helpers and young learners joined for a week of peppy songs with dance-like motions, real-life video stories, Rev-led Bible lessons, pre-manufactured crafts, creative snacks, and action-packed games. For the adults, it was the magical combination of seeing kids have fun and being weary for the greater good.
APC, like many churches, rates high in its desire to reach out to children and their families. But, as an older congregation, we often run low on people, energy, and capability. Still, weremember how VBS influenced us, so we’ve found a way. Thanks to an innovative business, churches can order a themed“VBS in a can” as a starting point. This has been a Godsend for APC.
VBS in a can?! Really? Though some may be skeptical about this new-ish, spendy, media/entertainment VBS approach, APC is all aboard, and the train left the station years ago. I admit to wishing children were memorizing handy John 3:16 and learning the “Jesus Loves Me” tune for their own sake. However, I’ve seen the importance of the energizing, jazzy music and movement. Kids are. squirmy! I’ve watched Rev. Harry raise his well-used, blue Bible, read the good news, and reveal lessons from the source. We’ve adapted where we need to; we’ve not compromised on the message.
We just trust that belonging to a group, hearing God’s Word, learning a **pre-snack prayer, and hearing a Rocky Railway concept, such as Jesus’ power helps us do hard things (day #1),will stick with the children for more than a moment. We may never know. However, Jesus’ power gives us hope (day #2)! Wehope to see those special children again one day. (Thankfully, we see some of them every Sunday here at APC.)
Because it takes more than a tin can of supplies, a group of volunteers, and 12.5 hours a week to build lifelong faith, please keep in your daily prayers the children we encountered this year. May they remember their time at VBS as good; may they remainon a positive track in life; may they return to us soon. If/When they do, we’ll be ready with smiles, a Bible full of life lessons,and if it’s VBS week in July, an open can.
**The pre-snack prayer referred to can be found at this link https://adamsvillepresbyterianchurch.wordpress.com/2021/08/10/a-childs-meal-prayer/.
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