VBS "Wild Life" 2024

What do Axolotl, Aye-Aye, Koala, Leafy Sea Dragon, Narwhal, Platypus and Red Pandas have in common?  For one, these creatures are a unique expression of God’s amazing creation and they were the names of our VBS small groups this year.  

Our curriculum this year focused on Gospel texts from Matthew (Jesus welcoming little children), Mark (John the Baptist and Jesus heals a woman and a little girl) and Luke (Zacchaeus).  Each day, we focused on a different “Big Idea” from these wonderful stories.

We started each day in the Sanctuary at Trinity Presbyterian church.  Pastor Dwight led us in singing a few songs and learning what the Big Idea was for that day.  We would then head outside for a rotation through our four stations and end sitting outside for our closing.  At closing we would take a roll call and let two or three kids from each group come up front and use the microphone to tell the group what their favorite part of the day was.  

Our station leaders (Storytime, Hands-On, Crafts and Games) tied the day's activities back to the daily scripture verse.  I am always impressed with how these leaders create a space for the kids to be thoughtful and creative, while sharing the story of God’s love for us.  

Day one’s Big Idea “Jesus is why we share our story” used the John the Baptist text to show how one man spread the word of the Messiah’s coming.  Activities for the day included bubble painting, code breaking and a sponge relay. As expected, bubble painting was fun and messy.  Kids had to blow air through a straw into a bowl of special paint.  Once they made a mound of bubbles they laid a plain piece of paper on the bubbles, which created a marbling look to the paper.

Day two’s Big Idea “Jesus helps us use our gifts” used the Jesus healing text to show how gifts can be shared to help others.  Activities for the day included making friendship bracelets, acting out the scripture story and four square.  In Hands-on the older kids shaped clay into crosses, while the littles painted pre-cut crosses.

Day three’s Big Idea “Jesus invites us to spend time with God” used the Jesus welcoming the Little Children text.  Activities for the day included making placemats for Meals on Wheels, learning how Jesus is our friend and the big kids made binoculars for the littles to use on Thursday, while the littles made cards for The Storehouse. This was one of the hottest days of our week, so Games added a game of “Sploosh”. Basically, teams threw wet sponges over a net at the opposing team.

Day four’s Big Idea “Jesus shows us how to spend time with others” used the Zaccheus text.  Activities included acting out situations where it can be hard to be a friend, making a friendship flower (come see the Sunday School room door), going on a safari (using the binoculars the big kids made Wednesday) and drip, drip, drop water game (which is an annual tradition at our VBS). In story time, the older kids dressed up in costumes (the ones we put out every year for Christmas) and acted out situations where they could show empathy.

We aim to be a Community VBS, where all are welcome to learn about the love of God. I’m excited to report that we met our goal once again this year! We had 32 volunteers from 5 different churches, working with an average of 62 kids from 15 different church affiliations and some with no church affiliation.

One of the parents shared that she loves our VBS because her kids learn to live in the world with their faith. What a remarkable tribute to the work that went into 2024 VBS and an inspiring mission statement for us to aspire to in 2025!

Thanks again to all our volunteers!

P.S. I would be remiss if I didn’t share a bit of sadness many of us felt last week.  Christoph Herpel, who has been an incredible VBS partner for the last 4 years, passed away earlier this year.  His bright and colorful personality and clothing were missed, as well as his creative abilities and the German horn he used to alert us it was time to change stations.  We are saddened by our loss, but I know he was with us dancing, singing, laughing and learning.

Jill Wingard, Director of Children & Family Ministry

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