Vacation Bible Schools Captivate Kids
Many children look forward all year to a favorite summer activity—Vacation Bible School. Several churches in the Oregon Conference hosted VBS programs this summer, each with a theme designed to teach children about Jesus while having fun.
Gladstone Park Church offered the program Castles and Crowns, held the last week of June. Belinda Reynolds, VBS leader, says "The children learned about the character of God through kings and queens of the Bible. There were nearly 25 volunteers from our church who helped out, with an average attendance of 25–30 children.
"There was an opening and closing program called the Kings Court. Here at the [closing], a skit where volunteers dressed as a king, queen, and court jester really made the children laugh."
Connie Durbin, assistant leader, says, "Of the four activity stations two were crafts. One was called Scripture Chronicles, where along with a craft, children were told Bible stories, and the other, Old Art Shoppe, where children made Bible covers.
"At Banquet Hall, children were given samples of food cooked by a volunteer and at Tournament [games] children were pitted against their leaders in a tug-of-war game."
On Sabbath, June 28, the children conducted the worship service where they got to perform songs, recite memory verses, and tell the congregation what they learned about the kings and queens of the Bible.
In Lebanon, Ore., Brenda Maynard, VBS leader and staff, engaged the kids with the theme Power Lab beginning June 16.
Approximately 117 children registered, of which only about 20 were Adventist children; the rest were from the surrounding community.
Each day highlighted a different Bible power verse. Friday, the 20th, featured VBS graduation with dinner. Parents were invited. Nearly 160 participants representing 20 community families came for the dinner and graduation program.
VBS graduation ended with a testimony from Brenda Maynard, who attended VBS as a child, learned about God and later became an Adventist Christian. Maynard challenged children and parents to commit their lives to God.
The Redmond Church created their own theme this year called Summer with Jesus. The weeklong program attracted 46 children from around the area, including 27 from the neighborhood. Thirty-one church members helped put on the program, six of them ages 8–13.
Dave Shasky, pastor, told Bible stories on the life of Christ and the New Testament. There were outdoor games with a memory verse each day to coincide with the stories. Summer crafts, snacks and water slides were all part of the fun.