VBS Programs Make Connections

August 13, 2017 | Katie Fellows

Waiyego Pearson had a two-part vision for Vacation Bible School this year: Whe wanted to encourage children in the knowledge that God cares for them and wants to be part of their life, and she wanted the community to be more involved in the programming.

A brand-new Adventist who joined the church two years ago, she worked with the leadership team at Auburn City Church to specifically encourage a better relationship with the local community.

“We are a church that is serving the community,” says Pearson, who also serves as the church’s health ministries coordinator. “I want the community to know we exist and partner with them.”

So Pearson invited community leaders to participate in the church’s VBS program: a councilwoman, a pharmaceutical rep, firemen, policemen and a nurse. The community members came and shared with 35 neighborhood children each night about faith in their lives, water safety, personal safety and not confusing medicine with candy.

Nancy Handeland, a registered nurse at Multicare Auburn, came to speak about the importance of being healthy and taking care of your heart. She encouraged children to be active outdoors and not just inside playing with technology.

“God made you to move, live and do other things. He made you to move all the time,” Handeland explained. “You are the only one who can [physically] take care of your heart.”

Auburn Adventist Academy Church (AAAC) tried something new this year by hosting a parenting seminar concurrent with their VBS program. The seminar, based on the Love and Logic book by Foster Cline and Jim Fay, helps to affirm and coach parents in developing their child’s life skills.

“The goal is to meet the needs of the community,” says Angel Ogando, AAAC lead pastor. “That’s why we are offering this parents' seminar. We want to be known as a relevant church that’s known by the community. We want to give them a safe environment.”

Elsewhere, the Bellevue and North Cascade congregations routinely make connections in the community with 100 or more children participating in VBS. The Bellevue VBS leaders reach out through their community service ministry to get kids engaged in VBS. Some even grow up and volunteer as leaders!

The community connections excite Abby Pozo, Washington Conference children's ministry leader: "We are trying to teach children, whether from the church or community, what it is to have a conversation with God. This is part of reason why we are rebranding the traditional VBS into Vacation Bible eXperience (VBX). We want children to experience a connection with God.”