Right now, just about all the energy at ABC is directed toward Vacation Bible School.  This one-week program, July 27 through August 2, will involve seventy or eighty children guided and cared for by more than thirty adult and teen leaders.  At the end of the week, we’ll all be worn out.  Why do we make such an effort in the middle of the summer?

Looking through my Messenger files, I found an article I wrote in August of 2011, right after VBS week.  Here are a couple of paragraphs:

ABC’s VBS has been the church’s most fruitful outreach program over the years.  I can name several families, now part of the church, whose first contact with us was through VBS.  Beyond that, I think we would be surprised if we knew how many children first understood the gospel of Jesus’ love and salvation during a VBS week.  Some may be kids we remember only because they were discipline problems.  There’s a feel about VBS that’s kind of like the atmosphere at a campfire testimony meeting, where young people learn from other young people how the faith-of-their-fathers and mothers can be relevant in their lives.

ABC’s VBS has also been one of the church’s primary arenas for leadership training.  Our current [2011] VBS director is Ben Zobrist.   He seems particularly called and gifted for this role.  I’m sure while he’s in Nebraska visiting family this week, he’s also writing down ideas for next year’s VBS.  But it wasn’t too many years ago that he was just one of the kids in the first-grade class.  At that time Jim Hoelscher may have been the director, assisted by Glenn Molina.   When Ben was in the seventh-grade class, the director was most probably Glenn Molina, assisted by Roland Wiley and Matt Bassett.  All of these began their VBS career as kids, graduated to helper, then leader or director, and each of them has become a key leader in the church.  Who among the current crop will emerge as future VBS director?  I’ve got my eye on Emiliano Tellez.”

So who will be our Recreation Coordinator for our 2015 version of VBS? Emiliano Tellez!  Am I a prophet, or what?

Director “Radioactive Rob” [Ottaviano] is ready to lead the VBS crew into an exploration of God’s creation through science, using the Gospel Light curriculum “SonSpark Labs.”  Other “scientists” will also share their insights through music, crafts and Bible stories.  All participating volunteers are asked to meet with Rob after church this Sunday, July 19.  Lunch will be served.

A new element in this year’s program will be a conscious effort to make parents feel welcome to observe and even participate in what the children are doing.  We are trying to make them feel very welcome, especially when they bring the kids and when they return to pick them up.  You can help by:

  • Helping to decorating ABC. (see times below)
  • Volunteering to be a Greeter/Host one or more days, either 8:45-9:15 am or 12:15-12:45 pm.
  • Committing to bring snacks for the parents on one of the days.
  • Bringing children’s clothing for a free exchange rack in the Cry Room.

To offer your help in any of these areas, please call Jill Zobrist or the church office.

We hope to befriend a few of these families so that it will be natural for them to attend worship or Kids’ Church and ultimately become part of the ABC Family of Faith.  Please pray that this will happen.

— Pastor George Van Alstine