By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent
COLUMBIA, Md.—Start spreading the news: “New York, New York” Vacation Bible School 2011 will take VBSers on a “Big Apple Adventure: Where Faith and Life Connect.”
In Maryland and Delaware, special VBS preview expos will feature Jeff Slaughter, who writes and performs the LifeWay VBS songs and will lead music sessions, and Jerry Wooley, the national VBS Director, who will be the conference leader.
“Set in the city known as the crossroads of the world, kids will discover that adventure can be found on every corner. Using the exciting sights and sounds of New York City, they will hear Bible stories about people who stepped out in faith and connected with Jesus,” shared June Holland, BCM/D missionary for preschool/children, VBS, weekday education.
“They will learn that they, too, can step out in faith, beginning with a relationship with Jesus and moving on to a life of faith that lets them share the Jesus’ message with the world.”
This year’s theme scripture is Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message of Jesus Christ” (HCSB).
“The goal of VBS is to draw kids into a relationship with Jesus, but this ‘Big Apple Adventure’ emphasizes how important it is to share that message with other people,” said Holland, explaining that each day’s Bible story, described below, is all about someone having his or her faith challenged.
Day 1: How the Centurion has to decide whether or not to trust Jesus to heal his servant.
Day 2: How a woman decided to respond to Jesus’ love by anointing His feet with perfume even though others chastised her.
Day 3: How Nicodemus had to decide to trust or distrust Jesus.
Day 4: How the Samaritan woman who had to decide to trust Jesus when other men had been unkind to her.
Day 5: How the disciples had to decide to carry the Gospel to the world when Jesus went to heaven.
“We are excited about some of the new features that will be presented at our five VBS expos,” shared Holland. The high-energy seminars will be held as follows:
February 25—First Southern Church, Dover, Del.
February 26—The Church at Severn Run, Severn, Md.
April 8—First English Church, Frostburg, Md.
April 9—Georgia Avenue Church, Silver Spring, Md.
April 30—Trinity Church, Waldorf, Md.
Slaughter and Wooley will lead at First Southern Church and The Church at Severn Run.
At each expo, pastors will participate in a session designed for them and their role in VBS, and there will be separate sessions for the children’s class rotations, including the following:
• Crafts: Children will connect their experiences in hands-on crafts with the Bible Study;
• Recreation: Children will play at least one activity directly related to the Bible content each day;
• Music: Children will begin with an activity that introduces the daily song, including a John 3:16 rap, and connects it to the biblical truth for the day;
• Missions: Kits for Kids with Baptist Global Response is an optional hands-on mission project;
• Snacks: Snacks provide kids with a part in completing the snack that connects with the biblical truth.
Holland also shared that “Up Beat City Sights and Sounds” are provided in the preteen, teen and adult Bible studies and that preschool leaders will enjoy the daily schedule as it is presented through the Kids Activity Pack.
In addition, a team is ready to introduce our Spanish churches to the Big Apple Adventure in Spanish, she said.
Throughout the day, there will be drawings for VBS goodies, and a LifeWay bookstore will be set up for churches to place their VBS orders at that time.
For extra summer fun, come to the Beach Blast study, the alternate scaled-down VBS, and catch the wave of God’s faithfulness.
The expo costs $5.00 per person (includes lunch), and registration is required.
“Hear It, Believe It, Connect It, and start spreading the news…!” Holland said.
Check the website at www.bcmd.org/vbs for more information or contact Holland at (443) 463-3495, email@example.com or Gail Noda at (800) 466-5290, ext. 218, firstname.lastname@example.org.