Most of the time, a weekday at St. Nicholas is pretty quiet. Dorothy may be there a few times a week tending to the books. I’m in and out depending on what I’ve got going on. Every once in a while, if I’m sitting in my office someone will pop in and sit down and chat. I’m an extrovert (you didn’t notice?), and find that many of my days at St. Nicholas are pretty introverted, so I love having visitors.
So imagine my complete and utter joy in seeing 20 3-9-year-olds, 10 teenagers, and 15 adults EVERY DAY at St. Nicholas last week! It was heaven…if heaven looked like a Mexican restaurant (which it could!).
St. Nicholas hosted it’s very first Vacation Bible School program July 26-30, and it was a huge success! Back when I was at St. Peter’s in Savannah, we did VBS every year, so I was really excited to get back to this special ministry to our youngest members. In order to be sure we had a bit of a head-start, we borrowed a curriculum from 2006 that I used previously called Fiesta!
The entire church was decked out with fiesta decorations thanks to the hard work of our volunteers. Each room was turned into a different “station” for the kids to learn the daily themes. They learned that Jesus is our friend, our life, our leader, our savior, and our helper (VIVA!–the kids learned that whenever they heard these phrases, they were encouraged to yell out “viva!”). They heard these themes in a number of biblical stories, such as Jesus healing the paralytic, Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus calling the disciples, and Jesus’ death and resurrection. They learned through a number of creative activities including “Sing & Play Ole” where they sang songs with me, Cactus Crafts with Marci Horne, Grande Games with Peggy Martin, Maraca Munchies with Andy Butzon and Connie Blackmon, Hot Bible Adventures with Kim Stokes, Chadder’s Adventure Theater with Michelle Moody, and Fiesta Finale with Terri Townsend.
The children were greeted each day at registration by Sheila Dixon, Janice Murphy, Lynn Hall, and Michelle Moody. They were met by their “crew leaders,” who shepherded them around from station to station. All the crews were multi-aged, to help encourage learning on different levels, and create a family atmosphere. The Yellow Crew was led by Maggie Armstrong and Madison Martin. The Green Crew was led by Sam Dixon, Cody Durham, and Katherine Metsinger. The Purple Crew was led by Austin Hubbard, Grace Metsinger, and Robin Klitzke. The “Silly Chiles,” which was the preschool group, was led by my sister Staci Shaddix, Gina Durham, and Ivy Martin.
The week ended with a VBS Fiesta party at Nancy and Cason Callaway‘s Blue Springs home. Nancy provided a wonderful picnic for the children and we all got to swim in the ice-cold pool. A great way to cool off a spicy hot week!
I was amazed by the talent, the energy, and love displayed by all these people to help our kids know that they are important and loved. Not only did they work hard, but they gave of their own resources to pull this program off. Because of our financial deficit, we had no budget to do this program, but their love of children and their determination and faith allowed us to do it. A few very gracious parishioners donated some money, which helped a great deal. Most of the supplies were donated by the volunteers who worked. The curriculum itself was donated by a number of churches who wanted to help us out. Basically, God provided a way for this wonderful week to happen!
A million gracias’s to everyone who made VBS possible! We are already thinking about next year’s program, so be sure to volunteer and send some kids to get fired up about Jesus!
Here are a bunch of pictures from the week thanks to Lynn Hall. Click on the thumbnails, even if they have a “?” on them.