Marking the first part of the summer with the joy and exuberance of the children of the church is fitting, as they gather during the week of Vacation Bible School. It is a week, which stands out from the rest, because of the memories it creates and the future it cultivates. It is a week for memories, which shape who we are through the stories of scripture, the singing of our faith, and the joy of each other.
This year the theme is Light of the World, where our children catch a glimpse of the light of Christ around them and within them. They will have the opportunity to experience the light of grace and hope, while envisioning a life characterized by them. They will also hear the church acknowledge the grace and hope that is already a part of their lives, as they participate in ministry, collecting an offering to benefit others.
One of the many byproducts of Vacation Bible School is the gift it provides all of its the leaders. The children of the church are not only shaped by the week of Vacation Bible School, the children also shape the lives of the VBS leaders. As Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore writes, “Raising children also raises adults.” We learn from them as much as they learn from us.
At each child dedication in worship, the congregation makes a commitment to help raise the children of the church, teaching them about a faithful, grace-filled life. When we teach our children about faith, we also learn a great deal, as we discover an abundant life.
Through the doors of Vacation Bible School, we find great energy and commotion, singing and playing, listening and teaching, and laughing and talking. In the midst of it all, children will be loved, leaving lasting impressions about a life of faith. They will be told they are children of God, and they will learn about the ways of Jesus.
At the same time, there will be a gift for everyone leading and teaching, spending time with the children of the church. We are grateful for this gift and for everyone preparing for VBS, which makes this week possible for the children and the leaders. We are thankful for the directors of Vacation Bible School, including Cathy Summers, Cindy Cleveland, Ruthie Spiers, and Sue Walker as well as for Leigh Anne Armstrong for preparing the curriculum. We look forward to this week, as our children discover the light of Christ around them and within them and as we all learn alongside of one another.