A ‘Great Week’ For Vacation Bible School At Grace Family Church
The finale for Grace Family Church’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) was celebrated last Friday, with children and adults gathering for a grilled lunch and games.
The culmination of the annual five-day event was again highlighted with a family picnic complete with a bounce house and water slide immediately following the final VBS session. The water slide could be seen beyond the open lobby of the church on August 16, beckoning to the children since their arrival for the final day of VBS a few hours earlier.
GFC Children & Youth Pastor Adam Fredericks said the slide was enjoyed well before the picnic began.
“We’ve been letting them play at different times this morning, if they get a break between sessions,” he said.
Activity had been taking place in many of the church’s classrooms, its large gathering room, and in its sanctuary last week. Sessions ran from 9 am until 12:30 pm, with children attending classes based on their school grade. Nearly 200 children participated in VBS, with 45 teenagers and “about 40 adults,” said Pastor Adam, guiding the students.
“It’s been a great week,” Pastor Adam said. With a new building that was formally dedicated earlier this year, this was the first VBS presentation since Grace Family Church relocated to 13 Covered Bridge Road.
“We’re all on one floor now. In the old building, we had VBS on all three floors. There’s no more stairs,” Pastor Adam said. “And it’s air-conditioned. Even better — it’s energy efficient. It cools down so quickly in here.”
The theme of VBS 2019 was “To Mars and Beyond.” Each day began with a Bible story, with activities, projects, and lessons crafted about the story.
“When we’re picking curriculum,” he said, “the theme is always something fun. Beyond that, we look for the five points they’re trying to make, and we look for things that our kids in the community need to hear and would be relevant to their lives,” he explained.
Monday’s underlying theme was Go Beyond with Faith. Subsequent days followed with children learning to Go Beyond with Boldness, Kindness, Thankfulness, and Hope.
“The lessons have been helping kids to remember to be each of those things,” the Children & Youth Minister said. “Yesterday, with Kindness, was the story of The Good Samaritan, who helped people in need regardless of what they looked like or whether they were the same or different from him.”
By late Friday morning, different age groups were going through the last quizzes and raffles of the week or putting final touches on craft projects.
Outside, to the east of the church driveway, one class of children could be heard exuberantly singing with their teachers.
As the clock moved toward 12:30, children and adults began heading toward the lawn behind the building.
That lawn, which is still in its first season, was another great addition for this year’s VBS. In years past, the church presented the VBS picnic — and other outside events — on the partially paved lot adjacent to its former church building.
“It’s the biggest blessing,” Pastor Adam said last week. “Now we have a lawn. It’s going to take a year or two to really grow in, but it’s not gravel, and it’s not broken pavement. We’ve had no skinned knees this week.
“Every year before, we had someone fall on the gravel,” he added. In front of the building, there is also a fully paved and striped parking lot, so parents have had a much easier time parking this year.
“It’s those little things,” he said.
Reverend Barry Fredericks and Reverend Sheila Fredericks, senior and senior associate pastors, respectively, of GFC, also joined the fun Friday afternoon. Both were seen mingling with the crowd, greeting and being greeted by guests of all ages.
Dozens of people enjoyed lunch offerings including hot dogs coming off the grill, chips and salads, juice and water, and plenty of fresh fruit. While adults were covering the grill, in one corner of the field, young adults took turns scooping out servings of Italian ice from a treat cart.
Nearby, lines of children continued taking turns on the water slide and bounce house that had been beckoning to them for a few hours.