Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Why VBS is Special to Me

Vacation Bible School is about leading kids to Christ through music, fun, science, shared experiences, scripture and celebration of our faith.   This third year of VBS at St Angela Merici Catholic Church welcomed 150 elementary age children, 12 preschoolers, 59 teens and more than 50 adults to learn that “Jesus’ Love is One of a Kind.”  Coordinating VBS for the last three years has been a true labor of love for me.  Everyone asks what makes VBS such a special experience and why I dedicate so much of my time to organizing it each year.
Why VBS is Special
My mom also helps out with VBS every year
My answer starts with my own children.  I want my three kids to learn about their faith, to have a relationship with Jesus, and to develop a prayer life.  All these things are enhanced through the VBS experience in a fun and exciting way.  Our faith comes to life during a week of song, snacks and more not only for the kids, but also for myself as well.

As an adult, too often I allow the hustle and bustle of life to interfere with my spiritual life.  Volunteering at VBS helps me to step back, see the big picture, and remember how God works through us in our day-to-day lives.  At VBS we see kids excited to learn how God loves them, teens actively discussing how God helps them, husband and wives coming together to decorate a hallway, family groups serving together and meeting new friends in the fellowship of volunteering. 

Our kids learn not only from the many adult leaders but also from each other and the teens.  The
TEENS! It is amazing to watch these volunteers as young as 11 years old blossom into role models in action, words and faith.
Teens Love VBS
My oldest daughter with Shelly's girls at VBS

Some may ask, do the kids learn anything “real” about faith?  YES! Everyday they learn about a different Saint, an aspect of Catholic Social Teaching, Scripture and Bible stories.  

Mass during VBS at St. Angela Merici
We celebrate Mass twice during the week.  If you want to see the good work of VBS in action, celebrate Mass with us.  Watching 200 kids respond to the Mass with reverence, without being under their parents watchful eye and sitting on the floor always brings the VBS experience full circle for me.  Mass at VBS is what always brings tears to my eyes and God’s praise to my lips.  This is my blessing that makes it all worth it. 

VBS is an opportunity for every adult and teen volunteer to reflect Christ’s love to the kids and each other.  We are the church.  We are responsible for building us up in worship and we can do that by revealing God’s love in a fun and engaging way to children.  The children respond by radiating His joy back to us.

Through VBS we are building up the children and families of our parish as God asked St. Francis to do through the San Damiano cross in Assisi. We at St. Angela’s are building up the church as God calls us to do through our own San Damiano cross.  

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