Bible school brings children together


Children were able to travel around the world in late June, and they didn’t even need their passports. Grace United Methodist Church held its annual vacation Bible school from June 23-27 and the theme was “Everywhere Fanfare.”

About 30 children spent their evenings at the church’s school, the first time the program was not held in the morning. They were joined by 10 youth volunteers and eight adult volunteers who guided the campers through a variety of activities.

During the week, children “visited” Mexico, Australia, Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom and Japan. They learned various customs from those countries and were taught how to say “hello” in several languages.

Youth Director Matt Roth, who runs the vacation Bible school, said the theme was very appropriate. “The 30 kids we have in the program come from different countries, different cultures,” he said. “We have a very diverse congregation and our community is very diverse.”

Children learned to love God and love their neighbor. If Roth would shout “love your God,” children would respond in unison “love your neighbor.” Other lessons for the week included how to be friendly, giving, forgiving, bold and welcoming. Roth said these are all ways that people can be good neighbors.

Activities included arts and crafts, music, recreation and Bible stories. One advantage of the evening program, Roth said, was that the entire camp came together each night to eat dinner.

James Hartmann, who led the Bible study classes, said the passages the children read were based on the moral of each day. Laura Alvarez directed the arts and crafts programs and said children enjoyed making door hangers, masks and a crafts bag. “I think that they had a good time being together,” she said.

Eric Sagun, who attended the program as a child, came back to lead the recreation program this year. He has been going to the church for 16 years and remembers having fun at Bible school as a camper.

Children were led by youth volunteers, including 15-year-old Candice Biegler and 16-year-old Juan Tarquino. Their responsibilities included gathering their groups, bringing them to the different activities and making sure they followed directions.

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