Vacation Bible School
Lessons taught during summer linger
by W. Winston Skinner
As students return to class – to study reading, writing and arithmetic – many have memories of lessons learned at church this summer.
Vacation Bible School programs were held throughout Coweta County during the summer. Many churches held VBS soon after school was out. First Baptist Church of Moreland held VBS from June 1-5.
“Over 200 children participated, and over 100 adults helped,” said Daniel Ausbun, the church’s pastor. The Moreland church was one of many to use the Agency D3 detective-themed Bible school curriculum.
Burns United Methodist Church held one of the final VBS programs of the summer. A two-day Vacation Bible School – along with Youth Restoration services – was held on July 31 and Aug. 1 – just days before time to return to “real school.”
The Burns VBS was part of a weekend them on restoration – with services held for all ages and a festive Family and Friends Day.
Some churches held service projects as part of VBS this years. Children at Central Baptist Church packed 15,120 meals which went through Stop Hunger Now to hungry people in Belize.
“Stop Hunger Now started in 1998,” Rebekah Strickland, the VBS director at Central, said at the closing ceremonies on July 11. “They were a disaster relief program when they started.”
Later, the group focus shifted toward helping “stop hunger around the world,” Strickland said.
An offering collected at Central’s VBS was given to a teddy bear ministry for children with cancer and to Bridging the Gap’s backpack program.
“This is our largest group ever,” Katie Faison, Central’s minister to children, said of the enrollment of 242. “I love when it grows every year. It makes it all worthwhile.”
First Presbyterian Church in Peachtree City collected school supplies at their VBS. More than 100 children and 50 volunteers took part.
“The theme this year was Jungle Safari, where kids explored the nature of God. The week of fun, fellowship and worship was also a week of community outreach,” Carolyn Gulick said.
“Children attending VBS donated a school supply each day for the children at Oak Grove Elementary School. All the supplies were then placed in backpacks that were donated by the congregation,” Gulick explained.
Geri Moss and Kasey Waller were co-directors for Bible School at Newnan Presbyterian Church. More than 80 children enjoyed the week.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was expecting about 20 VBS pupils the first days, but 35 showed up. There also were 10 youth group members who served as assistants and shepherds – and who were extremely popular with the youngsters.
Lauren Gallagher put together the St. Paul’s team to teach, lead the outdoor games, help with arts and crafts, serve worship on July 20.
Putting Vacation Bible School together involves lots of volunteer work, donations and energy. Teachers and volunteers at Central Baptist’s VBS were Lili Aguilar, Bonne Bedingfield, Bobby Bell, Lupe Belman, Jovanca Blackburn, Lucy Canales, Jane Clifford, Lee Collins, Susan Conlan, Ruth Cuellar, Lori Drake, Kathleen Duncan, John Faison, Katie Faison, Hugh Farmer IV, Michelle Freeman, Banks Glover, Debbie Glover, Sunday Griffith, Allison Herdic, Julie Hoffman, Dixie Johnson, Katie Keith, Shelley Land, Jennifer Lisborg, Angie Markham, Bill McGarity, Rosalyn Moore McKoon, Blaire Morgan, Jennifer Leigh Murphy, Anna Nance, Samantha Nestlehutt, Sharon Olive, Luz Otanez, JoAnn Ray, Ingrid Richardson, Joel Richardson, Julieta Rojas, Maria Serrano, Becca Springfield, Merry Todd, Christy Van Drew, David Van Drew, Jenny Welch and Amber Woods
Youth assistants at Central were Will Anderson, Connor Bailey, Carson Byars, Barbara Flemming, Olivia Gentry, Daniela Lopez, German Lopez, Moises Lopez, Mario Lopez, Madison Maurer, Madeline Miles, Paul Miles, Jesus Najera, Mallory Neill, Jay Nieto, Ellie Oldham, Shelby Olive, Amelia Rivers, Seiler Rivers, Alayna Tyler, Melvin Vasquez, Emmanuel Williams, Jenni Young and Katie Young.
Bethany Blatt, Shea Strickland and Rachael Whitley kept the nursery.