Holy Week VBS
Vacation Bible School – it’s a big part of my job description during the spring and early summer. When I think of VBS, images of children singing, learning Bible stories, running around, and making friends on hot summer days may come to mind. But what if it’s mixed up a bit, and VBS is offered during Holy Week? I’m sure there will still be stories, songs, crafts, and friends…but there can be so much more. Holy Week VBS – I’m not sure of many other churches offering something like this….and we thought we’d give it a try.
I had the good fortune of meeting Kris Stenson, a wonderfully creative Presbyterian from House of Hope Presbyterian Church in Minnesota. Kris spends her time between Minnesota and Scottsdale, and we had a chance to get to know one another last year, when Kris shared with me some of the exciting ideas and lessons she had created for children, and their understanding of the Seasons of the Church. Well, we really got to talking, and Kris was interested in having her ideas published for other churches to use and try…but needed a place to field test her ideas…and we thought, what about offering this to the children at Pinnacle when she’s here in the winter/spring for 2013?
Fast forward to today – here we are, ready for spring to arrive, and Holy Week is just around the corner. Kris has been working on the final touches of the curriculum. The children we have during Holy Week will be learning about the colors and seasons of the church- from green ordinary time to the royal and regal purple associated with Lent, fiery red for Pentecost and blue for Advent.
The theme is perfect for Holy Week – learning about the seasons of the church in a week that brings Christians together around the world. As adults, we have a good understanding of the seasons of the church; the younger children do not have as strong and concrete understanding. How confusing it might be for children to comprehend that all the history of the Bible happens in September, October, and November. Then we wait for Baby Jesus to be born in the month of December…don’t wait too long, because Jesus has a lot to do in his life, which is shared with them in January and February, and then we learn that Jesus is about to die, and live again, in the months of March and April. Whew – that’s a lot to comprehend in just 28 short Sundays.
And so this Holy Week VBS experience will be a chance to spend a little more time with the children, sharing with them the seasons of the church, the colors of the church, and stories from the Bible that connect the events to the seasons of the church calendar. And what a wonderful week of the year to reflect on the different seasons of the church, just as we have different seasons in our lives. Our seasons are filled with work and play, joy and sorrow, celebrations and ordinary days, much like the joy and anticipation of Advent, the sorrow throughout Lent, the celebration of Easter and Pentecost – and of course, the ordinary time, where so much growing and understanding can take place.
This Holy Week VBS experience is sure to be an interesting one, and Kris and I hope it gives you pause, and time to consider, the colors and seasons of the church, and what they can mean to you in your faith development, too.