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Vacation Bible Schools happy to be back

Photo courtesy of Faith Lutheran Church The theme at this years Vacation Bible School at Faith Lutheran Church is “Rocky Railway – Jesus’ Power Pulls Us Through,” here three-year-old Hadley Sasser poses inside one of the props.

By Barb Pert Templeton

The summer of 2020 didn’t include many Vacation Bible School programs locally due to the pandemic but many churches are pleased to get things back on track this year.

While some programs have reduced the number of days and enrollment for their programs the idea to offer local children a chance to learn more about the faith remains the focal point.

Here are a few Vacation Bible School Programs coming up on the calendar:

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Faith Lutheran Church -Port Huron

At Faith Lutheran Church they host an annual summer Vacation Bible School Program but had to cancel the one planned last summer due to the pandemic. 

As things start to get back to normal the church decided to host their program Aug. 2 – Aug. 5 but will be limiting enrollment to ten pre-school children and 60 elementary aged students. The Co-Director of Vacation Bible School and Sunday School Teacher Sarah Smith said they’ve never had to limit enrollment for the program before but they are taking things a bit slower as they return to normal.

Photo courtesy of Faith Lutheran Church
The theme at this years Vacation Bible School at Faith Lutheran Church is “Rocky Railway – Jesus’ Power Pulls Us Through,” here three-year-old Hadley Sasser poses inside one of the props.

This year’s theme is “Rocky Railway – Jesus’ Power Will Pull Us Through.” It basically revolves around the premise of a train being pulled up through mountains and how hard that can be but we all need hope and Jesus is there to provide it, Smith said.

The topics will be presented in very simple terms for each age group. For example, she said they will share the story of Saul from the Bible who was mean to the Christians but they persevered and he even learned to change. The idea being that there’s “hope” for everyone, Smith said.

Décor related to the theme will be plentiful with images of trains, trees, mountains and railroad tracks. Students will be divided up into what organizers are calling “crews” with preschoolers in their own crew and then five or six other crew groups depending on enrollment.

Each pupil will receive a study guide booklet for the week, a labeled water bottle to use during the program and a snack each day. All materials for crafts, games and stories will be provided too.

Smith said weather permitting they will host most games and activities outside but will have the church gymnasium if it rains. There will also be group singing and dancing programs in the church sanctuary with a large screen sharing the song lyrics so the children can follow along.

Registration for the program has been strong but there are still spots left for both the pre-school and elementary programs. To register online go to faithporthuron.org or call the church offices at (810) 985-5733. Faith Lutheran Church is located at 3455 Stone Street in Port Huron.

Algonac Trinity United Methodist Church

The Vacation Bible School Program planned at Algonac Trinity will be extra special this year as organizers will honor the late Ted and Karen Baranski, who passed away in November 2020 and January 2021, from injuries sustained in a car accident. Longtime church members the couple also hosted the summer Vacation Bible School Program for two decades, according to Roberta Krause.

This year’s program will be presented in just two days, July 28 and July 29 from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the church. Although the basic premise of the program is geared to those pre-school age up to sixth grade, all are welcome to attend.

“Because we are so small, we open it to everyone,” Krause said. “We’ve had younger children and even has some people in their late 80’s come and really enjoy it.”

She said if an older child has a younger sibling that wants to attend, they simply need to have their parent stay with them, but all are welcome.

The theme this year is “Anchored” and is all about ‘deepening our faith in God”, Krause, who has stepped up to coordinate the program, said. She said there will be underwater based themes with plenty of stories, games, plus arts and crafts projects.

All attendees will have items to take home with them at the conclusion of the program on the second day and snacks will be provided both days.

Keeping children in mind all year long, the church also recently launched a newsletter for kids in April called the ‘Sunday School Scribbler’.  The monthly letter that includes stories, coloring sheets and letters from the pastor and Sunday school teacher are sent through the U.S. Mail to every child on their list. Krause said the program began with about 14 letters going out but has grown to include 36 children, many across Michigan and out of state.

She said anyone who’d like to add their children to the list so they receive their own mail once a month can call the church and provide the information.

For the upcoming Vacation Bible School all those planning to attend can simply show up on the first day of the program to register, no pre-registration is required. 

“All we ask is that they bring their enthusiasm, patience and just bring along a smile,” Krause said. “This is an opportunity for everyone to learn and deepen their faith in God.”

Algonac Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 424 Smith Street in Algonac. For more information call the church at (810) 794-4379.

Immanuel Lutheran Church in St. Clair

Photo courtesy of Immanuel Lutheran Church
The Vacation Bible School theme for 2021 is “Mystery Island – Tracking Down the One True God” at Immanuel Lutheran Church in St. Clair

The church will host their VBS July 26 thru July 30 from 9 a.m. to noon. The theme this year is “Mystery Island – Tracking Down the One True God.” The church website at immanuelmi.fellowshiponego.com has the form for parents to sign their children up for the program.

The church is located at 415 N. 9th Street in St. Clair. The church could not be reached for comment for this story. For information call (810) 329-7174.

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