Next Year’s Vacation Bible School …

These reports just came in from a congregation in Texas who used four chapters from We Make the Road by Walking as their curriculum.
First …

Wow, the first night of WMTRBW VBS went better than I could have hoped. We had about 50 people participating ages 3 months to 89.
We fed everyone dinner in their “tribes” and then had a worship service. Everyone got up to dance (even our oldest Presbyterians) during the music. We have a bit of training yet to do on the response to scripture reading. When the groups were dismissed to the tribal councils (small groups of about 14) there was more discussion. I did not hear the depth of discussion I was hoping for but it was just the first night and people were working on figuring out just what this family style experience was going to be. The response activities were a hit. We had a prayer room with mandalas, quiet space and Greek and Hebrew writing stations. The games room had four square, jenga, and hopscotch. The science room had stations to build cooperatively build structures from marshmallows and spaghetti as well as other experiments. The final room was an art room where the group made Hamsas and talked about how people of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faith use this as a good luck symbol.
We have three more regular nights scheduled then we have our mission night. I was able to get in touch with the city of Fort Worth which donated gloves and trash bags to support the effort. There is a stream leading to a small pond in the church’s neighbor that is in desperate need of cleaning. Even with threats of the temperature being in the 100s that night, I have several signed up to help.
Even the church [skeptic] had to admit at the end of the evening that it was a good thing.
Finding a metric for success was interesting. I come from a deeply Baptist background and the measure of success would be conversions and attendance. The committed decided the best metric for us would be the comments overheard. I think the best long term indicator of success would be an increase in the depth of dialogue about scripture and its use. We will see how that plays out. For now, the goal of the VBS is to expose the congregation to a type of learning that honors the gifts of each member of the group, builds community, and deepens faith as demonstrated by more questions with fewer answers.
Thank you for the gift of WMTRBW and the time you spent with us in the Dallas bootcamp

Here’s the final update:

The VBS is complete and it was a success. The people involved were overwhelmingly positive in their assessments of the event. Last night we did a stream clean up. We had a team of 11 who attended. The youngest was 6 and the oldest was 72.
The material from WMTRBW was accessible to all ages. The group really enjoyed the worship liturgies. The common meal was another great part.
I used the sermon on the mount as our basis but I think the framework could be applied to any four chapters.It is also highly adaptable to the individual needs of the church.
I had one person tell me it was like an “old fashioned revival with time to talk and have fun”.
(She was also a former Baptist in the Presbyterian church.) I am pleased with the response. I am attaching a few pictures.