July is a busy month for Summer activities in Western Iowa. The high school softball and baseball seasons are wrapping up. The Fourth of July is upon us, and many will probably take a four-day weekend this year. Then comes Achievement Days, followed by the Monona and Crawford County Fairs. For those going to Camp Okoboji, Cub Week and Youth Week also take place in July, It seems like we are going from one thing right to the next.
At St. John the last several years, the last Sunday in July means Vacation Bible School! Out VBS has been a huge opportunity the last few years to reach out to children and families of our community and to tell them the saving message of Jesus and His gift of eternal life. Two years ago over 100 children participated; last year we served over 90, and this year we're hoping to bring the good news of Jesus to even more!
The theme of our Vacation Bible School this year is "Mighty Fortress." It's an appropriate title for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, but the Reformation anniversary is not really the emphasis. VBS, as always is all about Jesus. The theme statement is "In Jesus, the Victory is Won!" The key Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 15:57: "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." The goal, according to the pastor's overview, is that , "At Mighty Fortress, children learn that God is our sure defense who strengthens us and is our refuge in trouble. Let's show kids we can joyfully celebrate Jesus, our champion, who has won the battle over our enemies, By faith, God gives us that victory in Jesus. Let the celebration begin!"
Of course, it requires a lot of work from many different people to put on a VBS, but it really is the congregation's ministry. Every member of St John has an important role to play in this outreach.
"What can I do?" Glad you asked! Here are some things we need:
- PRAY. Even if you can't help with an of the activities, every member of St. John can pray for this event. Pray that God would lead many children from our community to participate. Pray for wisdom and strength for our volunteers. Pray that children who come, especially those without a church home, would be led to faith and strengthened in their faith in Jesus.
- BRING or SEND YOUR CHILDREN. Member children are still the core of VBS. Ans what an opportunity for them to share the love of Jesus with their friends!
- INVITE. Whom can you invite to VBS this year? Your grandchildren? Your neighbor children? The kids on your child's ball team or in their 4H club? Help us get the word out- VBS at St.John is a fun way to celebrate Jesus!
- DONATE. We will need donations of food and supplies for each day of VBS. Check the bulletin or in the monthly newsletter for a list of items needed.
- VOLUNTEER. We need group leaders, snack helpers, craft helpers, recreation helpers, and kitchen help. Or maybe you have a talent for publicity or set construction. Let Bethany know. We have a place for you!
Vacation Bible School is truly one of the best outreach tools we have for unchurched families in our
community. Let's pray ans work to make this year's VBS a place where the children of Charter Oak can celebrate as they learn that God is their refuge in trouble because Jesus has won the battle over all our enemies. In Jesus, the victory is won!
Peace to you in Christ,