Joining forces for summer fun
Plastic bottles will be turned into fish, and coffee filters into dream catchers when Knox Presbyterian Church and Peace Lutheran Church host Creation Chaos Vacation Bible school this summer.
At Knox, Creation Chaos takes place Aug. 4 to 8 and at Peace, the fun runs Aug. 25 to 29, from 9 a.m. to noon at both sessions.
The Rev. Dr. Teresa Charlton has been busy coming up with ideas for this year’s VBS, and running them by her three kids for approval.
“When we do these, I always encourage the creativity to go where it needs to go,” she said. “I started to notice last year that creativity just does what it wants to do, what it needs to do, so this year when I designed it, I kept it looser but prepared a basic script. It’s us as leaders letting it go where the spirit moves us. It’s that sense of being alive in Christ, to let the children take the lead and to guide and to empower them that way.
“But we chose creation as the theme as a play on words from Creative Chaos. We want to tell the story of creation through the crafts we make, although of course we’re doing it all in five days, so on the seventh day when God rested, it will actually be day five of our program and we’ll have a big concert.”
For the second year in a row, Knox will join forces with Peace Lutheran, where Pastor Rick Schulz has been busy working with his team to ensure a week’s worth of fun mixed with learning in the program, which is aimed at school-aged kids.
“I have already had phone calls from people wondering when we’re doing it,” he said. “Doing this together is great for us because Teresa and I realized that our congregations are the same, with fewer children and more older people, but we are on opposite sides of town and we can serve a bigger part of the community this way.
“So we are doing the same framework but taking it in a slightly different direction. I’m excited about helping the children see that church can be fun and if they happen to be learning something at the same time, it’s a bonus.”
Charlton noticed that last year’s VBS brought together children and seniors in an atmosphere of fun and mentorship.
“It’s been remarkable to see what the seniors in our congregation have learned, that their faith has grown — it brings the generations together, with my older people learning how to be younger, and the children of course benefit from that grandparent experience.
“You saw such wonder and delight. It was amazing to see the volunteers here be so adaptable.”
Charlton said she was inspired by Vernon artist Gerry Marchand and his series of paintings done on circles.
“The inspiration for this year’s program came from that,” said Charlton, adding that all crafts done by the children will use recycled materials and each day, children will do a particular craft that relates to the story of creation, and add it to the circle.
Kids will have the chance to make dragonflies from newspaper ties and pipe cleaners and flowers from discarded hymn books.
“My garage is filled with supplies,” said Charlton, displaying other crafts that make use of bubble wrap and a moon made with shaving foam and glue. “And I always find that the volunteers have as much fun as the kids do during this, as they engage with the children — I find it’s often the retired people in the church who help out, and last year I had an 80-year-old jumping in the bouncy castle.
“These days we don’t have as many teens helping out because they usually have jobs — it’s a different world now.”
Creation Chaos takes place Aug. 4 to 8 from 9 a.m. to noon at Knox Presbyterian Church, 3701-32nd Ave., and Aug. 25 to 29 from 9 a.m. to noon at Peace Lutheran Church, 1204-30th Ave. The programs are open to all children in the community, not just members of the congregation.
All participants in the program will receive a souvenir DVD of the week’s activities to take home.
The concert takes place on the last day of the program at Knox, Aug. 8, at 10:30 a.m., and all are welcome. Hot dogs and ice cream will be served.
To register for the session at Knox, drop by or call 250-542-8613 or see www.knoxvernon.ca
To register for the session at Peace, drop by or call 250-545-5787 or see www.peacelutheran.ca