Brody Brithaupt, 8,, dances Thursday during Vacation Bible School at Hawkins United Methodist Church.
Brody Brithaupt, 8,, dances Thursday during Vacation Bible School at Hawkins United Methodist Church.

Vacation Bible School sweeps through Vicksburg

Published 12:00am Saturday, June 14, 2014

 There is no lack of churches in Vicksburg, and as a result during the summer, there is also an abundance of vacation bible schools. This year has been slightly different though, as several churches planned their programming for this past week instead of being spread throughout the summer weeks.

Kaitlyn Borden, 4, plays under the preschool tent Thursday during Vacation Bible School at Hawkins United Methodist Church
Kaitlyn Borden, 4, plays under the preschool tent Thursday during Vacation Bible School at Hawkins United Methodist Church

 

Each year, various churches programs change, often with intricate themes.. This year, as most churches in the Southern Baptist Convention receive their VBS packages from LifeWay Christian Resources, First Baptist and Woodlawn had the same theme, which was “Agency D3.”

Upon entering the church, participants were greeted with caution tape everywhere and a decorated fellowship hall for worship.

Throughout the day, the children rotate from station to station after a morning worship service that includes activities such as crafts, music, and recreation — all of which go along with the theme of the week.

Teresa Bryant, who was in charge of Woodlawn’s VBS, said the importance of the program makes it worth the effort.

Michelle Stockett plays the part of Jacob while children watch Thursday during Vacation Bible School at Hawkins United Methodist Church.
Michelle Stockett plays the part of Jacob while children watch Thursday during Vacation Bible School at Hawkins United Methodist Church.

“Vacation Bible School is very difficult to plan, but is worth it for what it does for the children. When you see kids get saved that’s what matters.”

Woodlawn had 133 and 43 volunteers. First Baptist had more than 120 enrolled and 85 volunteers.

For the third year in a row, Hawkins and Crawford Street United Methodist Churches have combined their Vacation Bible Schools into one, with this year’s hosted at Hawkins.

With a theme of “Walk through the Bible,” the children learned about topics ranging from creation to Abraham.

Paul Barnes, playing Matthew the Tax Collector, tests the knowledge of children on their Bible verses Thursday during Vacation Bible School at Hawkins United Methodist Church.
Paul Barnes, playing Matthew the Tax Collector, tests the knowledge of children on their Bible verses Thursday during Vacation Bible School at Hawkins United Methodist Church.

Each child has their own traditional Jewish robe made for them and are in a group, each of which represents one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Each tribe has heir own banner and color and two adult tribe leaders. Throughout the day each tribe rotates from activities such as music where they learn a new song and Jewish dance, going to their tribal home where they learn a story from the Old Testament and have a snack to go along with it. Another unique aspect about the Methodist churches’ Vacation Bible School was the Market Square.

The gym of Hawkins was filled with decorations, tents and, shops to simulate a market from a Biblical community. Each child acted an “apprentice” at a new shop each day, learning skills such as candle making and leather-making. If they did well enough they earned denarius, which they could spend any way they.

The originality of the program and its the intricacy made it particularly popular, said Julie Townley, the head of VBS Hawkins.

“I have had to pull teeth to get people to volunteer for VBS in the past but here I had people begging to be saved a spot.”

Hawkins and Crawford Street had 151  and more than 50 volunteers.

A regular part of Vacation Bible School is the daily offering taken up from the children, and at the end of the week the church donates proceeds to the cause it chooses.

First Baptist Church makes theirs interesting, with a competition between boys and girls. This year the winner covered the loser with slime Friday morning. The with boys raising $829.51 and the girls with $699.51 for a total of $1529.02. It will be donated towards the First Baptist Church Haiti Mission Trip in July. Woodlawn Baptist Church raised $355, which will all be donated to the Baptist Children’s Village. Hawkins and Crawford Street had the “Heifer Project.” Their goal was to raise $50 from each of the 12 tribes for a total of $600 to buy a cow that would provide milk for an entire village. They ended up raising over $700 so along with the cow they will also purchase several chickens that will provide eggs for the same village.

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