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What to do about Vacation Bible School?

APCE Zoom conversation reached the maximum of 100 people; Part 3 is at 4 p.m. Eastern Time May 8

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — The Association of Presbyterian Church Educators will hold Part 3 of a Zoom chat, “What to do about Vacation Bible School,” at 4 p.m. Eastern Time on May 8.

Going into breakout rooms during an earlier conversation, Faith Formation leaders discussed  these questions, which led to conversations about how congregations plan to approach VBS this summer.

According to Stephanie Fritz, associate coordinator for Christian Formation, most of the churches represented on the call will not be offering traditional VBS this summer.

“Some leaders talked of hearing from families that they are fatigued from doing online school and that they may need a break,” she said.

So, in that breakout group, leaders discussed the possibility of waiting until fall, when they hope to host a VBS weekend or evening event. As an alternative, some plan to gather small groups of children in late summer for social distancing activities.

In another breakout room, Fritz heard churches talking about partnering with the camp or conference center in their region for a week of virtual camp.

“There was also a conversation about partnering with other churches in the area to offer one week of virtual camp to all of their children,” she said.

Other creative ideas that Fritz heard from Christian educators centered on putting together VBS plans that

  • Use materials readily found in homes
  • Grandparents could do virtually with their grandchildren throughout the summer
  • Could be delivered in a box to families for a week of home VBS
  • Had virtual activities for a week that could be stretched out over the summer with weekly check-ins.

“Some wanted to make sure they included high school students and young adults in what they were planning,” she said.

“Every church” she added, “will have to decide with is best for them, and those they serve, in their context.”

“What to Do About VBS, Part 3” is slated for 4 p.m. through 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time May 8. Click here to learn more and to participate.

APCE is part of the Christian Formation Collective that supports age and stage faith formation across a lifetime.

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