Vacation Bible School 2011
We are planning to conduct our VBS on July 30, 2011. Our theme for this year is “Nature reveals the glory of God”
Our children learn most of the Old Testament stories and the New Testament miracles in their regular Sunday school curriculum. This year, unlike other years, we have decided to include a very different theme, a contemporary subject that very much relates to the Bible. “The heavens declare the glory of God. The skies proclaim the work of his hands” ( Psalms 19: 1), “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers” (Psalms 24: 1-2), “I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits” (Ecclesiastes 2: 5). Creation includes more than just nature. Creation includes spiritual forces which are invisible to us, while “nature” speaks of what we can see.
In the recent emphasis on “Earth Day”, not even a word about God, the Creator, has been mentioned. Movements like “Save the planet” do not view God’s role in the creation of the universe. In their thinking, the earth belongs not to God but to man. Our children often forget this important religious aspect in life as they are not taught these values in mainstream academic schools. To bridge this gap in the learning process, VBS this year, encourages kids to understand and feel the presence of God, the importance of preserving the nature and the environment for mankind, by participating in various kinds of Bible related activities including ‘Creation’ skits. VBS should not be teaching the kids mainstream contemporary topics in a fashion that exclude God from it, rather it should address God as the focal point of everything the world is and has to offer. In this era of increased awareness for the preservation of nature and the environment, everyone should realize that God’s presence is paramount in achieving these objectives of a healthy planet for the present and future generations to live in.
That being said, it is only appropriate to have the VBS program conducted outdoors in an open space in a nature setting. The students will be able to relate to what they see in and around them as a revelation of the glory of God, and appreciate His wonderful creation. In previous years, this exposure was limited when we had our VBS organized in buildings in closed doors. Of course, the VBS themes were different in those years to agree with that kind of a set-up.
The venue for this years VBS is in the Town of Ajax, Greenwood Conservation Area at 2290 Greenwood Road, Ajax. We have reserved a shelter along with the picnic site for our Sunday school. Greenwood offers a chance to escape to nature along the banks of Duffins Creek. Hiking trails allow exploring the forest or the steep sided river valley. The cold clear running creek is a perfect home for rainbow trout and other species of fish. Fishing licenses are required though. Picnic shelters, tables and washroom facilities are available. Other activities at Greenwood include nature trails. walking paths, play structures and cross country skiing. Even though no facilities are provided for barbecuing, it is allowed in the premises with our own barbecue machines and equipments if we decide to bring them along.
The event will start at 9:00 AM and ends at 6:00 PM All Sunday school children are encouraged to participate. For little kids between the ages of 3 and 5, at least one parent is supposed to be with the child to assist us in looking after them. Parents of older children have the option of either leaving their children at the site in the morning and coming back to pick them up or staying back with them during VBS.
Like previous years, we expect and request our youth to participate in the event. Their presence will be valuable in leading and organizing various fun activities for the kids.