La PORTE — Vacation Bible school will be a new experience this year at The Presbyterian Church of La Porte, June 24 thru 27 from 9 to 11 a.m.
The theme is SonRise National Park, with lots to see and do that will reflect nature and connect to the daily Bible lessons.
“We’re transforming the church into an aspect of God’s creation, an atmosphere similar to one the kids would be able to experience at one of our state’s parks,” said Aaron Lickliter, the church’s Coordinator of Ministries for Children and Youth. “It’s a wonderful way to encounter God and to learn about God through the things he created. Every activity and experience will connect to that day’s Bible lesson, in a way that’s fun for the kids."
The fun starts when the children enter, with national park theme sights such as lifelike bear cubs, bald eagle, 4-foot moose and more. The activities are interactive to help children stay engaged.
“Part of the reason I love this curriculum is because it surrounds kids with experiential learning so they can connect with the scriptures in a unique way,” said Lickliter.
One such experience will enact the Bible story of the disciples on the Sea of Galilee during a storm, when Jesus calms the sea and teaches his disciples more about faith. The children will be in a canoe and they’ll rock the canoe and squirt water to simulate the waves over the boat as Rev. Dr. Sally Wicks recounts the scene.
“Pastor Sally is such a wonderful storyteller. We know the kids will enjoy it,” said Lickliter.
Along with other enactments, games and crafts will also connect with the daily Bible lesson. For example, with the Sea of Galilee experience, children will make little boats and race them. One game is in “Glacier Bay,” with a simulation of the Iditarod sled dog race, as children sit cross-legged on a blanket while being pulled along.
Lickliter recalls his parents asking him what he learned after each day in vacation Bible school as a child. He admits he couldn’t remember much of the lessons, partly because of the way they were presented.
“Diverse presentations help kids remember a lesson. And now it’s widely accepted that kids have different ways of learning, so that it’s important to make learning accessible to them. This curriculum offers those different ways. With the kids hearing, seeing, making crafts, getting up and moving around, all connected to Bible lessons – I’m excited and confident that the kids will learn and remember at least one or two of the stories and come away with an understanding of just how much their God loves them,” he said.
There will be music and snacks, and those, too, will relate to the day’s Bible lesson.
• Forms are available at the church, 307 Kingsbury Ave. (U.S. 35 and Kingsbury) during the week and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
• Or call the church office, 362-6219, during the week to register; Administrative Assistant Mariana Zeekyk or Aaron Lickliter will fill out the registration form over the phone.
• Same-day registration at the church before vacation Bible school begins at 9 a.m.