Kudos to those who keep VBS going locally

Occasionally we think back to the “good old days” and realize there was a little less “good” in it than we remember. One tradition that has stood the test of time and DOES still bring a lot of good to our kids is Vacation Bible School.

Mid-Ohio Valley congregations work as hard today as they have for generations to provide spiritual lessons, fun, fellowship … and a snack or two … to kids who are able to share the experience with parents and grandparents.

Themes have evolved a bit, of course. This summer there is a lot of “Life is wild, God is good,” and “The Incredible Race,” but the experiences are important for kids whose families hope to raise them to explore and learn about their faith.

“We’re trying to instill in youth that we are all going to face hard situations, family dynamic changes, but God will never leave us,” said Gretchen Hammer, children’s ministry director for the First Baptist Church of Williamstown.

Lessons to be gleaned from the stories in the Bible somehow stick a little better if there is a craft and activity attached, and maybe even a play to practice for, at the end of the week.

But Vacation Bible School presents another opportunity, as the doors to the churches seem to be a little wider this time of year — there is an even greater feeling of welcome. Those who are perhaps searching for a church home but have not found a good way to experience the variety of congregations in our community might find it a little easier to test the waters during VBS.

“We want to welcome you, welcome your child and help them feel God’s love for them,” Hammer said. The sentiment is likely true of all local churches hosting VBS this summer.