NEWTON TWP. — The sanctuary at Countryside Community Church resembled a beach scene as it was decorated with inflatable palm trees with coconuts, a cabana with a hammock, and a volcano. There was also a real boat on the scene. The church members designed it like that for this year’s Vacation Bible School, titled “Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus” which ran from Monday, July 9 to Friday, July 13.
The kids learned a different Bible verse each day from an island character, including Rae, a stingray who recited the verse, “Be still and know I’m God.” The verse, which was learned on Wednesday, was incorporated into the teachings the children learned that day.
Countryside Sunday school teachers Wendy Molitoris and Kelly Cardone, both VBS team leaders, acted in a skit, in which Cardone played a person caught in a net when her attempt of trapping a monkey backfired. Molitoris’ character taught Cardone’s character as well as the VBS students to not worry and trust in God.
“I like the interaction with the kids,” said Cardone, who also led the kids from one station to another. “They are not only learning but having fun learning.
Kids learned to trust God at a station called Kid Vid. They watched a video in which a kid named Gunnar Smith rescued his friend from drowning, remaining calm through the ordeal. Kids were given key chains shaped like crosses with a Bible verse on the back that appeared as they rubbed the crosses.
Lessons of the Bible verse continued with arts and crafts in the church cafeteria where kids made and designed rainbow fishes out of paper. The rainbow fish emphasized that God can make something beautiful out of worry. On another day, they made stress balls by filling deflated balloons with rice to symbolize an alternative to worrying. Kids also made I-Spy bottles by filling plastic bottles with rice.
The children played games in the backyard of the church, including a game called duck-duck-goose where the child who was caught wound up in the “pickle jar.”
“Music and playing duck-duck-goose are my favorites,” said 5-year-old VBS participantLauren Pilohesky, of Newton Twp.
The VBS ended Friday evening with an ice cream social which the students enjoyed with their families.
“VBS is going good,” said Moilitoris. “The kids have fun. Lots of energy.”