It is Vacation Bible School planning time in many churches. This year’s curricula from several publishers are outlined below.
Gospel Express is the theme for VBS material of Augsburg Publishing in 2006. Using a Gospel Express ticket, children/youth undertake a journey with Jesus as the conductor. The Bible verse reference is, We will celebrate and praise you, Lord! You are good to us, and your love never fails (Psalm 106:1.)
Participants experience Bible stories through a combination of music, art, snacks, interactive video, games, worship, and drama. They study in segments such as “Jesus coming to us, surprising us, forgiving us, loving us, and blessing us through the Bible stories of Jesus’ birth, the wedding at Cana, the banquet with Simon, the parable of the lost sheep, and Jesus blessing the children.
Included in the material for leaders and teachers are guides and resources, including, new this year, our field-tested music and railroad rhythm site.
For more information or to order go to our Web site at www.augsburgfortress.org/vbs or call 800/328-4648.
Adventure of the Treasure Seekers: Exploring God’s Promises.
Archaeology is fun and exciting, as VBS participants will find in this 2006 treasure search. Children will embark on daily “discovery digs” that draw a parallel to digging into the Bible to explore five of God’s most precious promises: God loves you, God knows you, God treasures you, God forgives you, and God is always with you. Each day they will do their own digging to find treasures and daily promise coins, each symbolizing the teaching for the day and representing one of God’s precious promises. Your children will grow in their love for God and Jesus Christ as they find God’s promises in the Bible, live God’s promises in their lives, and share God’s promises of Jesus with others.
Scripture reference: Our Lord, you are true to your promises, [Psalm 12:6a (CEV)].
English and Spanish versions are available. To order, call 800/672-1789 or visit www.cokesburyvbs.com .
2006 Vacation Bible School from Concordia Publishing House has the two themes.
First is El secreto del cofre: un tesoro que transforma vidas, or The Secret of the Chest: A Treasure that Transforms Lives. It is the only program available in Spanish and in a bilingual format (Spanish/English.)
It is Bible-based and Christ-centered, written by Hispanics for Hispanics in a five-day format for four levels of children, ages three to 14. Materials help children learn that Jesus Christ is the greatest treasure of all–he is trustworthy and a healer of relationships; he welcomes them, gives them joy, and forgives their sins. There is music, skits, color posters, plus creative craft projects for each age level to reinforce learning.
El secreto del cofre is a particularly helpful resource for Spanish-speaking churches, church outreach programs, or mission trips to Spanish-speaking countries.
Call 800/325-3040 for more information. Ask for brochure number 75-5191.
The second curriculum is Treasure Cove, with a tropical, beach theme. Every day kids go on a treasure hunt, digging into Scripture, revealing the greatest treasure–Jesus. Children meet Chester the Treasure Chest, hear about his lost gems, and agree to help find them.
Kids also meet their Search Parties (small groups) and their Treasure Seekers (small-group leaders). Then it’s off to find the clues. Treasure Seekers lead Search Parties, rotating to five sites, where they collect clues about the treasure. Finally, everyone gathers at Claim-Your-Treasure Closing to sing, pray, explore a mission project, unscramble clues, and find the treasure, including collectible Bible Gems. Each lesson explores a main Idea about Jesus. Songs, activities, and Bible Gems help kids treasure God’s Word.
Call 800/325-3040 to order a Starter Kit (32-0643).
Since 2004 the writers, editors, and mission educators of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have collaborated to create a uniquely Presbyterian approach to Vacation Bible School. Three versions are offered in this year’s program.
This year, Around the World in 5 Days: A Visit to the U.S.A., will explore Presbyterian mission in the various regions of our own country. Children will sing with the Rainbow Choir of California’s Pasadena Presbyterian Church, pray with people from the Presbytery of the Yukon in Alaska, Learn of Hanmi Presbytery’s work among the homeless of Chicago, and join fellow campers at Cedarkirk in Tampa Bay and Peace River Presbyteries. The Director’s Guide (#634900) includes everything necessary to get-started. Around the World in 5 Days: God Calls Us examines the Philippines, Guatemala, Malawi, Pakistan and Peru. With Around the World in 5 Days: Living as Forgiven Children of God we learned of the peoples of Taiwan, Northern Ireland, Brazil, Zimbabwe, and Nepal. The common thread in all three is the use of language, crafts, food, games, and music to expand children’s cultural awareness and create in them a heart and mind for mission among God’s children no matter where they are. A number of free downloads are currently available at http://www.pcusa.org/webelieve/vbspdfs05.htm and updates are on the way.
All three are available and may be ordered by calling 800/524-2612 or www.pcusa.org/marketplace .
Time-Stone Travelers go on a mystery-adventure outing to learn about the Ten Commandments, all with a time-travel twist. The children will travel through time to five sites – a Mayan jungle, a medieval castle, an ancient laboratory, an Indian village and a Hawaiian volcano. Each site helps children explore the commandments in a unique way. It’s reproducible and has awesome original music. Plus, there are free downloads for youth and adult guides.
Cook VBS offers a full range of preparation helps in one resource (Director’s Manual, Elementary Guide, Preschool Guide, CD of music and art, sheet music, puzzles, games, decorating ideas, promotional materials and more included). The kit is available in both in NIV and KJV versions. Visit their Web site at www.CookVBS.com or call 800/323-7543.
Fiesta! is a 2006 VBS focus, where participants celebrate and get “fired up” about Jesus. Each day, every activity, from snacks and crafts to Bible adventures, focuses on one simple Bible Point. Kids also participate in Daily ChallengesTM–specific ways they plan to live out their faith each day. These easy acts of service–which aren’t done for a reward or bribe–allow kids to experience what it means to live out God’s Word.
This year, missions efforts take on special meaning as kids work together on a new Operation Kid-to-KidTM project. Children will learn what it means to help others as they create a hand-tied, “Jesus loves me” fleece blanket and a personalized Spanish Bible book to give to a child in need of warmth.
The Starter Kit contains all necessary materials. It can be ordered at 800/447-1070 or visit www.groupvbs.com.
A second curriculum is Bethlehem Village. The curriculum is designed to help all ages discover the extraordinary and everyday, but real, events in the Bible. Preschoolers through adults taste and smell exotic foods and fragrant herbs, explore authentic traditions, and create hand-made projects as they connect Jesus to their lives today.
Bethlehem Village is designed to help families create new faith traditions, to grow in their relationships with each other and with Christ, and to have an unforgettable shared experience. Rather than simply allowing people to try out some Bible-times activities, families dig into thought-provoking discussions and participate in Daily ChallengesTM that let everyone live out Bible truths each day. Order the starter kit at 800/447-1070 or visit www.groupvbs.com .
Are your VBS boys and girls ready to travel around the world in just five days? Our 2006 curriculum, Trading Places is an active, Bible-based program guaranteed to engage both leaders and kids! In five sessions, participants will learn what it would be like to trade places with children from different countries around the world, including Mexico, Poland, China, Brazil, and Kenya.
At the same time, through fun and interactive Bible sessions, they will learn from people who really have traded life in one place for another. The Trading Places starter kit, the Power Pak, lesson chart, free resources, and other information are available at www.vacationbibleschool.com or by calling 800/543-1353.
The Incredible Race from Standard Publishing provides a fun-filled opportunity for kids to go trackside where they will learn from biblical pacesetters who turned in championship performances. Turbo-charged activities and experiences, in a site-based format, will help prepare them for the race of life.
The Incredible Race kit is complete in one box and can be used for more than one program: VBS, camp, clubs, retreats, and outreach events. More information is available at www.vacationbibleschool.com or by calling 1-800-543-1353.