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A spiritual vacation for kids

Religion: Children attend vacation Bible schools around the SCV to both connect with God and have fu

Posted: June 25, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 25, 2011 1:55 a.m.

More than 1,600 children took part in SonSurf Beach Bash, part of the vacation Bible school at Grace Baptist Church in Saugus.

 

Cole McCreery just finished up a week of learning about God, singing songs, making crafts and playing games at First Presbyterian Church of Newhall’s vacation Bible school.

“I liked the crafts, and I really liked the slip-and-slide,” said McCreery, a 5-year-old kindergartner from Valencia.

First Presbyterian’s “PandaMania, where God is Wild about You” vacation Bible school was the fourth VBS McCreery has attended.

“I was excited because this (vacation Bible school) was a panda one and I like pandas,” McCreery said. “I learned about how God is wild.”

McCreery is one of many children who has attended or will attend a vacation Bible school this summer. Churches in the Santa Clarita Valley prepare their summer outreach programs to youngsters.

“I think vacation Bible school is important as an outreach to kids in the community, and it gives kids something to look forward to during the summer,” said Sarah Tidwell, the Children’s ministry director and vacation Bible school leader at First Presbyterian Church in Newhall.

Leading the vacation Bible school was rewarding because the program also helped out an international ministry, Tidwell said. First Presbyterian’s vacation Bible school raised money to support Zoe International Ministries, a nonprofit organization that runs orphanages in Thailand.

The kids raised money by filling buckets with change they collected. Each grade competed against the others to see who could raise the most money.

The kindergarten class won by collecting 20.2 pounds of change, Tidwell said.

Grace Baptist Church in Santa Clarita also finished its vacation Bible school this week. Its had a “SonSurf Beach Bash” theme.

More than 1,600 kindergartners through sixth-graders attended the church’s VBS, said Daniel Luther, director of children’s ministries.

“VBS is a wonderful way the children can meet Jesus, and begin a lifelong journey following him, and sharing his love with others,” Luther said.

More churches in Santa Clarita are getting ready to start their own vacation Bible schools.

NorthPark Community Church in Valencia is kicking off its “Hero Academy” VBS on Monday.

“We want kids to learn how they can be a hero for Christ in their everyday lives,” said Eric Johns, an associate pastor at NorthPark Community Church. Johns hopes the program will be a fun way for kids to learn more about God.

“As Christians, we’re supposed to be having fun,” Johns said. “If we’re not having fun, we’re doing something wrong.”
Santa Clarita United Methodist Church is hosting its “Shake it up Cafe” VBS from July 25 to July 29.

VBS is important because it provides an opportunity for kids to have a fun, safe place to learn about God, said the Rev. Melissa MacKinnon, pastor of Santa Clarita United Methodist Church.

“I hope the kids have a positive experience in a church setting where they learned something about Jesus that helped nurture their spiritual journey,” MacKinnon said.

For more information on Santa Clarita United Methodist Church’s vacation Bible school, call (661) 297-3783.

Bethlehem Lutheran Ministries in Canyon Country is hosting a “Big Jungle Adventure” VBS from July 11 to July 15.

For more information on Bethlehem Lutheran Ministries’ program, call (661) 252-5043.

For more information on NorthPark Community Church’s VBS, call (661) 29-NORTH.

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