10.) The First Baptist Church of Sylva hasn’t hosted its own Vacation Bible School in over a decade.
9.) For the last ten years, our church has partnered with other churches from downtown Sylva to provide a Vacation Bible School experience to the community at Bridge Park.
8.) Representatives of each participating church gather months in advance to begin their planning. This year, our first meeting was in February.
7.) A curriculum is selected that unites our churches in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ to children and youth. We strive to find lesson plans that are rooted in strong Bible stories with a clear message of God’s love and mercy in Jesus.
6.) For the first time, our 1st Explorers Ministry’s Summer Explorers Camp includes the week of Vacation Bible School in its summer lineup.
5.) Several ministers from local churches participate in Vacation Bible School each day. For many years running, Blake Daniel—the pastor at First Presbyterian—and I have led the opening and closing sessions together. Kelly Brown is the longtime coordinator of our community VBS, and our church’s staff members have always been leaders with the children. This year, and including our Summer Explorers Staff, our church has 17 staff members actively involved in the leadership of VBS.
4.) Volunteers from our church have cheerfully and faithfully taken the lead each year in setting up the tents, chairs, tables, and projector screens each morning of VBS in the park. They are finished before many of us have had our first cup of coffee. Additionally, volunteers from our church make sure children are checked in and registered. At the conclusion of camp each day, this same crew returns to pack everything up and stores the supplies at their own homes.
3.) Typically, 55-70 children are present for VBS on the first day of camp. By the week’s end, that number typically grows to 75-100. This year, we had 160 children and youth present on the first day of camp.
2.) For most of its tenure, our church has hosted the closing ceremony and lunch in our Mission and Fellowship Center. Volunteers from our church have helped to provide the meal and to provide hospitality. We typically are able to pay for the meal expense through an offering that we take up after our final program. All VBS expenses are shared by the partnering churches. This year’s closing ceremony will be at the Methodist Church at noon on Friday, June 15.
1.) The Vacation Bible School our community hosts together is one of the best things we do each year.