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The Young Church: Dozens of Teens Guide 120 Children at Vacation Bible School

By Sandra McCabe, St. Sebastian/St. Catherine Youth Minister

The St. Sebastian parish grounds were filled with youthful energy the week of June 15-19 as it hosted District 12’s Vacation Bible School. See below for photos!

With a Mount Everest theme, Conquering Challenges with God’s Mighty Power, 120 children K4-Grade 5 from 10 different parishes learned how God has the power to provide, to comfort, to heal, to forgive and to love us forever.

And who worked with and took care of these 120 kids?  A great group of 53 middle and high school youth volunteers from six parishes. Under the guidance of adults, they served as station leaders or crew leaders for the activities, including music, glacier games, bible expeditions, imagination station and mountaintop treats.

I listened and observed both participants and volunteers really having a great time in whatever activity in which they were engaged. I especially enjoyed seeing the “kid” coming out in all present. Some of the many comments I heard included:

  • “Learning about the bible this way is really cool.”
  • “After a week of VBS, I have more respect for what teachers go through!”
  • “I never realized how much background work there is to getting a program ready.”
  • “I love starting my vacation with VBS. It’s such a great week!”
  • “So when I get older, can I be a leader?”

VBS always has a social justice component connected with it, and this year we collected new and gently used small stuffed animals that will be given to social service agencies throughout the Milwaukee area.  We also collected money for a group working to get clean water to the victims of the earthquake in Nepal.

The energy level was amazing, though when asked if we had thought about having VBS for two weeks,  I said, “Yes, we’ve considered it. But no, we are keeping it at one week!”

The volunteers and team clearly understood this. I left the week with the thinking the church will continue through the grace of God and the efforts of the young church.

For information about other youth opportunities, click here or contact Sandra McCabe, smccabe@saintsebs.org.