Virtual Vacation Bible School Discovers Real Treasure! (6/28/21)

Posted by on Jul 9, 2021 in Bible Study, EventReport, kids, Ministry: Community & Church, Vacation Bible School | 0 comments

When this year’s Vacation Bible School was being planned, we were still in the throws of the pandemic and unsure whether or not the building would be available. So, like last year, we held a “virtual” VBS which would be presented via our Live Stream. Stef Kier (our Christian Education director) along with help from Stephanie Hogan, Kristin Russell, and Conner Mooney presented the lessons to the video camera in an empty sanctuary. Through skits, music, and some cool demonstrations, they brought the message of how God Treasures us.

Here’s a taste of that uplifting message, broadcast on our Live Stream during the afternoons of June 28 through July 2…

 

You’re God’s Treasure!

The theme of this year’s VBS centered on the “Your / You’re” play on words. “You’re God’s Treasure!” It’s not the possessive “your.”  It’s the contraction, You ARE God’s treasure!” God Treasures…. us??? How? Why?

Each of the five days answered that question by presenting the different ways in which God treasures us. The week’s theme song (played over and over…) highlighted the five points of this message:

 

I am a priceless treasure! Here’s why:

  1. God Knows Me
  2. God Hears Me
  3. God Comforts Me
  4. God Forgives Me
  5. God Chooses Me

 

 

Live and Live Streamed

Each day focused on one of those facets of God’s love and commitment to us. The one hour presentation (along with handouts delivered to those who registered) used music, videos, and some live activities to demonstrate God’s treasuring. “Dr. Diggingstone” (video character) was in search of treasure. At the beginning of the week he was looking for gold. But by the end of the week he had found something much better.

Stef (with help from Stephanie and Kristin) sang and danced the music, and then demonstrated some object lessons to reinforce the message. Along the way, videos of “Totally True Bible Adventures” grounded the message in examples from scripture. Because the VBS was planned during the pandemic, we “performed” the lessons to an empty sanctuary…

But the camera caught the message. Knowing that God treasures us in these five ways, compels us to love Him back, and to treasure our relationship with Him above all else. Here’s a day by day glimpse of the You ARE Treasured message:

Click/tap the day to open that day’s text tab…

God Knows You

Samuel came to Bethlehem looking for a king (see 1 Samuel 16:1-13). God told him to go to the home of Jesse, and then He would select the next king from Jesse’s sons. The seven oldest sons were paraded by Samuel, and when Samuel saw Elib (the eldest) he thought to himself, “this has got to be the one; he’s tall, strong… he looks like a king.” But God said, no: “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7). So the other six sons were brought to Samuel, but God said “no” for each one. Samuel then began to doubt; all of these sons looked pretty good. Seven sons of Jesse… Seven sons who looked like kings… but all seven were rejected by God.

So Samuel said, “Are these all the sons you have?” Is this it???? The father, Jesse, maybe with some embarrassment, said “well there is one more. He’s the youngest. Looks more like a little boy than a king. Surely HE isn’t the one!” But Samuel, faithful to God, said “bring him to me.” And lo and behold, this youngest, smallest, most unroyal looking boy was the one God wanted to be king.

We choose by appearance. But God knows more about us than our outward appearance. God REALLY knows us. The true us. He knows our heart. So if you’ve ever been chosen last for a team in your school’s gym class, take comfort in knowing that God knows more about us than how tall or athletic we look. He knows the person we are. Psalm 139 says that God searches me and knows me. He knows everything about me and He WANTS to know everything about me. I am treasure!

God Hears You

David did a lot of great things, but he got into trouble with King Saul. He hadn’t done anything wrong (in fact, just about all he did what good!). In 1 Samuel 22:1-5 David, chosen to become king, was hiding in a cave. He felt pressure. He was afraid. Saul’s men were after him. But he prayed, and he trusted that God was listening to him. Just like any true friend, God wants to hear us.

David wrote some of his thoughts in Psalm 86: “Hear me and answer me”… “I call to you all day long…” “Listen to my cry for mercy…” “Teach me Your way and I will walk in Your truth…” When we know that God knows us and treasures us as a friend, we can be totally open to Him and tell Him about our fears. God hears you!

God Comforts You

Hezekiah was the King of Judah (the part of Israel that contains Jerusalem). And, Hezekiah was a good king. He tried to obey God (see 2 Chronicles 29-31). But when we get to chapter 32 of 2 Chronicles, Hezekiah is in trouble. The king of Assyria came and laid siege to Jerusalem. He closed off the city so that they couldn’t get any food. Nobody could go in or out (without getting killed by the Assyrian army). Things were really scary.

About 130 years after Hezekiah, Jerusalem would be captured, but the time for that hadn’t come. But the Assyrians were making things hard for the people. Really hard. They taunted them, saying that their God would never rescue them. They sent king Hezekiah a letter intending to completely discourage him and make him surrender. But King Hezekiah prayed– he surrendered to God instead of Assyria. He cried out to heaven. And, the Lord sent an angel who annihilated all of the fighting men. The Assyrian army had to withdraw in disgrace.

Hezekiah trusted God, and God gave the victory. But God also treasured His people enough to comfort them in their time of trouble. Before the “battle,” God answered Hezekiah’s prayer. The prayer and God’s answer are recorded in 2 Kings 19:14-34. Hezekiah pored out his heart and expressed his fear. But then God replied by providing comfort. He assured Hezekiah that Assyria would not capture the city. God said “By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city, declares the Lord. I will defend this city and save it…

God provided comfort to His king, but then king Hezekiah gave comfort to the people. He told them, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid of this vast army… for there is a greater power with us than with them. With them is only the arm of flesh. With us is the Lord our God.” (2 Chronicles 32:7-8)

What kind of “bad news scrolls” do we receive? Even “friends” do mean things to us sometimes. But turn to God. He treasures you, and He will calm your fears.

God Forgives You

Jesus, God’s Son, came to earth and lived a human life. Along the way, he made friends. These friends (we call them “disciples”), followed Jesus around and saw Him do amazing things: Healed the sick, fed big crowds, walked on the water, calmed a storm, and even raised people back from the dead. But His disciples weren’t always good friends. We can do things that help, hurt, or even break a friendship. Each time we do something to help the friendship, we move closer. It’s like moving closer to the computer screen. But each time we do something that hurts the friendship, it’s like moving away from the screen. It’s like putting a rip in our hearts.

But Jesus died on a cross so that God could set things right. If we want, He can put tape on our torn hearts. He can bring us closer to the computer screen. In John 18:1-27, one of Jesus’ friends (Peter) did some things that moved him far from Jesus. He even denied that he was even Jesus’ friend. But later, in John 21:15-25, Jesus shows that he forgave Peter (aka Simon).

Jesus treasured His friendship with Peter, and He forgave him. And, Jesus treasures His relationship with us- and He will forgive us too!

God Chooses You

Esther was a Jew living in the palace of a king who had enslaved the Jews. And, the king didn’t know that Ester was a Jew. In fact, through a strange sort of circumstances, Esther became a queen! Haman was a bad man who hated Jews, and he wanted to kill all of them. He set a certain date where all of the Jews in the kingdom would be killed. This story is told in the book of Esther.

Esther didn’t know what to do. If she approached the king without being asked, she would be put to death. If she told the king that she was Jewish- how would he react? But Esther’s cousin Mordecai encouraged her to act. He said “who knows but that you have come to a royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). Mordecai reminded Esther that God had chosen her for this moment. If God chose you to do something, it’s all going to work out right.

So Esther asked the king to throw a banquet for just the three of them (the king, Haman, and Esther). Haman was proud and thought that it was all for him. But Esther boldly revealed that she was Jewish and that Haman wanted to kill her people. The king became enraged at Haman, and he protected the Jews. Haman ended up getting hung on the gallows he had built for Mordecai!

God treasures us, and He chooses us to do things for Him. And when He chooses us, we can be sure that He will help us do what He wants.

 

Views of Vacation Bible School, 2021…

Hopefully, next year’s VBS will return to “normal”, and the sanctuary will be filled with kids and their parents. God willing, we will be able to break into groups and have classes, arts & crafts, play some games, and- Share some Refreshments! This year’s VBS was presented “virtually”, but nonetheless it will leave us all with positive memories and lessons that encourage us to plumb the depths of God’s love for us. WE are His treasure!!!

Use the “Next” and “Previous” buttons to scroll through the pictures…

 

To see more of our Vacation Bible School, look for recordings on our Live Stream page:      Live Stream  

To learn more about this year’s Vacation Bible School, check out the post that announced it…

VBS Announcement

We’re going on a Treasure Hunt!  No, it’s not for buried silver or gold or some chest of jewels that a pirate stashed away.  We’re not using a cryptic map marked with paces from a rock or tree.  The map is the Bible.  Our guide is the Holy Spirit.  As we search, we’ll discover that the real thing of value isn’t what we own; it’s what we are!  The treasure we’re going to find is the knowledge that God treasures Us! 

If you’re in a hurry to register, click this button…

2021 Vacation Bible School Registration

 

If today’s date is currently between Monday 6/28/21 and Friday 7/2/21, and if your watch says it’s between 2:00 and 3:00 PM, click the below button to watch the VBS now! (or click this button at any other time to watch a recording)…

          Live Stream Page         

If you want to know more, keep reading…

 

Discovering You’re Treasure!

Nope.  That heading isn’t using the wrong “You’re / Your.”  The discovery isn’t to find treasure that can be YOURs;  the discovery is to learn that YOU’RE treasure to God. The real treasure isn’t in what we own or in what we can do.  The real treasure is in knowing that God treasures us regardless of what we’ve done. 

You’re God’s treasure!

God values each of us enough to die for us; and even that only scratches the surface. Take a look at what Jesus said in Luke 15

  • God loves us so much that He leaves 99 sheep to find the one that’s lost. 
  • He loves us so much that He searches and searches for one lost coin (part of a bride’s wedding ring, back in Jesus’ time). 
  • God loves us so much that He forgives His wayward children and waits for them to return.

God treasures His children.  Isn’t that a truth worth searching for?

 

 

Join the Adventure!

Here are the details on how you can experience this year’s Vacation Bible School…

DATES:     Mon. 6/28 thru Fri. 7/2

TIME:        2:00 – 3:00 PM (EDT)

WHERE:  On our Live Stream!  

WHO:       Anyone

COST:      No way!

REGISTRATION:  Strongly recommended.  See the above button

 

 Curriculum          Live Stream  

 

Searching for God’s treasure… and then discovering that His treasure is YOU is going to be an exciting adventure!  Using a bit of imagination, some great props, and a lot of great music, we’ll explore ancient caves, hidden ruins, and thick jungles. 

Check out this “trailer” video to whet your appetite…

 

How Does a Virtual VBS Work???

Under “Normal” conditions, we would all gather together at our church building.  We’d start our time together in the sanctuary, break into age-specific groups, and then return to the sanctuary for a wrap up (and more music).  We all eagerly wait for things to return to “normal”, but we’re still bearing the weight of “Coronavirus” and “Covid-19.”

Last year, we met “virtually” using our church’s Live Stream.  This year we’ll follow the same precautions.  At the beginning of each session (see times above), we will broadcast the daily lesson from our sanctuary.  It will be a fun time of music and  stories, and it will wrap up with some cool experiments and “God Sightings.”  If you register, you’ll receive a “Fun Pack” which will guide you through the adventure before or after our “broadcast.”  The Packs will be delivered to your home (IF you register).

          Live Stream         

 

Here’s what we did last year.  Click on this “thumbnail” (then use your browser’s “back” button to return to this page):

 

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We offer learning adventures for both kids and adults.  To learn more, click this button:    Christian Education  

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