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Offline scamandrius

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VBS
« on: August 08, 2015, 03:54:19 PM »
Did your parish have a VBS (Vacation Bible School)?  IF not, did you send or maybe just considered sending your kids to another church's VBS?

If your church does have a VBS, is there good attendance and do you charge anything?  Also, how long is it?
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Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: VBS
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2015, 04:24:46 PM »
VBS is the Protestant version of St. (Name Your Church), it's one week long and free, with a T-shirt of the Saint. Our church had about 15 kiddos/day.
Our Protestant friends had about 130/day but then it is mostly non-church parents looking to "dump" from 9 to Noon.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: VBS
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2015, 04:37:33 PM »
Let kids have summer.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 04:37:42 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline biro

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Re: VBS
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2015, 06:42:22 PM »
I used to sometimes go to things like that when I was a kid. Mostly good memories. :)
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: VBS
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2015, 08:16:31 PM »
Let kids have summer.

Does VBS last three months where you are?  Around here it barely lasts a week.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: VBS
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2015, 08:44:57 PM »
Let kids have summer.

Does VBS last three months where you are?  Around here it barely lasts a week.
I dunno, I've never really been exposed to it. I thought it was bible school that lasted through a large chunk of summer vacation.

In any case, what is the goal?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 08:45:15 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline JTLoganville

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Re: VBS
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2015, 09:04:40 PM »
Personally, I participated in VBS in my childhood.  My chief interests were guessing (wrongly, most times) what color the Kool-aide would be that was served with the snack and what the flannel board story would be.   At least the latter had something to do with faith.

My Antiochian parish has a three day VCS (Vacation Church School) largely creating its own curriculum.  It lasts for about two hours on weeknight evenings.  It is free.

Professionally, I work at our local Salvation Army which offers a six week "Summer Day Camp" which integrates the Group VBS kit into its program.  The songs and Bible lessons are used throughout the six weeks.  There is a fee ($140.00 for the entire six weeks) but this includes breakfast and lunch five days a week, swimming twice a week, rollerskating once a week, and long field trip every Friday.   Traditional VBS is offered at the close of Day Camp on the next-to-last week for two hours per day, and this is free.

Goal?   To deepen children's discipleship; learn Bible stories, do crafts related to those stories, and sing song related to those stories.

I have to put in a plug for Group VBS:  Unique among the "VBS kits" Group ALWAYS includes Jesus's Death and Resurrection as one of the Bible lessons.   

If we aren't teaching the Paschal mystery we might as well be selling Shineola.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 09:05:36 PM by JTLoganville »

Offline biro

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Re: VBS
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2015, 09:40:06 PM »
In my Orthodox parish, VBS is a day program that lasts about a month.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: VBS
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2015, 10:17:57 PM »
Let kids have summer.

Does VBS last three months where you are?  Around here it barely lasts a week.
I dunno, I've never really been exposed to it. I thought it was bible school that lasted through a large chunk of summer vacation.

In any case, what is the goal?

Theoretically, theosis.  More likely, day care. 

Offline hecma925

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Re: VBS
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2015, 11:16:21 PM »
Growing up in a "Church of God" (of the Cleveland, TN variety), our VBS lasted a week.  Usually, it was early in the summer.

My parish does not do a VBS or VCS.  They just send kids to monasteries.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: VBS
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2015, 12:52:50 AM »
Goal?   To deepen children's discipleship
Are we trying to give them anxiety disorders? Jeez. Teach a kid he has to asymptotically approach a vague generality...
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 12:53:23 AM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: VBS
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2015, 12:53:11 AM »
Theoretically, theosis.  More likely, day care.
This is what I thought it was.
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: VBS
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2015, 01:53:25 AM »
Goal?   To deepen children's discipleship
Are we trying to give them anxiety disorders? Jeez. Teach a kid he has to asymptotically approach a vague generality...

And yet most kids seem to enjoy it, whereas kids of the same age often find church services boring. For my part I support trying to get kids to not think this religion thing completely boring, even if it means building 8" models of the OT tabernacle out of popsicle sticks, or finger painting a Bible scene of Samson being a boss. This is even a good way, to whatever minor extent, to introduce Orthodoxy to the non-Orthodox, or show a bit of the faith to kids whose parents aren't practicing EO but have no problem with their kids going to this kind of thing.

Regarding the OP, the closest local parish that had one seemed to have about a dozen kids (for reference this is a parish that has an avg. Sunday attendance of maybe 100-130).
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 01:54:05 AM by Justin Kissel »
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: VBS
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2015, 02:04:45 AM »

And yet most kids seem to enjoy it, whereas kids of the same age often find church services boring. For my part I support trying to get kids to not think this religion thing completely boring, even if it means building 8" models of the OT tabernacle out of popsicle sticks, or finger painting a Bible scene of Samson being a boss. This is even a good way, to whatever minor extent, to introduce Orthodoxy to the non-Orthodox, or show a bit of the faith to kids whose parents aren't practicing EO but have no problem with their kids going to this kind of thing.
But do you teach them "discipleship"?
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: VBS
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2015, 02:31:38 AM »
I guess it depends on the parish, how they do VBS, and how they understand discipling. Maybe with something like this they need "milk" and can't do anything with "meat," so however the locals see that playing out. At a young age I would consider steps in the right direction things like: being exposed to some icons and related stories (use as a teaching tool for illiterate/uneducated/etc. was said to be a major function of them in the past, after all), maybe learning a Bible verse or two (or the more important part: a principle that's part of it, and a way to put it into practice--say, forgiveness, or some of the things St. Paul says about love), and possibly make some friends (a big part of discipleship is community support and interaction--at least for some groups--iron sharpening iron, grieving and celebrating together, and so on). Perhaps part if the thing here is that when I was a Protestant, and with the people I was with, this term was common and often used a framework concept to hang ideas and practices on. So maybe the familiarity is effecting how I am responding here.
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Offline JamesR

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Re: VBS
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2015, 08:34:50 PM »
When I was a kid I liked it better before my parents became religious. Then when I was 12 they started working at an Evangelical "Church" and my life went downhill from there. From 6th-8th grade I had to attend Christian school which consisted of constant bible lessons, annoying chapels when I'd rather focus on academics, and always trying to get kids to work around the church as part of our curriculum. The worst were those dumb popular 8th grade Tweens who always had to volunteer for everything, speak on the stage, and act as if they were pastors. I don't know what Orthodox VBS is like, but if it's anything like the Protestant stuff, I'd avoid it. I can't speak for all kids, especially since I was the smart-butt little quasi atheist kid a few IQ points higher than everyone else, but I took religion more seriously when I was addressed like an adult opposed to spoon fed rock-concert worship services and "youth group" shenanigans. Best teacher I ever had, ironically a Calvinist. As wrong as his theology is/was, he addressed us like adults and really engaged us theologically opposed to all that silly Evangelical stuff. Used to let us have weekly mock-debates in class about a theological topic.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: VBS
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2015, 05:00:33 PM »
Our parish has it although they call it Vacation Church School. I think it is only 3 days. I've never gone since it is for kids and my kids don't go. I think they do crafts, color icon pictures and have fun lessons. The kids all seemed to enjoy it from what I heard.

I remember going to VBS as a kid and I always really looked forward to it. My daughters go to the one at the Methodist church they attend and they love it. Socializing kids during the summer is a good thing and it never hurts to have some Christian teaching to go along with it.
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Offline Mountain

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Re: VBS
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2015, 09:12:25 AM »
Did your parish have a VBS (Vacation Bible School)?  IF not, did you send or maybe just considered sending your kids to another church's VBS?

If your church does have a VBS, is there good attendance and do you charge anything?  Also, how long is it?

Vacation Bible school? That is so Protestant... Only sects do that here in my country. We throw bircks or something at them. :D

Offline Minnesotan

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Re: VBS
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2015, 10:13:49 AM »
Did your parish have a VBS (Vacation Bible School)?  IF not, did you send or maybe just considered sending your kids to another church's VBS?

If your church does have a VBS, is there good attendance and do you charge anything?  Also, how long is it?

Vacation Bible school? That is so Protestant... Only sects do that here in my country. We throw bircks or something at them. :D

Pravoslavac, is that you?
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: VBS
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2015, 10:15:06 AM »
Did your parish have a VBS (Vacation Bible School)?  IF not, did you send or maybe just considered sending your kids to another church's VBS?

If your church does have a VBS, is there good attendance and do you charge anything?  Also, how long is it?

Vacation Bible school? That is so Protestant... Only sects do that here in my country. We throw bircks or something at them. :D

Pravoslavac, is that you?
I so hope so. I miss that lil fella.
God bless!

Offline Mountain

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Re: VBS
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2015, 10:18:29 AM »
Did your parish have a VBS (Vacation Bible School)?  IF not, did you send or maybe just considered sending your kids to another church's VBS?

If your church does have a VBS, is there good attendance and do you charge anything?  Also, how long is it?

Vacation Bible school? That is so Protestant... Only sects do that here in my country. We throw bircks or something at them. :D

Pravoslavac, is that you?

Whatever i reply, i will be still Pravoslavac, right?

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: VBS
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2015, 10:19:47 AM »
Did your parish have a VBS (Vacation Bible School)?  IF not, did you send or maybe just considered sending your kids to another church's VBS?

If your church does have a VBS, is there good attendance and do you charge anything?  Also, how long is it?

Vacation Bible school? That is so Protestant... Only sects do that here in my country. We throw bircks or something at them. :D

Pravoslavac, is that you?

Whatever i reply, i will be still Pravoslavac, right?
If you are Pravoslavac, don't admit to it or you will be doomed to be banned for duplicate account.  We can all just pretend that you are Pravoslavac's twin brother.  :angel:
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Offline Mountain

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Re: VBS
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2015, 10:26:56 AM »
I am not Pravoslavac, but we are both Serbian, so we think same. We were brainwashed as kids by president Slobodan Milosevic.



This is me next to the president. I miss him  :'(

Offline Bryan Paul

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Re: VBS
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2015, 04:46:13 PM »
My parish does not do a VBS or VCS.  They just send kids to monasteries.

Do they come back?   :o
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: VBS
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2015, 10:51:01 AM »
My parish has VBS.  I started the program some 7 years ago.  This year there were 23 kids ranging in age from 4-16.  It lasted for 5 days, 10 a.m - 5 p.m.

The goal was to teach kids about God.  Many of these same children do not come weekly to church (their parents don't bring them), yet, they fraternize as their parents visit each other.  Therefore, by getting a couple church going kids to sign up, they got their friends and so and so on.

All are "Orthodox".

Each year I prepare the material, make the booklets, decide which crafts to make, etc.

Each year the kids undertake a charitable activity.  This year they made lunch for 100 homeless individuals, and donated $100 towards their needs.

This year's theme was "Knock and the Door Will be Opened".

The children learned prayers, did crafts, learned 7 of Christ's parables, did skits, and overall played together....making lasting friendships and memories.

Each morning began with Morning Prayers in church, and at 3 p.m. (before I lost those who had to leave early) we were back in church for Evening Prayers.

Was it daycare?  Sure, it was....but, you should take every opportunity to instill virtues and plant seeds in those little brains....even during daycare.

....and yes, I designed and  printed T-Shirts for them.





































One of the boys had a sister that was to be Christened during VBS....so, I taught them about Baptism....what it is....what to look for....the meaning of it all....the pronouncement of the Creed, the anointing, the water, the cutting/burning of hair, etc.   They promised to be quiet....so, I allowed them to come and watch.  When the baby was baptized and returned to her parents....I had the children sing VERY loudly Mnohaya Lita, which we had practiced.  The mother began to cry.











VBS concluded on Sunday....ALL the students came for Liturgy....stood up front....and watched what they had learned, put to action.  They also came out front and sang the Lord's Prayer during the Liturgy.  It was a great conclusion of a wonderful week!














Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
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Offline biro

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Re: VBS
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2015, 11:27:51 AM »
That is just way too cute.

Every time I see Liza's church pictures, I want to move there.
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Offline Bryan Paul

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Re: VBS
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2015, 11:42:15 AM »
My parish has VBS.  I started the program some 7 years ago.  This year there were 23 kids ranging in age from 4-16.  It lasted for 5 days, 10 a.m - 5 p.m.

The goal was to teach kids about God.  Many of these same children do not come weekly to church (their parents don't bring them), yet, they fraternize as their parents visit each other.  Therefore, by getting a couple church going kids to sign up, they got their friends and so and so on.

All are "Orthodox".

Each year I prepare the material, make the booklets, decide which crafts to make, etc.

Each year the kids undertake a charitable activity.  This year they made lunch for 100 homeless individuals, and donated $100 towards their needs.

This year's theme was "Knock and the Door Will be Opened".

The children learned prayers, did crafts, learned 7 of Christ's parables, did skits, and overall played together....making lasting friendships and memories.

Each morning began with Morning Prayers in church, and at 3 p.m. (before I lost those who had to leave early) we were back in church for Evening Prayers.

Was it daycare?  Sure, it was....but, you should take every opportunity to instill virtues and plant seeds in those little brains....even during daycare.

....and yes, I designed and  printed T-Shirts for them.

That's awesome, Liza! I wish we could replicate something like that here.
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Offline Pravoslavac

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Re: VBS
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2015, 07:41:25 PM »
My parish has VBS.  I started the program some 7 years ago.  This year there were 23 kids ranging in age from 4-16.  It lasted for 5 days, 10 a.m - 5 p.m.

The goal was to teach kids about God.  Many of these same children do not come weekly to church (their parents don't bring them), yet, they fraternize as their parents visit each other.  Therefore, by getting a couple church going kids to sign up, they got their friends and so and so on.

All are "Orthodox".

Each year I prepare the material, make the booklets, decide which crafts to make, etc.

Each year the kids undertake a charitable activity.  This year they made lunch for 100 homeless individuals, and donated $100 towards their needs.

This year's theme was "Knock and the Door Will be Opened".

The children learned prayers, did crafts, learned 7 of Christ's parables, did skits, and overall played together....making lasting friendships and memories.

Each morning began with Morning Prayers in church, and at 3 p.m. (before I lost those who had to leave early) we were back in church for Evening Prayers.

Was it daycare?  Sure, it was....but, you should take every opportunity to instill virtues and plant seeds in those little brains....even during daycare.

....and yes, I designed and  printed T-Shirts for them.





































One of the boys had a sister that was to be Christened during VBS....so, I taught them about Baptism....what it is....what to look for....the meaning of it all....the pronouncement of the Creed, the anointing, the water, the cutting/burning of hair, etc.   They promised to be quiet....so, I allowed them to come and watch.  When the baby was baptized and returned to her parents....I had the children sing VERY loudly Mnohaya Lita, which we had practiced.  The mother began to cry.











VBS concluded on Sunday....ALL the students came for Liturgy....stood up front....and watched what they had learned, put to action.  They also came out front and sang the Lord's Prayer during the Liturgy.  It was a great conclusion of a wonderful week!















What a beautiful traditional church, looks like Mount Athos churches.
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