Roswell UMC: Spreading God’s Love to Our Community with our Church Neighbors
Like all Children’s Ministries in North Georgia in April, we were in a panic over what to do with VBS. The Children’s Team at Roswell United Methodist Church knew traditional VBS was off the table with the shear amount of kids that we have each year. Enter, our friend, Rev. Jessica Asbell, the Children’s Minister at First Baptist Roswell at the opposite end of our street, Mimosa Blvd. Jessica presented a crazy ambitious plan to us and Roswell Presbyterian Church (also on the Mimosa Blvd) to work together to create something we could all contribute to and use for VBS this year.
There are five different paths. Each path has five lessons. Thus, one path is one week. Upon registration, families could opt for one path or all paths or anywhere in between.
- Path 1 – Stand Strong – The stories of Moses; Esther; Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego; Joseph; David vs. Goliath
- Path 2 – Be Not Afraid – The stories of Joshua, David, Mary, Jesus, Paul and Silas
- Path 3 – The Teachings of Jesus – The stories of The Lost Sheep; The Good Samaritan; The Power of the Sower; Parable of the Mustard Seed; Wise and Foolish Builders
- Path 4 – Women of the Bible – Sarah, Ruth & Naomi, Lydia, Mary & Martha, Mary Magdalene
- Path 5 – Jesus’ Miracles – Feeding the 5000; Raising Lazarus from the Dead; Healing a Crippled Woman; Calming the Storm; The Four Friends
We divided up the work, the RUMC Children’s Team took on writing the curriculum for Path 1 and Path 4. We also produced videos to go along with each of those lessons using families and staff to help tell the stories. We wrote each Bible story in a kid-friendly way recognizing that some people might not have children’s Bibles in their homes. (And even if they did, some of these stories might not be represented there).
The Bags and Boxes
From the lesson plans and registrations, we ordered supplies. Lots and lots of supplies to send home everything they might need to pull off this VBS in their home. We provided clear plastic bags labeled for each day with all five-day bags in one kraft paper bag for each path. Families received a huge box if they ordered all 5! We were thankful to some faithful, hard-working volunteers that helped us sort and pack everything for our families.
On Sunday, June 7th
we hosted a drive thru to pick up VBS supplies. It was so great to see those tiny, excited faces driving thru the church that we’ve missed so much.
The feedback has been positive. Perhaps our favorite story is one family with older kids chose to use the opportunity to teach the younger neighbor children in their cul-de-sac using our VBS curriculum and supplies. It warmed our hearts to see some of our teens still able to lead VBS, an integral part of their spiritual development and service to the community.
Although it looked unlike another we’ve ever done before, we’re counting it as a win.
- We helped serve more than 510 kids between the churches in our Roswell community (and beyond!).
- We worked collaboratively with other denominations to spread the love of Jesus, and messages of hope and comfort during a crazy summer.
- Maybe most importantly, through VBS we helped parents realize the importance they play in their child’s faith formation. We gave them the tools to succeed and equipped them with the confidence to do so. Having important conversations about faith at home is a key to building a lifetime disciple of Jesus.
We look forward to more adventures in “sharing the gospel, not germs” with our families as we continue to re-imagine what ministry looks like in the coming months.
Rev. Melissa Kime-Hall, Lorin Tate, Meghan Walter, Bev Bearden, & Janet Park