Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Five Arks of VBS

 It's almost summer now, but it's also the winter of VBS discontent: the cost, the programs, the relevance, the Catholicity, etc. I don't do Vacation Bible School so I'm not an authority; I just see VBS angst kick in on the Net each June. At a VBS thread today someone suggested that VBS could be homemade instead of following a packaged program. (Although as Jerry Seinfeld might say, there's nothing wrong with that.) So I thought for several seconds about what sort of homemade VBS I might like to do, and came up with this:

Assuming there are five days of VBS, they might be tied together by the idea of Ark:

1. Noah's Ark
2. Baby Moses' Ark
3. The Ark of the Covenant
4. Mary as the New Ark
5. The tabernacle in church as Ark.

There will be good stories to tell, read, and act out; things to draw, color, and craft. Any of the stories could be expanded per time available, e.g., Baby Moses' Ark could be preceded by Joseph and the famine that brought his family to Egypt, and/or followed by the story of the first Passover. Then the kids could choose to make or draw: the pyramids; a sphinx; Joseph in his coat; Pharaoh; Moses in his Ark; the Burning Bush; one of the plagues; the Angel of Death passing over a house marked with lamb's blood; parting the Red Sea, etc. Then they could assemble what they'd done in chronological order and as a group retell the whole story by referring to their artwork. Maybe each day's artwork would append to the previous days' such that on the last day they could tell the whole connected story to their parents or another class.

The Bible would be treated in an organized way, and the kids would see a meaningful thread of Catholicism run from the Old Testament through the New, and on into the kids' very own church. Time permitting, a 6th Ark might also be squeezed in: the cube-shaped New Jerusalem of Revelations. And as a prelude to arks, the garden of Eden.

Ya can't beat that.


the striped rose said...

That sounds like a great idea!

jdonliturgy said...

You might be on to something there. Storytelling is often the heart of VBS - kids in that age-group thrive on it. Good shot. Now you have to create the crafts and skits, find the songs, etc. ;-)

kkollwitz said...

Couldn't I foist that stuff off on an assistant?

Athanasis Contra Mundum said...

Nicely done! I like the way that one builds on the other.

Parce Domine said...

This is a good idea, the very kind of thing I was thinking during the discussion in "Catholics in the South." This is the kind of program that Protestant spouses and parents of Catholics could accept, but don't forget verse memorization.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

As I read this post it occurred to me what a terrific amount of energy it takes to teach the Bible to kids. Maybe you could put together a teacher's manual for VBS and sell it to all those who are so nervous about what to do. Every year a new theme that ties the Old and New Testaments together and to the Mass would keep things fresh. (This is what I do: think up work for other people!)