Shavertown United Methodist Church hosted its annual Vacation Bible School the week of July 21 with the theme “Everywhere Fun Fair: Where God’s World Comes Together.”
Families were encouraged to visit the church for a free cooked dinner prepared by Sandy Michalisin and her kitchen team each night at 5:30 p.m. and creative desserts prepared by Tina Navestad and Bev Bunney. The food was followed by a high energy VBS program supported by video and technical support from Brad and Amy Wall.
Rebecca Oley and her crew of Ringmasters led over 80 children in music and dancing each evening as they introduced a new Bible verse and praise phrase: Neighbors are Friendly, Neighbors are Giving, Neighbors are Bold, Neighbors are Forgiving and Neighbors are Welcoming. The message each night was reinforced by parables and stories told by Rev. Judy Walker. The energy carried over to the games organized by Beth and Mike Viglone and crafts organized by Kim Donlin.
Two mission projects highlighted the international emphasis in this year’s VBS theme.
The first mission was to collect hats and hairbands for deaf children at a school in Dakar, Senegal which will be delivered by SUMC member Susan Roese when she makes a return visit later this year.
The second mission was suggested by the family of 13-year-old Tessa Liskosky, who was adopted from China by her parents Joe and Nancy when she was very young. Another 13-year-old girl at the same orphanage named He Ying remains un-adopted as she was stricken by polio. In order to help He Ying support herself once she is an adult, the participants of Vacation Bible School raised $1,066 to procure a computer and training for her.
The VBS program was spearheaded this year by SUMC Christian Education Director Katie Hrivnak and was supported by numerous adult and teen volunteers. Members of the Shavertown UMC congregation also donated food, prepared decorations, provided traffic safety and helped to shepherd the participants from one program area to another.
All VBS participants and their families were welcome to return for worship at 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays or 10 a.m. on Sundays (9:30 a.m. after Labor Day).