PITTSTON — Going to church can be fun.
St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church hosted a Vacation Bible School last week for children ages 3 to 12, marking the seventh year the church has held the week-long event. This year’s theme was called “Everest: Conquering Challenges with God’s Mighty Power.”
Marcia Colleran, who serves as organizer for the Vacation Bible School, said the activities and games all tie into the Mt. Everest theme.
“One craft is we make snow because we’re going to Everest,” she said. “One activity was two kids had to carry one kid from point A to point B on a cot as if they got hurt while they were climbing Everest.”
Volunteer Joe Mersincavage said the purpose of the Vacation Bible School is to give children a fun way to learn about religion.
“What it does is it serves as a Bible teaching with fun games, experiments and things like that,” said Mersincavage. “It’s to keep the kids occupied.”
Mersincavage hosts an imagination station, in which the children craft items such a rubber bouncy balls and learn skills like different ways to blow bubbles.
Each evening begins with a dinner for the children from 5:30 to 6 p.m., followed by an introduction to that evening’s activities. The children then learn a song and dance before splitting off into different groups based on their ages to do various activities.
At the conclusion of the evening, the groups all gather one more time to learn another song and dance before going home.
Each station has a different activity each day, which Mersincavage says is to keep the children guessing as to what fun activity will come next.
Colleran said she has been on board for all seven years and the different theme ideas came from a website called www.group.com/vbs.
The website gives helpful tips and information on how to host certain themes every year for Vacation Bible School by keeping the children active, which is what Mersincavage said is most important.
There have been changes in themes and activities over the years, and Colleran said there are unfamiliar faces this time around.
“The biggest change is the kids,” she said. “This program comes from Group Publishing and we’ve used them for the last five years, and since we’ve found them there have not really been any changes except for the kids. It seems we get the same kids all the time.”
Attendance included between 20 to 30 children a night, Colleran said, and one in attendance having fun this year was 9-year-old Anastasia Pabon.
The Pittston girl attended the Vacation Bible School with her younger sister, 7-year-old Natalie Pabon, and said she was having a fun time.
“It’s good,” she said. “You get to learn about Jesus and God.”
When it came to her favorite part about the Vacation Bible School, Pabon did not hesitate to mention the games.
“I’m very good at them,” she said.
With another Vacation Bible School in the books for St. John’s, Colleran and Mersincavage agreed that this was another successful year.
“I think the kids had a great time,” Mersincavage said. “When I do my imagination station and to just sit back and listen to the ‘oohs’ and the ‘ahs,’ it’s like a Fourth of July firework display. When we did experiments, just to see the look on their faces was terrific.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher