VBS = VOLUNTEER. BELIEVE. SERVE.
Our VBS program at St. John’s has been held for 100 years! From 1924 to 2019 our Vacation Bible School was a gathering of children held at the church in the summer based on Bible studies with lessons, activities, crafts, music, games and snacks designed to give children Christian teaching in a fun, informal summer environment.
Due to the COVID19 pandemic, our 2020 VBS program consisted on take-out boxes of activities which were picked up at church and taken home for the children to work on at home during the summer. The take-out boxes continued in 2021, along with 3 in person outdoor gatherings in the church Meditation Garden.
In 2022 and 2023, we ‘reimagined’ VBS as a series of community service projects for children and adults, under the slogan “Volunteer. Believe. Serve.”
Watch in the late Spring each year for announcements of the details of the next VBS summer program at St. John’s!
Past VBS Programs
VBS History Prior to the Pandemic in 2020
Each mid-June, St. John’s hosted our Vacation Bible School for children age 4 through 6th grade. VBS ran three to five evenings from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Older children and youth serve as helpers for the younger children, along with our team of adult teachers and leaders. Our VBS began each evening with a dinner in the Assembly Hall from 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm, followed by a time of music and worship attended by all. After that we split into classes for age-appropriate study and activities, then came back together at the end of the evening for another time of music and worship.
Historical Documents – St. John’s Vacation Bible School
St. John’s Vacation Bible School has been held annually since 1924 – we celebrated our 100th VBS in 2023! In the early years, VBS ran 5 mornings a week, 2-1/2 hours a day, for 4 weeks. Over the years that changed to 2 weeks. As times changed and more adults worked during the day and children had other outside activities, our VBS moved to 4 consecutive evenings on a week in June, and this changed again to 3 consecutive evenings in June in 2019. In 2022 and 2023 we changed our focus to service projects in the community involving children and adults. Watch for the upcoming schedule announced in the late Spring of each year.
1924 – Announcing the First St. John’s VBS
1933 VBS Article: 10th Year
1970 VBS Invitation 47th Year
2020 & 2021 VBS – COVID19 PANDEMIC YEARS
In 2020, we had take-out boxes of activities to do at home with the family. That continued in 2021, plus 3 evening gatherings.
2022 & 2023: ‘Volunteer ~ Believe ~ Serve’
The Board of Educators held a special celebration of St. John’s 100th year of VBS on Sunday, August 6, 2023 following the 9:30 am worship service during Fellowship Time. We had some special displays taking you back to the first VBS in 1924 up to 2023!
For many years prior to the pandemic in 2020, we also had an adult Bible study class each evening led by our late Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Sue Bertolette, which followed the same Bible story theme as the children were learning in their class that evening.