VBS - Everyone Has Value
An orchestra. The gears in a clock. An assembly line. Picture any sort of collaboration with a variety of connected parts, and you've got the concept of a Good Sam VBS. More specifically, it's a walking breathing version of I Corinthians 12:4-6, "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work". In short, VBS is everything I love about the Church.
Weeks and months preceding the actual VBS week, Tracy Defina and Chrissy Annechino select and review curriculum, and recruit, confirm and equip adult leaders. Interns, led by Juliette Ramsey, recruit, confirm and equip youth leaders and take care of detail after detail after detail to make sure that the days go smoothly. Before and during VBS, youth and adult volunteers collaborate to provide a safe, fun, meaningful experience for the children attending. The children in turn interact with their crew leaders and other volunteers, making connections, building friendships and sharing God’s love. As a parent, it's such a pleasure to see the youth leading the children and being positive role models. I particularly treasure the youth volunteers who may be uncomfortable or nervous in their roles at the beginning of the week but become more and more at ease with each day.
Everyone is valued because everyone has value. And then, in four short days (or four long days, depending on the exact moment in time and whom you ask), there is beauty. There is delight. There is success, flexibility, frustration, understanding, loneliness, patience, friendship, connection, laughter, relief. And so much more.
Specifically, this summer we had a child asking to pray when there was extra time in class. We had adult leaders who used to be youth leaders who used to be children in Good Sam VBS. Item after item donated by generous parishioners. Songs stuck in our heads for weeks afterward “I’m trusting you Lord.” A dog wearing a lion costume. Spontaneous laughter. Giving so others can have clean water. A child creating her own version of Imagination Station art at home. Doughnut Wednesday. No rain. One hundred twenty-three children, forty-five youth volunteers, thirty-two adult volunteers. Water games. Natural inter-generational connections.
And so, for all these reasons, and many more, I am grateful to be a part of VBS. Thank you, Good Sam family, for making VBS week possible each summer. Thank you especially for valuing the children and youth (and the occasional dog dressed as a lion) of this Church.
If you’d welcome the joy of working with our children here at Good Sam, please contact Tracy Defina, Director of Family Ministries at email@example.com. We would love to have you join our team of Sunday school teachers or greeters. We can work with you to find the perfect fit where you are valued because you have value.