Vacation Bible School

Monday, May 23, 2005

Fundraiser lunch

After church yesterday we did a fundraising lunch. We provided delicious sandwiches and begged for VBS money :) We got about what we got last year, I think, around $200. (We'll probably have a total budget of around $500.) My wife did some wonderful decorations, using paper bags for vines and leaves cut from green cardboard. She added some "safari" snacks she found in a magazine - live worms (hot dogs cut lengthwise), snake eggs (grapes), dried ants (dried cranberries), and jungle juice (green Hawaiian Punch.) We were a little disappointed in the attendance since not every chair we put out was filled, but it went pretty well I thought.

The oddest thing about this whole experience for me is continually asking people to do things. Now that our lunch is over, we've next scheduled a scenery painting day for June 4th, and then the Saturday before VBS will be a setup day. In the meantime, it's time to get announcements in the paper and on the radio.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Meeting today

The support staff met today. Setup, cleanup, arts and crafts leaders, music leaders, and drama leaders were the goal, but we didn't have music or drama representatives, and only one from crafts. Still, it went ok. We've created folders for every volunteer, showing scheduling, goals, guidelines, and other things we think are important - tornado and fire procedures, for example. We also decorated the church basement in our safari theme, and got our registration table ready in the foyer. It's time to start ramping up - VBS is just three weeks away!

I'm a bit worried about music and drama, haven't communicated much with those leaders. I'm pretty worried about the closing ceremony since I'm not at all sure what we'll be doing! But I'm sure it will be all right on the night.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Important weekend for VBS. Saturday morning we will have a meeting for many of the volunteers, just to make sure we're all on the same page on crafts, music, and other setup and cleanup details. Then on Sunday we're having a fundraiser lunch. My wife has been working overtime creating decorations for the lunch, and Gina has been working hard to make folders for all the volunteers, giving information on the schedules and rooms, etc. We'll also set up our registration table for the first time this Sunday. This kind of means I'd better update my website, which still has photos from last year :)

More than 40 packets went out this weekend, so we hope to have a lot of kids registered by the time VBS starts. We have a goal of 50-55 kids signed up.

Monday, May 16, 2005

I like VBS because we are able to teach about Jesus in an entertaining and memorable way, as we have a different theme each year. VBS is a great way to get to know our church family better, as well as an outreach tool to our friends and neighbors.

I've been involved with VBS for as many years as we have offered it at UBC. I have served as craft leader, craft helper, and teaching assistant in past years. This year I decided to teach the preschoolers because I teach them during Sunday School and thought that this would be fun to get to know them in a different setting and hopefully meet some new children as well.
Sheila Maben
Preschool teacher
University Baptist Church VBS

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Invitations go out today

We send out a little package to each family that we think is likely to attend VBS. It consists of a letter to the kids on stationary we ordered, a letter to the parents on church stationary, a long registration form, and a CD with the music. We've set ourselves a goal this year of getting 5 new kids to come, and in order to get there we've set up a challenge and a prize drawing for the kids who bring the most visitors. Whether this package will help with that task I'm not sure. It's nice to get the CD's out and let the kids start listening to the music well before VBS starts. I suspect publicity money could probably be spent better, but since our total attendance will most likely be less than 60 I'm not sure one way or the other. We'll see.

Next director's meeting will be Thursday, and we're planning a meeting next Saturday for all the non-teacher helpers - that's the craft, music, and skit leaders, and the setup and cleanup people.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Churches that blog

A church marketing website has put up an article on churches blogging. This is UBC's second blog; Pastor Annette started one some months ago but only did a few entries. This blog will take a bit of a different tack - along with my entries on the progress of getting VBS organized, we'll be posting some articles from teachers and others who are involved in VBS, as well as links like this one, to various other sites who are doing things that we find interesting.

Friday, May 13, 2005

I got involved in Vacation Bible School as a really little kid at First Baptist Church, Bedford, Indiana. My mom was a teacher, helper, crafter, cook and following in those footsteps is one of the joys of my life as a mom and a church woman. As a pastor, I consider VBS a vital part of the religious education of our own children, whereby the Christian story is layered in their memory and worldview, year by year. For neighborhood children and others who come to UBC once a year for this week in June, we offer an experience of church they will remember as safe, fun and happy; led by grown-ups who recognized them, prayed for them and loved them year after year. I am looking forward to another week of good work among good people, instilling the faith in another generation.

Annette Hill Briggs
University Baptist Church

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I am one of three directors for Vacation Bible School this year at University Baptist Church. I am starting this blog to keep anyone who is interested up-to-date on what our plans are for VBS, and also to provide some extra commentary on the actual week itself. It should be interesting. I'll post a little bit about myself, and hopefully I'll solicit some articles by, on, and about some of the other teachers and helpers as well.

My involvement with VBS came about last year when I and my wife were asked to do publicity. Apparently publicity had hardly ever been done before, so when we put some effort into it, and got in the newspaper, on the radio, and some in-church events, everyone thought we did a pretty good job. When this year came around, the director of past several years gave us some broad hints that we might be able to replace him. We weren't sure if we could do it or not. We're still not sure, but we teamed up with an Indiana University graduate student and hopefully the three of us will be able to put something nice together. And if not, hopefully this blog will give the next director some hints for what not to do :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

First post

University Baptist Church Vacation Bible School Safari Adventure is just around the corner! We've got a very exciting week planned this year, with live animals, an adult class, and a bonfire on Thursday night! If you live in or near Bloomington, Indiana, Register Online today. It'll be a great time! VBS will be held from 6 to 8 PM each night from June 13th through the 16th.