This year Cedar Hill United Methodist Church and Sand Rock United Methodist Church in the Mountain Lakes District decided to do something different for Vacation Bible School. Not only were the two churches working together to reach their own community, but they also had a vision to reach out to other nearby communities in the hopes of teaching their youth and children that serving Christ means more than just serving those within the Church.
During the first planning meeting, they decided to focus on three different communities: two government-housing areas in Centre and a Hispanic community in Collinsville.
The first day of VBS was for the youth and children at Cedar Hill and Sand Rock UMCs. The goal was to teach them the theme, “God cares about you,” and equip them to serve and help lead VBS in the other communities alongside the adults.
The group visited the other communities each day. They handed out flyers and offered the invitation to come join VBS the following day.
The two churches offered a complete VBS at each community that included music, skits, lessons, games, and crafts. They concluded each day with prayer, a full meal, and gift bags for the children and adults who attended. The first day they served approximately 13 children and 3 adults. The second and third days they served 15 children each day. Each time, the children left saying “this is the best day ever!” or “I love vacation bible school! Will y’all please come back again?”
Pastor of Cedar Hill UMC Rev. Kyle Bryan explains, “While planning Vacation Bible School earlier in the summer, it was clear that this nomadic VBS was out of our ‘comfort zone.’ We had with many hesitations and second thoughts due to different reasons -- such as the language barrier at the Hispanic community. Despite our initial discomforts, we knew this is what we were called to do this summer, and we believe this is what the kingdom of God looks like on Earth: Churches working together to better serve those inside or outside of the faith community.”