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VBS Curriculum on Psalms available now

    Jan 25, 2005
-by Dan Dyck
 


Elsie Rempel, director of Christian Education and Nurture for Mennonite Church Canada, displays her draft copy of the 2005 Vacation Bible School material produced by Mennonite Publishing Network.

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North Newton, Kan. — A young boy smashes into his father’s brand new car with a riding lawnmower and feels like an idiot. He attempts to recruit his sister to keep the accident a secret.

This is one of several plausible scenarios set up for teachers in the new Vacation Bible School 2005 curriculum available from Mennonite Publishing Network (MPN), Celebrate the Psalms! Our God is Awesome.

The curriculum dramas centre on two siblings who are spending a day with their parents, cleaning up Grandma’s attic after she has passed away. They discover her old Bible, and out of boredom begin to read. They are gradually drawn in. Through their own experiences and adventures they begin to identify with the story of David in the Psalms – a story that has a remarkable connection to their own lives.

Project coordinator Eleanor Snyder, director of the Faith & Life Resources division of MPN, recommends the new study for Bible school, day camp, after-school programs or all-church retreats. "The Psalms are a wonderful source of inspiration for Mennonite Christians, both in times of joyful praise and in times of deepest despair," Snyder says. "I encourage all our churches to take advantage of this rich Mennonite study resource that can nurture a lifetime of faith in our children."

Celebrate the Psalms! introduces children to the God who creates and guides, forgives and blesses people from generation to generation. "Celebration Stations" provide art, drama, games, service, and fun activities to help children personally experience God. Each child will use a creative "Celebration Journal" containing a chart for reading the Psalms. Imaginative, easy to produce dramas, games, and other fun activities characterize the teaching material.

The curriculum is “… based on missional church thinking without using the word ‘missional,’” according to Elsie Rempel, director of Christian Education and nurture for Mennonite Church Canada. “Celebrate the Psalms! works from the perspective that the God is at work in a multitude of ways and places, and we want to join in with that work and celebrate it.”

Rempel read through the draft of the material in the late summer of 2004. “I heartily endorse this curriculum, and I am delighted to recommend this material to congregations. The activities allow children to engage the truth and good news of the Bible in the creative and varied ways that children actually learn and relate to God. Best of all this material is Bible centred in a way that leads to abundant living with our God and God’s people.”

The writing team met in the winter and spring of 2004 to plan and write the 2005 materials. Faith & Life Resources is now coordinating a team to work on a VBS curriculum for use in 2006. Sample materials and order information for Celebrate the Psalms! are available at www.mph.org/vbs.