PHOTOS | JULIANA MCARTHUR
Seventy children at Edmonton's St. Thomas More Parish took part in a host of activities during the July 8 to 12 Vacation Bible School.
Seventy children re-enacted the lives of the saints and became "missionaries in motion" when they took part in the St. Thomas More Parish Vacation Bible School, July 8-12.
Children attending K4J (Kids for Jesus) Vacation Bible School were on a mission to receive God's love, sharing his love to others by helping to build the Church.
They experienced God's grace through various activities. They were missionaries having fun with games, crafts and songs. They explored the church nave and learned about the tabernacle.
At the craft station, the children were busy with glue, sparkles, crayons, markers, paper, wood and ribbon, creatively celebrating the grace of Jesus.
Even the snacks served at the "Saintly Snack Station" reinforced the themes of Christ in our lives.
Just imagine the great taste of a rice cracker smothered in Cheez Whiz topped with a broken pretzel fit together to make a cross.
"Missionaries in Motion" games got their legs moving, delivering messages such as: "Grace is like a piece of God inside of me"; "You can be a saint"; "Do not be afraid, be a mission to tell people about Jesus."
Attending the K4J Clubhouse Assembly, kids were taught the day's Gospel passage and Vacation Bible School songs. Their enthusiastic captains performed skits about the saint of the day.
They re-enacted the stories of St. Rose of Lima who had a special place in her garden for prayer, St. Paul who got put in jail, St. Edmund Campion who risked his life to bring Jesus to people by saying Mass in places where priests were not welcome and Blessed Mother Teresa who did good works for children living in the slums of Kolkata.
Mrs. Taranger reinforced the theme song It's a Good Idea to Go to Jesus and the Eucharist and explained many Catholic traditions.
Father Len Gartner showed the children the relic at the altar in the church and opened the tabernacle for a look inside. Father explained that Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament when the red candle is lit.
The children were encouraged to collect spare change to help build God's Church in the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith. This far northern diocese has a harsh climate and is the largest in the world - the most remote, sparsely populated, enduring a harsh climate.
The Edmonton Archdiocese has joined the people of Mackenzie-Fort Smith to help them build new churches and improve the infrastructure of their existing buildings.
Parents were invited to join their children for the Mass celebrated by Father Roger Rouleau at the end of the week. They watched their children perform the VBS songs and a skit by the captains, ending with a party where K4J participants enjoyed great food, crafts and clowns making balloons.
The VBS program was a great experience. Here the children were taught to be missionaries, growing in their faith and building community and relationships within the parish.
The focus was on the Holy Eucharist and a personal mission to pray to Jesus, receive his grace, then go out to bring his love to the world.
For more information about continuing K4J Vacation Bible School programs, contact Monica Bober, pastoral assistant at St. Thomas More Parish, Edmonton (780-434-6313).