From the Pastor’s Desk: July 2023

ChurchNews & Events, Pastor's Blog

From the Pastor's Desk

“So let’s strive for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up.” Romans 14:19

Greetings St. John UCC and St. Philip’s UCC!

Check out this year’s VBS theme Bible verse above! This year’s VBS theme is “Hero Hotline,” and our kids will learn all about some of the great heroes of our faith. They’re going to learn that heroes “follow Jesus,” “help others,” “work together,” “listen to God,” and “show grace.” They’ll hear some important Bible stories, play some fun games, make some awesome crafts, and learn more about their faith and what it means to be a disciple of Christ.

St. Philip’s UCC will have VBS on July 10-14, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. each day. St. John UCC will have VBS on July 24-27, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. each day, with a special celebration in the evening on Friday, July 28. Both churches are sharing the same curriculum and St. Philip’s has graciously agreed to share their decorations with St. John (THANK YOU!!!). Registration for St. Philip’s UCC can be found at Registration for St. John UCC can be found on St. John’s Facebook page. Both churches have paper copies of the registration forms in the area outside each sanctuary. Volunteers for BOTH are still needed!

Here’s the thing about VBS: we spend a whole week (and a whole bunch of time and energy preparing for that week) focusing on sharing the Good News of God’s love with as many children as possible. It’s a beautiful thing! Kids who don’t go to church are dropped off at VBS by exhausted parents looking for a brief respite in the busy summer season. Kids who attend other churches pop in to check out our VBS program. Kids who occasionally come to our churches attend VBS. And, kids who come to church every Sunday come to VBS. It’s a beautiful mixture of all kinds of kids and families who wouldn’t ordinarily bump into each other in the same church who we get to spend one week pulling out all the stops to share God’s love with!

As we prepare for these crazy, chaotic, full energy, joyful, laughter-filled weeks of love, love, and more love for children and families in our communities, we are already embodying the theme scripture verse for the week: “So let’s strive for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up” (Romans 14:19). Bringing such a diverse mix of families of various relationships with the Church and with varying understandings of their faith together is exactly the kind of stuff that brings peace! Spending a week filled with expressions of love and care for children and families in our community is exactly the kind of thing that serves to build each other up!

So… THANK YOU! Thank you for your support, in all the ways — from time and energy volunteering to help with the preparations and inviting neighbors and friends to come, to donating resources and materials and encouraging and supporting those who will be spending a week (or even a day or two!) hanging out with a bunch of kids, to bringing your own kids/grandkids, to praying for the children and families who we will serve, and everything in between! Because of ALL the ways YOU support the work and effort of making VBS happen, children and families in our communities get to hear about how much God loves them AND get to experience that love through all the volunteers who will share it extravagantly with them. For some, it may be the first time they are introduced to our God of unconditional love and unending grace. THANK YOU for being a part of building that connection and relationship!

Indeed, may we continue to strive for the things that bring peace, and may we continue to build each other up. May our living testimonies of this way of life be an example to our children, in VBS, and in all the places we encounter them.

With joy,
Pastor Laura