After years of not hosting Vacation Bible School due to COVID-19, the Gladstone Church held VBS this year from June 12-16.

This year’s VBS theme was “Jerusalem Marketplace,” which centered on the lifestyle of people living in Jerusalem and how they went about their everyday lives. From transportation, food and even learning styles, children experienced a glimpse of Biblical days in Jerusalem and how it differs from our lives today. Each day of VBS, there was a specific theme that was emphasized through songs, service, games and crafts.

Each day, children would sign in and grab their badges along with a pouch containing three gold coins and that days “Bible Point”. The minute they each received their items, the children would go to the main hall where they would sing.

Once the song service ended, they would head over to “Tribe Time” and sit on mats while listening to the teacher. The teacher would welcome and begin teaching them the Bible story for the day, along with Jerusalem’s customs and the “Bible Point”.

Shortly after, the children would move to a smaller area called, “Synagogue School”. The “Rabbi” would then teach about various topics including the Torah and Hebrew letters. These teachings further enhanced the feel of the Jerusalem schools.

Once the “Rabbi” concluded their lesson, the children would come out of the class and begin playing games as a group while still learning Jerusalem’s history.

Towards the end of the game, crafts were ready to be constructed in rooms symbolizing markets. Each child that wished to enter a room must give a coin from their pouch before they began. During this time, children were also provided food to eat which they also had to present a gold coin for.

Nearing the end of the service, children would gather together once more to sing the closing songs and then listen to the ending summary from the teacher.

— Written by Blen Mengistu, communication secretary for the Gladstone Church