Monday, July 27, 2009

VBS Memories

VBS starts today at our church. And while I enjoy the various themes each year (this year we're headed to the Outback on the Boomerang Express!), they can't hold a candle to the VBS-es I remember from my childhood.

Memory verses. Decoupages. Crafts made with macaroni, unpopped popcorn, dry beans, and seeds. Bookends with pasta letters. Wastebaskets and lampshades made from magazine pages. Flannelboard stories. Cookies and red punch. Friday night Commencement when your work was displayed and you got your certificate.

Each morning's Joint Worship, when one might be chosen for a coveted turn to carry the American flag, the Christian flag, or the Bible in the daily processional.

The pledge to each flag. I assume you know the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag. What about the Christian flag?
I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag and to the Savior for Whose kingdom it stands. One brotherhood, uniting all Christians in service and love.
And the pledge to the Bible?
I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God's Holy Word, and will make it a Lamp unto my feet, a Light unto my path, and will hide its Word in my heart, that I may not sin against God.
(I probably haven't said those in more than 30 years, but they are as familiar as my name!)

And while VBS was lots of fun, we also learned a lot. (Soapbox insert: sometimes I think churches are so busy with themes and gimmicks and entertaining kids that the whole point of VBS is minimized or missed entirely.)

I never dreamed I would find the song that we sang to learn the books of the Old Testament "way back when". I have always loved this song because it taught the divisions of the Old Testment as well as the books and their order. (Another thing that doesn't seem to be taught much any more. Sigh.)

Oh, and when I was really young? VBS was TWO WEEKS! Then they cut it to 8 days (M-F plus the following M-W) and eventually to just 5 days.

BTW, did you know the first VBS was held more than a hundred years ago in a saloon?! Check out this brief and interesting article on the origins of VBS!

What VBS memories do you have from your childhood?


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A Stone Gatherer said...

Linda I couldn't agree with you more! I often think "why do we have to do so much?!!" and are we missing the point?!

I did know the Christian pledge but not the Bible one. It's been many years! I do know the AWANA fight song though! : - )

sara said...

I agree..we try to stuff so much in to one week these days!!

I didn't grow up in a christian home and therefor didn't go to VBS, but I remember when my children were in it. I can still see Alyssa proudly wearing her daisy mask made of a paper plate and construction paper!!!

Chatty Kelly said...

Can you believe I don't think we ever did VBS. I have no memories of it!

But my kids do it every year, and I love singing all the songs with the hand motions. Great fun!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I think this years VBS was just the best. The song "Because" that Jeff SLaughter did the signing too was awesome. So worshipful - it choked me up each night.

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

I will always remember the chiming of the piano to stand up or sit down. And I was always so excited when we took a break from cookies and red punch to have snow cones one day! Good times...