By Jon Roberts – Littleton, Colorado …The Vacation Bible School Rocky Railway program pulled into the Littleton station on Monday morning, July 20. For a week, 55 children from many metro area churches, and 25 volunteers forgot about the stress of living in an upside-down world and came together to enjoy music, skits, fellowship, and learning about Jesus.
The event, held mostly outside due to local restrictions, kicked off with friends from church and school talking, waving, and catching up on the most important items in their lives: computer games, sports, and the latest happenings with other classmates and family.
Even in a 2020 pandemic world, the message that Jesus’ power pulls us through was at the center of VBS at Littleton church.
For many, this was a week where they could feel like a normal kid and forget about Zoom classes and isolation and enjoy things coronavirus has stolen from their life since March.
“With so many kids experiencing a summer that looks and feels different from previous years, it has been nice to plan and host an event that brings back some normalcy for our youngest members,” Alise Weber, VBS director and associate pastor of children’s and family ministry at Littleton said. “With our church opening back up at half-capacity, I saw no reason that we couldn’t host a VBS if safety guidelines were in place.”
The safety measures taken didn’t go unnoticed. The second day of VBS began with a Littleton police officer walking around the church to ensure that restrictions by the Tri-County Health Department and Governor Polis were being followed. Based on inquires from curious neighbors, the city of Littleton sent an officer to check out this unusual gathering in 2020. The officer gave Littleton the all-clear and complimented them on producing a safe atmosphere for the attendees.
Weber explained the extensive safeguards taken. “To ensure the safety of our kids, we spent a lot more time outside. Normally our kids are only outside for the game station, but they are spending more than half their time outside. We did the opening and closing exercises, the game station, and snack time all outside. The family units are usually mixed within different groups, but this year, we kept family units together in groups. At the start of the program, each child was given a bag in which to carry their own materials to avoid the passing of material. Activities in each station were altered to promote social distancing and also to minimize the transfer of materials from person to person. Of course, masks were worn inside. Our youngest crew members wore masks as they traveled from station to station inside and, of course, our attendees, 11 years old and older, wore masks inside.”
The event was a group effort among all the pastoral staff. Chris Morris, associate pastor, helped with music, while Andy Nash, lead pastor, led the opening and closing program every day. The many volunteers from the audio / visual team, station leaders, crew leaders, and worship leader Russell Palmer were recognized on Sabbath as VBS concluded with a celebration at outdoor church.
“The theme of our VBS program this year was Jesus’ power will pull us through,” said Weber. “I think that is a message all of us, old and young, need to be reminded of during these uncertain times. I hope that each child leaving our VBS program will know and feel the love of Jesus Christ. As they develop their relationship with Jesus, knowing that Jesus will help them through anything they may face ahead is a true treasure.
“It’s been so special to have our church alive with the sounds of children this week—outdoors and indoors,” said Nash. “Pastor Alise Weber has done a wonderful job leading a safe and joyful VBS.”
—Jon Roberts is RMC communication/media assistant; photos supplied.