Everest Vacation Bible Camp (VBC) – Day 1

Everest VBC logo
This week it’s Vacation Bible Camp (VBC) at FUMC where we are learning about…

Conquering challenges with God’s mighty power!

First some important stuff for the adults…

Each year we choose a mission for kids to support. This year we have two projects to choose from:

  1. A local project: Please consider donating a box or two of cereal which will be distributed through Ann Arbor’s own Bryant Community Center. During the school year many families in this community rely on meals provided by the schools. In the summer months, there is no additional assistance to replace the school meals, so a box of cereal can be a big help.
  2. An international project: Collecting monetary donations that will help out the RAWANA youth camp in Liberia. RAWANA is a United Methodist camp that offers athletic activities, community service projects, lessons, Bible quiz-bowl, campfires, and career development talks for children and youth ages 10-25 years. What a great way to help under-privileged kids!

All offerings can be turned in at the start of VBC each day at the front of the Sanctuary. Thanks!

a thin line of snow

Now, here’s what your kids did today…

First, we all gathered with our Sherpa in the mountainous, wonderfully decorated Sanctuary at Base Camp Sing & Play. We learned our theme song, “My God is Powerful.” (If you are viewing this in an email you may need to go to YouTube to watch this music video.)

We had fun learning other new songs, with motions to go along with them. These tunes will stay in your head!

Base Camp SIng and Play

What else did we learn? Today’s Bible Point!

God has the power to provide!

We said that a lot today! I bet your kids remember it. We also met a couple of very interesting characters: Trek Rockrambler and Klymer, the Snow Leopard.

Trek Rockrambler over-sleptEverest VBC Day 1 - Klimer, he's a Snow Leopard

Trek is a world-famous mountain climber. But she didn’t hear her alarm and her climbing crew left for Mount Everest without her! I wonder what she will do?

Who is Klymer? Klymer is our Bible Memory Buddy for the day. It looks like God provided Klymer just the right stuff to keep warm and protected on high, snowy mountaintops. Hey! Klymer can remind kids that God has the power to provide! All week long, we’ll get to know cool Bible Memory Buddies who will help us remember our Bible verses. Today’s Bible verse is…

Open quote mark And God will generously provide all you need. 2 Corinthians 9:8

Collage of Day 1 Bible BuddyYour child received a Klymer Bible Memory Buddy with the verse printed on it! With Bible Buddies we’re sending scripture home! All of these Bible Memory Buddies will be coming home on Friday. And… there is a free app for your smart phone or tablet that can continue the fun with these Buddies. (I tried it out and it is cool!) Search “Everest Bible Buddies” in your app store.

 
We also found out that each day we would get to experience an exciting story from the Bible when we visited the drama station. Today, we learned about how God provided for Elijah. Ask your child to tell you today’s story. Read about it in 1 Kings 17

a thin line of snow

The preschoolers went off to their special rooms in Preschool Peak and did the following…

  • Games – Played “Ravens Run,” “Overflowing Nests,” and “Brook Drinks.”
  • Bible Adventures – God provided Elijah water to drink. We tried out drinking from a “brook” just like Elijah.
  • KidVid Cinema – We learned about kids named Hudson, Benjamin, and Deacon. We watched God provide for these brothers in an amazing way.
  • Craft & Play – We made ravens!

Preschoolers hear the story in Bible Adventures  

a thin line of snow

Meanwhile, elementary kids visited the following stations…

  • Bible Expeditions – We drank from a rook and received food from ravens (big birds)! We got to talk about ways God provides for us.
  • Glacier Games – We played some fun games including “Everest Relay.”
  • KidVid Cinema – We watched a video about three Ukrainian brothers who needed a home. Would some adopt all three of them?
  • Imagination Station – We watch snow grow from “seeds.” Just like our snow seeds grew, God provides for us abundantly.

A challenging relay race  By the brook in Bible Expeditions

Our oldest elementary kids in our Grad Group are working every day this week on various mission projects – both local and global! Today, they got to know each through ice breakers, learned about our Liberia mission project, did some work to organize the week’s mission projects, made “bubble boosters” (that will be used by everyone on Tuesday), and spoke to everyone at our finale about mission projects. A great first day for our large grad group!

We get hungry on our adventures, so at 10:25 each day, we gather in Mountain Top Treats for a delicious snack; today we had Trail Mix. We also spent time getting to know our crews a bit better and recorded some of our “God Sightings” — evidence we noticed that God is doing great things all around us!

What? A stuffed animal is packed for a trip to Everest?? At the very end of our day, we all come together for the Summit Celebration. Of course we sang more songs and an Everest-pack-checker discovered that our Sherpa had mixed up “needs” vs. “wants.” Ask your kids what sort of silly stuff our Sherpa had in her pack. (I don’t think that a stuffed animal will work.)

 
a thin line of snow

Continue the learning at home!

Here are a couple of questions to talk about around the family dinner table:

  • What would you take with you if you were going to climb Mount Everest?
  • Have everyone share a story of their favorite trip. What did you bring along on this trip that you really wanted to bring, but didn’t really need?
  • Do you suppose that God provides everything you want or everything you need?
  • Tell about a time when you needed something. Did you turn to God? What can help you remember to turn to God next time?

See you tomorrow!
~~ Carol, on behalf of the VBC Team

Enjoy the slide show!

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There will be one post every day this week of VBC, but usually there is just one post a week.


Photo credits:
Everest and Bible Buddy images used by permission of Group Publishing.
Rest of photos courtesy of various volunteers at VBC!

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What vexing questions will turn up in July & August?

Questions asked in our video series

What’s up for kids and Christian Education this summer? Lots of learning fun based on questions!

Clive & Ian's Wonder-Blimp of KnowledgeQueries are the basis for our summer movie series: “Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge.” We are in search of answers to kids questions about God and about how we should relate to God.

Join us on the adventure! And use this series to continue the learning at home.

 
The downtown schedule of big questions will be…

Date Big question…
July 5 Worship with your family. (What questions do you have about Nancy’s sermon about practicing forgiveness as a choice and as a gift?)
July 12 Is God as Powerful as a Superhero?
July 19 How Do We Show Respect to God Through Our Praise?
July 26 What Should I do When I’m Afraid?
August 2 Worship with your family. (I’m wondering what we’ll learn about turning everything into a game?)
August 9 How Do We Show Respect to God Through Our Listening?
August 16 Does God Love Me When I Do Bad Things?
August 23 How Do We Show Respect to God Through Our Words?
August 30 How Do We Show Respect to God Through Our Actions?

At our Green Wood location, they’ll follow a more relaxed version of our series:

Date Big question…
July 4 Who created the universe?
July 11 Worship with your family. Mike Fedel will lead us!
July 18 Why we should show respect to God, and how do we show respect to God through our prayer?
July 25 Worship with your family.
August… Stay tuned for the August schedule!

Summer 2015 collage - ahh summer

Please join us for the fun learning at First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, MI.


Photo credits:
The collage of summer photos is from my archives.
Rest of photos are from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category. (I made the collage of questions with help from the Wonder-Blimp folks.)

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How to respect God by virtue of prayer?

Clive & Ian & Monkey, in the Wonder-BlimpThis summer we’re off to the movies, joining Clive and Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge as we search for answers to big questions about God.

Last week we explored the big question of who created the universe. We learned that God did! We celebrated how amazing God is!

This week we added a twist to our series: we asked a question about ourselves and our relationship to God!

God desires a close, personal, connection with us. But to be near to God, who is after all pretty extraordinary, requires us to treat God with respect! Thus our question for today was:

How Do We Show Respect to God Through Our Prayer?

Use the discussion questions below to talk about what your kids learned. Start the conversation in the car on the way home from church. Continue around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together.

You can ask these questions even if you missed the video showing!

Have some family time discussion…

    Buck Denver starts off the show talking about respect
  • What does it mean to respect someone? [An answer: Respecting someone means that you treat them as if they had great value. You look up to them!]
  • Name some people whom you respect. Adults should answer as well!
  • What are some ways that you show those people respect? [Possible answers: You spend time with them, give them gifts, do things for them, you listen to them, or you tell them you like (or love) them…]
  • How do you get a close relationship with someone – like if you have a really good friend – how did you become close friends? [Answers: You spent time together, talking and listening.]
  • Do you suppose these sound like good ways to get closer to God?
  • Sunday school LadySunday school lady helped us to see that if we are not respecting God we ignore him or say, “I don’t need your help.” What are other ways to show respect to God through prayer? [Possible answers: when we treat our relationship to God seriously we don’t joke around when we talk to God; we listen when other people are praying aloud, we tell God all about our lives and our worries and our joys; we are honest with God about what is on our heart.]
  • How can taking something seriously, be a way to show respect?
  • What is a way to pray that uses the acronym: ACTS? [Answer: Each letter in ACTS stands for a type of prayer you lift up to God – Adoration, Confession, Thanks, and Supplication (or perhaps: “Send in help!”)]
  • Bonus question: What do you think Clive and Ian should paint on the side of the blimp?

Adults: Here’s an important video from the creator of our series, Phil Vischer. Phil has a message about how we can show love and respect to God as a family. (If you are reading in an email you may need to click over to YouTube.)

This summer, we hope you’ll join us on our movie adventure and also, continue the learning at home.


Photo credits:
Photos from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category.

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Who created the universe?

Clive and Ian's Wonder-Blimp of KnowledgeThis summer we’re off to the movies, joining Clive and Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge as we search for answers to big questions about God.

Buck Denver is interrupted by a special news alertOur video started off with our old friend Buck Denver giving us a news report. But then Buck was interrupted by an emergency video call.

 
A kid had a question about God!

It was a really big question: Who Created the Universe?

Use the discussion questions below to talk about what your kids learned. Start the conversation in the car on the way home from church, or around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together. (If you missed the video showing on Sunday, you can watch it below.)

  • So, who made the universe?
  • What is something that God created? (Easy answer: everything!)
  • What did God think of his creation? (Hint: Genesis 1:31)
  • What is one thing in God’s creation that amazes you?
  • What does God’s creation tell us about God?
  • God created and is still creating through the process of evolution. What are some ways we can be more aware of God’s wonderful creation?
  • Bonus question: I wonder if kangaroos like being so bouncy?

Parents and caregivers: want to get a feel for our first video? Click below to watch. (If you are reading this in an email, you may need to watch on YouTube.)

This summer, we hope you’ll join us on our movie adventure and also, continue the learning at home.


Photo credits:
Photos from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category.

Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.

What’s happening for the rest of June?

a collage of summer photos

What’s up for kids and Christian Education this summer? Lots of learning fun!

At our Green Wood location, kids will have one more workshop on The Great Commission and then they’ll play a review-the-year game. In July they’ll start up our summer video series. Their schedule for June will look like…

Date What’s happening…
June 20 Art Workshop – create quilled-paper handprints, to remind kids that Jesus commands them to “go out” in their everyday living.
June 27 Review the year with a fun game that is sort of like the old TV show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

Downtown our summer film series kicks off on June 21st, featuring selections from “Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge.”

Clive and Ian in the Wonder-Blimp of KnowledgeClive and Ian help us explore big questions about God. (When we understand who God is, it helps us to trust God.)

This will be a fun way for kids to enjoy a change of pace from our school-year Rotation lessons. And you’ll be able to continue at home with family discussion!

This video series is by the creator of Veggie Tales, Phil Visher. Here’s a short video clip of Phil explaining about why it is important to teach kids about trusting God. (If you are reading this in an email, you may need to watch this video on YouTube.)

The downtown schedule of big questions will be…

Date Big question…
June 21 Who created the universe?
June 28 Why we should show respect to God, and how do we show respect to God through our prayer?

Please join us for the fun learning at First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, MI.


Photo credits:
The collage of summer photos is from my archives.
Other photo from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category.

Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.

This summer: How to share your faith with your kids

Summer is here! This means it’s time for sunshine, lazy days, the beach…

Kids in the lake at sun set

And our annual summer movie series at FUMC!

Just like last year, this summer’s film series launches a way for you to share your faith with your kids. How?

By spending time together, wondering about your questions.

Questions are at the forefront of our videos.

A bunch of questions about God

So many good questions!

Each week we’ll address one question with the help of “Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge.” Perhaps you recall Clive and Ian from last year’s series? That’s them on the left below.

Clive and Ian from the video series What's in the Bible?Clive and Ian's Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge

 
This year Clive and Ian go on adventures in search of answers to questions. They soar in a Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge! (Or is it an Airship of Intelligence?) Check out the questions for July and August.

To help you share your faith with your kids, continue the discussion after class!
Each week receive follow-up topic starters for family discussion. Sign up to this blog (up on the right) and receive an email as class lets out. Start your family talk time on the way home from church!

Important Note:
You may be saying: But what if I can’t answer their questions?

It’s okay! Agree as a family, to dig deeper. Are we allowed to wonder at the mystery of what God is up to? You bet! Sometimes we have to live in the mystery!


Photo credits:
Top photo copyright by Tracy K. Used with permission.
Other photos from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category.

Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.

How to equip for the big game? Challenge memory!

This Sunday at the downtown location, the Big Game transpires!

We’ll be playing a large group game to review Bible stories we’ve covered since September. It will be sort of like the old TV show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” This game is always loads of fun.

A group of kids works together to determine an answer
At a previous big game, a class confers on an answer
How can you help your kids to prepare for this event? How about playing a game!

Everyone likes to play games; how about around the family dinner table? After all, dinner table games can lead everyone into dialogue. And what could be better than a family talking – especially with regards to their faith journey.

Here’s a game idea… Play the game “Things that Belong to Something.”

With older kids you can name a list of items and have everyone guess what they “belong” to; for example: A bag of snacks, a blanket, and maps. (Answer: What’s inside my car.) Use the list below to review our Bible stories.

For younger kids ask them to name three items in a category. For example: name three things in your bed. This one works for older kids too! Ask them to name three characters in a Bible story or to identify three verbs or three adjectives, that describe a story.

Here’s a list of the stories we’ve covered this year and some “belongs to” suggestions:

  • David, God’s chosen King, 1 Samuel 16:1-13
  • Sheep; Anointing oil; Samuel

    Eight sons; A man after God’s own heart; Bethlehem

  • Jesus calls disciples, Matthew 4:18-22, 9:9 and in Mark 3:13-19
  • Fishermen, Tax collectors; Sons of Zebedee

    Apostles; Follow me; Can anything good come from Nazareth?

  • The overall story of the birth of Jesus (a compilation of gospel stories in Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 1:18-23, Luke 2:1-18
  • Gabriel; Nazareth; Immanuel

    The Holy Spirit; A census; Shepherds

  • Esther, the book of Esther
  • Haman; Mordecai; Xerxes

    Risky; Praying; Bow now!

  • David and Goliath, 1 Samuel 17: 1-49
  • A slingshot; Trust in God; “Giants” in our life

    Armor that’s too big; Philistines; Relying on God’s power

  • The tomb is empty – Resurrection appearances of Jesus, Matthew 28:1-10, and in John 20:1-20
  • Mary Magdalene; Spices; A big stone

    An earthquake; An angel; Woman, why are you weeping?

  • The Great Commission, Matthew 28:16-20
  • Important instructions; Teach; Baptize

    Go; Some doubted; I’ll be with you

a blue line

We’d love to have you join the fun at this Sunday’s game: “Are You Smarter Than a Sixth Grader” at FUMC in Ann Arbor, MI.


Photo credits:
Photos are from my archives.

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How to gain something from Confirmation Sunday

You may not have a child who is being confirmed this Sunday in worship. But the fact that it is Confirmation Sunday should impel you to be in worship with your kids. (For kids in 1st through 6th grade, this Sunday is a worship-with-your-family Sunday, including Communion.)

Be there, even if it’s just to watch.

Confirmation Class, 2013 by Peter DeHart
Our last Confirmation class poses for a photo in the Memorial Garden

Watching is good. Even though your child may not appear to be paying attention, they are taking it in.

They are seeing what is coming up for them.

As preparation for attending worship this Sunday, why not discuss what they are likely to witness, and why it’s important. Do so around the family dinner table. (Or wherever your family is gathered together.)

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A boy gives a thumbs upConfirmation? What is that?

To “confirm” means to “make something definite.” When we confirm flight reservations we say, “Yes! I will be on that plane.” It’s like giving something a great big thumbs up! Confirmation at church this Sunday is a chance for young people to say out loud, “Yes, I believe in God!”

Why make such a big deal? (After all, I believe in God.)

It’s a big deal because it’s making a public statement of their belief. Confirmands (what we call those being confirmed) have taken two years of classes to prepare for this special worship service where they will be “confirmed.” In these classes they have studied what it means to be a Christian, a United Methodist, and a member of First United Methodist Church. They started these classes as 7th graders and those who are now 8th graders, may be confirmed — if they are ready.

Why wouldn’t they be ready?

First off, they need to have attended these classes, and worshipped, and done service projects, and gone on retreats (see the full requirements) but also, they need to be personally ready to take this step on their faith journey to say “Yes” to their faith in God. It’s a big decision.

Is that the end of their journey? Are they all done with Sunday school after they get confirmed?

No, it’s not the end! We all continue to need to grow our faith!

What will happen in the worship service?

a youth gets confirmedPart of what happens is called “the laying on of hands.” The laying on of hands is a symbolic act, a ritual that comes to us from the Bible.

The youth kneels up front, and the ministers and their parental units put their hands on the confirmand’s head and/or shoulders. One of the pastors imparts a blessing to each young person. They will say:

Open quote markRemember your baptism and be thankful. And may the Holy Spirit Work within you, that having been born through water and the Spirit, you may live as a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.

(Except, if the youth hasn’t yet been baptized, then they will at that point in time be baptized.)

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Here’s a short video about Confirmation from “Chuck Knows Church” produced by Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church. (If you are reading this in an email, you may need to watch this video on YouTube.)


Photo credits:
Group photo of confirmation class, copyright by Peter DeHart, 2013. Used with permission.
Thumbs up by Michael Bentley, who licensed this photo on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.
Laying on of hands during a post Confirmation Sunday, from my archives.
The Chuck Knows Church video #43 copyright by Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church, used with permission.

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