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Spring Break Vacation Bible School in Rutland

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The Rutland Seventh-day Adventist Church and Okanagan Adventist Academy (OKAA) joined forces to co-host a Vacation Bible School during spring break, last March. The goal of the earlier-than-usual program was to reach families looking for something positive to do during the spring break. There are numerous VBS and Bible Day Camp programs run throughout the summer, but almost nothing earlier in the year.

Holding the program at OKAA instead of the church also marketed the school to a number of students from the community, showcasing its educational facilities and hospitality. It also provided an opportunity for OKAA high school students to participate in the VBS as volunteers.

Rutland church members Mary Bellefontaine, Jody Manns and Adriana Scuka led out in the five-day event, dubbed, “Weird Animals.” The morning-long program taught the children of Jesus’ unconditional love, using a unique animal each day as an example of some of the challenges we face. They learned how Jesus loves us even when we are different, lonely, or don’t understand, when we do things that are wrong, and when we are afraid.

The program started with a vibrant song service and introduction to the theme for the day. A character called Dr. Paws, a “zoologist,” added to the program each day with questions and dilemmas related to the theme. Over the course of each three-hour program, the children rotated through five stations, where the daily theme was reinforced in various interactive learning activities. Each child received a chain with a tag featuring the unique animal and memory verse for the day. They also received fun gadgets from the imagination station to take home and play with, and had hands on experience making their snacks.

Prior to the program, OKAA students and Rutland Church members handed out more than 500 invitations, and 52 children registered for the VBS

In keeping with the theme, the school was decorated by Bev Holdal with weird, jungle-like trees, flowers, and a water fountain. After completing the VBS, the materials were shared with several neighbouring SDA churches, who put on the same program in the summer.

It was a wonderful team of students, young adults and adults that worked together to make the program a success. Thank-you to the Orchard City church, Pastor Adam Bussey and Pastor Colby Maier for helping with the leadership. Thank-you, also, to all the Rutland Church members and OKAA staff and students who helped out. 

Blessings from the Rutland SDA Church

By Adriana Scuka

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