Monday, July 22, 2024
Pastor Karl Christie of Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kasson and parishioner Geraldine Struss pose by one of the booths being prepared for the upcoming Vacation Bible School. The event is scheduled July 28 through August 1 in beginning at 6 p.m. with the exception of the start on July 28 at 5:30 p.m

Kasson church getting ready for Bible School

It will be several weeks before youngsters come to Our Savior’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kasson for the church’s annual Vacation Bible School but there is already a lot of activity at the church in preparation for the week.

Church member Geraldine Struss has been coordinating and doing the props for the event for about 20 years for a simple reason.

“When I see the kids come in, it’s worth it,” she said. “It’s a joy to do it.” She was also quick to add that there many others who help with the effort. “The two people that help me do much with the sets are Gary Remmele and Deb Schwartau,” she said. Former VBS participants who are now in older grades also come back to help as well as other church members.

This year’s VBS program is titled “Celebrate the Savior,” and they have chosen a carnival theme to present the lessons. The dates are July 28 through August 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. each evening, except for Sunday, July 28, when the program starts at 5:30 p.m.

The program is open to all youngsters from those four-years-old by September 1, 2024, through the sixth grade. Students in grades seven, eight and nine will be there as helpers.

Struss, Remmele and Schwartau have been busy constructing sets and decorations that will bring that carnival feel to the week including a circus-type train that will even have animals riding along. Puppets will be helping with the lessons, she said, presenting lessons around stories such as Jesus healing people and feeding the 5,000. Some of the older kids, she said, are preparing games, including outdoor ones, that will also help teach the lessons. Game booths will be geared to each night’s lessons.

And, of course, there will also be snacks.

The program comes from Concordia Publishing, Struss said, but how to present the lessons is left to each individual church though the publisher does provide items such as posters.

Struss explains that Concordia announces what the next year’s program will be the summer before and she starts the planning in January when the lessons are actually available to the church. Along with the church pastor it is decided what the theme will be. This year, she said, the idea of a carnival just came naturally.

There will be plenty of games and fun activities, she said, but there is also time set aside for more formal discussions on the lessons. One classroom in the church is set aside with decorations more conducive to a more formal discussion of the lessons with Pastor Karl Christie.

Other classrooms will house the individual games and booths and in many of these classroom activities will be tailored to the specific age group there at any one time.

There will also be an opening session each evening in the sanctuary.

Christie, Struss pointed out, will be doing double duty for the week. He will be the pastor, of course, but he will also be the “Ringmaster,” for the event, in the appropriate attire.

With all the attention paid to the props and decorations, one may ask what happens to them when the week is over. Struss said that they usually passed around from church to church and adapted to other VBS weeks.

Christie, who officially began his duties at the church last August, had served there earlier when he was in seminary and was impressed when he first saw the VBS activities.

“She (Struss) just makes it such a special thing,” he said.

Vacation Bible School is open to all children. Registration is requested and can be completed on the church website, Those who register early will be assured of getting a t-shirt, Struss said.

Struss and Christie stressed, however, that registration is not required, and no child will be turned away. Also, the VBS is open to all children, whether or not they are church members.

“We never turn anybody away,” Struss said.

There is also no charge for the event with the church inviting all youngsters to come for crafts, singing, games, new friends, God’s word, cool snacks, awesome games, fun lesson and lots of fun.




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