In 2007, Bethany has planned to take a different approach to VBS. We’ve had great experiences with Vacation Bible School in the past, and it’s been a blessing to us all, and to our guests. However, it seems that many congregations in the area conduct a VBS in the summer time. This can make it quite challenging to stand out from the crowd. A major part of VBS is outreach to our friends and neighbors, but they don’t necessarily look for the qualities in a VBS program that are most important to us. In terms of entertainment and expense, we don’t want to compete with our fellow congregations in The Dalles for the appreciation of our guests. We want to present the pure, life-giving Gospel message of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. This message is the whole reason for our efforts! So, instead of offering yet another VBS during the summer months, Bethany has planned another approach.
We’ll be offering a “Christmas for Kids” on a Saturday (or two) in December. This will be an all-day Vacation Bible School program for all ages. Parents will be invited to drop off their kids at the church during VBS hours. This will give parents an opportunity to make other Christmas preparations, while the kids learn what Christmas is really all about: the gift of God’s Son, to be our Savior from sin and death. We’ll have crafts, singing, lessons, discussions, and more.
In addition, we’ve planned several kids/youth activities through the summer months at Bethany *and* at Concordia. Bethany’s first activity was this week: a trip to Pendleton for an afternoon at the water park. We all had a lot of fun, and we took a break in the afternoon to talk about how God has used water in other ways, especially in the Flood and in holy Baptism. We hope to have some photos to post here before long. Check out the [calendar](http://www.bethanythedalles.org/calendar) for the other plans we’ve made for youth and kids this summer.