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Vacation Bible School is a tradition for kids and churches in the community, but like many traditions, COVID-19 has created a challenge, which one local church has responded to by moving the annual camp online.
Members of Concord Baptist Church, located at 6905 Concord Road, will host an online Vacation Bible School the week of June 8-12 with the theme “Concrete and Cranes" open to those who turned 3 before last September to those graduating fifth-grade this year.
Kellie Durden, children's ministry director at the church, said the church leaders never considered canceling VBS but knew it would be different than most years.
“In light of COVID, we knew that Vacation Bible School was going to look a little different, but for us in our early stages of planning, we knew that it wasn't a matter of if we were going to have VBS, it was kind of, 'Well, how are we going to do Vacation Bible School this year?'" Durden said.
At this year's Vacation Bible School, kids will be assigned a teacher who will hold virtual meetings using Zoom. Each day of VBS, kids will log on and first meet with their class before their teacher shares a video with a prerecorded welcome, the week's motto and scripture and the daily lesson.
“After the lesson, the kids will come back together as a class on Zoom, and the teacher will be able to recap the lesson, ask questions, let the kids talk together, take prayer requests, things that normally happen in a small group setting on our campus will hopefully be able to take place on Zoom,” Durden said.
While not the typical Vacation Bible School, the week will include some mainstays, like learning a song for the week and doing crafts.
“We will offer three different crafts for the week, and parents will be able to drive-thru our church campus and pick up a bag that has Vacation Bible School resources as well as anything they need for the crafts for the week, an activity book for the kids,” Durden said.
Those packets can be picked up at the church from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, June 6 and 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, June 7.
Like VBS, Concord Baptist has been using Zoom to hold Sunday school classes and streaming church services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It's really changed the way that we've done ministry," Durden said, "because so much of how we do ministry is done in person, and we've had to be creative in the way that we do ministry now and be very intentional about the way we reach out to people in our congregation through video messages and calls and texts and cards in the mail."