If you have ever participated in Vacation Bible School or planned one, you know that a lot of work goes into a successful week and you likely were exhausted by the time it was over. All Saints Church, Mills River, North Carolina made the decision to do something a bit different. They came up with the concept of Summer Youth Wednesdays. The following is written by Rebekah Byrd, one of the leaders of this endeavor.
A 100 foot fantastically fast slip-and-slide and a 10 foot gutter sundae brimming with chocolate and yummy goodness were the reward for our labors this summer. All Saints young and young-at-heart worshiped together on Wednesday nights this past July. It was a time of bonding and building new friendships. Holy Communion and dinner all together, then the youth had an hour of gleaning scriptural principals and applying them.
For three Wednesdays we focused on the scripture passage James 1:22. How do we keep ourselves unspotted from the world? Why should we be doers of the word? To emphasize in a tangible way the “spots” of the world, we painted spots on our faces to represent the things that would mark us, telling lies, not doing what we say we will, and disobeying our parents were just a few of the “spots” we want to avoid.
Our goal for July was for the youth to have a service project they could work on together. At the end of the month we planned to visit one of our local assisted living facilities, Heather Glen. Each week the children worked on music to share, “Lord Jesus Think on Me” and “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” The second song goes on to say, “…all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.” Working as a group the youth made hummingbird feeders and suet feeders to take with us to Heather Glen. The feeders were a way for the youth to help take care of the “small creatures” while at the same time giving joy and pleasure to the residents who could see the feeders. The youth also made cookies to share with the residents, both chocolate ones and decorated sugar cookies. When we arrived at Heather Glen we were received with open loving arms. The youth had a great time sharing what they had built, baked, and learned from our Summer Youth Wednesdays together.