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Bible schools get wheels, night shift

By MICHELLE JONES
Published June 2, 2007


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HUDSON - The members of Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hudson are taking their Vacation Bible School on the road this year.

Beginning Monday, they will be at the Forest Green Mobile Home Park, 11337 Hudson Ave., from 9 a.m. to noon.

"We are going there so they don't have to come to us, " said Evie Ward, the church secretary. In addition, there will be a class each Thursday night, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. through June. Dinner is served at 6 p.m. for those who attend, with classes being held afterward. The theme for the VBS is "Quest for Truth."

"We will uncover evidence and learn the truth about Jesus as we explore Holy Land sites, " said Ward.

Vacation Bible Schools, held during the summer, are aimed at enhancing children's knowledge about God and the Bible. Years ago they were always held during the morning; however with so many working parents, many churches are holding VBS during the evening. The churches offer the VBS at no charge.

Some churches use the same curriculum even though they represent different denominations. Both the First United Methodist Church of Hudson at 13123 U.S. 19 and Joyful Spirit Lutheran Church, 8812 Old County Road in New Port Richey, are using "A Wild Ride through God's Word ... At Avalanche Ranch."

At Joyful Spirit, classes begin at 6 p.m. Sunday and continue through Thursday. At First United, classes are from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will run Monday through Friday.

The curricula include drama, snacks, skits, games, music and Bible lessons.

"I used to go to Vacation Bible School here when I was a child, and now I am in my fifth year of being in charge, " said Kara Alpine, 34, director of children's ministries at the First United Methodist Church of Hudson. Alpine says they will be making trail mix, smores and Jericho walls out of Ritz crackers and peanut butter for snacks. There also will be a petting farm and pony rides on Thursday night.

"We want the children to know that being a Christian can be fun, " she said. "Just being exposed to God's word in a fun atmosphere should help."

Alpine says holding school at night makes it easier to get volunteers.

Some schools even offer lessons for adults. For example, Aripeka Baptist Church, 18731 Aripeka Road, offers classes from 6 to 8 p.m. for children; adult classes are from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. beginning Monday and continuing through Friday.

"We encourage people to be involved in living for God, " said Joe Sims, church pastor. "We want to teach the children to make good choices for life."

The Presbyterian Church of Seven Springs, 4651 Little Road in New Port Richey, will have its VBS from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m., running July 15-19. The theme is "The Great Bible Reef" and it's aimed at children in kindergarten through the fifth grade.

"We are going to dive deep into God's Word, " said Karen Martin, who has attended the church for 20 years. "We hope the children will become hungry to learn more about God and take something home to their families."

[Last modified June 1, 2007, 23:25:55]


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