Children attend hands-on Vacation Bible School

A group of kids enjoy the Vacation Bible School this week at Clanton First United Methodist Church. (Photo by Alec Etheredge)

A group of kids enjoy the Vacation Bible School this week at Clanton First United Methodist Church. (Photo by Alec Etheredge)

By Alec Etheredge | Staff Writer

It’s crazy hair night and kids are stretching and singing worship songs in a cave-decorated gym.

This is the scene you’ll see at the Vacation Bible School taking place at Clanton First United Methodist Church this week.

“We want the children to be in the story, not just hear the story,” said Children’s Minister Christi Mitchell who runs the event. “They walked on water just like Jesus did and sat in a big cardboard boat, which made them part of the story. That really just helps them remember the stories of the bible so much better.”

The kids are separated into eight different color groups and leaders take them to several different stops throughout the night that include story time, crafts, music, recreation and dinner. Along the way, they walk through hallways decorated with blackout curtains and trees with cave noises being played from a stereo to help draw the kids into the theme.

“It’s good to have fun in church; we want to show that it can be a place where you worship and have fun at the same time,” Mitchell said.

In the crafts section, the kids used different sized circles to trace and design graphs, which were meant to teach them that life doesn’t always go according to plan.

“How often do you go straight where you’re going?” asked Angela Batchelor ,who has worked the Bible school for the past 10 years. “The point of the exercise is to show that the Bible and Jesus give direction.”

On the wall was a poster with a bat that says, “Jesus gives us direction.” On the way out of the crafts section, all the kids were told to put up their “bat wings” and fly out.

They also enjoyed story time where they did an exercise with popcorn and a cracker focusing on the fact that Jesus said salt would make things better. The goal was to have a fun way for the kids to learn and understand what they could do to help make someone else’s life better.

In total about 130 kids attended each night.

“Half of these kids aren’t regulars at our church, I’m very excited that we have so much outreach this year and are able to impact so many young kids,” Mitchell said.

The Bible school will conclude Friday night with a closing ceremony.

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