The First Baptist Family Church’s worship center was the star of “Kickin’ It Old School” vacation Bible school (VBS), June 27 to July 1.
“Kickin’ It Old School” was a high energy, high decibel romp through the Bible. Flashing colored lights, smoke and video turned the center into a retro ‘80s rock n’ roll, hip-hop style concert. Unlike the concerts in the ‘80s the focus was on worshiping God.
The church’s dance team headed by Misty Hogue, the wife of Children’s Pastor Josh Hogue led the team. Misty’s eight years of cheerleading experience were put to good use as the team danced up a storm and lead the children in worship.
The student and children’s pastors, Casey Nowlin and Josh Hogue teamed up to present silly skits that grabbed everyone’s attention. The skits were a combination of their original script and ad-lib. Hogue played the straight man and Nowlin was the comedian with outlandish outfits. As the week progressed Nowlin learned what it meant to kick it old school. Through all the silliness their focus was to teach kids who God is, with the gospel message at the center of it all.
Hogue had considered developing their own material but chose “Kickin’ It” because he felt a kinship with its creators, three dads who felt that most VBSes had taken the Bible out of VBS. The music and high energy was also a good fit for the church.
Videos accompanied the dance and worship time and there were also animation to drive home the daily Bible lesson. What really surprised the Church Lady was when Hogue got serious and it was time for the Bible lesson. One hundred plus children got quite and listened. The week’s lessons focused on the attributes of God, His holiness, and His views on sin. The children learned about Adam and Eve, Passover, building the tabernacle and the crucifixion of Jesus. All lessons dealt with the need for a sacrifice to atone man from sin and pointed to Jesus as the final sacrifice.
“You know one thing that doesn’t change is God,” said Hogue. “When hard times come that’s when you have to rely on God. I want you to remember that God loves you, each and every one of you.”
Unique to this VBS was the mad dash to collect money for Habitat for Humanity. A boy and a girl were selected each evening to dash around the audience and collect money in a bucket. The church’s children’s ministry is focusing on Habitat. Previously they had collected enough money first for a bucket of nails, then a shade tree, a front door and now windows. Their final goal will be to raise enough money for a child’s room. The money was collected with a twist. If the girls collected more money Pastor Josh would get slimed on the final day. If the boys collected more money it would be Miss Misty. Some how an equal amount of money, to the penny, was raised for the boys and the girls and both Pastor Josh and Miss Misty were slimed.
Teens from the church’s student ministry were on hand to help with the VBS. “This year we had over 15 teens who were highly involved with VBS,” said Nowlin. Many of them already help out in the children’s Ministry on a regular basis.
“We have more teenagers than last year,” said volunteer Brenda Golec. “We are focusing on serving others. They get to figure out where they fit in where their giftings are.”
Teens could be seen dancing on stage and in the audience with the children, as well as helping with crafts, snacks and games. Jake Golec served as DJ and ran the karaoke machine in the portico area where the snacks were served. “I like hanging out with the little kids,” he said.
VBS parent volunteer and snack director Holly Mann appreciated having the teens help as it gave her an opportunity to spend more time talking to the children. “The kids are what it is all about,” she said. “You know you are making an impact and its just plain fun.”
Teen volunteer Jacob Hurtley could be seen everywhere with a professional video camera documenting the event for a video for the children to take home. Feed from video cameras could also be seen on the big screens in the worship center.
“I enjoy watching the kids learn about God, connecting with God and understanding what God means in their lives,” said parent volunteer Fred Mundie.
“It’s awesome because I can talk to kids and hear their innocence and their faith in Jesus Christ,” said the Rev. Dr. Roger Felipe, Spanish pastor. Felipe assisted with the children who were transported from Naples on the church’s big yellow school bus.
The weeklong event culminated with more high-energy dance and worship with a call and response of “Did you have fun?” with a resounding, “Yes.” Hogue invited everyone to come back on Sunday morning at 10:30 for more fun and to see him with his hair dyed pink. The kids worship consists of dancing, worship, a message from Hogue, crafts and small groups.
“Our goal is to teach them to love God and Jesus in a high energy atmosphere; to recreate VBS every Sunday,” said Misty Hogue.
Kathleen Tuttle, a Marco Island resident since 1987, has written articles for various nonprofits for more than 25 years. She is a community volunteer, former science teacher and microbiologist.
Marco Presbyterian Church
Women’s Summer Bible Study, “Discovering the God of Second Chances” 9 a.m., Fridays. The study based on the book “Discovering the God of Second Chances” by Kay Arthur and Pete De Lacy will focus on four Minor Prophets – Jonah, Joel, Amos and Obadiah. Newcomers and experienced Bible students will find insight and inspiration as the authors highlight the striking similarities between the twenty-first century and the times of these prophets. Books are $7 and are available at the church. For information contact Bonnie at 389-0759.
The church’s Women’s Ministries is also organizing a Classic Summer Book Club for ladies; mothers and daughters are encouraged to participate. The group will explore how the main characters discover what it means to be a woman of God. The Book Club discussion will begin at 5:30. The schedule is as follows: “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom, July 12, with an optional visit to the Holocaust Museum; “Emma” by Jane Austen, Aug. 9, with an optional trip to Brambles Tea House. For meeting places and information call Meaghan at 776-4781.
New Life Community Church of God
Believercize for women, 10 a.m., every Friday. Free. Information call Bobbie at 250-5147.
Alcoholics for Christ, a new ministry for victory over addictive lifestyles, meets 6:30 p.m., Fridays in the fellowship hall. For information call Mike at 313-530-3395.
Marco Lutheran Church
Splash, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Sundays in the Family Room. Parents and children from birth to five years old gather together to learn about Jesus and meet new people as they are equipped to be their child’s spiritual leader. Parents will receive take home tools to provide practical ways to reinforce what was learned during the session as well as a free “The Big Picture Story Bible.”
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOLS
The 5-Day Club returns to the Greater Marco Family YMCA. The Club offers a fun filled ninety minutes that includes dynamic Bible Lessons, creative learning activities, missionary stories, songs and life changing Scripture memorization. Children ages 5 to 12 are invited to attend. Sessions are offered 3:30 to 5 p.m., July 11 to 15 or 10 to 11:30 a.m., July 18 to 22. Free. Child Evangelism Fellowship sponsors the 5-Day Club. A parent permission slip is required to attend. Parents are also welcome to attend. For more information visit www.cefonline.com or The Greater Marco Family website at www.marcoislandymca.org or Stephanie Percel at 239-394-3144, ext. 227, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Life Community Church of God
“Shake it up Café”, 3 to 6 p.m., July 18 to 22. Free. Call the church for information.
San Marco Catholic Church
Children are invited to learn about Jesus at “Inside Out and Upside Down on Main Street: Where Jesus Makes a Difference Every Day”, 9 a.m. to noon, July 25 to 29 in the Parish Center. Call the church or visit www.vacationbibleschool.com/sanmarco to register.