Catholic and Episcopalian churches present joint VBS

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation are coming together to present a joint Vacation Bible School "Maker Fun Factory; Created by God, Built for a Purpose."
Staff Writer

In order to offer Vacation Bible School to more children in the West Point area, the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation are sharing a joint VBS at Immaculate Conception. VBS will be in the Fellowship Hall of the church from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday July 10 - Thursday, July 13, for children in the Pre-K through sixth grade age range.

"We will have a fun and exciting curriculum, crafts, food and music," Rev. Lynn Ronaldi, Episcopal priest said. "We plan on a big surprise on the last day. We hope parents will enjoy a break at dinner time and bring their children to Immaculate Conception. Vacation Bible School is always a fun place to be during the summer."

The churches have been hosting VBS and swapping the venue for several years. This year falls to Immaculate Conception to be the host church.

Ivey Ivy is director of Children's Christian Education at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation and has been working hard at Immaculate Conception to decorate and prepare for the upcoming VBS.

'This year we are working with 'Makers Fun Factory; Created by God, Built for a Purpose." Ivy said. "We didn't want to offer the exact same material all the other churches were using. A lot of churches stick to what is offered for that particular denomination so a lot of churches have the exact same program. That’s why we decided to have our Vacation Bible School in July and find materials that are different. Most of the other churches schedule VBS for June. We want all area children to come and learn about God and have a lot of fun."

Ivy said families don't have to be members of either church to come to VBS. It's open to everyone regardless of church affiliation.

"Parents are welcome to drop the kids off at 5:30 and pick them up at 7:30," Ivy said. "We'll feed them and take care of them. We are planning to have a lot of fun. We'll be having a building theme and instead of the normal arts and crafts, the kids will be using with Leggo's and other things in order to create things."

People sometimes have the misconception that they can't go into a Catholic Church unless they are Catholic.

That is not the case.

"Everyone is invited to come," Ivy said. "We'll meet in the back of the church in the fellowship hall, not in the sanctuary. Our materials are non-denominational and Christ - centered. We want to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every child who comes to share in Vacation Bible School with us. This is part of the Great Commission."

The goal of VBS looks to promote a world where curious kids become hands-on inventors who discover they're lovingly crafted by God. The program will spark creativity with interactive decoration and experiences.

Maker Fun Factory Vacation Bible School transforms the host church into a place buzzing with excitement.

"We will ask the kids to bring bathing suits and towels on the last day," Ivy said. "We'll have some type of water fun. We haven't ironed out all the details yet, but Thursday the kids will need a way to dry off."