Being lighthouses for Jesus

Gary Mitchell

Katrina Prince and her fellow workers have decided to build a lighthouse out of cardboard boxes to shine the light of God’s love in the desert.
There’s a simple reason why. It’s all part of First United Methodist Church’s summer Vacation Bible School program to be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the church, 200 S. Avenue C, in Portales.
“Our theme this year is ‘Lighthouse Kids Shining God’s Light,’ ” said Prince, who serves as the Vacation Bible School director. “We’re hoping for a big turnout of 125 kids or more. Our VBS will feature Bible stories, crafts, recreation, music and it will all be related to shining God’s light — being a lighthouse for God.”
To illustrate the theme, church workers have begun designing a lighthouse in the church, Prince said.
“We’re in the process of building a lighthouse with refrigerator boxes,” she said. “We’re nearly finished. All I have to do is put my top on and plug it in. We’ve built a pier with carpet rolls. Sometimes, we get pretty creative. And we always have a mascot. Our mascot this year is a puppet pelican named ‘Beacon.’ We’re creating a lighthouse in the desert. Some of us can’t go see a lighthouse in person, so we’ve brought one to us.”
This year’s Vacation Bible School — which welcomes anyone from 3 years old to adult age — will present a mixture of emotions to many church members, Prince said.
“It’s kind of a bittersweet VBS because it will be our last one in our old building,” she said. “We’re hoping to begin the process for our new building.”
The Bible school will provide a snack supper at 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Prince said, and an ice cream social on Friday.
“We’ll have something for everybody,” she said. “The way we view Vacation Bible School is that it’s part of our mission as a church. VBS is a fun way to communicate the Gospel to others. We also have a mission project as part of our Vacation Bible School. This year, we’re planning to gather canned food for the Hunger Shelf to distribute to needy families in our community. Their stores of supplies get depleted at this time of the year, so we decided to help them.”
The Rev. Harry Rizer, pastor of First United Methodist Church, said Vacation Bible School provides a great outreach into the community.
“It’s just so much fun for our kids, and they get to meet new kids,” he said. “And it gives us the opportunity to open our doors to the community. The amount of artwork and preparation that goes into this is amazing. It allows our people to get to know one another in a different setting and working together on a common goal. It’s good for everybody.”