Schools deliver God’s teachings

Emmanuel Baptist Church member Sherry Bono finished setting up the final vacation Bible school prop in her church's sanctuary Thursday afternoon.

Alisa Boswell: Portales News-Tribune

Emmanuel Baptist Church member Sherry Bono puts the finishing touches on the decorations and props for the church's vacation Bible school, which takes place next week. The theme focuses on God's power over all things and his love for people.

She looked around at the various characters, such as Chatter the squirrel, and Pat the bat, and let out a satisfied sigh.

"It teaches that everything is possible with God," Bono said of the VBS theme, Sky. "Everyone needs to know that without God, things are not possible. He makes the impossible possible. We have to have him, otherwise, our lives fall apart."

God's power seems to be the preferred VBS theme in Portales this summer with local church's choosing aeronautical themes as a way of manifesting God's power.

Bono said Sky focuses on the life and crucifixion of Jesus with each day of the school referring to a different point in Jesus' life, such as when a Roman officer helps him when he goes on trial, and when he helps fishermen to fish.

Bono said Chatter the squirrel is used regularly in children's Sunday school, and because he is so popular, he will be included in VBS, where he will get in and out of "sticky" situations all week, realizing at the end of the week, he could not have overcome the situations without God.

University Baptist Church Pastor Steve Smith said his church's theme, Amazing Wonders Aviation, also focuses on God's power, with each activity station being a different wonder of the world, which God created, such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon and Victoria Falls.

He said each day covers a different aspect of God's power with daily themes such as God's power over nature and God's power over circumstances.

"It focuses on how big God is," Smith said. "I think it's important for children, and everyone, to realize that God is not someone we control but that he is all powerful and that he has made himself evident in all of his creations. With these big things he's done in the world, imagine how much he can do in our lives and how much we can trust him."

Although they focus on a similar theme for VBS, First United Methodist Church takes a different approach in their teachings.

Coordinator Jo Beth Massey said rather than being divided into age groups, children are divided into the 12 tribes of Israel with a variety of age groups together.

"Our Bible school is totally different from anyone else's," Massey said. "It's a market place type theme. Each year is focused on a different Bible character and place. This year it is in Babylon and the character focused on is Daniel."

She said the lessons of Daniel's captivity in the lion's den will be taught through music, dramas and lessons. Children are then taken to the market place where they create crafts of Babylonian objects, such as hanging gardens, mosaic boxes and musical instruments.

"It makes it a lot better when you're focusing on one specific area," Massey said. "They (children) seem to grasp the lesson better because it is shown to them through music, through drama, through interaction with teachers and the vendors at the market talk to them about what they learned and ask them questions about it."

Upcoming vacation Bible schools in Portales:

  • Church of the Nazarene: End of July. Exact date to be determined.
  • Emmanuel Baptist: June 25-28 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
  • First United Methodist: July 16-20 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Third and Kilgore Church of Christ: 6 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. Sunday with VBS presentation being after luncheon at 12:30 p.m.
  • University Baptist: July 9-13 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • All vacation Bible schools are for ages 5 years to sixth grade.

To add to this listing email Alisa Boswell at or call 356-4481.

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