attends the Orange County Fellowship in Irvine, Calif., with her
husband, Scott, and two children, Kyler and Megan.
Calif.--When is it acceptable for kids to run during a church service?
Most people would say never, yet the action was met with joy at
last year's Feast of Tabernacles in Palm Springs, Calif., sponsored
by Guardian Ministries of Pasadena, Calif.
What had the youngsters
so revved up?
It was an eight-day
sequential Bible-school program called "Becoming a Godly Builder"
geared for children 3-12 years old.
Plans are already
well under way for a similar program for the 2002 Feast of Tabernacles,
which begins the evening of Sept. 20.
Each day during
last year's Feast, when the announcement came that it was time for
Bible school, kids actually jumped out of their seats and bolted
for the schoolroom, bursting with excitement.
Each day the kids'
supervisors would welcome them into a room decorated with colorful
graphics and wall posters that provided a visual road map for the
Each day children
learned a spiritual lesson, completed a craft and memorized songs
related to the "Godly Builder" theme.
Each day kids
shot their hands up, yearning to participate in the class discussion.
And each day parents and grandparents told teachers they had never
seen their kids so excited about Bible school.
The first lesson,
"Consider the Cost," had children budgeting, buying materials
for a house they would build later in the week and paying themselves
a wage of a small toy or a lollipop.
included "Jesus Wants You for a Builder," "Build
Upon the Right Foundation," "Use the Right Tools,"
"Don't Delay!," "Rejoice in Your Labors" and
"You Are God's Masterpiece."
The teachers announced
future lessons and activities to heighten the children's excitement
and keep them wanting to come back.
And come back
have never wanted to go back to Bible school anywhere," said
one parent. "Today they said they didn't need to bring anything
with them to do during services because they were definitely going
to Bible school."
Stephanie Liesenfelt, said the kids were animated with enthusiasm
for the activities.
the first day and encouraging them to have a happy Feast and to
make sure I was doing the same," she said, "I had children
asking me dozens of times each day, 'Are you having a happy Feast,
Mrs. L?' Their excitement about Bible school was infectious to the
point that we had adults stopping by before services to ask if they
could come to Bible school."
making tool belts, wall hangings, crowns and picture frames. The
kids learned songs that related to the theme and performed special
music on the last day of the Feast.
At the end of
the program, each child received an "I'm a Godly Builder"
certificate and an activity book to take home.
"It was great
to see so many people work together on this," said teacher
Five parents from
two congregations designed lessons, selected music, bought craft
materials and assisted each other throughout the week.
after young children so their wives could teach the classes, and
parents and grandparents joined the class daily to help out.
But perhaps most
heartwarming, said participants, was the interaction between the
kids, teachers and other volunteers during the Feast. One of the
teachers, Lola Lee Grisham, made special cookies for the children.
Kids wrote thank-you notes to those they observed in service roles.
Greetings, hugs and thank-you cards were exchanged generously throughout
going to teach next year, Mrs. L?" Laurel Benitez asked Stephanie
Liesenfelt. "I sure hope so!"
Well, good news,
Laurel. The team will be back this year at the Guardian Ministries'
site in the Santa Ynez Valley, near Solvang, Calif.
The Feast this
working on the theme for Feast of Tabernacles 2002 and look forwarding
to seeing the kids again.
For more information
on the Guardian Ministries Feast for 2002, check out www.guardian-ministries.org.
Contact Dr. Antion
with any questions at drdaveca.earthlink.net.
If you would like to assist with this year's Bible-school program, contact program coordinator Carolyn Scharpen at
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