ReNew a green vbs

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Welcome to the ReNew blog!

Now that you are here, I bet you are a little curious about ReNew. Well, we have got a story for you!

The ReNew story...

A seed is planted...
Across the church, the call to care for creation had been growing. Many congregations have started green teams, planted community gardens and have been leading community efforts to go green. Looking around, though, there is not one resource that helps harness this spirit and enables it to spread. Here, at Sparkhouse, we began to wonder what we could do to help churches that wanted to become environmental stewards. Could we create a resource that would inspire kids and adults to grow in faith, have fun and change the world?

An idea takes root...
ReNew began when five people gathered in a room and wondered, "What would a green VBS look like?" These five people, each with different strengths and experiences, challenged themselves to come up with a concrete and sustainable idea. From that, ReNew was born--built on a manifesto that declares:

A green VBS...
  • must be green in all ways--from manufacturing to packaging, from supply lists to decorating.
  • makes environmental stewards out of everyone, everywhere. It's a program for all who wish to become united by hope, community and service--regardless of geographic location, race, economic situation or denomination.
  • can grow faith through biblical and environmental life lessons and have fun at the same time.
The concept grows...
Excited about ReNew, the team set out to make the VBS concept a reality. They called and emailed theologians, writers, environmental educators, visual artists, reviewers, musicians, and organizations--all representing a wide range of denominational backgrounds and perspectives. With each contact they made, the team was thrilled to find that people "got" the concept of a green VBS and wondered why it didn't already exist.

Overcoming obstacles...
The team quickly discovered it's one thing to say something is environmentally friendly, and another to actually create something that is. They enlisted help to research manufacturing companies with eco-friendly practices and were happily surprised to see the creative options manufacturers came back with. Soy-based inks! Biodegradable fabric! Recyclable banners! ReNew started to become real and three-dimensional.

A promise of harvest...
After six months of creative collaboration, help from many gifted and passionate people and hard work, ReNew moved from a possibility to a reality. Launching in December 2009, ReNew is ready to help communities grow in faith, have fun and change the world!

Keep checking back as this blog grows. We hope it serves a sense of inspiration as your congregation goes green!


The ReNew Team


  1. I love it. Received your promo card in the mail . . .but couldn't find where I could order the starter kit, at least not easily.

    I would love to review what the VBS program is . . .but your web page isn't that helpful, yet. Starter kit??

  2. I'm kinda hoping you don't have a "starter kit." Imagine that... not having to purchase a cheesy back-pack with hi-gloss booklets, dvds, or plastic craft projects. Can you sense my frustration with the current vcs materials available? I can't wait to hear more about your work!

  3. Thanks for commenting!!! You are the first people to do so on the ReNew blog. To help with some of your questions:

    1. The starter kit can be ordered (the starter kits will ship in December). Visit and click on the order form page to order.

    2. Yes, Heather! We feel the same! That's why we put the entire VBS curriculum into the starter kit--everything you need (director guide, publicity ideas and materials, reproducible leader guides, shepherd's guides, templates, reproducible music cd, overview dvd) into one binder. AND...all of the contents are made from recycled materials and can be recycled. Check it out on the products tab of the ReNew website. -Rachel