ReNew a green vbs

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

“Upcycling VBS”

Upcycling (def.): Creating something new and useful out of something disposable and used up.

When we imagined ReNew: the Green VBS, my coworker, Bethany and I wanted to create a truly unique and transformational experience for kids. Our research showed that a lot of the VBS offerings on the market are very similar. They certainly look fun, are centered in Scripture and provide a lot of “stuff” to engage kids, but ultimately none were very inspiring to us or fueled our creative spirit as we tried to imagine what a “green VBS” could be.

How could we create something new and amazing in a world of theme based VBS? Could we “upcycle” VBS?

We decided to open our Bibles, and were sparked into action by Jesus’ Parable of the Sower. Jesus told parables to teach people about God’s loving reign and to turn people’s hearts toward God. Parables are simple stories that often have a surprising twist.

God’s love, the gospel, is planted within us. When it takes root and grows within us, we are prepared to face challenges and to share love with others, including God’s creation.

By focusing on Jesus’ Parable of the Sower during the ReNew VBS week, kids and adults are listening deeply to Jesus as he shares God’s dream of reconciling the whole world. Following Jesus means showing love—to all of God’s creation. We have an active role as co-creators in the renewing of the earth.

This active expression of faith—kids growing, learning and sharing with their church community and greater community is what truly “upcycles” VBS.

Next, we had to think of what it means to be “green.” With what is out there today, green seems to mean a lot of things. Ultimately, going green is a process—some changes are easier to make than others. The ReNew activities are based on green practices; we offer many options to go “greener” or “greenest.” ReNew is a starting point in caring for creation. It is an active way for kids and adults to demonstrate faith and celebrate and share their gifts.

Check back later this week to learn more about how the ReNew leader and learner resources were created and discover all of the tips and tricks on how you can use and reuse them for your VBS and beyond!!!

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