Thursday, December 17, 2009
Who are the people in your neighborhood? Caring for God's creation in our communities.
How can VBS grow a community?
Well, one way is to spread God's love in our neighborhoods and communities in ways that are special and unique to our area.
Using ReNew as your VBS curriculum is a starting point to get kids out in the community and inviting the community into the congregation - to build relationships, teach kids about green initiatives that are already taking place in their community and further identify the role and mission the congregation has in the community.
At the Community Activity Site, kids encounter the part of creation we call community and recognize God at work in our relationships with one another. They work together, with adult leaders and volunteers and with people the church invites into the VBS experience to understand why we are called to care for creation.
Let’s take a closer look at a Community Activity Site Activity:
Seed Pod Squad:
What will kids do? Kids create seedpods (dirt and clay balls filled with seeds) and choose a location to disperse them.
Why is this activity important? The seeds of God’s love provide our spiritual needs. In this activity kids share God’s love by sharing seeds for food that can be “planted” where there is little vegetation.
Leader Tips for this Activity:
Welcome kids to the Community Activity Site. Talk about the way the Sower sowed the seeds—just throwing them everywhere. Some might say extravagant. Some wasteful. Wonder together if Jesus was saying God is generous. The seeds of God’s love are sown everywhere—in expected and unexpected places. God doesn’t withhold love, even to those who seem unlovable. God knows the seeds of love just might grow into something beautiful. What happens when someone follows the example Jesus talked about and looks for ways to show love and kindness and caring? Take a few minutes to think about this together.
Ask kids if they know what a pod is. One definition is a casing that holds something inside. Examples range from green beans (seeds inside its own plant casing called a pod) to iPods (information inside a plastic casing). Today we’ll take ordinary soil, clay, seeds, and water and turn them into seedpods! Then you can generously sow them (actually toss them! wherever you have permission—that’s important.) They could turn a scrubby patch of land into beautiful flowers.
Seedpods are like secret packages—sometimes you have to wait. They will remain hard (and the seeds won’t start to grow) until a big rain melts them down and they start to grow in the great soil you wrapped them in. But before that happens, we need to roll up our sleeves and play in the mud!
1. Working on a table, scoop out an equal amount of powdered clay and soil—enough so that the finished pod is about the size of a donut hole. I’m going to demonstrate this for you, and once you see me do it, it’ll be easy as one-two-seed!
2. Sprinkle wildflower seeds on the table. Begin to roll and knead the seeds, powdered clay, and soil together until they are well mixed and stick together. You may need to sprinkle some water to help it stick. (Caution: too much water just makes goo.) Place finished seedpods on newspaper to dry. Damp mixture may take 24 hours.
3. As kids begin to work, talk about places that could use vegetation AND about appropriate places and permission to “plant.”
4. Tell kids the seedpods will be ready for tossing tomorrow. When seedpods are dry, store them in the soil and clay buckets.
Move to Act!
When seedpods are done and ready to dry, tell kids: “Look at that! With some very basic ingredients, we created seeds of love and change for our community.” Ask again, “Does anyone have any ideas where we can launch these seedpods and get growing?” Allow kids time to discuss. Look around tonight and we’ll talk tomorrow.
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