Arlington UMC takes VBS out into the community


Arlington UMC took VBS outside its building to two different parks in its city this summer and invited neighborhood children to participate. Submitted photos

By Rev. Ken Stewart, Arlington UMC
Vacation Bible School (VBS) has left the building! Who knows how many years Arlington UMC in Arlington, Tenn., has hosted VBS in its church building? But this year was different.
Rather than ask our neighbors to come to us, we heard God’s call to go to them and what an exciting time it was. After checking with the city to use two different parks this summer, we set up shop at a different park a few Saturdays apart.
The week before each “VBS in the Park,” a number of our church members walked the neighborhoods around the park inviting kids to join in the fun.
What a blast the two different “VBS in the Park” events were. New neighbors and friends were made, Christ was experienced in fun and fresh ways, and hope, grace and love was the common language we all shared.
All this happened because Angie Kee, a local elementary school teacher and coordinator of the two “VBS in the Park” events, listened to God’s call and invited her church to think outside its walls! 
As a way of showing God’s love for others, each “VBS in the Park” had its own mission outreach project. The kids made items that were delivered to a local nursing home. They painted crosses and hearts to brighter the lives of those unable to join them in the park.
Each Saturday was full of music, stories, dancing, laughter, games and, of course food, as lives were touched and hearts warmed.
For Arlington UMC, VBS has left the building and set up shop out in the community.