Friday, July 30, 2010

Flashback Friday-VBS Style

Did your family attend church when you were growing up? What are your earliest memories of church? Did you attend VBS (Vacation Bible School) when you were young? Sunday School? Other church activities? Was faith a Sunday-only thing or did it impact your life and the things you did? If faith and church were not a part of your growing-up years, when and how did you begin and what drew you to God?

Besides coming home from the hospital, the first place my parents took me was to church. My very earliest memories include the church grounds, classrooms, and the family of people I grew up amongst there.

I have a couple of photos to share, but they are of "Old Fashioned Days," so I'll have to wait to share those until they fit the topic. And boy-howdy, they are doozies.

VBS was an annual event for me, and I can still recall songs and Bible verses I learned at VBS. One song included a stop sign held up by the worship leader at just the moment we were supposed to sing "STOP! and let me tell you, what the Lord has done for meeeee." True to kid form, most of us yelled it out. You can see that any unsuspecting average Joe would definitely STOP in his tracks and turn from his wicked ways when a group of 100 kids yelled this song at him. Very effective evangelization.

Another vivid memory is of color-coded items like pencils which prompted you to remember the essence of Christian theology: black for sin, red for blood redemption, white for purity, etc.

I didn't always want to come in from playing and get cleaned up to go VBS every night, but once I got there, I was fine. I usually excelled at memorization if not singing, and so I won some awards, I'm sure.

But the best time of all was when we went outside for a break, where we would see a couple of long tables set up with various kinds of homemade cookies, paper napkins and cups of Koolaid, for some reason, usually grape flavored. My mom was not a baker, so these cookies were other-worldly treats. If I got really lucky, she would bring no-bakes, and I would get an extra.

Then we would play games outside. One impromptu game included rolling down a small hill on our church's property, log-roll style. The only problem was that I attended a church where all females wore skirts, so you can see that it became problematic to keep your skirt down at your sides and log roll, because with your hands glued to your sides, you just might log roll your face into a rock or brier weed.

So I remember the year my mom allowed me to wear shorts under my skirt.

Big doin's, that was.

I still have a fondness for the simplicity of my VBS experiences: no fancy puppets, videos or curricula. Just simple flannel graph lessons, crafts, including macaroni spray-painted gold glued to orange juice cans and bars of soap turned into sailboats, some foil stars to mark achievement, and a feeling of safety and security in the realm of my little church world, which was my second home.

Thanks for the memories, Lid! Maybe my grandchild will enjoy reading this someday!


Melanie said...

We have so many of the same kind of "memories."

samurai said...

I wanted to say thank you for sparking memories in my own life... i will be posting mine later today.

It sounds like you have some good memories growing up. \o/

Mocha with Linda said...

Your memories are similar to mine, except we didn't do VBS at night. But the flannel boards, macaroni crafts, Kool-Aid, etc. were universal!

I'm glad you participated this week!

Leelee said...

Loved VBS...we had 2 weeks every summer! It was a highlight. I remember having to keep my new sandals and Keds unscuffed until after Bible School was over...we met on the front steps of the church in the morning and "marched in" to Onward Christian Soldiers. When you were older you might get chosen to hold the American flag, Christian Flag or Bible in front of the sanctuary while we said the pledge of allegiance to each one. Snacks were juice and cookies. The senior citizens wrapped the cookies, 2 per napkin, in the fellowship hall every morning. It smelled like fresh perked coffee and old lady perfume when you walked through...I passed through every morning to speak to my great-aunt Chloe and Uncle Fred....always wiping the bright red lipstick off my cheek on the way out...

Thanks for this memory, it has added some butterflies and glitter to an otherwise ho hum day...

Jim said...

I like your memories, Linda. Our daughter went to church while she was still a week old also. I think her story is similar to yours.

Didn't you just love those flannel graphs? Mrs. Jim had several homemade boards and gobs of scenes. It was a sad day when she threw all that out. They are no longer in demand.
My testimony is about the opposite of yours with the same happy ending.

Momma Morgan said...

Awww.. I remember VBS also! This year was my first year being a teacher for VBS. I taught the nursery class (which isn't my regular class), and I hope that I was able to make their first year at VBS full of memories!! Crafts was the favorite activity of the week for sure..

Julie said...

I'm still singing the songs from VBS... ha ha... "Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning."
I LOVED VBS as a child!!!

Linda, thank you for your visit to my blog and your words left for me there. You truly blessed my heart.

Shug said...

I love your blog and love the comments as well....We were always in church and I simply loved VBS.

Thanks for sharing.


Recovering Church Lady said...

Yep, we have matching memories! Fun times gathering as many neighbors as possible to be my "guests" and get me some points in the contest to see who could bring the most kids! Ha!

Then the years when I was the organizer, very fun and exhausting times!