VBS Video and Stories from East and J-town

Our Proof Pirates Vacation Bible School wrapped up this past Friday. Thank you so much for praying for our team this past week. God showed up at VBS this week! Here are a few highlights to celebrate from Sojourn’s East and J-town campuses. Stories from Midtown and New Albany are coming tomorrow.

Sojourn J-Town – 2014 VBS Recap from Hatfield Media on Vimeo.

By the numbers…

  • At East, there was a high attendance of 242 kids. And at J-town, there were as many as 271 kids! Across four campuses, our high attendance was 761 kids! 
  • Nearly 70 people served every day at East, and nearly 80 served each day at J-town. Across the campuses there were well over 300 volunteers in all serving!
  • Kids at East collected $645.00 for the Westport TAPP School, and the kids at J-town collected $540.00 for the Tully Elementary School FCA! 

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Stories…

  • My kid said she wished VBS lasted until midnight and wanted to do it again in the fall. My neighbor’s kid expressed excitement about returning the next day, even asking for a Bible on his way home. –From a Sojourn East member
  • I had a kindergartener start a discussion about what a pastor is. She got connected via a yard sale we hosted a few weeks back. It was great seeing her make friends and singing so enthusiastically.–From a Sojourn East member
  • I just want to thank you so much for making it possible for Toby to attend VBS and feel accepted by his peers. We look forward to your VBS every year and this year Toby just blossomed being with his peers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, thank you”–From a mom of a child with special needs at J-town
  • It seems like VBS has made my child more sensitive to the gospel this week. His repentance and asking for forgiveness has seemed more sincere and less dependent upon us telling him what to do.  I think that the visuals were helpful in explaining things to him (the new heart lockets, skeleton to a new heart guy, etc.).–From a Sojourn East member
  • This is week has been amazing. We have been going to Sojourn for a year and have loved it the whole time, but it was this week serving together at VBS where I really felt for the first time like this IS my church! This is my family! And my daughters who are also serving said the same thing. It is emotional for me. It has been such a blessing to get to be a part of something like this and serve together as family and as a  part of a the Sojourn family.”From a J-town VBS Servant

I’m so grateful for what God has done! Be sure to tell the VBS team thank you in the comments below. Share your stories about VBS here as well.

VBS Day 5: Forever Grace!

VBS – How long is forever?.mov from Sojourn/The 930 Art Center on Vimeo.

“When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.” Ephesians 1:13b-14a

Our Bible verse for today calls the Holy Spirit a seal. Because of the Holy Spirit, God’s people are safe and secure. We are marked as his children forever. God protects his children so they can never be lost. God always finishes the work he begins in us. Even though life is sometimes like sailing through a stormy sea, God is with us, and he protects us. He brings us back to him like a boat that has been guided safely to shore.

Work it out: Lost on a desert island.

Set aside an area in your living room or outside to serve as the “deserted island.” If you still have the pirate ship you made from the “Planned Grace” devotional, have the kids hop in. If not, that’s okay! Just have them pretend to sail around. Fill the “deserted island” with some of a pirate’s favorite snacks–gold fish crackers or fish sticks work great! Once your pirates have had enough sailing, pretend that their ship wrecks on the island. Let them enjoy their snacks and once they’re done, read the verses below.

Read it:

Read John 10:27-30. As your kids are eating, ask them what they would do if they were really stuck on a deserted island. ask them what they would do if they ran out of food and had now way to call for help. Tell them that God’s love never leaves them deserted. Tell them that God’s lvoe holds onto them and keeps them forever.

Talk about it:

  • How long is forever? What lasts forever? God and his love last forever! Heaven is forever! All of God’s people will live forever in God’s kingdom! 
  • How do you know that God loves you? Take this time to review the message of God’s grace.

Hide it in your heart:

Memorize this definition, question and answer, and the accompanying Bible verse.

Forever Grace: God’s people never drift away from his love.

Q&A: How do I know that I belong to God? We can’t reach God, but he reaches us.

“When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.” Ephesians 1:13b-14a

Pray:

God, thank you for finishing the work you began in me. Your love never fails. Amen.

VBS Day 4: Overcoming Grace!

VBS – What do pirates say?.mov from Sojourn/The 930 Art Center on Vimeo.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

The more we hear about the goodness and greatness of salvation in Jesus, the more irresistible he becomes. Though we are disobedient sinners who run away from God, he has come near to us. When our eyes are opened and we begin to understand how amazing God’s grace is, we do not want to rebel any longer.

Work it out: Hunt for hidden gold coins!

Buy some candy gold coins from the store and hide them in your living room or outside. Make sure to hide at least one coin where you can reach it but your children cannot. Let them hunt and have fun for a while and then ask why they don’t grab that one coin. When they realize they are unable to reach it on their own, reach up and grab it for them. You can say, “Just like the coins that you can’t reach, there are times when obeying is something you can’t reach. Just like I reached for the coins for you, God does for us what we can’t do for ourselves.”

Read it:

Read Acts 9:1-22 to your kids. Explain that God finds us. Saul wasn’t looking for Jesus. He was looking to hurt Jesus’ people, but Jesus found him.

Talk about it:

  • Did you enjoy looking for the hidden coins?
  • What did you feel like when you couldn’t reach the one coin and needed help?
  • Have you ever had a time that you wanted to change your mind but you couldn’t
  • Have you ever changed your mind because of overcoming love?
  • Parents: Tell your kids about a time you weren’t excited about doing something, but overcoming lvoe changed your mind. For example, you could tell about a time when you didn’t want to go out with your kids, but because you love your kids (or because you really love ice cream), you decided you would go out and get ice cream.

Hide it in your heart:

Memorize this definition, question and answer, and the accompanying Bible verse.

Overcoming Grace: God changes our rebellion into surrender.

Q&A: Who will come to God? We can’t reach God, but he reaches us.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

Pray:

Father, change my heart when I want to do wrong. Give me an overcoming love for you.

VBS Day 3: Outrageous Grace!

VBS – Describe something outrageous.mov from Sojourn/The 930 Art Center on Vimeo.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” Ephesians 1:7-8a

There is nothing we can do to earn or deserve God’s grace. God gives us Jesus as a free gift! God doesn’t love us because we do good things or because we were born into a good family. God loved us first–before we did anything good or bad. And God loves us because Jesus paid the price for us. He redeemed us. The cross marks the spot! Jesus is a wonderful treasure, our wonderfully free gift.

Work it out: Build a treasure chest.

Take an old shoebox and set out some craft supplies for your kids (crayons, paint, construction paper, etc.) Have your children decorate the treasure chest however they’d like

Read it:

Read Deuteronomy 10:14-15 with your kids.

Talk about it:

  • Why did you choose to decorate the treasure chest the way that you did? (Be specific. For example, why did you choose the pink stickers?)
  • How much money would you pay for that treasure chest?
  • Did you know that God made you as his special treasure?
  • How much did God pay for us to be his treasure?

Hide it in your heart:

Memorize this definition, question and answer, and the accompanying Bible verse.

Outrageous Grace: God gives us Jesus as a free gift!

Q&A: What are the enemies of God’s grace? The lies that we’re good enough or that we can work hard enough to earn God’s love.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” Ephesians 1:7-8a

Pray:

Lord Jesus, thank you for paying the full price for our sins. Amen.

Josiah, The Eight-Year-Old King (at Home for July 13th)

sojournkids at homeThis week’s SojournKids Bible lesson was “Josiah, The Eight-Year-Old King” (2 Chronicles 34:1-33).  Use the questions below to review it with your kids. You can also review the weekly North Star Catechism (below).

READ 2 Chronicles 34:1-33 or Story 70 in The Gospel Story Bible

ASK: What good things did Josiah do when he became king? Josiah began to seek God. He had people tear down the altars and high places to other gods

ASK: What did God promise Josiah? Josiah would not see God’s judgment on Israel’s idolatry because he had humbled himself. God is merciful, and he forgives everyone who trusts in him.

Check out the daily devotionals that correspond with this week’s lesson in the book, Long Story Short by Marty Machowski, pages 352-356

This week’s North Star catechism question is…

63. What is the great commission Jesus gave to his church? He commissions his church to go and make disciples. We learn from Jesus and help others learn from him.

Mathew 28:19–Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.

Download this week’s SojournKids at Home here.

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