Lifeway offers VBS options for varied pandemic contexts
By Aaron Wilson
NASHVILLE (BP) – As COVID numbers improve in many locations around the country, much of the hesitation that surrounded Vacation Bible School a year ago has been replaced with anticipation as churches look forward to one of their calendar’s most significant evangelistic events.
Nevertheless, the question, “How will we host VBS?” remains a valid consideration as leaders evaluate churchgoers’ comfort level in gathering during a pandemic. To help churches find a 2021 VBS format that’s right for their congregation and community, Lifeway has created a new set of resources structured around four VBS formats:
- Traditional: the “VBS as usual” approach
- Neighborhood: smaller gatherings held in members’ driveways, porches, yards and cul-de-sacs
- Alternate timetables or formats: Wednesday/Sunday nights, weekends or one-day VBS
- Virtual at home: online worship with in-home Bible study, recreation and crafts
“Churches will differ in how they approach VBS this year, but they are overwhelmingly saying ‘yes’ to VBS because the Gospel is worth sharing,” said Melita Thomas, VBS and kids ministry specialist. “Last year we identified four ways that VBS could safely happen. This year we’re doubling down on that and providing specific resources for each of those strategies. There’s no reason why a church can’t pull off VBS this year in whatever format they choose.”
Church leaders can visit VBS.lifeway.com/yes-to-vbs  to help determine the best VBS model for their congregation. There they can find an overview of each approach, discover available resources and download a free “4 VBS Strategies” e-book.
Liberty University changes continue as Falwell Jr.’s son leaves post as VP
By Emily McFarlan Miller, Jack Jenkins
LYNCHBURG, Va. (RNS) – The son of former Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. has left the school, vacating his post as vice president of university operations roughly eight months after his father resigned in the wake of scandal.
A spokesman for Liberty confirmed the news, first reported Wednesday afternoon (April 14) by Politico , that Trey Falwell was no longer employed by the school.
The departure comes months after Falwell Jr. resigned  as president of the school in the wake of controversial posts on social media and allegations of sexual misconduct – allegations the former president has disputed.
Falwell Jr. recently has reappeared on social media, as well as on Liberty’s campus, posting photos from a Liberty lacrosse game.
The news is but the latest in a series of shake-ups involving prominent Liberty officials.
Less than a week ago, Liberty announced  that Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church and Falwell Jr.’s brother, will replace David Nasser as the university’s campus pastor at the end of the current school semester.
In addition, Charlie Kirk, a conservative activist who co-founded Liberty’s politically minded think tank known as the Falkirk Center with Falwell Jr., also quietly ended his affiliation with the school  in March. With both Falwell Jr. and Kirk out, the center changed its name to the Standing for Freedom Center.
Other members of the Falwell family are also employed by the school, but Liberty declined to comment on their employment status to Politico, saying officials “do not answer questions about personnel.”
From Religion News Service. May not be republished.