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VBS for 2004 to go on Far East rickshaw rally

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Vacation Bible School for 2004 will have VBS racers speeding through the Far East, dashing through the streets of Tokyo, climbing Mt. Fuji and diving for pearls in the Sea of Japan. All this, plus the ultimate goal of finding Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

“Far-out Far East Rickshaw Rally-Racing to the Son” is the theme for 2004 VBS, sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Materials will be available in English and Spanish starting this fall. The VBS motto — “Ready! Set! Race to Jesus!” — will set the pace for the week’s activities.

“The 2004 VBS will take people of all ages on an exciting Far East race adventure,” said Becky Martin, LifeWay’s VBS ministry specialist.

The Scripture that accompanies the theme, 1 Corinthians 9:24, says, “Do you not know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win” (Holman CSB).

“We want all the VBS participants to remember that life’s ultimate prize is a relationship with Jesus,” Martin said.

Vacation Bible School serves as the premiere outreach event of the year for many churches. Few other events offer the potential to reach out to children and adults the way VBS can, Martin noted, by offering a powerful and unique opportunity to share Jesus Christ and positively advance the Kingdom of God.

LifeWay is committed to offering high-quality, affordable VBS resources that share the Good News of Jesus accurately with all ages, Martin said. VBS must, at the very least, meet these criteria:

— All resources must be Bible-based and biblically accurate.

— The learning and activity features must be appropriate for the age group they are designed to reach.

— VBS should be fun, yet grounded in reality.

“Our resources come from and are true to the Word of God,” Martin said. “We don’t represent Bible characters as cartoons or inanimate objects. We want children to understand the reality of the Bible through an entertaining, theme-oriented learning approach.”

For 2004, LifeWay will offer something new — specialty items related to the VBS theme. “We will have large Oriental umbrellas, strings of paper lanterns, bulletin board decorations and borders, and stationery with the full-color logo available for churches to purchase,” Martin said. “A lot of the churches doing VBS have asked us to have these kinds of items available, so we’ve tried to honor their requests. But these items are extras, so a church that may not have the financial resources to get them won’t be missing out on a necessary item.”

This year the VBS worship rally video will be available in both VHS and DVD formats. Audio recordings will be available in CD format only.

The 2004 VBS catalog and promotional items will be mailed to churches in mid-October. The curriculum will be available from LifeWay customer service at www.lifeway.com or 1-800-458-2772. LifeWay Christian Stores will have the VBS Sample Packs before Christmas.

For more information about Vacation Bible School for 2004, go to www.lifeway.com/yourvbs. The website is a work in progress, Martin said. New ideas and information will be added throughout the year. Currently, the website is offering signup for a VBS e-mail update list. As always, LifeWay will not use personal information for anything other than what is requested.

“One of our key goals in church resources is to grow the church,” Martin said. “VBS has historically proven itself to be one of the very best means by which churches can begin the process of building relationships with unchurched people.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at www.bpnews.net. Photo title: VBS LOGO.

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  • Polly House