VBS Fair – Friday Fun – VBS Online
VBS Fair – Friday Fun – VBS Online

Elisabeth Spaulding, Muppets VBS

Editor’s note: This post is part of our VBS Review Fair here on Key Resources, where we’ve been featuring reviews of our top picks from this year’s curricula. You can download the full review packet here.

If you’ve been following our reviews this week, you’ll have noticed that in our resource section we’ve been recommending the site VBS Online from Episcopal priest Mark Spaulding.

In case our note (“prepare to be inspired to creative greatness”) didn’t intrigue you, I wanted to put in a brief plug for checking out the site.

Mark, his daughter Elisabeth Spaulding (known to friends and family as Eli), and the people of Holy Cross in Castro Valley, CA, really get VBS. They understand the power of this ministry, the joy that it can bring to so many, and the opportunity to engage a whole church in a grand and inviting creative endeavor.

I love Mark’s first word on choosing a VBS theme:

The VBS motto and theme song is “I love you and God loves you and that’s the way it should be.” Sharing God’s love and seeking justice with and for all we meet is at the heart of every VBS we create.

Of course, Holy Cross doesn’t use kits like the ones we’ve been reviewing all week. Because they create their own VBS curriculum, they’re free to choose the theme and pretty much everything else. But every VBS program should keep this motto in mind.

Whether you go DIY or purchase a packaged curriculum, we also hope you’ll look for ways to make the experience your own.

Yes, it’s a hell of a lot of work creating a whole new world for kids to explore and shape. But creating a whole new world is ultimately what the gospel calls us to. Best we get some practice however we can, and invite our younger members to be a part of it all.

Screenshot from VBS Online

More fun

More resources

Course: How to Run a Vacation Bible School on ChurchNext

Free Subscription: Episcopal Teacher magazine from the CMT

Website: VBS Online (prepare to be inspired to creative greatness)

Kyle Matthew Oliver (@kmoliver) is digital missioner and learning lab coordinator in the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary. His biggest memory of VBS is adults having fun at church, which seemed rare.

Image credit: Both photos in the post are from VBS Online.


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  1. I am from Holy Cross and I hope people don’t look at what we’ve done and think “ordinary people can’t do all that year after year!” We are very ordinary but have been allowed to dream/create/imagine with creative abundance. You won’t believe what your average congregation posesses creatively until you ask them to do so. Yes we set the bar high. Raise it