Vacation Bible School at Mansfield

Volunteers and children participating in the Mansfield Community Church Vacation Bible School, June 17-20. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)


By Adrienne Douke
By Empire Press Correspondent

The Mansfield Community Church hosted its annual Vacation Bible School, June 17-20. This year’s theme was “Submerged: Finding Truth Below the Surface.”

The church over the last few years has teamed up with several church youth groups from Oregon. This year North Albany Community Church Associate Pastor Dave Galceran brought a group up for a week of ministry with the Mansfield children to share scripture and Bible lessons.

Children from preschool to sixth grade were invited to attend and learn about Jesus through dancing, singing, crafting. It was an opportunity to see “faith in action,” Galceran said.

Each day a different scripture was presented for the children to “dive deeper” into the gospel truths about Jesus.

Monday’s scripture focused on “Jesus seeks to save those who are lost” (Luke 19:1-10); Tuesday was “Jesus saw the Woman at the Well” (John 4:1-42); and Wednesday was “Jesus restores a blind man’s sight” (John 9).

Vacation Bible School concluded Thursday with the scripture “Jesus blesses the children” (Mark 10:13-16).

The variety of passages engaged those present to talk about the several encounters that Jesus had at the different places he visited during his years of ministry and healing, and his teaching of the love of God.

Galceran said, “During VBS week we want to engage the kids on their level of understanding. We structured the groups to hold their interest. We like the kids to connect with their own age group.”

“I really loved VBS,” said 6-year-old Posaidon Bounds. “I loved getting to know everyone and making awesome crafts. My favorite craft was making bracelets. I really liked our leader Logan. Learning more about Jesus was good. The best part for me was winning the teddy bear, and the barbecue was fun. I’m sad that today was our last day, but I am already looking forward to next year’s VBS.

Approximately 20 children attended VBS each day.

“The staff outnumbered the kids, which is a good ratio,” Galceran said.

Three evening barbecues were held for the children and the community. The first two were Monday and Wednesday evening, and the third was a Youth Outreach, where the children, their families and staff ate dinner, played games and shared testimony.

“We wanted to make a big splash,” Galceran said.

In addition to VBS, the Albany Youth group was involved with two projects. They painted both the inside and outside of the Mansfield Theatricals building, then did yard work and flower bed weeding in Mansfield. Dozens of junior high and high school students volunteered to help.

“The best part of this outreach is watching the kids grow in their understanding of service and love, as Jesus demonstrated during his ministry 2,000 years ago,” Galceran said. “We wanted to reach out and share a peer-to-peer understanding of Christianity, and to share openly and boldly the power of the Lord through love and self discipline.”

“We do this by actively serving our communities as ‘the hands and feet of Jesus,’” he added.

Galceran hopes to see a youth group in Mansfield that embraces a fun atmosphere, encourages appropriate behavior and instills good judgement in young people.

“And we think annual summertime VBS is a great place to start,” he said.