Demonstrating that no one is too old to learn, Portland Avenue Baptist Church hosted a senior adult version of Vacation Bible School (VBS), July 9-12. By midweek, the church had nearly 20 seniors saying, as the popular VBS song goes, “Y-E-S to VBS.”
Gina McKean, director of children’s ministries at the church located in Oklahoma City, Okla., said a church member went to a senior adult VBS at nearby Cherokee Hills Baptist Church last summer and asked her if they could do one at Portland Avenue.
“Of course, we never say no to VBS,” McKean said. “We say yes to VBS any time. So we decided to put it on our calendar and started promoting it. We weren’t sure what kind of turnout we would have, but they have responded well.”
Unlike a traditional VBS that meets for approximately four hours, this VBS met from 9:30-11:30 a.m. each day. However, each meeting had numerous similarities, including pledges to the American flag, the Christian flag and the Bible. VBS attendees also participated in singing and doing the motions to songs that went with this year’s VBS theme of “Game On.”
“Most of our people were apprehensive about coming, but it has been a fantastic experience,” said Eli Sheldon, retired historical secretary of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and member of Portland Avenue. “We have enjoyed every part of it. The organization of it is good, and the presentation of it is excellent.”
Like children who attend VBS, Sheldon said he and his VBS classmates have been learning the memory verse, 2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”
Each meeting also has an emphasis on missions. On July 10, McKean introduced a video presentation of International Mission Board missionaries who are serving in Poland.
“We especially incorporate missions because we know how important the missions element is at Vacation Bible School,” McKean said.
Pastor Walter Mullican led a time of Bible study and had many participate and ask questions during his July 10 study on the raising of Lazarus. He was encouraged with the turnout of the senior adult VBS.
“I don’t think enough of us knew what it was, at first, in order to convey it to them,” Mullican said about starting the VBS for senior adults and whether or not people would be interested in attending. “This has been a great response. I think they get a flavor of what the kids have done [during regular VBS]. They now have a better understanding of the themes and songs, things that the kids experience at VBS.”
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Source: Baptist Press