What I learned at VBS

“Help me slow down, Jesus.

Hheellpp mmee ssllooww ddoowwnn JJEEUUSS.

Hhheeelllppp mmmeee ssslllooowww dddoowwwnnn, JJJEEEUUUSSS.

Hhhheeeellllpppp, mmmmeeee,sssslllloooowwww ddddoooowwwwnnnn, JJJJEEEEUUUUSSSS.”

—“Bible Story Teller” in Rolling River Rampage: Experience the Ride of a Lifetime with God! (Cokesbury VBS, 2018).

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My friend, Mary Manning, and I were the storytellers at St. Mark’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) last summer. I have been the storyteller at VBS at the other churches I served, but I always did it alone. It was so amazing to have a partner. Mary is a retired schoolteacher. I am a retired teacher of medical school students and residents and fellows; but Mary had a lot to teach me. I had decided how to tell the story for each group. At our first meeting, Mary suggested we do it another way. She was so right. I keep thinking what it would have been like if she had not been there with me. It could have been a disaster.

Now I know why Jesus sent the disciples out two by two. At my late stage of life I am learning that almost any ministry is better with a partner, if possible. We learn so much from each other’s experience and expertise.

This prayer for today about slowing down was our favorite one in connection with the story of Mary and Martha. I try to say it sometime during my day, every day.

I learned one more thing at VBS. Mary and I were with each group of children for only twenty minutes. We told stories about Jesus calling the disciples; Mary and Martha; Zacchaeus; the Last Supper; and Jesus sending his disciples out with the assurance that he would be with them always. Each day before telling the new story, we would review the story from the previous day. I was amazed that the children in each group, even the four-year-olds, remembered so much of yesterday’s story. Of course, each story was reinforced through crafts and music and games.

VBS taught me that what we teach and what we say can be like seeds planted in order to germinate in children’s hearts at some later date. I am reminded of teachers I had at VBS who taught me about the love of God through stories. I want to be like them.

Joanna. Joannaseibert.com

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Release party!!!!!!!!!!!

Come and get a signed copy of the new book

Just in time for the holidays

A Spiritual Rx for Advent Christmas, and Epiphany

The Sequel to A Spiritual Rx for Lent and Easter

Both are $18

All Money from sale of the books goes either to Camp Mitchel Camp and Conference Center in Arkansas or Hurricane Relief in the Diocese of Central Gulf Coast

Seibert’s, 27 River Ridge Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72227

10 to noon, Saturday September 14, 2019

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