EDUCATION: Formed in His Communion

SJE Vacation Bible School 2018 is off to a rip-roaring start! Campers gathered in the Big Top (aka SJE gym) as Reynaldo the Ringmaster presented a cast of circus animals that lumbered, roared, capered, and gamboled around the stage while introducing the theme for this year's VBS: Parade Around the Our Father. The children learned that this special prayer, the only one given to us by Jesus himself, teaches us how to pray in a perfect way. The Big Top skit set the stage for the rest of the day and got everyone into a happy and excited mood.

After the morning assembly, campers returned to their classrooms for the daily lesson. Today, the theme was "God Listens". Children learned that prayer is like a conversation in which they can talk to God and he surely hears them. They also learned that, in addition to talking to God, they also must learn how to listen.  God talks to us in many ways -- through Sacred Scripture, through the Liturgy, through the Church, through the natural world, and through other people.  Prayer is about talking and listening -- it's about talking to one who loves us as a father.  

During the morning lesson throughout the week, we are taking the children deep into the perfect prayer that Jesus gave us.  We are helping them understand it line by line.  Today, after we introduced the concept of prayer, we talked to the children about how Jesus wanted us to address God as Our Father.  They learned that the word that Jesus used for God in this prayer was Abba, the Aramaic word for Father or "Daddy", and hat we have the right to call God by this name because we are his children whom he loves.  We introduced some vocabulary that might be difficult for the children (e.g., hallowed = holy, thy = your, will = what God wants).  

We also read the children part of biography of our saint of the week, St. Joseph of Cupertino.  This amazing saint was so holy that he was seen to levitate with joy as he prayed.  Every day during the week, the children will learn more about this wonderful Franciscan friar who lived during the middle ages.  

After the lesson of the day, the children rotated through the various stations, such as Games, Music, Crafts, and Snack.  They also returned to their classrooms to learn about the Bible Story of the day.  On Day One, the children heard the story of the creation of all the animals and of human beings.  We asked them comprehension questions and then they participated in a skit that reinforced the theme of the goodness of creation and the need for all living things to rejoice in the God that made them.  

After such an eventful morning, the children were picked up by parents from their classrooms and went home to rest and prepare for VBS Day 2.  The theme of Day 2 is God Provides and the color of the day is yellow.  

Parental Resources

The Lord's Prayer explained in the Catechism

Bishop Barron on the Our Father

The Catholic Understanding of Prayer

Ideas for Praying with Your Children

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