By Lizbeth Johnson
Christ Lutheran Church in Lake Jackson, Texas, hosts Camp Hope, a three-week program in July providing fun, Christian-based activities to area children. Church members Betty Massey and Diane Tweedle were reminiscing one day about how much fun they had at Bible School when they were children. Since many church members had grown up with Bible School and enjoyed the concept, they asked themselves, “Why not a have an adult Vacation Bible School?” With those initial thoughts and creative leadership, they began to think about an Adult Vacation Bible School that would be appealing, refreshing and fun. Since Christ Lutheran in Lake Jackson is comprised of mostly senior citizens, the idea had to appeal to an older generation. In a clever turn, the leadership decided to launch an adult program and call it “Big People’s Bible School,” or BPBS for short. The idea began to evolve with a plan and an agenda. The group began to poll each other and the general consensus was, “What better way to spend a hot day in August?”
In May, a Thrivent Action plan was requested to help raise the funds needed for the Big People’s Bible School. The Thrivent funds were used to host Bueno Bingo – a taco dinner with all the trimmings accompanied by bingo. A free-will offering raised over $200, which was used to fund to program of BPBS. A committee was formed and an outline of the day was created. The informal survey responses decided to hold the Bible School on the four Mondays in August from 9 AM to 1 PM. The schedule included opening activities with two songs, scripture reading for the day, and prayer followed by a group discussion of the scripture. The group also enjoyed a theme-related craft activity, lunch, games and a planned closing. The activities introduced interaction and discovery that some participants had not experienced in years, including Kool-Aid as one of the drink choices.
Did the congregation respond to the idea? With an attendance averaging between 25 and 35 people each Monday, BPBS was deemed “very successful.” A bonus for the church was the participation by outside individuals, not associated with the church. Regardless of background, all participants came together to be part of BPBS. In fact, the event was enjoyed to such a significant degree that the group is already anticipating next year’s program.
The goal of BPBS is to provide an outreach format that invites adults to relax, unwind and share memories that they had once themselves experienced – and to enjoy experiences and memories made new for them this summer. The event was covered by the local newspaper with an almost full-page article which provided great promotional value for the event. For more information on the Big People’s Bible School at Christ Lutheran, contact Betty Massey at [email protected]