VBS is Coming!

By Stacy Kutz
Families and Youth Director
What is your VBS story? As I am planning Vacation Bible School, I find myself reflecting back over my personal history with VBS. I remember days filled with singing songs, playing games, making crafts, eating silly food, and learning about God. My husband Dan fondly recalls the rigorous memory work program he participated in at West Side’s VBS. Starting in the 4th grade, he was challenged to memorize ten verses each year. Throughout a five-year period, he memorized an additional ten Bible verses each year, making a total of 50 verses memorized. In order to complete the “honor track”, he had to recite all 50 verses … NAILED IT!
Vacation Bible School began at West Side Presbyterian Church in the early 1920’s and has continued each summer since then. The VBS program has undergone significant changes through the years, but the primary goals have remained the same: to point kids to Jesus Christ and to reach into the homes in our community with the message of salvation.  
This years’ Vacation Bible School theme is called Twists & Turns as games of all kinds are celebrated. From classic tabletop games to video games and more, kids will play their way through VBS while learning that Jesus guides them through all the twists and turns of their lives. They will encounter the gospel and learn that sin’s message of “game over” is overcome through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

The biblical lessons in “Twists & Turns” flow from the motto “Following Jesus changes the game” and the theme verse, Psalm 25:4: “Make your ways known to me, LORD; teach me your paths” (CSB). The weekly outline includes the following daily focus points and Bible stories centered around Jesus and the life of Peter.


Bible story: Peter followed Jesus. (Matthew 4:18-20; Luke 5:1-11) Main Point:  Jesus is holy and that changes everything!


Bible story: Peter walked to Jesus on the water. (Matthew 14:22-33) Main Point:  Jesus is trustworthy even when I doubt.


Bible story: Peter denied Jesus and was restored. (Luke 22:31-34, 54-62; John 18:15-18; 21:1-19) Main Point:  Jesus is forgiving even when I sin.


Bible story: Peter told Cornelius about Jesus. (Acts 10) Main Point:  Jesus is for everyone, including me.
Kids will discover it’s not all smooth sailing in the game of life—even after becoming a Christian. When we trust Jesus as Savior and Lord, He changes our trajectory. When we follow Him, He leads us down the right paths. And when we mess up, He’s ready to forgive us and get us back on track.

The Bible stories in ‘Twists & Turns” follow a single character, Peter, the entire week. Peter was bold and fearless at times, and the next minute he was cowering in denial. He had big successes and big failures. In short, he’s just like us. Our hope is kids will see themselves in Peter and choose to place their trust in Jesus as their personal Savior. That’s what VBS is all about!