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Churches seek to combine outreach, fun with VBS programs

Vacation Bible schools offer children the chance to sing, do crafts and other activities while learning basic Bible themes. Oftentimes, the camps are free.

"It is a wonderful way to try out the church and see what the children's ministry is like," said Vicki Burgess, Director of Children's Education at United Methodist Church (UMC) in New Richmond.

The following VBS programs are listed in date order.

• First Baptist Church in New Richmond is planning their Vacation Bible School around a castle theme using Ephesians 6:11-17 (the armor of God). Puppets, games, crafts, snacks and songs will be all a part of the fun. Students will be memorizing verses, and there will be an interactive story time learning about some of the great rulers of the Bible. Call the church office to register.

"Kids of the Kingdom" runs from Aug. 10-14 from 9 to 11:45 a.m. The school is open to kids ages 4 years to 5th Grade. It will be held at First Baptist Church, 341 North Shore Drive. Call 246-2700 to register or for questions.

• Prairie Covenant Church, 1396 210th Ave., New Richmond, has scheduled its VBS for Sunday, July 26 - Thursday, July 30. The evenings will open with a light supper for the families at 5 p.m. with activities following. Each night will end at 8:15 p.m.

Nancy King, pastor at Prairieview Covenant along with her husband Rudy, said that she builds her own curriculum instead of buying a packaged one like some of the other churches. She said this allows them more creative freedom and they are less likely to duplicate other programs offered locally.

"We try to make it very versatile, like learning verses while hula-hooping," King said. "Last year we focused on Moses; this year we are focusing on the life of Paul. We'll have puppets, music, skits, outside activities in the yard -- very hands on."

Prairieview Covenant's VBS is open to anyone between 4 years old and sixth grade. Although there is no fee, they do accept any free will offerings to go toward school scholarships for children in Ecuador.

King asked that people register by July 20, if possible. For more information or to register, call the church at 715-246-0600 or call the Kings at their home number of 715-246-5578. The church's Web site is

• Cross Lutheran Church in Roberts is offering its VBS program from Sunday, July 26 - Thursday, July 30 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The festivities kick off Sunday with a potluck dinner at 5 p.m.

The theme is "Paul and the Underground Church" and is open to all age groups. Cross Lutheran Church is located at 1246 County Road TT in Roberts. Although walk-ins are welcome, registration is requested by July 19.

For more information, call Cross Lutheran at 715-749-3551 or visit

• The New Richmond United Methodist Church is offering their VBS on Sunday, Aug. 2 through Thursday, Aug. 6 from 6-8 p.m. for children age 4 to fifth grade. The theme is "Camp E.D.G.E. (Experience and Discover God Everywhere)" and will feature extreme sports and camping outdoors.

Each evening starts off with a family meal at 5 p.m. at the church, located at 209 East Second Street. The children then are divided into groups and rotate to different stations throughout the evening before the parents return to pick them up.

"Parents can expect their children to experience God in arts, science, recreation, Bible stories and lots of great music," said Burgess. "Parents are welcome to sit in for the opening and closing sessions as well."

Burgess said everyone, regardless of faith, is welcome. However they ask that people register by July 15 to make sure they have enough supplies. For more information, contact the New Richmond United Methodist Church at 246-2464 or visit

• Bethany Lutheran Church at 415 Bridge Street in Star Prairie is holding its annual VBS on Monday, Aug. 3 - Friday, Aug. 7 from 9-11:30 a.m. The theme is "SonRock Bible Camp" and will incorporate camping activities into learning about bible stories.

The program is open to everyone from 3-10 years old without charge. They do ask that people register by July 31.

For more information, contact Bethany Lutheran Church at 715-248-3730 or visit www.lutheranson

• St. Luke's Lutheran Church has VBS from Sunday, Aug. 9 - Thursday, Aug. 13 from 6-8:15 p.m. The theme this year is "G.A.D.G.E.T.'s Garage (God's Always Doing Great Exciting Things)."

According to Barb Roustandt, Administrative Assistant, there is no charge but they will collect a nightly monetary donation for the church's special missions. They also ask that the children bring a non-perishable food item for donation to the New Richmond Five Loaves food shelf.

For more information, contact St. Luke's Church, located on 365 W. River Lane in New Richmond, at 715-246-4861 or visit their Web site at

At the time of press, Immaculate Conception Church in New Richmond had already held its VBS from June 22 - June 26, as did Roberts United Congregational Church on June 15 - June 19.