Happy Times

Our annual Vacation Bible School started today and the program was filled to bursting with 21 children. While we aim to provide religious content this week–including detailed knowledge of the story of Noah’s Ark–my main hope for the program is that the children who attend have a good time.

Many adults look back on their youthful experiences of church and only remember the bad things: poor discipline or excessive discipline, boredom, rigid dogma. Any useful religion that they might have picked up as children was overwhelmed by the negative memories.

So, at the very least, the church can try to make its young attendees happy. Vacation Bible School and Sunday School can be remembered as fun. Maybe even recalled as times when children have glimpsed the joy of God. —J. Douglas Ousley

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2 Responses to “Happy Times”

  1. Christopher Stromee says:

    This is precisely my impression of VBS. There were many happy interactions among the kids and with the adults. Various kinds of play and crafts gave special opportunities for conversation and fun in a super safe environment. To this, the concluding visits to the chancel (at least on Thursday/Friday) provided a welcome connection to the idea of Christian worship.

  2. John Ubieta says:

    Early religious experiences is something that fascinates me because there is such a wide range of differences depending on who you ask and background. I know from my own experience growing up there was a huge difference between Blessed Sacrament on the Upper West Side and Holy Cross in Midtown Hells Kitchen. Both were Catholic, but world’s apart in handling students. The same happened in high school. As I write in more detail in our facebook page, St. Agnes high school had a “wise guy” environment complete with some unorthodox teachings on the side. My brother went to Xavier, a very respected Jesuit high school, one of the best in the city, and even there one could not escape the wise guys; the sons of Bonnano, Gambino and D’Agostino also attended the same class as my brother. I think the final sum of all these experiences do influence your views on religion later in life. Personally for me, it’s neither happy or sad, just a snapshot of a time and place. I’m continuing doing research on this topic because I’m planning to do some writing on this based on my own experiences and others.

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