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How Seaford’s Vacation Bible School confirms faith

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For The Dialog

Members of confirmation classes at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish model their faith for young students

 

SEAFORD – Vacation Bible School doubles as confirmation class for elementary through high school students at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.

About 20 high school students helped organize and lead the week-long program under the theme “Passport to Peru,” which helped about 40 elementary school students understand that while people may live in different ways and have different customs, they all are children of God.

All 20 young people were either members of the class confirmed in March, or a two-year class now beginning, or were confirmed two years ago. Confirmation is celebrated every two years at Our Lady of Lourdes.

 

Eye-opening program

Sydney Elliott, who was confirmed in March, helped lead the students through the program. “It really opens their eyes to what ‘church’ is,” she said. “It makes it more alive.”

Michele Thomas, coordinator of both the confirmation program and Vacation Bible School at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Seaford, “handcuffs” a student during a VBS reading activity from Acts of the Apostles that recalls St. Paul and Silas being arrested in Philippi. (The Dialog/Gary Morton)
Michele Thomas, coordinator of both the confirmation program and Vacation Bible School at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Seaford, “handcuffs” a student during a VBS reading activity from Acts of the Apostles that recalls St. Paul and Silas being arrested in Philippi. (The Dialog/Gary Morton)

Michele Thomas, who coordinates both the confirmation program and the Vacation Bible School, said the use of confirmation students lets young children see high school students still active in their faith – which is the primary goal for high school students. “We try to get the teenagers in confirmation class involved in other parish activities,” Thomas said.

The class has several work groups, including one for Vacation Bible School that reviewed available Bible school programs, selected the one to use, helped organize and determine props for the week, and then assisted adult leaders in presenting the program.

Other work groups assist with a Mother’s Day brunch; making cards for those attending Mass when the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is offered, and visiting and singing to the elderly at nursing homes.

“We haven’t lost anyone yet,” Thomas said of confirmation students helping with the summer Bible school, noting that those who already have been confirmed continue to help. “We have 100 percent return. For us, that is very exciting.”

Not all were able to participate during the scheduled July 10-14 Vacation Bible School, given their work schedules and other commitments, but Thomas said those who could not helped by both setting up the church hall or breaking down the props.

 

‘It’s really fun’

During the week, high school students arrived about an hour before the program began to go over details and set up for the various activities. Each night had a different craft (making llamas from paper plates and cotton balls one night, mariachis another night), a Bible reading and interactive discussion, and music led by the group that plays at monthly Youth Masses during the school year.

Sydney plans to return next year, even though she is not required to since she already is confirmed.

“I never did go to Vacation Bible School,” she said. “It’s really fun, and I really like working with the parish’s children.”