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Vacation Bible School Training Workshops: An Endeavor in Collaborative Ministry

Oct 19, 2017

Each year during the summer days, churches of various denominations offer a key event of great educational value, namely the Vacation Bible School (VBS). Children look forward to this event with excitement and anticipation. Churches do a lot of preparation months ahead with the selection of directors, staff, additional volunteers for the one-week program. An important piece of this planning process is the selection of curriculum and training of volunteers to run an efficient event. There are many viable options of the VBS curricula offered each year by different publishers, and it can be a tedious and cumbersome task for the churches to decide what is the way to go. This is where the Princeton Theological Seminary Library plays a vital role in bringing the publisher and the churches together and offering a training workshop which is a very 'hands on' event.

For the past two years, PTS, through its Library staff at the Reigner Reading Room, has worked with Group Publishing Co. in hosting these collaborative events. Sharon Stratmoen (VBS Events/Developer) has been very helpful in getting this program off to a start.

In the most recent training workshop which took place on April 1, 2017 at the PTS Library, the presenter from Group, Christy Thompson, explored the theme for the current year: "Maker Fun Factory: Built for a Purpose." Through the use of various visual props and devices the trainer literally walked through the course, explaining the goals of each 'work station' and their connection with the overall theme. Seminary students and staff plus members from about 30 different churches from New Jersey and Pennsylvania also participated in the workshop. It was a day of learning, fun, and getting to know others.