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'Christ chooses you' The Rite of Election, 2015

Jesus is in the house, with a lot of young people

Cathedral Mass will honor Goa's 'Saint of Peace'

A boy meets Archbishop Romero and his vocation

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Woman on pilgrimage praying for others has hearing restored

Tips from educators on great summer activities for children

Parishes set for Vacation Bible School

Considerations in choosing a summer program

Learn about Ignatian Companions

How to assess a summer program

Keeping summer camp costs budget friendly

Letting go parents, camps foster children's self-reliance

placeholder March 9, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO.5   •   Oakland, CA
Parishes set for Vacation Bible School

Though it won't be happening until the last week of July this year, Vacation Bible School is already on the mind of Nicole Brown, coordinator of youth ministry at the Catholic Community of Pleasanton.

According to the Everest 2015 VBS website, the campers will be involved in "an icy expedition" where the kids discover "God's awesome power." During this adventure the kids are introduced to "rock-solid Bible truths" that "will guide them through life's challenges."

The kids aren't climbing any old mountain, they are climbing Mount Everest, which symbolizes "life's challenges." The five-day VBS program will be offered in morning and evening sessions so that parents can participate in the faith-filled adventure. At least a couple hundred volunteers will help set up stations that will be visited by small groups of students.

This week-long adventure in faith formation will be one that all of the 300 expected students will remember.

What's great about the program, Brown said, "is the intergenerational model."

"It's a special week" during which the children get to know one another better and get to know God better, Brown said. The theme of the VBS program is "Conquering Challenges with God's Mighty Power."

VBS at CCOP will be from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 20-26, and costs $60.

Registration for this year's term begins March 15. For more information: 925-846-3531 or visit catholicsofpleasanton.org.

The "Mount Everest" program will also be used during the VBS program at St. Isidore Parish in Danville. About 250 campers are expected to enroll in the VBS program this year with about almost as many high school and adult volunteers, serving as counselors. VBS will take place from June 15 to 20 and costs $80.

The VBS program at St. John Vianney Parish in Walnut Creek will also be held June 15 to 20, with morning sessions Monday to Friday, from 8:45 a.m. to Noon, and from 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for the evening family-based program. Over five days the elementary school-age children will learn about God's love during a variety of activities, that include conducting experiments, singing songs, playing games and reading Bible stories.

"We love the family component," said Marie Walton, who serves as pastoral associate for children, youth and family faith formation, commenting on its evening program. This parish expects about 75 campers because of space limitations. The parish will be using curriculum developed by SonSpark Labs, which has as its theme "Discovering God's program for U = Jesus." Fees will be about $75 for the morning sessions; no charge for the evening program.

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