Families, churches, and communities have developed creative ideas and new ways of staying connected with one another during this time. Events that would usually take place in person are now being adapted into virtual events. This summer, North Raleigh UMC adapted Vacation Bible School into a virtual program with a drive through storytelling event.
Cassidy Plunkett, Director of Children and Family Ministries at North Raleigh UMC, met with a Vacation Bible School planning team in April via Zoom to brainstorm ideas on how they would host the event. Engaging a team of people, encouraging creativity, and allowing time to plan something different were most helpful for the team in preparing for the event. Cassidy said the “plan came from people who have poured their hearts out into the ministry program.”
The week began with a drive through storytelling event where families would receive activity supplies and watch stories that would be discussed during the week. In 15-minute intervals, five cars were allowed to drive through stations set up in the church parking lot. Families remained in their cars to watch stories performed by actors in family units.
Throughout the rest of the week, activities and lessons were shared in a closed Facebook group. Videos, created by leaders and families, were shared each morning to introduce scriptures and lessons for the day. The families also participated in daily mission challenges to raise donations for a local food bank. At the end of the week, $1,350 was raised, plus an additional 262 lbs of food gathered to be donated to the local food bank.
Approximately 100 children, youth, and adults participated in North Raleigh UMC’s vacation bible school week at home. Cassidy said it was a beautiful experience to see the involvement of families and volunteers throughout the week.