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Christian Methodist Episcopal

Department of Christian Education

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2011 Vacation Bible School

Island Odyssey:  To the ends of the earth with Jesus Christ

The origins of Vacation Bible School can be traced back to Hopedale, Illinois in 1894. Sunday school teacher D. T. Miles, who also was a public school teacher, felt she was limited by time constraints in teaching the Bible to children. So, she started a daily Bible school to teach children during the summer. The first Bible school enrolled forty students and lasted four weeks. A local school was used for classes, while an adjoining park was used for recess.

Today, many churches run their own Vacation Bible School programs without being under the umbrella of a national organization. The Department of Christian Education recommends the Abingdon Press Theme Kit:  Island OdysseyIsland Odyssey VBS 2011 links biblical island stories with the culture of popular island vacation spots. This Bible & Arts program provides opportunity for persons of all ages to know Jesus and desire the spread of the Gospel all over the world.  More information is available on their website .
Recommended Resources

Starting with Paul’s evangelistic island encounters, Island Odyssey will teach the good news through story, music, art, foods, crafts, movement and drama. Participants will:
• Experience how hearing, seeing, and believing are connected
• Understand that knowing Jesus influences decision-making
• Realize that a welcoming spirit brings glory to God
• Be encouraged to spread the good news of Jesus Christ all over the world!

Special Offer to Our VBS Customers: 
Order Early and Save!

Order your Island Odyssey Starter Kit before December 31, 2010 and receive a coupon for 30% off your next order of Island Odyssey VBS materials!  Coupon will be included in Starter Kit.

The Island Odyssey VBS 2011 Starter Kit includes:
• Island Odyssey Catalog
• Access to FREE Online Registration at
• Worship DVD featuring music videos, life lesson skits, movement instructions, and more!
• Select Leader and Student Books
• Contemporary Music CD
• Assortment of promotional and craft samples!

Kits ship mid December 2010.

To listen to the music of Island Odyssey, sign up for the e-newsletter, and keep up with the latest news, visit theIsland Odyssey VBS 2011 website.  Kits may be purchased from Cokesbury at or by calling Abingdon Press at 800-251-3320.
           Previous Year's Themes

2010 Theme:  Praise Party
Praise Party is a heritage-based Christian education curriculum that will have your community celebrating the saving grace of Jesus Christ with head, heart, hands, feet, and SOUL!! Through Bible study, crafts, skits, movement, contemporary music, and well-loved hymns and songs of the Black Church, Praise Party will create passionate worship that truly makes disciples for Jesus Christ.

2009 Theme:  On The Move
On the Move is a unique heritage-based, multicultural, Christian educational resource that is perfect for Vacation Bible School! The curriculum focuses on how God’s spirit gave momentum to the Civil Rights Movement in different places, drawing the people of God toward greatness through blessing, justice, truth, and reconciliation. The lessons promote God’s power for life in building up the community, as persons are reconciled to one another and to Jesus Christ.

2008 Theme:  Walk It Out
Abingdon Press' Walk It Out: Together in the Way of Jesus is a multi-cultural Christian resource that focuses on the critical role of children in liberation movements and how methods of marching, walking, and dancing were crucial to gaining understanding, effecting change, and moving forward in faith, in self, in community, and in God.  Teachings are based around leaders such as James Lawson, Dolores Huerta, Andrew Young, and others.