June 15, 2022
By Jo Wiersema
Midweek Musings is a weekly Covenant blog with a variety of authors and a variety of topics.
For those who live near Covenant, you likely got an early afternoon surprise on Monday.
As quick as you could say “uh oh”, a storm was upon us. I was at Bethany United Methodist down the street, where VBS is being held this year due to construction at the church, and at about 2:50 PM, 10 minutes before our 3 PM start time, the lights went out. The generator tried it’s hardest to get the lights on again, but it didn’t work. So, we made lemonade with the lemons. The Christmas Eve tea lights were brought out, we grabbed a guitar and made sure every child was checked in and sang "This Little Light of Mine".
We sat in the light of our tiny tea lights, and we learned about the Parable of the Mustard Seed.
Lisa, the Children’s Coordinator at Bethany UMC, and I have been working on the programming for this for the last 4 months, trying to build a program that we could build off in future years. That didn’t require a lot of pizzaz, that focused on ecumenical Christian teachings that didn’t depend on the messy orthodoxy that puts walls up between churches. A VBS for the kids of any church to learn a little bit about what it means to love.
And when we focused on slowing down for two hours a day, we ended up building a program that didn’t even require electricity (though I hope we have AC the rest of this week!).
We made natural birdfeeders with pinecones and bird seed.
We painted flowerpots.
We learned how to sew.
We learned how to sow.
And no matter how much I prepared for every situation; I didn’t prepare for this one.
I didn’t expect to have no electricity.
I didn’t expect to have 19 children singing and learning and asking good questions and making new friends.
19 kids. 4 denominations. and we learned something new. Amid trial, we can do hard things.
We can learn to adjust and adapt. We don’t need the screen. We can manage without AC for the afternoon. We can unplug, slow down, and eat too much Goldfish.
So, for my first VBS since 2003? I’d say it was a pretty good day. We can sing praises, let our little light shine, and smile wide. God is present in the smallest of us. The grace of God is present in the toughest of times.
And by golly, I’m such a sucker for Goldfish.
May the grace of God give you peace to slow down,