STATE COLLEGE, PA — Without seemingly missing a bear from their regular school day routine, the children of the State College area reported today for the first day of the annual Holy Trinity Orthodox Church Vacation Bible School (VBS). This year there is a different twist to the traditional VBS since it is being conducted in the evening (5:15 p.m. check-in and ending at 8 p.m.) Because of the new starting time, the students will be served a delicious a kid-friendly supper so they will be well nourished and ready to learn.
The theme for this year is, “From Heaven to Bethlehem” with the students studying the Nativity season. This theme was selected as it will provide the students some time to really focus on this blessed season without all of the distractions usually found in December (e.g., shopping, parties, commercials tugging at the kids’ hearts and minds).
Because of the feast of the Nativity does not stand alone, the students will be exploring the following topics:
- Nativity Fast — In preparation for the Feast of the Nativity, the Church offers us a season, a time, to prepare–the Nativity Fast.
- Ancestors of Jesus — these lessons tell students about the ancestors and genealogy of Jesus Chrust and showing students how the Old Testament prepared people over millennia for the coming of the promised Savior
- Celebration of “winter” Saints — The Nativity season also brings us celebrations of several inspiring saints including Ss. Nicholas, Romanos, Herman, and Barbara.
- Key persons and places — a study on Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, the manger (cave), and the lands around Bethlehem.
Students Learn About “Preparing” for Christmas
All good things come in due time and today the students focused on the necessity for preparation (and waiting!) for the birth of Christ. The preparation is the Nativity Fast, or Nativity Lent, known to many in the West as Advent.
Additionally, the students learned about Mary’s young life, her tome, and the very place where the Archangel Gabriel announced to her that she would become the mother of Jesus — our Savior.
This Week’s “Theme” Song
The students will begin each day with the singing of the Nativity troparion (a troparion is a thematic hymn that conveys the meaning of the day or feast). This peeve of liturgical poetry is sung at nearly every services and is the “thread” that links the different services on a particular day. (If you don’t know the Nativity troparion, just ask a kid.)
FPO — For Parents Only
- VBS will conclude each day with some fun activity at Holmes-Foster Park (unless it is raining.)
- On Wednesday, our VBS will begin at 5 p.m. (check-in) with dinner shortly thereafter. Our students will be attending Vespers on this day.