Saturday, July 27, 2002

Faith matters


Bugs swarm Bible school class themes

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

        Catch the buzz about God's love.

        That's one theme children are hearing all over the Tristate during vacation Bible school classes.

        You've probably seen the strange signs up in church yards — “Amazon Outfitters,” “Polar Express” or “Kids Under Construction.” These themed Bible study classes geared toward kids preschool through sixth grade are everywhere and drawing large numbers.

        A bee, an ant, a walking stick and a firefly will help kids get involved in the “Bug Safari” theme at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mount Healthy next week.

        “It really makes is more fun. It's much more interactive, much more hands-on” said Tracey Peters, one of the organizers.

        The church decorates to give the atmosphere of a safari, and the children travel to different stations led by a “crew leader.”

        Children attending Clough Pike Baptist Church's vacation Bible school will find themselves on a rainforest expedition in their Amazon themed school, “An Expedition with the One True God,” Aug. 5 to 9.

        “It's really about Bible themes tapped into the everyday for kids,” organizer Paula Rakestraw said. “They learn about respecting their parents, how to treat parents. It's more than Bible stories. It teaches children how to live as good people.”

        Clough Pike Baptist's school of about 150 children caps off with a half-hour musical/drama performance for parents. Then there's a free carnival open to the community that includes exhibits from the Cincinnati Zoo, the Cincinnati Children's Museum and police and fire agencies.

        “The whole point of it is to show kids that church is really fun,” Mrs. Rakestraw said.

        The Clough Pike Baptist Church vacation Bible school, “Amazon Outfitters,” runs from Aug. 5 to 9 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Call 752-3521 to register.

        Trinity Lutheran's “Bug Safari” is next week from 9 a.m. to noon. To register, call 522-3026 or arrive before class Monday.

St. Mary of Magdala

        More than 150 men and women gathered Sunday night to celebrate the feast of St. Mary of Magdala in an effort to “reclaim the truth” about the much-maligned saint. Mary Magdalene is described as a prostitute and public sinner.

        Twenty groups, including both parishes and non-profit women's groups in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, sponsored the 45-minute prayer service. Their message included a celebration of Mary Magdalene's life and what organizers feel is her true role in Jesus' life and the Bible: an apostle to the apostles.

        “The reality is she is the foremost witness to the Resurrection,” said Sister Louise Akers, one of the local organizers of the event, held in Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse in Delhi.

        Sister Akers worked with Future Church, a Cleveland-based organization committed to Roman Catholic Church reforms, including the ordination of women as priests, to bring the event.

        “A woman was a presider at the service, wearing robes and something similar to a stole,” Sister Akers said. “That image alone says a lot about the future role of women in the church. Women have a role and have a place and have a tradition of being involved in the church. We're part of the people of God.”

        For more religion listings, check out www.enquirer.com, keyword: events. Send religion news to kvance@fuse.net, or fax to 755-4150.

       



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