HR Valley Christian Church hosts week of vacation bible school


News Intern

The Son Harvest County Fair was in full swing this past week at the Hood River Valley Christian Church.

Local youth participated in a week long Vacation Bible School (VBS) hosted by the Hood River Valley Christian Church and supported by many other local churches in the Gorge Ecumenical Ministries (GEM).

There were about 60 kids in the program, ranging from kindergarten to 6th grade. About 25 adults and 18 middle and high school youth from all of the participating churches volunteered in helping with the Son Harvest Fair.

Each church has donated time, money, location, and volunteers to VBS. Families were also asked to make a donation, but no children were turned away from the program.

“We want kids to know that God loves them and that a lot of people in the community care about them,” said Ann Harris, VBS coordinator and director of youth ministries at Riverside Community Church.

This year’s theme was fruits of the spirit and has been carried out in a Harvest Fair setting. The model used is from the Book of Galatians: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Each day was based on one of these principles with children participating in activities aimed at emphasizing that day’s lesson.

Activities began at 9 a.m. and ended at noon. In that time children participated in crafts, music, bible stories, a missions program, snacks and recreation.

“Children also participate in exhibits, learning about some traditional farming techniques, they have made jams, and planted seeds,” Harris said.

“It’s fun and you get to spend time with kids,” said Jacque Mattson, a middle school student of the Riverside Church congregation who volunteered with the 5th grade age group.

“They are such a great bunch of youth. I hardly have to do anything,” said Clel Harr of White Salmon United Methodist Church, who worked as the youth volunteer coordinator for the weeklong program.

Through the VBS program the church has also introduced the children and their families to some of the other things the church will be involved in. During the school year they will begin a program called Logos that will take place each Wednesday afternoon, and will be in four parts: music, recreation, Bible study, and a family style meal.

“I hope we will touch a lot of kids (through the Logos program.) We have a commitment to that and a plan for it to grow,” Harris said.

In addition to the Logos program, the volunteers at the VBS have talked with the kids about the Crop Walk, a walk for hunger relief scheduled for Sept. 28 in Hood River. Twenty-five percent of all funds raised by the Crop Walk will go to food banks in Hood River and Bingen. To help illustrate what the fund raiser is for, the VBS staff has already spoken with the children about gathering donations and will hold a mini crop walk today, the last day of VBS, when the children and their families will come for the family fair.

GEM churches are Valley Christian, Asbury United Methodist, Our Redeemer Lutheran, Riverside United Church of Christ, St. Mark’s Episcopal, St. Mary’s Catholic, Odell and Pine Grove Methodist, in Hood River County, and White Salmon United Methodist and Bethel Congregational in White Salmon and Bingen.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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