Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tender Years: VBS, Sunbeams & Sunday School





"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson


Peeling back the layers. 



My earliest memories of church are from First Baptist in Silsbee.  I recall going to Sunday School there, something called Sunbeams there and to VBS there.  To me, there was nothing like the Sunday morning feeling.  Shiny and clean.  Best clothes on.  Patent leather shoes,  my own little white KJV Bible, pennies to give to the missionaries in my tiny purse.  
I felt happy, clean and like I was a "good" girl. 

Collective memories from all of these:  marching in with the flags going before us, singing "Onward Christian Soldiers", memorizing Bible verses, singing songs, playing musical chairs in the rooms, playing red rover out on the back lawn, cookies and punch.  


One year, my Aunt Billie was my teacher.  She had the BEST crafts!  For one, we took a coke bottle, a light bulb, black spray paint, pipe cleaners and felt and made a cat!!  I thought this was so cool! Most precious to me, we did our own stained glass Jesus!  We traced a picture of Jesus onto a pane of glass, painted him with tempera paints, crumbled up foil and put it over the back, then masking tape around for a frame.  I was so proud of mine that I still have it, buried down and tucked away safe in Mama's old cedar chest. 

Was church a part of your childhood?  What's your warmest childhood church memory?  If it wasn't a part of your childhood, do you feel you missed something?



15 comments:

  1. Hello Barbara.
    Very nice post, thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes I went to church as a child and I know exactly how you felt. It was only much later in life that things started going awry for me but I still went to church and also sang "Onward Christian soldiers." It was a time of blessing and I think that Christian children have better morals than those who have never taken Jesus seriously, I still do very much.
    Blessings from South Africa, Geoff.

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    1. It's always good to hear from you, Geoff! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I love the shoes and socks you have pictured. I had the black shiny shoes and lacy-topped socks, too. :)

    With a Pentecostal preacher for an uncle, you better believe church was a part of my childhood, a big part! When we were really, really little our mama went with us and was even a Sunday school teacher at one point. Then, something happened, but I don't know what. She stopped going because of something with hypocrites. However, she made sure us kids went. We were there pretty much every time the doors were opened.

    I started off in a Methodist church and it was this church that I remember going to Bible school. My group painted ceramic bookends. I can still remember the smell. Mine was a picket fence with a dog on it. As far as I know, my mama still has them on her shelf. We live a thousand miles apart now. I remember three of the colors on my bookends were white, red, and gray.

    Some of my most favorite memories are centered around church. Homecoming has to be one on the top of the list. The food was the best. haha

    As I said, I started off Methodist. Then, we went to Uncle Bobby's churches, which were Pentecostal Holiness churches. Then, we went to a Church of God and it was there that I was in the teen choir. I loved it! We sang the best songs. Then, when I started dating David, he was Baptist and I started going to church with him. When he wasn't in town, I kept going to his church. With one exception, it has been Baptist churches since then. I haven't felt like I was in church since I left the Church of God. The feeling just isn't the same in any church I've been to since then.

    Church was a very special part of my childhood and I am glad to have had it.

    I enjoyed your post. Have a blessed day!

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    1. Every denomination and every individual church has it's own distinct flavor and feel. I think it's a matter of finding the one that's the right fit for each of us. Thanks for sharing!

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    2. Very true and I wasn't meaning to disrespect any Baptists out there. It just doesn't feel the same to me. The churches that I was used to caused David to have insulin reactions, so Baptist churches are safer for him. :) Have a blessed day!

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  3. I have a lot of fond memories of going to church with my Grandparents when I was little.

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  4. What exactly is VBS? I never went to Sunday school, but I do have a very strong faith and was brought up to make sure we studied the bible and attend meetings regularly. I still go to this day. It's important enough to keep active in your faith. Every Thursday evening and Sunday, you know where I can be found. Not at home, I'm with my congregation. :)

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    1. Our "church family" is definitely family, too! VBS stands for Vacation Bible School and many denominations hold one in a special session during the summer for school children. It can be a lot of fun and the only exposure to church or the Bible some children ever get.

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  5. The less said about church, the better.

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    1. Sad there are things in your life that have made you feel that way. :( The church isn't perfect, as it is made up of imperfect people. Though a good church can be a rich blessing, church of and by itself means nothing. It's a relationship with the Risen Lord Jesus that matters.

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  6. Yes, I went to church as a child. I grew up in the Friends Church. My mom used to say, "if the doors of the church are open, Paula will be there". I loved VBS and Sunday School. Not the church services so much. As an adult I tried to continue with the Friends Church but lost faith when all the sermons centered around giving money to build a new church. In my later adult years and now I go occasionally. I like going to church! I like the singing and I like listening to the sermons. But, you are right, the relationship with Jesus Christ doesn't require that you be in church!

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    1. When you find that "just right" fit, church can greatly bless us and help us in our Christian walk. Plus, if we aren't connected to a church, we'll miss some opportunities for service the Holy Spirit has in mind for us. I suppose I see it this way: the thing that is going to change your life and get you to Heaven is a relationship with Jesus. If you have a thriving relationship with Jesus, you are going to desire to worship Him, be around other Christians, grow in your knowledge and seek other ways within His will to serve. The best way to do those things is through a local church.

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  7. grew up Methodist and loved VBS in our old church. When the new pastor arrived and they built a big new church, it was never the same. I was 12 by then and pretty much stopped going.

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    1. That's a shame. I weathered several changes in my adolescent years and ended up with a gem of a Pastor who I stayed under for 25 years!

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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