Two years ago, when leaders at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital began looking for a fun, creative way to connect with families in their community, they settled on the idea of presenting a health-themed Vacation Bible School. After reviewing their options, they selected the Team CREATION VBS curriculum kit. The innovative program came highly recommended and time-tested for effective community outreach.
For the last two summers, hospital employees and local church volunteers have worked together to present the Team CREATION VBS program over four evenings under a large white tent on the hospital lawn. The first summer, 40 kids came. Program leaders were thrilled when participation grew to 70 the following summer. They’re hoping for 100 this summer, which seems reasonable in light of the enthusiastic responses from participants.
“The Team CREATION VBS Kit was a great, healthy choice both for us and for our community,” says David Martinez, who serves as the hospital’s director of Mission and Ministry.
During the four-day activity marathon, young participants enjoy playing games, singing songs, eating healthy snacks and making crafts—all centered around the eight principles of health represented by the CREATION acronym. At the end of the program, the kids are equipped with more tools for taking care of their bodies and more knowledge about Jesus, their Creator.
“The CREATION Health program has become a part of the DNA of Adventist Health System hospitals,” Martinez says. “It has been used as a full-fledged outreach program by local churches, and it is making positive changes in the lives of employees as they participate in CREATION Health-themed events and challenges.”
Robyn Edgerton, director of Mission Development at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Florida, where the program was originally developed, observes that it has been a natural progression to begin sharing the same health principles with children as the hospital systems have been sharing with adults all along. “We’ve always known that this program would be a natural fit for Vacation Bible Schools and other kids’ programming,” she says. “We’re happy that it’s working so well for communities like Castle Rock.”
Next summer, the Castle Rock team plans to add a CREATION Health component for parents as well. While the kids are having fun at VBS, their parents will be able to participate in a mini CREATION Health seminar.
Martinez is excited about the potential impact of this development. “We’ve already had several of the parents from previous summers involved in Bible studies,” he says. “We’re hoping to make even more meaningful connections with the families as they bring their children to have fun and learn.”
Martinez says his dream for the future is to expand the program to perhaps an eight-week CREATION Kids summer day camp program where parents can bring their kids to enjoy a whole summer of healthy activities, spiritual encounters and positive interactions.
If you are interested in the Team CREATION VBS program or other CREATION Health resources for your local church, visit creationhealth.com.
—This article was submitted by Stephen King, senior vice president for the Rocky Mountain Adventist Health/Centura Health, where he serves the five Adventist hospital campuses in Colorado. It was written by Mark Bond.