Great Big Beautiful World

Respond to Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' (On Care for Our Common Home)

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Creation Care Kids • Living Laudato Si'

Plant seeds of faith in your children AND WATCH THEM GROW!

Great Big Beautiful World is an interactive vacation Bible school curriculum where children explore, celebrate, and care for God’s good creation! The five Bible stories in this VBS lead children on an awesome adventure through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Through worship and drama, Bible study, nature-themed art projects and snacks, active games, and science explorations, children will discover God’s love for all of creation. They will be challenged to care for God’s world in tangible ways—both during VBS and at home.

It begins with the creation story in Genesis 2 and includes psalms, stories of Jesus, and the vision of a new heaven and new earth in Revelation. This comprehensive look at the biblical story reveals God’s deep love for all of creation, including each child. Great Big Beautiful World invites children to see the ways God cares for the earth and challenges them to be part of caring for and preserving the created world.

Each day starts with relationship-building, joint worship, music, prayer, and a dramatic presentation of the Bible story. This is a time to SOW seeds of friendship, joy, generosity, and wisdom. These seeds will GROW as children explore, create, play, and learn about God’s story at three response stations. In closing worship, children will be challenged to GO out into the world to care for the beautiful world God made.

Children in grades K–5 will see Bible stories come to life in the dramas during worship time, and will reflect on them during three response times: Bible Study Response, Active Games, and Art & Science Response.

Preschoolers ages 4–5 may participate in worship with the older children or have their own worship time. They too will share in the Bible story and engage in crafts, games, and other activities.

Daily Schedule

This theme provides content for five flexible sessions, from as short as one hour to over three hours each day. Scroll right to see all five days.

DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5

God Creates

God Tends the Earth

God's Kingdom Is Like a Seed

We Are Like Trees

A New Creation

Scripture Genesis 2:4b–23 Psalm 104:10–30 Mark 4:26–32 Psalm 52:8–9; Psalm 92:12–15; Jeremiah 17:7–8 Revelation 21:1–4; 22:1–5
Laudato Si' #62-69, 75 #10-12, 72, 76-92 #96-100 #72-73, 84-88, 213, 237 #100, 209-215, 243-245
Description From the dust, God formed and breathed life into a person. Then God made every tree and a river that flowed from Eden. God planted a garden in Eden as a home for all created things. God gave instructions to care for the garden and to eat the fruit from every tree except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God made all the animals and brought them to the person to be named. While the man slept, God took one of his ribs and created a woman as a helper and companion. The psalmist praised God for an amazing world where birds sing in trees, grass grows for cattle, human beings harvest food from the earth, mountain goats live in high mountains, rabbits hide safely among rocks, and young lions roar. Innumerable creatures, large and small, live in the seas. God sends water for all creatures and makes moon and sun to mark the seasons and the days. All things look to God for life and food. Jesus told two parables about God’s kingdom. The kingdom is as if someone scatters seed. The seed grows, without the farmer understanding how. The earth does its work—stalk first, then head, and grain. The farmer harvests the grain when it is ripe. The kingdom is also like a tiny mustard seed. It becomes the greatest of all shrubs with large branches where birds can safely nest in its shade. Those who trust in God are like trees planted by water, sending out roots by a stream. They aren’t afraid of heat or drought. They never cease to bear fruit. The psalmists wrote of being like a tree, trusting in the constant love of God always. The righteous flourish, producing fruit all their days. In John’s vision, there is a new heaven and a new earth. God will live among people, and death and pain will be no more. The angel showed John the river of the water of life. The Tree of Life is near the river, producing twelve kinds of fruit each month. The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. The people of God will see God’s face. God will be their light and they will reign forever.
Seed of Faith God created a beautiful world. God cares for all creation. We are part of God’s growing kingdom. We can trust in God’s love. God will make all things new.

Features

Affordable & Flexible
  • Available in download-only or physical + download kits.
  • Reproducible (with exception of student booklets and music CDs).
  • Physical leader guides are in a binder with tabs to make them easy to rearrange or duplicate.
  • Bulk-priced CDs can easily be sent home with every family.
Enthusiastically Catholic
  • Daily reflections from Pope Francis.
  • Music from Oregon Catholic Press featuring Jesse Manibusan and other Catholic musicians.
  • Daily connections to our experience at Mass.
  • Service opportunity from Catholic Charities USA.
  • A great all-around Scripture-based experience perfect for any parish!
Catchy, Meaningful Music
  • Hummable, top-notch, kid-friendly music that connects closely with the theme.
  • Easy to lead, with Powerpoints, sing-along music videos, and hand motions.
  • Songs by Jesse Manibusan, Ken Canedo, Matt Maher, Steve Angrisano, Bryan Sirchio, and others.
Comprehensive, but Simple
  • All the core features you expect in a VBS, without overwhelming complexity.
  • Earth-friendly, without plastic trinkets that will litter our common home.
  • Early childhood leader guide makes it easy to include preschoolers.
  • Easy to adapt to your timeframe and preferences.
An Ideal Theme
  • A fun and effective way to help children experience Jesus and the kerygma.
  • Includes Scripture, prayer, drama, music, games, crafts, and activities, all nicely integrated to teach children meet and follow Jesus!
  • Bible stories with a good balance of men and women role models.
And More...
  • Thoughtful take-home pages to bring parents into the process and coach them on how to talk to their children.
  • Extra resources included to help you market and manage your VBS.
  • Optional gestures/motions are provided for prayers, memory verses, and songs.

Preview Components

Director Guide

Overview of the VBS and guidelines for orchestrating the process. Includes a planning chart, sample schedules, tips for working with staff/volunteers, forms, Bible backgrounds, snack ideas, a book list, a letter to parents, guidelines for inviting children to faith, and more.

Preview

Early Childhood Leader Guide

Full guide for all aspects of VBS for younger children (ages 4-5). Makes suggestions for full daily schedules, including snack ideas, Bible sessions, activities, crafts, books, song/motion suggestions, and more.

Preview

Worship & Drama Leader Guide

Full guide for leading Worship & Drama sessions for each day, including gathering (introducing theme, opening prayer, etc.), worshiping (prayer, song, Bible verse, drama), responding (offering project), and sending (schedule review, blessing, and song)

Preview

Sprout: Active Games Leader Guide

Full guide for leading interactive activities & games each day, including advance preparation, session plan, material list, step-by-step instructions, and debrief.

Preview

Dig In: Bible Study Response Guide

Full guide for leading Bible Response sessions for each day, including Biblical background information, materials list, advance preparation, session plan, and suggestions for teaching Bible memory verses.

Preview

Create & Discover: Art & Science Response Guide

Full guide for leading craft sessions for each day, including Biblical background, materials list, advance preparation, snack ideas, and debrief.

Preview

Tales of Discovery - Child Booklet

Full-color 24-page 8½" x 11" activity booklet for grades K-5, including puzzles and other interactive activities.

Preview

My Book of Stories - Preschool Child Booklet

Full-color 16-page 8½" x 11" activity booklet for ages 4-5, including a retelling of the Bible story for each day, puzzles, and other interactive activities. Send this booklet home so parents can follow up with their children!

Preview

Invitation Poster

Customize and post these 11" x 17" posters around your parish or around town.

Set of Five 11" x 17" Area Posters

Hang these above each of the key areas.

Send Home Parent Engagement Notes

Engaging letters to keep parents in the loop and coach them on how to follow up with their children each day.

Adaptations for COVID

  • Detailed Guidelines for planning and adapting your VBS approach with social distancing restrictions and concerns.
  • Games that can be played over Zoom or other video conferencing apps.
  • At Home Licensing is included, so you can share download links with all of your leaders and participants.

Plus:

  • Logo artwork (use to create your own t-shirts or documents)
  • Music components (see below)
  • Adaptations for COVID-19
  • ...and much more!

Music Video Previews

Featuring the music of Jesse Manibusan, Bryan Sirchio, and Oregon Catholic Press

Catholic composer, singer/songwriter, storyteller, humorist, catechist, evangelizer and encourager Jesse Manibusan leads our music and offers two songs for this theme.

Book Jesse to perform live for your community!

A Rightful Place
Steve Angrisano
Great Big Beautiful World
Bryan Sirchio
God the Great I AM
Jesse Manibusan
Creation Sings
Bryan Sirchio
Can You See?
Jesse Manibusan
I Will Sing
Josh Blakesley
God's Green Earth
Bryan Sirchio

Music Components

The eResource (downloadable) starter kit includes:

  • MP3 audio files of all songs
  • Songbook with lead sheets (melody line scores, lyrics, and chords)
  • Hand/body motions for all songs
  • Simple sing-along videos, showing the motions (stream or download)
  • Simple sing-along lyric presentations (Powerpoint)

The physical starter kit includes:

  • Full access to the eResource (downloadable) starter kit
  • USB drive with all download files, including videos
  • Printed songbook

In addition, purchase inexpensive bulk audio CDs to send home with families, so they can continue to sing the VBS songs!

Pricing & Purchase

Starter Kits

Downloadable Starter Kit Physical Starter Kit + Downloadable

$79

$129

Leader guide with permission to reproduce Online access Physical binder
Child booklets (preschool & elementary) Online preview* Physical sample copies*
Invitation Posters Online access 2 copies
Area Posters Online access 1 copy of each
Music audio Online access (MP3s)** on USB drive**
Music sing-along videos Online access on USB drive
Music files (lead sheets, motions, lyrics) Online access In physical binder

*Child booklets are not reproducible. If you choose to use these optional components, please buy one copy for each child from us (see below).

**Music from starter kits may not be reproduced and distributed to participants and their families. If you wish to do so, please buy the very affordable bulk-priced audio CDs or MP3 download cards from us (see below).

Physical Add-On Options

A Garden of Stories
Child Booklet for Preschoolers
$3.75
Creation Connections
Child Booklet for ages K-5
$3.75
Invitation Poster
11" x 17"
$4
Set of 5 Area Posters
11" x 17"
$12
Audio CDs
1-4: $8 • 5-9: $4 • 10+: $2.50
MP3 Download Cards
1-4: $8 • 5-9: $4 • 10+: $2.50
Music Videos DVD
$6 (with purchase of starter kit)