God has a message for you!
Can you hear it?

Samuel heard it during the middle of the night. Mary heard it through an angel. The disciples were hard at work when they heard it. They all heard God’s special message just for them! Message Received: Hearing God’s Call lets children know that God continues to call all kinds of people—including them! People are called to love God and follow Jesus every day. Those who hear God’s message and respond are forever changed.

Message Received is a Bible and activity-based learning experience in two parts: one designed for grades K-5 and the other for preschoolers ages 4-5.

SCHEDULE

DAY ONE

Samuel

1 Samuel 3:1-21

A young Samuel is called by God and gives a message to Eli. Samuel listens to God and Eli accepts the message.

Faith Focus: God calls us to listen and respond.

DAY TWO

Esther

Esther 4:13-17

Esther is called to go before the king to deliver a message that might save her people. In turn, Esther asks the community to fast and pray as she prepares for this responsibility.

Faith Focus: God calls us to work together for what is right.

DAY THREE

Mary

Luke 1:26-56

The angel Gabriel visits Mary to tell her that she is favored of God and will have a baby, Jesus. Mary responds to this call with joy and trust in God’s plan.

Faith Focus: We are called to trust God’s plan.

DAY FOUR

Disciples

Matthew 4:18-22 and
Luke 5:1-11

Jesus calls some fishermen to follow him. Jesus says that he will teach them how to fish for people.

Faith Focus: Jesus calls us to follow him.

DAY FIVE

Lydia

Acts 16:11-15, 40

Lydia already knows God but hears from Paul a call to open her heart and be baptized. She extends hospitality to others who follow Jesus.

Faith Focus: God calls us to open our hearts to Jesus.

Download PDF Overview

FEATURES

Affordable & Flexible

Offered as a reproducible resource (for all components except student booklets and music CDs).

Available in both downloadable and physical formats.

Leader guides are provided in both topical and day-by-day formats. 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

Reflections from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Pope Francis for each day.

Music from Oregon Catholic Press featuring Jesse Manibusan and others.

A day-long focus on Mary the Mother of God.

Service opportunity from Catholic Relief Services.

A great Scripture-based experience perfect for any parish!

Catchy, Meaningful Music

You will be humming along with this top-notch kid-friendly music that connects closely with the theme.

Optional hand motions are suggested for each song.

"All That God Wants You to Be" includes a verse per day.

Sing-along music videos and Powerpoints make it easy to lead your group in song.

Features songs written by Carey Landry, Jesse Manibusan, Ken Canedo, Bryan Sirchio, and more.

Comprehensive, but Simple

We provide all the core features you expect in a VBS, without overwhelming complexity.

Our VBS is earth-friendly: fun without plastic trinkets that will litter our common home.

A separate early childhood leader guide makes it easy to include preschoolers.

The program is easy to adapt to your timeframe and preferences.

An Ideal Theme

A fun and effective way to teach the basics of discipleship: how to hear God's call and respond.

Includes Scripture, prayer, drama, music, games, crafts, and activities, all nicely integrated to teach children how to be enthusiastic followers of Jesus!

Bible stories with a good balance of men and women role models.

And More...

Thoughtful take-home pages will bring parents into the process and coach them on how to talk to their children about what they learned.

Extra resources included to help you market and manage your VBS.

Optional gestures/motions are provided for prayers, memory verses, and all songs.

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, an evaluation form, 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 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

Active Response Guide

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

Preview

Bible 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

Creative Response Guide

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

Preview

Message Decoder -
Child Booklet

Full-color 16-page activity booklet for ages K-5, including puzzles, Bible memory verse bookmarks, and other interactive activities.

Preview

My Book of Stories - Preschool Child Booklet

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

Preview

Invitation Poster

Customize and post around your parish or around town.

Bible Memory Verse Poster

Make it easy for kids to learn the verses day-by-day.

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.

Postcards

Customize and print to invite parishioners, school families, etc.

Plus:

• Logo artwork (use to create your own t-shirts or documents) 
• Music components (see below) 
• …and much more!

MUSIC

Featuring the music of Jesse Manibusan & Oregon Catholic Press

A great collection of easy-to-sing songs that fit perfectly into the VBS theme.

Catholic composer, singer/songwriter, storyteller, humorist, catechist, evangelizer and encourager Jesse Manibusan leads our music and has written two new songs just for this VBS!

VBS Sing-Along Video Previews

All That God Wants You to Be

Written by Carey Landry.
Performed by Jesse Manibusan.

Calling Us by Name

Written by Jesse Manibusan & Jayme Manibusan.
Performed by Jesse Manibusan.

We Are Children of God

Written by Jesse Manibusan & Jayme Manibusan.
Performed by Jesse Manibusan.

Fish with Me

Written by Ken Canedo.
Performed by Jesse Manibusan.

Woman of God

Written by Jesse Manibusan.
Performed by Jesse Manibusan.

We Will Follow

Written by Dan Brennan, Ken Canedo, & Jesse Manibusan.
Performed by Jesse Manibusan.

Open My Eyes

Written & performed by Jesse Manibusan.

Send Me

Written & performed by Bryan Sirchio.

Wherever Love Is

Written & performed by Bryan Sirchio.

Music Components

The downloadable VBS starter kit includes the following components for use within the VBS sessions (all downloadable):
• 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
• Simple sing-along lyric presentations (in Powerpoint and Keynote formats)
• Lead sheets with scores for select songs


The physical starter kit includes:
• All of the downloadable files on a data DVD
• Audio CD
• Simple sing-along lyric video DVD
• Printed songbook

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

TESTIMONIALS

"I wanted to send a quick note to you and thank you for the awesome VBS program! We are on our 4th day of Vacation Bible School, and it is going so well! We have received many compliments on the content of the program, the kids are having a great time, our teachers and leaders are so pleased with all of the activities.

One comment that really spoke volumes to me was the fact that it is a fairly simple program, and because of this, the message really is received. So many VBS programs have become a huge production, and the message of God is lost in all of the external factors of the program. I am so glad we happened upon your program. I hope you are working on another one for next year, because we will be reaching out to you! This is the first time in at least 15 years that our parish has hosted a VBS. Looks like it will become an annual event for us!"

Pam Richter
St. Anne’s Catholic Church
Berryville, AR

PURCHASE

$79

Downloadable
Starter Kit

  • Reproducible files
    delivered electronically

  • Music for use in VBS 
    delivered electronically 

  • Online access to
    sing-along videos

  • Reproducible posters
    & promotional materials

  • Electronic preview
    of child booklets

$129

Physical Starter Kit
+ Downloads

  • Handy tabbed binder +
    CD-ROM + download access

  • Audio CD & printed music
    + download access

  • Sing-along video DVD
    + online access

  • Two copies of each poster 
    + download access

  • Printed sample 
    of each child booklet

Questions?
We have answers!

Growing Up Catholic
A ministry of The Pastoral Center
Pastoral ministers helping pastoral ministers