Where children discover God’s way of peace!

The perfect VBS to teach the principles of Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli Tutti.

Through learning how to resolve conflicts and figuring out ways to help others, children will learn how to be peacemakers in this VBS curriculum. The five Bible stories will lead children on an awesome adventure through the Bible, equipping them to follow Jesus as compassionate peacemakers.

This is a theme for this time of division, bullying, and discrimination. Teach children how to be an antidote, as Christ-bearers to the world!

Peace Lab is a Bible and activity-based learning experience with tracks for grades K-5 and preschoolers ages 4-5 (and added options for grades 6-8).

“Social peace demands hard work, craftsmanship….Let us arm our children with the weapons of dialogue! Let us teach them to fight the good fight of the culture of encounter!”

—Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti (#217)

“For Christians, nonviolence is not merely tactical behavior but a person’s way of being, the attitude of one who is so convinced of God’s love and power that he or she is not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and truth alone. Love of one’s enemy constitutes the nucleus of the ‘Christian revolution.’”

—Pope Benedict XVI

"There is a need for paths of peace to heal open wounds. There is also a need for peacemakers, men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter.”

—Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti (#225)

"To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence.”

—Pope Francis, Message for World Day of Peace, 2017

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

Jesus

DAY 2

Abram & Lot

DAY 3

Naomi, Ruth, & Boaz

DAY 4

Jonathan, Michal, & David

DAY 5

Martha & Mary

Scripture Matthew 5:9, 43-48 Genesis 13 Ruth 1-2 1 Samuel (18) 19–20 Luke 10:38-42
Description At the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told his followers that peacemakers will be called the children of God. Later, Jesus shared that people are to love others. Abram and Sarai and Abram’s nephew Lot traveled to a new land. There was disagreement among their herders about both parties using the best land for their cattle. To solve the argument, Abram suggested that Lot choose which land would be his, and Abram would go in the other direction. Ruth moved with her mother-in-law, Naomi, to Bethlehem. In order to support them, Ruth gleaned in nearby fields. Boaz, the owner of the farm, helped Ruth and Naomi by making sure grain was left for them. King Saul was increasingly jealous of David. Saul’s son Jonathan and his daughter Michal, who was also David’s wife, tried to talk their father out of harming David because they believed it was the right thing to do. Martha was upset because her sister, Mary, sat and listened to Jesus rather than help with tasks around the house. Martha asked Jesus for help in solving the conflict between her and Mary and received a different response than she expected.
Purpose Statement Blessed are the peacemakers. Peacemakers find good ways to solve problems. Peacemakers help other people. Peacemakers speak up for what is right. Peacemakers ask for help to resolve conflicts.

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
  • Reflections from Pope Francis and other Catholic role models for peace.
  • Music from Oregon Catholic Press featuring Jesse Manibusan and other Catholic musicians.
  • 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, Josh Blakesley, and Steve Angrisano.
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 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

Tales of Discovery - Child Booklet

Full-color 16-page activity booklet for grades K-5, including puzzles 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, 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.

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)
  • Simple adaptations for children in grades 6-8.
  • Adaptations for COVID-19
  • ...and much more!

Music Video Previews

Featuring the music of Jesse Manibusan & Oregon Catholic Press

Catholic composer, singer/songwriter, storyteller, humorist, catechist, evangelizer and encourager Jesse Manibusan shares five of his songs for this theme.

Book Jesse to perform live for your community!

Power of Peace
Jesse Manibusan
Peacemaker
Jesse Manibusan
God Is Bigger
Jesse Manibusan
Walking the Ways of Peace
Jesse Manibusan
Our God Is Good
Josh Blakesley
Give Us Your Peace
Jesse Manibusan & Sarah Hart
Go Make a Difference
Steve Angrisano

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
  • Simple sing-along lyric presentations (in Powerpoint and Keynote formats)

The physical starter kit includes:

  • Full access to the eResource (downloadable) starter kit
  • 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!

Pricing & Purchase

Starter Kits

$79

Downloadable Starter Kit

$129

Physical Starter Kit + Downloadable
Leader guide with permission to reproduce Online access Physical binder
Child booklets (preschool & elementary) Online preview* Physical sample copies*
Posters (invitation & Bible memory) Online access 2 copies of each
Music audio Online access (MP3s)** Audio CD**
Music sing-along videos Online access Video DVD
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

My Book of Stories
Booklet for Preschoolers
$2.75
Treasure Map
Booklet for ages K-5
$2.75
Invitation Poster
11" x 17"
$4
Bible Memory Verse Poster
11" x 17"
$4
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