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!”
“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.’”
"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.”
"To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence.”
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.
Abram & Lot
Naomi, Ruth, & Boaz
Jonathan, Michal, & David
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.|
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
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
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
Full guide for leading interactive activities & games each day, including advance preparation, session plan, material list, step-by-step instructions, and debrief.Preview
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
Full guide for leading craft sessions for each day, including Biblical background, materials list, advance preparation, snack ideas, and debrief.Preview
Full-color 16-page activity booklet for grades K-5, including puzzles and other interactive activities.Preview
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
Customize and post around your parish or around town.
Make it easy for kids to learn the verses day-by-day.
Engaging letters to keep parents in the loop and coach them on how to follow up with their children each day.
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.
The eResource (downloadable) starter kit includes:
The physical starter kit includes:
In addition, purchase inexpensive bulk audio CDs to send home with families, so they can continue to sing the VBS songs!
$89Downloadable Starter Kit
$139Physical 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).
This program is a collaboration between The Pastoral Center and MennoMedia. Adapted and reprinted with permission from Peace Lab. © 2017 MennoMedia, Inc., Harrisonburg, VA 22803. All rights reserved.