Vacation Bible School

The origins of Vacation Bible School (VBS) can be traced back to Hopedale, Illinois in 1894. Sunday school teacher D. T. Miles, who also was a public school teacher, felt she was limited by time constraints in teaching the Bible to children. So, she started a daily Bible school to teach children during the summer. The first Bible school enrolled forty students and lasted four weeks. A local school was used for classes, while an adjoining park was used for recess. In 1898 Eliza Hawes, director of the children''''''''''''''''s department at Epiphany Baptist Church in New York City, started an "Everyday Bible School" for slum children at a rented beer parlor in New York''''''''''''''''s East Side. Hawes continued her efforts for seven years. Dr. Robert Boville of the Baptist Mission Society, became aware of the Hawes'''''''''''''''' summer program and recommended it to other Baptist churches. Boville established a handful of summer schools which were taught by students at the Union Theological Seminary. During one summer, one thousand students were enrolled in five different schools. In 1922, he founded the World Association of Daily Vacation Bible School.

In India, in the year 1952, the seminary students of the South India Biblical Seminary conducted their first summer VBS and outreach ministry. That first program was held in one language and had an attendance of 75 children. Today, VBS materials are published in 13 languages and reach an amazing 1.5 to 2 million children and young people in India each year.

The first VBS of St Marys Parel was held between October 19 to October 25, 2009 and 34 children from six churches attended the same. There were three classes - Beginner, Primary and Seniors. Mr Mark Ebenezer and Mr Selin were deputed from VBS Ministries, Bangalore to conduct the VBS. A number of volunteers coordinated the work relating to finances, purchase of books, eats and lunch. The Theme of the VBS was ''''''''''''''''Come to the Feast'''''''''''''''' A typical day began with singing and a short devotion on the theme for the day. There were two periods -one on a Bible Passage and the other an incident in the life of a missionary. VBS day ended with singing and skit by the volunteers followed by lunch. There were special days like Day of Beauty and Cleanliness, Day of labour, Love Feast Day and Day of Inspection. The classes were awarded marks for all their activities. The final day celebration was held along with the church service on October 25, 2009 which was attended by the children and their parents.