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Learning to love: St. Andrews in St. Paul Park holds vacation Bible school

Sawyer Rooney, 5, learns that the first step in making a bracelet is to get the string ready with a knot at one end. Last Thursday, craft time included making an "I believe" bracelet.

Every child who went to the week-long vacation Bible school at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in St. Paul Park had their own reason for attending.

"We are celebrating our Lord God," said Joe Anderson. "We come together and like each other."

"I like recess," added Joe's little brother, Sam.

Maddlyn Wallace said her favorite memory of Bible school was when "two people did plays about God's word."

For the 55 children who attended, the school theme "Back to Jerusalem" had lessons that included how they can be like the Good Samaritan.

Pastor Martin Schwartz's lesson for the confirmation-age youth included that it's not always easy to show love and kindness. "Do what the Lord expects us to do," he said. "You show love by what you do."

Tala Bain said she attends Sunday school to learn about Jesus during the year but finds vacation Bible school deepens her faith in a different way.

"You learn more about what God wants you to know," she said.

The week included doing a craft each day and coloring. On Thursday, kids strung together beads to make a bracelet that tested their spelling skills. With the help of many parent volunteers, the kids spelled "I believe" with beads inside the bracelets.

"We also spend a lot of time gluing things," said Kelvin Olson, who added that he enjoyed playing outside during Bible school.

Evan Kasa said he wasn't sure he was going to like Bible school. "It's OK now," he said while stringing his bracelet.

For eight years, Shayne Plath has organized vacation Bible school. "Faith is important to our family," she said, "and I love crafts. We just like to be involved."

On the last day, children assembled in the church. Schwartz surprised them when he entered the "Back to Jerusalem" time machine and came out wearing a period robe.

The final event included a picnic lunch with burgers, hot dogs, chips, raw carrots and cookies.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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