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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: JMerrell on February 02, 2012, 11:40:45 AM

Title: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: JMerrell on February 02, 2012, 11:40:45 AM
Just found out that Augsburg Fortress is not doing VBS this year.  In the past, the kids in the congregation have loved the VBS material they have produced (with the exception of last years "green" material which was horrible,maybe that's why they arn't doing it this year?).  Anyway, I think we are going to look at Concordia and Group...anyone else got a suggestion?
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: Evangel on February 02, 2012, 11:51:10 AM
Just found out that Augsburg Fortress is not doing VBS this year.  In the past, the kids in the congregation have loved the VBS material they have produced (with the exception of last years "green" material which was horrible,maybe that's why they arn't doing it this year?).  Anyway, I think we are going to look at Concordia and Group...anyone else got a suggestion?

Haven't looked at them in detail yet, but Sola Publishing also has a few VBS programs.  They are not the full blown programs with pre-produced arts & crafts things but they look to be based on the stories of people in the Bible.

http://www.solapublishing.org/categories/Vacation-Bible-School/
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: Charles_Austin on February 02, 2012, 12:01:28 PM
Here's a guess. Augsburg-Fortress tries not to publish things that don't sell; and since many congregations have abandoned the VBS materials it publishes....
Or, there is a backlog of materials already published, which can be made available.
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: GalRev83 on February 02, 2012, 12:04:31 PM
I wonder if people are not meant to adapt this material:
http://store.augsburgfortress.org/store/productfamily/179/Spark-Summer?utm_source=AFMainPage&utm_medium=Rotating%2BBanner%2B1&utm_content=Spark%2BSummer&utm_campaign=Spark%2BSummer
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: Erma S. Wolf on February 02, 2012, 12:16:47 PM
Donna, I think you are probably correct about the intention of the Spark summer material.  I think AF is using the relationship with Sparkhouse to channel its educational material market, at least for children and youth, including I think confirmation material. 

VBS marketing has been very labor intensive in the past.  AF has had to make financial decisions that don't allow for that kind of presentation of materials in order to generate orders and business.  I am assuming that the profit margin for the VBS material was so slight that it didn't allow for AF to continue to design, develop and market it.  But then the world of summer programing for children and families has been and will continue to change as well.  Ya snooze, ya lose!  ;)
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: George Erdner on February 02, 2012, 12:24:17 PM
Austin does make a good point. He says, "Augsburg-Fortress tries not to publish things that don't sell; and since many congregations have abandoned the VBS materials it publishes...." That leads to a question. Why have many congregations abandoned the VBS materials that AF used to publish? Is there a reason? Could it be the substitution of Gaia in place of God? Could it be a fear that AF materials might reflect the same sort of unscriptural teachings responsible for the 2009 CWA decisions?
 
I would think those are perfectly reasonable questions.
 

 
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: Dan Fienen on February 02, 2012, 02:17:04 PM
I do not, and have not used AF VBS materials, so I will not comment on their quality or theological content - I can't.
 
I do know that for a number of years churches that I served did not use CPH VBS material because they were perceived as too expensive and too lame.  The quality just wasn't there.  Lately they seem to have improved, but while I have input in the curricular selection, I have professional teachers who examine the material and make strong recommendations.  I do remember several years with non-CPH material having to check the theology of the material and supplementing it.
 
Why drop VBS material?  I can think of several reasons.  One is that it is not selling because haven't liked past offerings so in a tight economy, why pour money into something that is not giving a return on that money.  It could be theology but more likely people may have not thought that it was attractive to children.  I don't know.  \
 
But consider some other possible factors.  Are churches doing VBS now like they used to?  Perhaps the market for VBS is shrinking.  Especially, consider, are ELCA churches doing VBS like they used to?
 
As was suggested, does AF see the VBS paradigm being replaced by other ways of doing a summer religious program that is better suited to today's families?  Perhaps AF is just trying to get ahead of the curve.  This could well be a smart and beneficial development not only for AF but for the churches it serves.
 
Dan
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: dkeener on February 02, 2012, 03:18:03 PM
We use the money we save by not doing VBS to subsidize sending kids for a week of day camp at the local YMCA camp. They pick the kids up at the church in the morning and drop them off at night. All in all it has worked well. Besides, I was always worried that some day our kids would find out that Jesus didn't live in a tree made out of macarroni with a talking panda named Peter.
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: Mel Harris on February 02, 2012, 03:38:56 PM

Just found out that Augsburg Fortress is not doing VBS this year.  In the past, the kids in the congregation have loved the VBS material they have produced (with the exception of last years "green" material which was horrible,maybe that's why they arn't doing it this year?).  Anyway, I think we are going to look at Concordia and Group...anyone else got a suggestion?


We withdrew from the ELCA in April and were received into the NALC.  For a number of years now we have used VBS materials from Concordia Publishing House.  While the materials from CPH have been a little better some years than others, they have worked well for us every year.  The starter kit for CPH's 2012 VBS materials arrived here a couple weeks ago.  I suggest that you try using CPH's materials this summer.

Mel Harris
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: JMerrell on February 02, 2012, 09:58:26 PM
Austin does make a good point. He says, "Augsburg-Fortress tries not to publish things that don't sell; and since many congregations have abandoned the VBS materials it publishes...." That leads to a question. Why have many congregations abandoned the VBS materials that AF used to publish? Is there a reason? Could it be the substitution of Gaia in place of God? Could it be a fear that AF materials might reflect the same sort of unscriptural teachings responsible for the 2009 CWA decisions?
 
I would think those are perfectly reasonable questions.

If last years "save the planet today before it dies tomorrow green vbs" was any indicator, no wonder it didn't sell.  That VBS was just plain chicago political crap.
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: Charles_Austin on February 02, 2012, 10:13:21 PM
Actually, Pastor Merrell, Augsburg-Fortress is in Minneapolis; so I guess you would have to call it "Minneapolis political crap".
And how do you know it did not sell well?
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: George Erdner on February 02, 2012, 10:41:20 PM
Austin does make a good point. He says, "Augsburg-Fortress tries not to publish things that don't sell; and since many congregations have abandoned the VBS materials it publishes...." That leads to a question. Why have many congregations abandoned the VBS materials that AF used to publish? Is there a reason? Could it be the substitution of Gaia in place of God? Could it be a fear that AF materials might reflect the same sort of unscriptural teachings responsible for the 2009 CWA decisions?
 
I would think those are perfectly reasonable questions.

If last years "save the planet today before it dies tomorrow green vbs" was any indicator, no wonder it didn't sell.  That VBS was just plain chicago political crap.

That's true. The implementation of the plans might take place in another city, but the plans themselves come from Higgins Road.
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on February 02, 2012, 11:35:20 PM
Here's a guess. Augsburg-Fortress tries not to publish things that don't sell; and since many congregations have abandoned the VBS materials it publishes....
Or, there is a backlog of materials already published, which can be made available.

The congregation that I serve began using Group VBS the very first year it was offered; and, in recent years, has not even wanted to make time to look at alternatives.

Why?


                    FIRST, everything is integrated with the lessons. It is 100%
                    teaching 100% of the time, and this is a  very needed antidote
                    to the compartmentalization of our society. Other kits tend to
                    segregate "snack  time" from "game time" and "craft time" with
                    no connection from one to the other, and, worse yet, little or no
                    connection to "lesson time". What does that teach? Well,
                    without intending to do so, it teaches that Christian learning,
                    prayer, and Bible study is just one little bitty slice of life safely
                    out of the way, not influencing anything else, and certainly not
                    the center and focus of all of life. Tony Compolo says that
                    either Jesus is Lord of all of life or He is Lord of none of it!

                    SECOND, every year one of the featured lessons is Jesus's
                    death and Resurrection. I simply can't understand that the
                    denomination kits and especially the so called "fundamentalist"
                    kits often overlook the very reason of our existence!

                     Of the kids who come to our VBS, probably 30-40% are
                    unchurched; another 20-30% are "C & E" (Christmas and
                    Easter) Christians at best, and the remainder are truly active in
                    this or another congregation. So many parents think that 5
                    sessions of VBS will make up for 52 Sundays of
                    neglect....that's why coming to cross and resurrection are
                    essential.

Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 03, 2012, 07:42:30 PM
We use the money we save by not doing VBS to subsidize sending kids for a week of day camp at the local YMCA camp. They pick the kids up at the church in the morning and drop them off at night. All in all it has worked well. Besides, I was always worried that some day our kids would find out that Jesus didn't live in a tree made out of macarroni with a talking panda named Peter.
What is the point of that?
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: Rev. Matthew Uttenreither on February 04, 2012, 01:31:13 AM
Seriously?  A church spends their money to send their kids to the Y?  Instead of doing a VBS?  Seriously?  If you don't have the volunteers to do a VBS why not send them to a church camp?  The Wisconsin North District of the LCMS has a wonderful camp that our church makes use of.  I've had loads of fun at the camp.
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: dkeener on February 04, 2012, 05:14:09 PM
We use the money we save by not doing VBS to subsidize sending kids for a week of day camp at the local YMCA camp. They pick the kids up at the church in the morning and drop them off at night. All in all it has worked well. Besides, I was always worried that some day our kids would find out that Jesus didn't live in a tree made out of macarroni with a talking panda named Peter.
What is the point of that?

That I find a lot of what is being marketed for VBS to be silly and vacuous.
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: dkeener on February 04, 2012, 05:30:41 PM
Seriously?  A church spends their money to send their kids to the Y?  Instead of doing a VBS?  Seriously?  If you don't have the volunteers to do a VBS why not send them to a church camp?  The Wisconsin North District of the LCMS has a wonderful camp that our church makes use of.  I've had loads of fun at the camp.

First off - I am a big supporter of Church camps and if I lived in Wisconsin I would be happy to send my kids there. I live in Georgia, however, and to be honest I really don't trust what is being taught in ELCA camps (the closest is about 4 hours away) and am not aware of any LCMS camps nearby. Secondly, we do Sunday School year round and do not take a summer break. During the school year we run a mid-week children's program run by quite a few volunteers, and we like to give them a break now and then. Thirdly, Lutheran Camps are expensive and not everyone can afford them, nor can our congregation afford to pay for all to go, - the Y camp was around $80 for the week per child. Lastly, you assumed that I and other adults did not attend the Y camp with the children and take part in the program. You would be wrong in that assumption.
Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: Durkin_Park on February 04, 2012, 06:44:34 PM
Judson (and anybody else),

I have not used, but have heard excellent things about Pax Domini Press and their VBS materials:

http://www.pax-domini.com/ (http://www.pax-domini.com/)

Title: Re: Augsburg and VBS
Post by: DCharlton on February 04, 2012, 08:55:34 PM
Lutheran Outdoor Ministries of Florida has been doing Day Camps at various congregations for well over a decade.  Many congregations offer an LOMF Day Camp instead of VBS. 

My congregation stopped using Augsburg-Fortress curriculum for Sunday School when they did away with LifeTogether.  LifeTogether was a lectionary based curriculum.  Seasons of the Spirit was the replacement for LifeTogether.  It came from a non-Lutheran publisher and tended to neglect Justification in favor of social justice and care of the environment.  In other words, the focus was on the Good Works that we ought to do.  (Please note, I don't have any problem talking about social justice and the environment.  It's that I consider them to fall under the category of Works.)