By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterJune 7, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 7, 2013) -- Vacation Bible School returns to Fort Rucker June 10-14 from 8:30-11:30 a.m., but this year's event promises a life-size experience with the Wilderness Tabernacle Adventure.
Nancy Jankoski, director of religious education for the Fort Rucker Religious Support Office, said this year's VBS will be an experience that will take children on a journey through what it was like to live in biblical times.
"I couldn't be more excited about this year's Vacation Bible School," she said. "The Wilderness Tabernacle will be coming to Fort Rucker, and I've never come across anything like this before."
A full-size Wilderness Tabernacle, like the one out of the Book of Exodus, will be set up on the front lawn of the Spiritual Life Center during VBS week, and will even feature a replica of the Ark of the Covenant, which is the chest described in the Bible to hold the tablets of the Ten Commandments.
"It just so happens that our area is large enough to house the entire (compound), so we're going to get the full experience," said Jankoski. "That's the feature point of the VBS program this year and it goes along with our Old-Testament theme."
Children that participate in this year's VBS will be transported back in time to how things were in biblical times, and even get to participate in many activities that children of that time would experience, said the religious education director.
Children will learn how to write Hebrew, play Bible-time instruments and even make a Bible-time instrument -- a lyre.
"We're going to start them out in Egypt, and they'll learn how to make bricks out of mud because that's what the children in Egypt did in those times," said Jankoski. "We've already warned the parents that they're going to playing in the mud, so they should dress appropriately."
The children will also participate in various arts and crafts throughout the program such as making a discus and treasure box. They can also participate in learning different Jewish music and dances, as well as participate in games that that were played during Bible times like relay race involving chariots and javelin tosses using plastic spears.
Even the foods that they eat will be themed to what they ate in biblical times.
The goal of this year's VBS is to provide a fun, interactive way that the children can learn about their faith, said Jankoski.
"It's a good way for children to experience how life was lived back then," she said. "They won't be sitting in a classroom. They'll actually be immersing themselves in the story.
"I want the children who are here and learning about faith to have a deeper understanding about their own church's teaching and why they believe what they believe," she continued. "That's why our classes are mixed. They're all in there together and they'll learn from each other."
People of different faiths attend the VBS, from the Catholic community to the Protestant community to the Jewish community, but Jankoski said it's all about one thing -- Christianity.
"Because we have all these different faith communities, we have to zero in on the Christian congregation to teach concepts that all Christian denominations have in common," she said, adding that all Christian faith stems from Judaism. "The Christian faith stands on the shoulders of the Jewish scriptures because Christians believe that the Messiah was a Jewish person, so we have to understand things about the Jewish culture."
Jankoski said that there's a lot that each denomination can learn from each other when it comes to faith, and if their faith does or worships something in a different way, she welcomes people to teach them how they do it.
Slots are still available for VBS, and people can register by going to the Spiritual Life Center.
For more, call 255-3946.