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Union Baptist Church plans vacation Bible school for youth and adults



Published: Sat, May 31, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

By LINDA M. LINONIS

religion@vindy.com

youngstown

The adult level of the upcoming vacation Bible school at Union Baptist Church attracts attention with the topics “Bad Boys of the Bible” and “Bad Girls of the Bible.”

Pastor Michael H. Harrison Sr. and his wife, Sylvia, will be instructors for the sessions for adults 18 and older. The VBS also includes a youth section for 3- to 17-year-olds on the theme “Jesus Family Reunion.” The activity is planned June 9-13.

Pastor Harrison said the adult sessions are based on two books with those titles. “The people in the Bible were perfect when they were walking with God,” he said. “But they were also human.”

Reading the Bible today, the pastor said, people might lean toward thinking the characters bordered on perfection. “But they weren’t perfect. ... They were flawed in their humanness. They had their issues,” he said, adding maybe that’s a reason God picked them.

For example, Pastor Harrison said he will discuss Abram, who became Abraham, and his wife, Sarah. “God had promised Abraham that his seed would be like sand,” the pastor said. But, he noted, there was a 10-year span from the promise to its manifestation. Abraham and his wife were elderly when this occurred.

Sarah told Abraham to sleep with her handmaiden, Hagar, who did give birth to Abraham’s son, Ishmael. The next year, Sarah, gave birth to Isaac.

“This is like a soap opera,” Pastor Harrison said of Sarah’s approval of Abraham and Hagar’s tryst to produce an heir. But later, Sarah became jealous of what had happened.

Pastor Harrison said his wife will include the stories of Deliah, a temptress in the Bible who betrayed Sampson, and Jezebel, who persecuted the prophets of Yahweh and became associated with false prophets. The pastor said their stories and actions teach various lessons.

The pastor said the gist of the “bad boys and girls” of the Bible is that they were human and made mistakes. People can relate to that, he said.

Pastor Harrison said the VBS program provides “a learning opportunity for all ages.” The program “has worked out well and been well-attended,” he said.

Carolyn Williams, servant leader for the church school ministry, said the event generally attracts about 150 participants. “It’s a program for the whole family to learn at the same time,” she said.

“Jesus Family Reunion,” the theme for youths, will relate to families about love, obedience, praying and celebrating.


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