Episcopal Teacher

Episcopal Teacher is the newsletter of the Center for the Ministry of Teaching. Published quarterly, it features news, reviews, opinions, and other articles about faith formation in the Episcopal Church and beyond. It is edited by Dorothy Linthicum and Lisa Kimball.

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From Episcopal Teacher — African Holiday Clubs share message of hope

The Holiday Club in Fingo Township.


By Dorothy Linthicum (@dslinthicum)

Vacation Bible School is alive and well in South Africa, although it’s called Holiday Club. The goals are similar to those at churches in the United States, but different at the same time.
In September, the children at a Holiday Club in Fingo, a location (or township) outside of Grahamstown, South Africa, enthusiastically sang songs about Jesus, danced and clapped their hands, painted pictures, and played organized games. They also got two hot meals each day.
Organizing the club was a major undertaking that involved the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. George, the school system, parent volunteers, young adult leaders, donations from churches in Cape Town, and the sports department of the Makana municipality. Wayne van Rooyen, pastoral assistant at the Cathedral, organized the week-long event, bringing all the pieces and people together.
Like most VBS programs in the States, planning began months before the scheduled event. Several churches in Cape Town, about 550 miles from Grahamstown, offered a substantial amount of beans and pap (a maize-based product that can be used to make porridge or as a potato/rice substitute). Transporting heavy bags of both took creative planning and cooperation.
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