New twist on vacation Bible school

Major Michael Zielinski directs the Reno Junior Band during the VBMS Celebration Sunday. Photo by Janene Zielinski

Reno Corps adds music element, meets once a week.

By Heather Paap, LT.

For six weeks this summer, the Reno (Nev.) Corps held its first vacation Bible and music school (VBMS) with 179 children and 145 adults; 14 children accepted Christ.

With this activity, The Salvation Army in Reno put its own spin on VBS by adding a music component and connecting with the children of the corps and community throughout the summer. Instead of meeting for just one week, which is standard for VBS, Reno’s VBMS met once a week on Tuesday evening, with the last meeting a Back 2 School shopping night. VBMS music instruction included guitar, Jesus jam band and recorders along with traditional offerings of timbrels, junior band and praise and worship.

“I really enjoyed the music part—learning to play my trumpet better and learning new notes,” said Marcus, who has since transitioned into the corps’ school-year music program.

Corps leaders Majors Michael and Janene Zielinski and assistant Lt. Heather Paap hoped that the kids would develop the habit of attending an activity once a week, readying them for the corps’ weekly school-year programs, which include timbrels, junior band, gospel choir and praise and worship. VBMS also gave adult churchgoers an opportunity to volunteer, and as many as 36 adult volunteers participated on any given Tuesday night.

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