Summer Family Connection 1999

This VBS has a western Theme based on David during the time he was an Outlaw in the wilderness. The lessons will focus on contrasting David and Saul; and on doing the right things in trouble and bad situations.

I hope that we can build onto this theme a great week for the children. One in which they shor' have barrels of fun While larnin' from the good book! -- Yo'r feedback and ideas are most welcome!!

Life is not easy and we often find ourselves in troublesome situations where we have to make difficult decisions. These stories focus on a series of difficult times in Davidís Life. And on the ways his character was after Godís own heart. An present Saul in contrast. Lessons should highlight similar situations children may find themselves in and discuss the good or bad of these character traits. There is an emphasis in these situations on dealing with these "showdowns" - confrontations - as God would have us do. "Saul" may be for a child - an abusive parent, or a bully or gang, or an unfaithful friend. Violence is a significant part of our world, and many children live in constant fear. Some are tempted to flee, and some to respond in kind. David presents us with godly responses to trouble both courageous, trusting God and merciful towards his foes. In presenting the Gospel during the week, we will want to highlight Godís Character traits as He similarly expresses them toward us.

Curriculum and Lesson Overview: (5/26/99)

Davidís "outlaw" years - "... doing the right things in bad situations." should furnish us some straight shootin' Bible Lessons! [1 Sam 16 - 31]

Scripture Memory Passages from Psalm 34 - a Psalm which was written in the context of 1 Sam 21:10-15 - David at his lowest point in fleeing Saul! Key Verse: A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. Psalm 34:19

  1. The Big Bad Man -- David and Saul face Goliath - The Story will contrast David's Courage vs. Saul's Fears. (1 Sam 16-17; Psa 34:4)

  2. Pards!! -- David, Saul, and Jonathan - A Story of Loyalty and Jealousy. (1 Sam 18-20; Psa 34:7,8)

  3. Hideouts!! - The Outlaw and the Posse -- Dealing with Uncertainties and Trusting God's guidence through His Word. Saul Pursues David in the wilderness - Stories of Godís Provisions vs. the Foeís many Traps (1 Sam 21-23; Psalm 34:9-10) as David looks for a refuge.

  4. High Noon --David Spares Saul (and Nadab, Abigalís foolish husband) - A Story about Showing Mercy instead of Vengeance (1 Sam 24-26: Psa 34:12-14)

  5. Where's the Cavalry? -- Deals with Discouragements - and looks to God's Deliverance - Salvation! David Joins the Philistines - Saul meets disaster - Complications, Compromises, bad decisions and God's deliverance. (1 Sam 27-31; Psa 34:18)

Developing the Western Theme

We at Chapel Hill came up with a western "town" campus complete with a Western Gate and fence, tents (including a teepee) for the classes and crafts, and an Amplitheatre complete with hay bales for seating for the Cowboy Revue and Melodrama! Putting this together took a lot of energy and creativity, but our children were worth it! Our Sanctuary and dining area was ringed with Wanted! Posters with all the children's and Staff's pictures in western costume, done with a digital camera, and computer.

Here are some pictures of the VBS children and the Melodrama Players.

We used plenty of Staff for a full evening's Schedule!

We had a Bar-be-Cue Hoe-down -- a Barn Party with plenty of hay and western music in a member's hayloft to kick off the week!

Each evening began with our Church Wagon offering simple and inexpensive meals for busy families before the activities started, and a wild west games and crafts activities time!

My Western Ideas and fun activities file shows ways to enhanced the Cowboy theme such as Cowboy Bandannas [stamped with "Brands" as the memory verses were learned], Wanted! Poster T-Shirts and posters with the children's faces on them; as well as some available resources for doing VBS Graphics and Fonts.

Our programs began with plenty of Cowboy songs most with a spiritual emphasis - including our own lyrics for Davy, Son of Jesse, King of the wild Frontier!

We presented an original full length "Melodrama" The Ballad of Davy the Outlaw with a different act presented each evening that highlighted the story of Saul and David. Read through the Script, it was both fun and demanding for our "troop" of actors. Even if you don't use the Melodrama, be sure and look it over!

Our class times offered lessons and applications in the tents and teepee, while the parents attended a workshop on Christian Family Finances. To help you study this portion of 1 Samuel there is an Interpretive Outline of Samuel and a comparision of David and Saul. [Coming soon]

"> For a package of Western fonts to use for materials and posters, consider purchasing the Wild West Font Collection by Scriptorium. However, there are quite a few free Western fonts available on the internet. Here are some free western fonts on the web:Font Magic, and Rattlesnake Jack's have lots, also Simply the Best, Font Zone, and others can be found I am "shor".

We gave out daily handouts to the children in an "old time newspaper" format with "frontier news, stories, and advertizing" related to the daily lessons - They are Adobe Acrobat PDF files that you can read and print out with an Adobe Acrobat Reader. They are rather large files, sometimes a long time to download depending on modem speeds, so be sure and give them plenty of time. The Parent file is much smaller and loads fairly quickly. Expect to look at a blank screen till the downloadings done! The .gif files are a bit less in quality and much smaller files, but should work. (Right Click and) Save the each graphics file to disk and use a graphics program to print them. I use Paint Shop Pro 5.0. They are about 1173 by 1524 pixels and hopefully will print out on a 8.5 by 11 sheet.

You are welcome to explore and use Eldrbarry's VBS curriculums in your ministries,
but please e-mail Barry McWilliams (Eldrbarry) for permission
and include my name and and copyright on materials you take from my site.

So many in past years have used my material with only a word of thanks, or less. It has been discouraging to see how many ask permission to use the materials, but then neglect to make even a small donation. I am currently raising support for my next Mission Trip to Uganda, probably in 2009. My most recent mission trip was in November of 2007. Even small donations to our mission fund would much appreciated. I also ministered in Uganda for three weeks in March 2003, and again May, 2005. My wife has done three mission trips to Hungary with International Messengers. Donations toward our future mission trips can be sent to McWilliams' Mission Fund, 1609 Lombard, Ave, Everett, Wa., 98201; made out to Barry McWilliams.

Send your requests, ideas and any and all feedback to Windy (aka eldrbarry)

© 1999 - Barry McWilliams and Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church

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