The Jim Thorpe Ecumenical Vacation Bible School recently held its closing program, with children who attended the weeklong program sharing what they learned with family and friends.
The theme of this year's program was "Tell It on the Mountain: Where Jesus Christ is Lord" an appropriate message for children living on and near Mount Pisgah in Jim Thorpe, leaders noted.
"We talked to the kids about climbing to the top of the mountain," said volunteer Jamie Kunkel. "We encouraged the kids to go out into the community, from the top of Mount Pisgah, where we are now, to tell the Good News."
Each night of the five-day program, children learned about a new mountain in the Bible and an accompanying story and message. They learned about Mount Sinai, Mount Carmel, the Mountain of Transfiguration, and Golgotha, the mount on which Jesus was crucified. Each night also included snacks, crafts, music and other activities.
As an ecumenical program, children of all faiths from the Jim Thorpe area were invited to attend. More than 90 took part in the program.
The program was hosted this year by St. John's Lutheran Church in the Heights, and guided by the Rev. F. Peter Muhr of St. John's and leaders from Jim Thorpe's UCC, Episcopal and Catholic churches. The program is hosted by a different church in Jim Thorpe each year.
This year's closing program was led by the Rev. Frank Baransky, the pastor at St. Joseph's Catholic Church.
Baransky reiterated the importance of sharing what the children had learned this year with their family and friends, noting that sharing these lessons can be as simple as being kind and respectful to others, and being sensitive to those in need. This could mean helping the needy or visiting an elderly or sick relative.
"You can light up their day just by visiting them," he said. "Because of your enthusiasm, and all that you have learned about the Gospel, you can really make someone's day just by spending time with them and sharing God's love."
Muhr ended the program by giving thanks for the children in attendance and for all of the volunteers who made the program possible.
"It's very important to Christians, sometime during your day, to be grateful," he said, noting that he was grateful for the pastors who took part in the program, the parent and community volunteers, teen helpers and church staff.
"Kids, you have a big job to do," he said in closing. "You have to go tell it on the mountain."
Offering donations for the week will be donated to The Shephard House, a food pantry system serving needy Carbon County residents. Children also donated nonperishable food items.