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    The 70 children of the Vacation Bible School were separated into smaller groups. Each group was assigned a cheer that they showed off at the end of the day. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Padre Robert Schweyer dressed as Paul the Apostle, explains what life was like in Rome for Christians. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    It's a team effort. With only 90 seconds, the kids must stack blocks as high as they can without toppling them over. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)



Stepping back in time with the Apostle Paul at annual VBS

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday September 7, 2017

Children ages five to 11 travelled back in time to the late Roman Empire to learn more about the Apostle Paul and the underground church at the St. George’s Chapel special morning Vacation Bible School (VBS) from Aug. 14 to 18.

It was an opportunity for youngsters to learn all about the early years of the Christian church while having fun. By incorporating crafts, games, snacks, storytelling, songs, cheers, dress-up and more, the VBS attracted about 70 children. “It is a great way for the (Garrison) Chaplains to serve and make a difference with the families,” said Padre Robert Schweyer. “It helps us make connections so that people realize that it isn’t just a building on the base but there are actually people here that want to make a difference, make an investment in their families,” he added.

The chapel has been holding a VBS every summer for longer than Padre Schweyer could remember, and it has always been a hit with everybody in the community. In fact several local churches, including the neighbouring St. Francis of Assisi Chapel, offered their support, providing a total of 35 volunteers.

Without the volunteers, “this would not be happening,” admitted Padre Schweyer. “You can appreciate when you see the 70 children in all the areas that we are doing, that we need a significant amount of volunteers.”

Rome: Paul and the Underground Church was chosen as this year’s theme. In previous years, the kids enjoyed such offerings as Egypt: Joseph’s Journey from Prison to Palace and Hometown Nazareth: Where Jesus was a Kid. A similar theme will be chosen for next year when when the VBS will reconvene in mid-August.