Melrose–“God is good!” These three words roared many times throughout St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Melrose early evening on Aug. 5. 

“When times are tough we don’t have to be afraid because,” said leader Judy Weber, as children and adults enthusiastically answered “God is good!” 

“When life it scary,” said Weber. “God is good!” they shouted louder yet. 

The Aug. 4 to 8 Vacation Bible School was in its second day and most of the 131 children and 59 volunteers filled the church pews listening to volunteers act out a skit related to the theme ROAR--“Life is wild. God is good” as part of the Sing & Play ROAR-along. Large paper animals lined the walls of the church, lending a safari look, as did much of the homemade décor constructed by Dave and Margie Rodahl and several other volunteers who helped with the decorating. Taking it all in were two Park View tenants, three Pine Villa residents and two staff on Aug. 5 and four residents and two staff on Aug. 6, who were invited to participate in VBS for the first time. While they admitted they weren’t used to the noise, they didn’t seem to mind it, as they partook in and watched activities. 

The 131 registered children were up from 117 in 2018. Fifty-three of the 131 children were new to the program, and of the 59 volunteers, 17 were new, said an excited Julie Ulbricht, VBS coordinator. 

There were crafts, a snack at the Hungry Herd Cafe, learning stories at Wild Bible Adventures, playing games at Stampede Sports and watching the KidVid Cinema. The final night, Aug. 8, included a program by VBS youth and volunteers. 

Pine Villa resident Arlene Wensman worked on a craft with two children, making a bracelet and elephant craft, while residents Viola Meyer and Barb Krebs colored as youth worked around them. Outside, Park View tenants Millie Mueller and Rosie Pundsack watched youth participate in a game. 

Organizers have started planning for next year VBS, Aug. 2 to 6, with the theme--Rocky Railway “Jesus Power Pulls Us Through,” while treasuring the VBS memories from this year.   

It was a roaring good time because “God is good!” 

It’s also the best week of the summer, Ulbricht concluded.