george_hancockstefanJune is the month when many students joyfully count down the last few days of school. While many welcome the snow days in the winter, they know that those days are added to the end of the semester. The many Sunday school activities and sometimes the youth regular gatherings come to a halt with the closing of the regular schools.

However, the summer months can also be filled with Christian activities that intensify Christian growth or provide opportunities that individual churches cannot provide by themselves. One of those great opportunities is the community Vacation Bible School.

The Area Association of Community Churches comprised of churches from Atlantic Highlands, Highlands and Navesink is sponsoring the Community Vacation Bible School from Monday, June 29 to Thursday, July 2, 2009 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon at the Atlantic Highlands Elementary School. The VBS theme is Crocodile Dock - Where Fearless Kids Shine God's Light and the Director for this year is Mrs. Jennifer Giunta from Central Baptist Church. We welcome children ages 3 to 12 as students, and those who are older can serve as crew leaders together with the adults. We encourage the parents to register their children as soon as possible so that we can plan our classes accordingly. (Last year we had over 130 students) If you need registration or more information please call Central Baptist Church at 732-291-8111.

The other summer event that is important and formative for many children and youth is the youth camp. There are great Christian camps throughout New Jersey and the neighboring states where youth can go and spent an entire week (and sometimes more than one week). Personally, I have done youth camps and I still have strong relationships that I have developed there with students and camp leaders. My four children attended Christian camps and each one of them was blessed and developed a closer walk with God. It is also known that some of the greatest decisions for serving God come from youth camp meetings.

The other activity that happens in the summer (even though it is less frequent in our days) is the revival meeting. Historically, New Jersey was always involved in the revivals that swept the nation. Our proximity to the Ocean Grove Tabernacle, a center of Methodist revival preaching, makes us more familiar with this type of preaching. A revival meeting, sometimes also called a tent meeting, is an attempt to revive the church, while also inviting new people to come and to hear the message of salvation.

My prayer is that this summer you will experience one or many of these events or other events that will revive your faith and bring you closer to the Lord.