SHAMOKIN — Saturday’s Kids Festival at Claude Kehler Community Park was a novel way of bringing characters and stories from the Old Testament to life.
Both young and old were treated to a unique Bible school experience during the four-hour program sponsored by the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church.
“We were very happy with the turnout of spectators and participants, including family members and children,” said the Rev. Sam Bellavia, pastor of the church, located on Second Street in the city.
The event, taking the place of the traditional vacation Bible school, included congregation members dressed in costumes for a “name the character” contest, various games of chance and drawings for special prizes. There was also free food and beverages and 51 backpacks containing school supplies were given to participants in preparation for the coming school year.
Bellavia said the idea to “do something entirely different this year” was conceived by a special committee of congregation members headed by Jeanne Shaffer. Committee members spent much time planning activities that were geared to Biblical stories.
“They coordinated everything with what the Bible is about, the men and women who were part of its history, and it just came to life,” Bellavia said. “It was great to see the reaction by all attendees as they intermingled with many of the Old Testament characters.”
He said he hopes the event inspires future programs for young people, not only those produced by his church but from groups throughout the community.