Contact: Gary Merritt

Email: coldwaterumc@att.net

Phone: (620) 582-2132

Coldwater UMC and Wilmore Federated had not hosted a VBS program in an unknown number of years. With the help of the Kansas Wesleyan University Student Team VBS happened again at Coldwater in 2011. The Coldwater United Methodist Church anticipated at the very, very most 30 students. They averaged 40 students daily, touching the lives of 51 students total. This program made it possible for a group of interested adults to assist with VBS in a hands-on manner and learn what is involved in putting on a VBS program, so they will be able to continue this outreach in future years. The Kansas Wesleyan students were very knowledgeable of the VBS program and connected well with the adult workers and the VBS students.

Through this program, we have been given hope to restart VBS in these communities and branch out into other forms of outreach and mission work including a "fly-in" at our local airport on the Saturday of VBS. The airport/city council provided pizza, church members and community members provided plane/helicopter rides, VBS students and families came to fly kites in the field and high school cheerleaders served pizza. We brought together church and community through this event.

Also, the Wilmore church helped with VBS at Coldwater and held an ice cream social during the Wednesday evening of VBS. Members of the Coldwater and Wilmore churches were very generous in providing food for VBS lunches and assisting with the kitchen work and class work during VBS. This event brought our churches together to work on an outreach project, and I can see more of this happening in the future.

In 2012 they were able once again to have a VBS and are already planning for VBS 2013. The Center for Small Membership Churches and Kansas Wesleyan’s joint program helped Coldwater to jumpstart and have a very successful VBS. Adult volunteers were able learn new skills and enthusiasm which is helping build for the future. Both churches are appreciative of this opportunity.