In a galaxy far, far away, local children became secret agents, a pastor became Sherlock Holmes and the agency to which they reported was called Son Force. Where'd this adventure take place? It all happened at Holy Cross Church's first Vacation Bible School, where 80 kids enjoyed four days of fun last week.
"We [were] Son Force kids," Kathy Fitzgibbons said, laughing as she recalled the week. "Our big mission [was] to save the world. But you can't just go in and do things. You gotta learn and practice and be in training and each day we [learned] more."
The program, organized by Fitzgibbons with the help of Volunteer Coordinator Amanda Hopkins, Youth Minister Andrea Jacobs and many teens, put the children on a mission as secret agents to find and follow the teachings of God. Their mission was accomplished through various daily-theme activities, such as Trust.
"Kids learned they can trust in God," she said. "God will be with them to help them make good decision and good choices."
The other themes included Unite, Train and Prepare for Service, and Follow. Lessons supporting the themes included the Bible stories of Moses, Queen Esther, Daniel and Jeremiah.
"All of these things help give us the courage to be good people," Fitzgibbons said. "So every day we learned more and became better secret agents."
Monsignor Robert Yeazel, Holy Cross pastor, has wanted to hold a Vacation Bible School for some time now.
"This has been on [his] wish list for a long time," Fitzgibbons said, but challenges the staff foresaw involved schedule conflicts with other summer programs, such as DeWitt Recreation. "DeWitt Rec has a great summer program and so many kids go to it that we didn't want to compete with that."
Fortunately, no problems resulted. But the Holy Cross coordinators chose a particular week in August when people take vacation, the New York State Fair begins and families are preparing for back to school.