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First OVBS in Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland: St Gregorios Malankara Orthodox Church of Cleveland conducted the first Orthodox Vacation Bible School in Ohio on June 25th, 26th & 27th under the leadership of Vicar Fr.John.K.Vaidyan and Sunday School Headmistress Julie Raju.

About 34 children, guided by five Sunday school teachers, took part in OVBS 2010, based on the theme, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you” (St John 11.28).

Julie Raju welcomed the gathering and Anu Kurien introduced the theme of OVBS 2010. Mathew Johns taught OVBS songs to the children.

The children were divided into five groups, namely, beginners, primary, juniors, intermediate and seniors. Levi Mathew, Joyce Joseph, Binu Joyce, Ancy Vinoy, Anu Kurien, and Dr. Thomas Mathew have served as teachers. OVBS volunteers assisted the teachers and children throughout the program.

OVBS participants learned songs in English, Malayalam, Hindi and enjoyed interactive sessions, role plays, arts and craft workshops, theme learning, Bible charades, Bible quiz, skits and games.

On the final day, all students received Holy Communion and took part in a colorful rally around the church compound wearing OVBS T-shirts and crowns. The children were waving OVBS flags and were singing the OVBS song ‘Shine Jesus, Shine on me’ .

Children from all five groups reflected on their experience of the three day event in the concluding meeting. They performed action songs, skits, speeches and talent shows.

“The dedication and teamwork of volunteers and teachers made this a blessed and memorable event for the parish”, said the vicar Fr. John Vaidyan in his speech.

OVBS 2010 ended with a sumptuous lunch (Sneha virunnu) organized by the coordinators.