Dexter United Methodist Church Aims to Scale Everest

Mount Everest, the earth’s highest mountain, reaches 29,000 feet into the heavens—is a fitting place to set an adventure that brings people face-to-face with God, believes the Dexter United Methodist Church.

Beginning Monday, August 3, more than 200 children between the ages of four and sixth grade will “Climb Mount Everest” together, with the help of 100 volunteers who work under the guidance of VBS Director, Megan Meeker.

“Last year we had an all-time high of 219 kids,” says Children’s Pastor Denise Kasischke, who has overseen the DUMC Vacation Bible School for six years. This year, preschoolers will have a special challenge all their own while sixth graders share worship time before focusing on service projects.
The sanctuary of Huron River Drive will be transformed into a facsimile of Mount Everest, complete with tents, camping, and hiking gear. A Bible Story Room will be decorated to represent the Bible scene of the day. Between 9 a.m. and noon, children discuss Bible stories, learn verses, make crafts, sing songs, eat snacks, and play games.

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Leigh Hook, wife of DUMC Senior Pastor Matt Hook, launched the VBS 12 years ago. Since then, the program continues to grow, expand, and reach out to the community—nearly half the children attending are not church members. “Planning for this is a year-round project,” Kasischke says.
Cost for the week is $20 with early registration, no more than $40 per family. Scholarships are freely given. “Our goal is to involve as many families as possible,” adds Kasischke. Families can register on the church website or by visiting the church office.

This year, Mt. Everest has particular meaning, since Nepal suffered from a devastating earthquake in April that demolished 600,000 homes. “We’ll talk about how God can give us all power to overcome great sorrow and challenges,” Kasischke says. This year, children will raise funds to send New Testament Bibles to children in Thailand.

“Our church waits until August to offer VBS toward the end of summer, when children are excited to see their friends,” Kasischke says. “It’s a great time for learning, reconnecting with old friends, and making new ones.”

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