Justin Kollmeyer's picture

You probably have one at your church.

If you don’t have a church right now, you’ve probably encountered one somewhere along the way.

We have one.

Please, I mean absolutely not to take anything away from any of the others on the team, but there’s just one who must be given the designation VBS – MVP — Vacation Bible School – Most Valuable Player!

Here at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, we’ll start VBS in just a couple of weeks, on Monday, June 15. And our MVP will be in the classroom one more time.

Every year for the past 20 years, she’s taught the kindergarten class, those little ones who have just completed kindergarten. If you walked into the building and didn’t know which classroom was for kindergarteners, after reading this article you could probably pick it out quickly.

From ceiling to floor and back again, bright colors and dazzling decorations fill the space. Individual white or brown paper bags line the floor along one wall, each with a child’s name clearly showing, so that at the end of the day every little learner will know exactly what to pick up and take home to show mom and dad or grandma and grandpa. Everything from their Bible lesson for the day to the pretty little craft each one made with such care and pride is strategically deposited into the bags for organized removal and safe passage home.

Our MVP has some professional experience teaching kindergarteners, but that’s not what truly distinguishes her. Oh, she has every little trick in the book for lining up, getting quiet, taking turns, moving from place to place, and actually getting some learning accomplished in the midst of the joyful chaos that VBS can provide.

But it’s not her teaching skills that are most important, though they’re outstanding.

It’s her love of children. It’s her undying, unrelenting, unrestricted, unconditional, unending love for children.

Probably if asked, she’d tell you that her favorite Bible story and passage is the one where the children come up to Jesus, the disciples try to shoo them away, and Jesus says, “Let the little children come unto Me ... for of such is the Kingdom of God.” And her favorite song might just be “We Love (snap/clap) Because God First Loved Us.”

Always the teacher, she seems never to miss the chance to bring Jesus and the Bible to life in a way the children can understand and apply even to their young lives.

For those of you who have been to VBS at our church, I will just say that she also plays another very important role in bringing the daily Bible stories to life for the whole assembly of all classes at the beginning of each day, but I don’t want to give away her hidden identity there any further. Let’s just say that when the puppets Margarita and Pedrito come to visit our VBS, our MVP seems not to be found sitting with her class. Hmmmmmmmm.

Again, to all the dear hardworking dedicated souls who make VBS happen in our church and in all churches, I ask for your understanding and your approval of this unique distinction of VBS – MVP. She would certainly not want to take this or any credit above anyone else, and she would certainly give all credit and glory to God, no doubt.

For those of you who have not yet already figured it out, this dear and humble disciple is Deanna McAteer, known as “Mrs. McAteer” to all the children past and present. Deanna and her husband Wayne, who has served as lay president of Prince of Peace several different times over many years including currently, have been members here since 1988. Deanna is now officially on our staff as director of children’s ministries, but does so as a non-paid staff person, further exemplifying her giving heart and generous spirit.

During the school year, Mrs. McAteer coordinates our children’s ministry and leads the Wednesday night children’s program, which includes “Faith Incubators,” Cherub Choir, and The Kids’ Ministry and Music Company. They just produced and presented “Go, Go Jonah!” as a roaring finale to the year.

On a personal note to the community, I’d like to invite the children of our community who have completed kindergarten and above through the eighth grade to come to our Vacation Bible School, Monday, June 15, 8:45 a.m., through a Sunday Morning Celebration on June 21. Please register as soon as possible as space is limited. Call 770-461-3403 or come by the church on Hwy. 314 between Lowe’s and The Pavilion to register.

Kollmeyer is Pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on Hwy. 314 in Fayetteville, between Lowe’s and The Pavilion. He invites anyone without a church right now, or anyone “seeking to improve and protect your family” to come to Sunday worship at 9:30 (Contemporary), or 11:00 (Pipe Organ). (These are summer hours.) For more information log on at www.princeofpeacefayette.com or call 770-461-3403.

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Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Sun, 05/31/2009 - 4:36pm.

Our MVP is a very special person.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Mon, 06/01/2009 - 1:35pm.

So which service do you attend: Contemporary or Traditional? Though I play a Fender guitar (and a Gibson Les Paul, etc., etc.), I confess being partial to pipe organs in church.

I lived among the Norwegian Lutheran bachelor farmers in Minnesota and taught for several years at an ELCA college (St. Olaf). Is this an ELCA or a Missouri Synod church (or something else)?

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Mon, 06/01/2009 - 5:08pm.

I usually attend the contemporary service as I do the soundboard. We are ELCA.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

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