Blue Water District VBS Expo

The Blue Water District and Cokesbury are partnering again for an exciting new Vacation Bible School (VBS) Expo. Both are giving away gifts to attendees. There are exclusive discounts and free shipping on all material purchased with your Cokesbury account. Please invite your community churches as this is open to all. The Christian Education resource room will also be open so you can look at previous VBS kits and other resources for your church. The Expo opens at 4 PM. There will be a small presentation of new material. You are then free to shop and ask questions until 7 PM. Click here to download the flyer.

Mission Opportunity for Mature Youth & Young Adults: Summer Christian Camp (VBS) Sunnyside United Methodist Church

Featuring – Leading a “Summer Christian Camp” for a distressed neighborhood surrounding Sunnyside United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan; learning about food and hunger issues; and optional training as a UMVIM Team leader!

Where will we be staying? You will be staying with church families or at the new Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry Center on the campus of Western Michigan University and eat most of your meals at the church with a group outing on the second Saturday night.

What do we bring? A list of what to wear/what to bring will be sent to you when you register!

Any Age Restrictions? Sr High youth and young adults 16-28 are a focus but Youth Leaders, Educators, Christian Educators, Pastors, and other passionate Christian adults are valued participants.

What are the dates? Actual mission site arrival will be for lunch (12 noon) at SUMC on Friday, June 24, 2016. We will get settled, do introductions, complete our orientation for the upcoming evenings of Summer Christian Camp and get prepared for the arrival of children on Sunday (June 26) at 6:00pm. The mission/ministry will officially conclude after worship on Sunday, July 3 (by noon).

What will we be doing? Working with youth from the neighborhood surrounding the Sunnyside UMC to learn about and provide a Summer Christian Camp ministry focused on food, hunger, and God’s nourishment of our souls. Opportunities will be available to experience community gardening, a Free Store ministry, Loaves and Fishes food pantry, 4-H projects in the community, and visits to the Nature Center farm near Kalamazoo.

What happens during “off” time? There will be group time after the evening sessions of the Summer Christian Camp for reflection, debriefing, devotions, and heading off to the host homes or the Wesley Foundation. Mornings will include devotional time, guest presentations/workshops around food, hunger, and resources of community and community building. Afternoons will mostly focus on preparation for the evening Summer Christian Camp sessions.

What happens each Sunday? The first Sunday will include worship at Sunnyside UMC and an afternoon of final setup and preparation for the arrival of young evening campers. The second Sunday will include a Summer Christian Camp celebration as part of morning worship and good byes of blessing for all.

What is the cost of this mission? The onsite costs: $70 for supplies and insurance, $150 for food and transportation around the Kalamazoo area. No lodging costs are planned though a thank you gift to hosts who offer their homes is a consideration. Costs for transportation to/from Kalamazoo, MI and your last Saturday evening meal are not included in mission budgeting. Add $20 for the team leader manual if you are taking the Team Leader training.

What about food? The registration fee covers all meals except dinner on Saturday. We will eat most meals served by local cooks and prepare our own breakfasts (probably cereal and fruit) and some lunches (sandwiches) at the church.

How do I reserve a spot? Send in your application form and deposit to David Newhouse, 9630 Hunters Creek,
Kalamazoo, MI 49048 . Please make checks payable to UMVIM-NCJ, with “Kalamazoo Summer Christian Camp” in the “Memo” line.

What are the deadlines? Application and deposit of $50 per person is due prior to April 30, 2016. The final balance ($170) is due by May 30, 2016.

Where do I find out more? Go to and/or Facebook: Sunnyside United Methodist Church for more info.

Who do I call if I have questions? Please contact David Newhouse at or Phone 847-263-8621.

*Special Opportunity: Leaders, Rev. and Mrs. David and Christy Newhouse, are seeking two or three young adult “interns” to assist as Directors and coordinators with the mission team. Applications are needed immediately in order to complete advance planning and preparation for the summer mission. Monthly advance planning sessions, homework preparation time, on-site leadership, and post mission evaluations and follow-up will require up to 80 hours. Stipend payment for intern leadership is to be determined. To apply, use the above contact information to get your application or invite a gifted young adult to apply.

Click HERE to download the Application Form