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“Why not movies?” asked Liz Tolkamp, pastor for children’s ministry at Willoughby Christian Reformed Church in Langley, British Columbia.

Tolkamp was explaining why her church chose “More Than a Movie” for the theme of its summer vacation Bible school.

For five days, 100 children gathered at the church to sing songs, hear Bible stories, participate in hands-on activities . . . and watch five different movies.

“We thought it would be relevant to use a media that is very much part of children’s lives,” Tolkamp said.

Pairing Bible stories with appropriate movies was the challenge. The Bible stories provided the “original screenplay and plot” and were presented by a group of community performers. These were then paired with a “feature presentation” movie.  

The Genesis story of God’s creation plan was paired with the movie Babe. Finding Nemo was paired with the Genesis 3 story of the fall and God’s redemption plan. Chicken Run, Beauty and the Beast, and Mulan completed the week’s showings.

“Most children watch movies,” said Tolkamp. “We drew them into seeing the parallels between the Bible story and the movie. By the end of the week their own thoughtful ideas surfaced.”

Inspired by this year’s positive response, Tolkamp is busy dreaming up possibilities for next year.

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