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Ontario Cadets and GEMS Build a Tabernacle


“Nothing like power tools and boys,” said a counselor, watching his Cadet group one Monday night. The Cadets and GEMS groups of Maranatha Christian Reformed Church in Woodstock, Ontario, teamed up to create a tabernacle as part of a church-wide focus on the ancient Hebrew structure. Cadets and GEMS are the groups for boys and girls in many CRCs.

Cadets work on the altar for the tabernacle.

Kristin Klein

For several weeks, Cadets created tabernacle items including the altar from such everyday materials as broken hockey sticks, pieces of fencing, and plastic pipes.

The boys studied the temple objects with their counselors, planned ways to recreate them, gathered materials, and then, with great enthusiasm, set to work. “I can’t believe the whole church will see this!” exclaimed one. His partner looked up. “Careful—don’t drill my hand!”

In another area, fumes filled the air as Cadets covered already-constructed objects with bronze and gold spray paint.

Meanwhile, some of the GEMS were working on curtains to set apart the Most Holy Place and to mark its entrance. The tabernacle was tent-like structure, a sort of portable temple the Israelites used for worship before the temple was built in Jerusalem. The project meets some of the requirements for a sewing badge.

Other GEMS practiced a creative movement routine with flags, which they will perform during one of the five evening programs for the whole church. Sunday school classes are also studying a 12-week program on the tabernacle. “The nice part is that the children are coming in as the experts, because they already learned much of the stuff in the morning,” said Kristin Klein, ministry coordinator for the church.

The tabernacle series, part of the church’s use of the WE intergenerational curriculum from Faith Alive Christian Resources, helps people understand how the tabernacle points to Christ and God’s desire to live with his people.

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