Stories told by Jesus chosen as VBS 2016 theme

News release
November 19, 2015SurpriseVBS

Stories told by Jesus chosen as VBS 2016 theme

Newest summer Bible school curriculum ready for orders

HARRISONBURG, Va., and KITCHENER, Ontario—Surprise! Stories of Discovering Jesus is the new MennoMedia vacation Bible school material for 2016.

The theme was suggested by users who asked for vacation Bible school material that focuses on Jesus. The team producing the upcoming VBS curriculm looked at stories about Jesus, and noticed that many of the passages featured people and situations where Jesus said or did surprising things. These revealed new facets of Jesus and his teachings. Those stories include Jesus in the temple, with children, in the crowd, during the night, and while walking along a road.

Girl in her driveway playing with chalk
Girl in her driveway playing with chalk

Created for children ages 4 through grade 5, with free options for junior youth available on the VBS website (, the materials feature a time of worship that includes a drama to present the Bible story. After worship, children rotate among activities that relate to the Bible story.

Dawn Silvius at Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in San Antonio, Texas, said that this “format brings adults and kids together for extended periods of time around a variety of activities.” She adds that adults and children learn to know each other and develop lasting friendships. They develop friendships that “continue to grow through the rest of the year.” Silvius also adds that “vacation Bible school is a wonderful week for our congregation.”

The VBS 2016 materials were written by a team in Ontario, coordinated by managing editor Mary Ann Weber. Writing rotates among various Mennonite communities across the United States and Canada, and varies by year.

Surprise! Stories of Discovering Jesus may be ordered in an all-in-one boxed set including everything needed for planning and preparation. All items are also available separately. More information is at:

MennoMedia Staff
Hi-res photos available

or more information on the news release
Melodie Davis
[email protected]