Vacation Church School: Bringing Back Our Youth and Families

This Fall, we had a very productive teaching season, with over 30  participants attending special workshops held at Saints Peter and  Paul Parish in Syracuse, NY; Holy Trinity Parish in Yonkers, NY;  and Christ the Saviour Parish in Paramus, NJ. These three deanery offerings were generously sponsored by the DDB, and all participants took home two Vacation Church School (VCS) lesson plans to get their efforts started.

Kelly Potteiger of Holy Apostles Parish in Mechanicsburg, PA  (OCA) presented Vacation Church School: Bringing Back our  Youth and Families.  

This engaging method teaches you how to easily plan a  successful Vacation Church School (VCS) that can be used  throughout the year, to draw our families closer to parish life.  

Kelly’s experience shows that the key to children’s programming is the excitement it brings and the memories it leaves with the youth. She says, “Children form a connection with their Orthodox peers and their church community, thus making lifelong friends and relationships. The youth at our parish look forward to Vacation  Church School and ask what the theme will be, months 

beforehand. The older youth are sad when they outgrow the program and frequently return to help plan and run it. It is truly a  parish undertaking of quality programming that not only teaches  Orthodox theology, but also instills in the youth a lifetime  commitment to a relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus  Christ.” 

All agreed that this training was immediately useable and worthwhile. One participant commented, “Kelly is a great speaker and presenter. She gave us so many great tools to facilitate a fun and engaging experience for our youth in the parish. She came with tangible resources that can be adapted and expanded upon as needed in the parish. I am very pleased that I was able to  participate in this workshop!” 

Click here to get your own copy of  

Let Your Light So Shine! VCS Lesson Plan. 

Click here to request a video recording of this 

VCS Training Workshop with Kelly Potteiger. 

The Department of Christian Education plans to support the participating parishes to partner with neighboring parishes to hold  VCS events in 2023. For more information about holding a VCS  event in your area, contact Matushka Tamara Cowan at

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2024 DDB Appeal

Thanks to donors like yourself, our diocese can support missions and struggling parishes, fund youth events, and educate seminarians. Thank you!



Youth Witness to the Faith Videos Series

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