Special needs adults join fun at All Saints Episcopal VBS

Special needs adults join fun at All Saints Episcopal VBS

It was the first year that All Saint’s Episcopal Church has included both children and special needs adults in its Vacation Bible School program and things worked out “as smooth as butter,” said Hillary Citrano of San Jose, director of Christian Formation and Children in Need at the church.

During the third week of June, 10 special needs adults from the church’s adult day care center joined 81 children from both the parish and community at large in the week-long program, meaning that the VBS students ranged in age from four to 70.

AllSaintsEverest_02“We want to invite children from all over our community and our special needs adults to come to VBS and learn that any challenge life may throw at you can be conquered with God,” Citrano said. “We’ve worked really hard to create a safe, fun and loving environment for everyone, including the wonderful volunteers. Keeping it fun, sweet and simple is key, and reminding everyone that we are all God’s children no matter what.”

The theme of the instruction this year was “Everest: Conquering Challenges with God’s Mighty Power” and it was proven in the ease that the various age groups were able to mesh so effortlessly in the program, said Citrano. “It’s really working out,” she said, adding that the church might again include the special needs adults next year. “The lesson was, ‘we’re all God’s children.’ It’s a precious ministry on steroids, a B12 shot for your spirit.”

Helping with the program this year was Marian Wilcher, head of the All Saints Learning Center, Michael Mastricola of San Marco, music director of the church, Barbara Hicks, program director for adults at All Saints, and Nate Huddleston, a seminary student at the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Mastricola included a religious music therapy component in his program for the adults.

Also teaching in the VBS program was Renee Black and Marla Anderson, both of San Marco. Assisting the teachers were Henry Ferguson, Gabi and Tori Zlatanoff of San Marco, Carly Mosley, Emily Citrano and Nick Mosely of San Jose, and Gracie Maynor, Emma St. John, Mary El Hassen, and Hailey Rosenfeld.

Citrano also expressed appreciation for All Saints Episcopal Rector, Father Donavan Cain. “Without his support and efforts none of this would be happening,” she said.

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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