Whether learning more about aviation, fishing, farming, the courage of a Bible prophet or even about bugs, children are sure to find a vacation Bible school program they can enjoy this summer at several local churches.
• First Baptist Church, 420 Howell Ave., will host "Amazing Wonders Aviation — Encountering God's Awesome Power" from 9 a.m. to noon June 25 through 29.
"The children will be learning about God's awesome power as they study how God stopped the Jordan River so Joshua and the Israelites could cross over it," said Kay Seale, program director. "They'll also learn how God closed the lions' mouths to protect Daniel, God's power over sin and death, and how believers are empowered by God to tell others about Jesus."
The program is free for children who have finished kindergarten through those who have finished fifth grade.
Call (352) 796-6791.
• The sky's the limit at "Sky — Everything is Possible with God," says the publicity material for a program being offered 9 a.m. to noon July 2 through 6 at First United Methodist Church, 109 S. Broad St.
The program promises "new friends, amazing experiments, wild games, lip-smacking snacks, surprising adventures and incredible music."
"Children will experience drama, music and activities that teach them how everything is possible with God," said Paula Whitaker, children's minister.
The program is for children age 3 through fifth grade. Preschoolers must have completed a structured preschool program and be potty trained.
The cost is $15; scholarships are available.
Weather permitting, VBS families will be invited to an old-fashioned picnic on the church grounds on the Fourth of July with a hot-air balloon demonstration.
Call (352) 796-3363.
• Play time, Bible stories, snacks and fun will be offered by Brooksville Wesleyan Church, 22319 Cortez Blvd., as part of its "Sky — Everything is Possible with God" program.
The program covers children age 5 through sixth grade and will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. July 30 through Aug. 3.
"There will be lots of fun in the rotation stations," said Charlane Blomberg, children's minister.
Register for the free program by calling (352) 799-3066.
• Ridge Manor Community United Methodist Church, 34350 Cortez Blvd., is offering "Sky — Everything is Possible with God" for children age 3 through fifth grade from 9 a.m. to noon July 23 through 27.
There is no cost for the program, which includes high-energy worship, skits, wild Bible adventures, snacks, an imagination station and outdoor games.
Register by calling (352) 583-3770 to reserve a spot; registration will also be available the first day of the program.
• Grace Presbyterian Church, 8375 Spring Hill Drive, will offer its free Bible-teaching program to children ages 4 to 11 from 9 a.m. to noon June 18 through 22. Older siblings may be helpers.
Registration forms may be obtained at the church from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, but the office is closed Wednesday afternoons.
Call (352) 683-2082.
• "You're cleared for takeoff as we fly to some of the world's greatest natural wonders and encounter God's awesome power," says a flier for Northcliffe Baptist Church's program for children age 3 through fifth grade.
The program, "Amazing Wonders Aviation — Encountering God's Awesome Power," will run from 8:45 a.m. to noon June 18 through 22.
Children will visit Victoria Falls for Bible study, the Paricutin volcano for snacks, learn about missions under the Northern Lights, enjoy music at the Matterhorn, and have fun with playtime and crafts at the Grand Canyon and Great Barrier Reef.
"The program is free, but children should preregister," ministry assistant Christine Wooters said. "This will help (parents) by not having to stand in line the first day and will allow children to be preassigned to a class."
Sign-up is available in the church lobby, Building C or G, and online at northcliffeonline.org/VBS.
The church is at 10515 Northcliffe Blvd. Call (352) 683-5882.
• "Bug Zone — Transformed by Our Big God" is the theme of the free program for children age 3 through sixth grade from 9 a.m. to noon June 25 through 29 at Spring Hill Baptist Church, 3140 Mariner Blvd.
"This is going to be a great VBS week as we are transforming our church into a huge bug zone," said Chris Wheeler, pastor of youth and family.
The program will focus on Bible characters and teach children that as they obey God, their lives will be transformed into something beautiful.
"We will have bug stories, bug crafts, bug games, bug prizes, bug puppets and my favorite — bug snacks," Wheeler said.
He said parents can "bug" him for information at (352) 683-5685. Preregistration is available by emailing email@example.com.
• Children will be able to "grow love, sprout joy, plant peace, produce patience and pick kindness" at the "Son Harvest County Fair" from 6 to 9 p.m. June 25 through 29 at Calvary Chapel, 5155 Commercial Way.
The free program is for children age 2 through 10.
"Children are our most precious resource for the future," pastor Matt Andruss said. "We want to invest in them the truth of God's love and what it means to bear the fruit of the Spirit. This will lay a foundation that they can pass on to their children."
Snacks will be provided. Register by calling (352) 650-8455 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
• First United Methodist Church of Spring Hill, 9344 Spring Hill Drive, will offer its free program, "Fishin' on a Mission with Jesus," for children age 4 through sixth grade from 8:30 a.m. to noon July 16 through 20.
There will be crafts, music, story time, snacks and a fun-filled opening each day.
"Children will have hands-on experiences and will learn that Jesus wants them to know that he loves them and gives them the opportunity to follow him, making the word spread about his love," said Pat Wolfarth, director of children's ministries.
Registration forms may be picked up at the church. Call (352) 683-2600, ext. 2015.
• Nativity Lutheran Church, 6363 Commercial Way, will teach children age 3 (if potty trained) to age 12 about "Babylon: Daniel's Courage in Captivity" from 9 a.m. to noon June 25 through 29.
"Our free program will have children experiencing that God is with you, no matter where you are," according to an announcement from the church.
"Tribes" of children will travel to the marketplace, the food court and the palace playground. They will learn songs of praise and worship, make crafts and hear from Daniel about how he trusted in God while in captivity.
Registration should be completed by June 17. Call (352) 597-1456.