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Hero Hospital VBS

 “Home to God's Outrageous Love”
From Matthew 21:14-16

About Hero Hospital

Hero Hospital is a totally free and brand-new VBS that draws from the inspiring experiences of everyday heroes during the global pandemic.  This VBS is designed with social-distancing and virtual learning in mind, with in-person and at-home options for everything.  It could be used as either a traditional weeklong VBS, a six week series, or anything in between.  The activities are simple and require minimal supplies but have a big impact.

Hero Hospital is also a Vision-Building Service program.  It’s a VBS that truly builds Jesus’ vision of a just kingdom filled with servant hearts.  The churches, families, and kids that participate in Hero Hospital will be challenged and guided in tackling real-world problems through faith-inspired projects focused on Matthew 21:14-16.  The scientific investigation, the creative thinking and making, even the exploration through music and play, all contribute to a tangible effort to serve and help others, inspired by Jesus’ own teachings and actions. 

This is a learning and service program for your entire church and for all ages.  You are free to pick and choose whichever parts and pieces you prefer but each part features and each piece connects to a Big Church Project.  This is not just a collection of churchy activities to keep your kids busy.  This is a tool to empower your kids to lead your whole church into greater fulfillment of God’s Kingdom.

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The activities of Hero Hospital are guided by a special Lego-based Builder Book that helps all of the participants track how much they are learning from Jesus and the historical guides as they discover their own gifts and awesomeness as builders of Jesus' vision of God's Kingdom.

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Hero Hospital is divided up into six parts.  Throughout all the activities, the whole church explores the theme of “God’s Outrageous Love” found in Matthew 21:14-16, as people of all ages work together to build up God’s Kingdom by preparing their community to be…

They rubbed their eyes, amazed—and then glorified God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!”

He taught people the truth of God—the good news of the kingdom.  Word got around. Jesus healed them, one and all.

Jesus said, “Daughter, now you’re healed and whole. Go in Peace.  Live well, live blessed!”

I know one thing for sure: that though I was blind, now I see.  I came into the clear light of day.

Jesus said, “the people are to know all about God—streaming in from the east, pouring in from the west, sitting down at God’s kingdom banquet.

And the entire crowd was delighted and cheered, rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

Participants will explore a STORY of when Jesus healed a person experiencing illness or disability, particularly

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They will be led through the story by a HISTORICAL GUIDE who had a distinct faith-inspired impact on healthcare

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The guide will also help participants consider how God’s love and Jesus’ example lead us to answer BIG QUESTIONS

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The whole church is inspired to answer the big questions with real-world

BIG CHURCH PROJECTS

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The kids will take the lead in creating materials for the Big Church Projects as they lend their ARTistic gifts to…

The kids will take the lead in investigating the SCIENCE behind the Big Church Projects as they experiment with…

Families play in the just kingdom they’re building and rediscover favorite GAMES with special “Gospel Rules” for…

Participants are pumped up and inspired by MUSIC to finish the Big Church Projects with a slate of awesome songs.

 
 
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Where are the skits?

The story of this VBS is the story of the Covid-19 Pandemic.  You're town and church's experiences are the plots of the skits.  Your people are the characters.  We hope that the Hero Hospital VBS helps you to remember your story and to continue living your pandemic story through the lens of Jesus Good News about the Kingdom of God.  Don't lose sight of the fact that Jesus is a main character in your story too!

Where are the opening and closing materials?

Instead of giving you an opening and closing guide, we've given you something better--a worship guide.  We are providing resources to use for connecting Hero Hospital with worship.  Remember this is a Vision-Building Service program for your entire church, not just the kids.  You absolutely should be connecting all of the kingdom building you're doing with God to worship.  When we say worship we mean an actual traditional, contemporary, heritage, family--or whatever you might call it--worship service.

Each worship guide includes the Confession and Forgiveness, the Prayer of the Day, an Old Testament Reading, a Gospel Reading, Sermon Notes, an Affirmation of Faith, Prayers of the People, and Offering Prayer, a Blessing, and even recommended hymns:

Hero Hospital Stories and Guides

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The stories of Jesus' healings will come to you through awesome Lego Mini-movies.

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Hero Hospital takes a close look at six different stories where Jesus helps someone who is experiencing a disability or an illness.  In each story we see an amazing outpouring of God's love but what we do not always see is thanks or appreciation.  Some people are even outraged.  We have a lot to learn from these stories and how they can influence our lives today.  

In order to help us with this learning, key Historical Guides will show us how God's amazing outpouring of love influenced their lives.  These guides are Ella P. Stewart (A Pioneering Pharmacist), Harriet Tubman (A Civil War Nurse and Leader),     Saint Fabiola (The Force Behind The First Hospital Network), Susan Le Flesche Picotte (A Leader in Native American Healthcare), Hildegard of Bingen (A Groundbreaking Medical Scholar), and Cecilia Makiwane (A Trailblazing African Nurse).

 

Hero Hospital Big Questions

and Big Church Projects

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Hero Hospital is designed around empowering your kids to take the lead in tackling real-world problems with actual projects that improve the lives of others while improving your ministries.  Along the way the kids will also answer important questions that are especially pertinent for a time of pandemic.  If you read this list of projects and think to yourself, "How could our church possibly do all this?" We want you to pause for a moment and consider who your God is.  With a mustard seed amount of faith, you can complete all of these projects and more.  We're not asking you to move mountains.  We're asking you to lay a few bricks in the building of God's kingdom.  Every tool you'll need, God has already given you.  And if you follow along with this program, your kids will provide you with plenty of motivation and inspiration.  We call these projects "big" not because of the work involved but because of the impact they make.  Here are those Big Church Projects:

  • A Place for All: Develop Person-first Language for your church’s prayers and other communications that thinks inclusively about impairment, disability, mobility, and physical or mental health.  (Resource Link)

  • A Place for Heroes: Commit to addressing trauma in your community by holding an ELCA “Care for Returning Veterans Workshop” or similar learning experience.  (Resource Link)

  • A Place for Hope: Bring a family some hope by joining or hosting a simple pennies-on-the-dollar fundraiser for medical-debt relief.  (Resource Link)

  • A Place for Healing: Give the gift of sight by collecting and donating gently-used glasses or even help to cure blindness by raising funds for cataract surgery.  (Resource Link)

  • A Place for Discovery: Save lives by holding a community blood drive at your church or set ambitious goals for your pre-planned blood drives.  (Resource Link)

  • A Place for Praise: Support frontline healthcare workers by offering encouragement through social media and come up with a plan for tangible support on a local level for all essential workers.  (Resource Link)

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The Big Questions are a big deal.  These are thoughts your kids have probably had or will have soon.  Hero Hospital aims to equip your kids in answering these questions and other big life questions that come their way.  A goal of Hero Hospital is to get people to start practicing Person-First Language, but here's how a typical kid might word the questions:

  • When you're sick or hurt, is that all of who you are?

  • What do you do if your friend gets sick or hurt?

  • What do you do if you get sick or hurt?

  • Why do only some people get sick or hurt?

  • Why do only some people get better?

  • How can I help people who are taking care of others?

 
 

Hero Hospital Art

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Your kids will make your Big Church Projects possible while contemplating the Big Questions with their inspiring works of art, including...

  • A Place for All Pocket Prayer Squares that recognize how anyone can warm up under a blanket and we always have friends around.  

  • A Place for Heroes Inner Strength Tattoo Stamps that show how we are not just marked by traumas but also our spiritual strengths, signified by furry or feathery friends.  

  • A Place for Hope $10,000 Bill and Giant Check Collage artworks that show the real cost of debt with magazine clippings or coloring.  

  • A Place for Healing Famous Frames made from pipe cleaners inspired by the actual glasses of trailblazing scientists.

  • A Place for Discovery Custom Blood Donor Stickers to promote your blood drive and thank your donors.

  • A Place for Praise "You Rocks!!!" painted rocks in appreciation of frontline workers who have made sacrifices during the pandemic.

Hero Hospital Science

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In order to better understand your Big Church Projects the kids will...

  • explore the Power of Prostheses  as budding engineers and inventors building A Place for All.

  • investigate how to Hover Over It All on a hovercraft to help build A Place for Heroes.

  • look into the science and technology of Real Dollars and Cents so that they can be builders of A Place for Hope.

  • explore The Miracles of Sight  with thaumatropes, optical effects, and more in order to help build A Place for Healing.

  • investigate how to Get Your Heart Pumping  with heartrate, blood pressure, and blood vessel experiments to help build A Place for Discovery.

  • discover how our brain requires Rest to Recharge  even when our body is ready for the next round so that they can continue building A Place for Praise.

Hero Hospital Games

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Families will rediscover some of their favorite table-top games with a few special Jesus-inspired “Gospel Rules” that change how the game is won and lost.  Those games include...

 

Alternative running around games are also provided.

 

Hero Hospital Music

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Awesome songs by talented musicians will connect us with God’s outrageous love and will pump us up to work towards fulfilling God’s kingdom through the Big Church Projects.  These songs come to us from the Saddleback Kids youtube channel and even come to us in videos with subtitles and motions:

  • "Big and Strong"

  • "Lift You Up"

  • "Learn to Love"

  • "I Know I Belong"

  • "The Good News"

  • "Everyone Praise the Lord"

There's even a awesome Theme Song for the whole VBS called "This Love."

 
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This comprehensive learning guide is offered completely for free for use by your church!  

About the Authors

Hero Hospital is a collaborative effort of people and churches in the Southern Ohio Synod and beyond.  Dan Jacob (Ministry Associate at Wittenberg University and Youth Leader at Peace Lutheran in Beavercreek) and Gary Pecuch (SOS Youth and Family Ministry Coach) have organized these efforts.  If you're curious about how all these original materials were made then check out Inkscape (graphic design), DaVinci Resolve (videos), Animatron (animations), EZgif (gifs), Artfire (lego minifigures), Audacity (audio clips), and Wix (website).

The bannerblue.org site also showcases much of the other work of Dan and the artists he works with.  If you'd like to support projects like Hero Hospital, please consider heading over to the Make Mobile page to check out another major project that could use your help.