Hero Hospital VBS
“Home to God's Outrageous Love”
From Matthew 21:14-16
Let's explore the amazing stories of Jesus and the people he inspired.
Building a Place for All
Racism: Hurting someone with words or actions and denying their place in God's family just because of the color of their skin. Racism is a sin.
Sexism: Hurting someone with words or actions and denying their place in God's family just because of their gender. Sexism is a sin.
Historical Guide: Ella P. Stewart
Background on the Guide for Leaders:
Ella P. Stewart isn’t known for one accomplishment, she’s known for dozens. One of the very first African American female pharmacists in the United States, Ella also served as President of the National Association of Colored Women, Commissioner of UNESCO, won many awards including honorary degrees and induction into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame, but Ella considered the greatest honor of her life to be the naming of the Ella P. Stewart Elementary School in Toledo, Ohio. A world traveller, and leader, Ella often returned to Toledo to visit the school. In 1922 Ella started the first black-owned drugstore in Toledo, Stewart's Pharmacy. She broke through many racist and sexist barriers in her life. In 1957 Ella was invited to a special dinner honoring distinguished Virginian’s and celebrating the state’s beginning 350 years earlier. After the organizers realized Ella and other people invited were black, their invitations were cancelled. The Toledo Blade newspaper reported that Ella contacted Virginia’s governor to let him know that she had decided for herself not to attend but that, “I still have officially accepted your honor and that honor is still mine.” Ella was active in her church and spent her life spreading the Good News of Jesus as a pharmacist, activist, and leader.
If you are virtual or in person:
Have the kids and participating adults get out their Builder Book for Hero Hospital. They will use the book to follow along as you talk about the Historical Guide's Story, Jesus' Story, and as they think about their own story. As you'll see, they'll as use the book to award Builder Brick stickers (printed on ordinary 1x2.67 inch address labels which are then cut in half).
If you are virtual:
Sharescreen this interactive graphic and let the participants take turns in choosing an animation of Ella for you to click on to learn more about her story (Ella's story is also included in the Builder Book):
If you are in person:
Show this interactive graphic on a large screen and let the participants take turns clicking on an animation of Ella to learn more about her story (Ella's story is also included in the Builder Book):
Ella P. Stewart and building a place for...
Ella was born in 1892 in Virginia, U.S.A.
Ella had three siblings and was
Ella was a leader in her church and helped to bring churches together for big projects.
First Black Pharmacist in America
Ella went to school when being a girl and being black made it really hard.
Started a Pharmacy
Ella worked hard to make sure that everyone in her town could get the medicine they needed.
Ella was president of a national group helping women of color to be able to go to the same places and to have the same rights as everyone.
Ella was vise-president of a group helping women in Asia and the Pacific Islands be included in making peace.
Loved to See New Places
Ella travelled all over the United States and even the world but called Ohio home.
Proud of Her School
Ella loved to visit the school that was named after her - Go Panthers!!!
Ella was commissioner or leader for a worldwide group working to heal the world with peace.
Ella voiced by Rebecca West-Estell of Glenwood Lutheran Church in Toledo, OH.
Award Ella Builder Bricks!
Ella Loved to see new places -
She travelled all over the United States and even the world but called Ohio home.
Make sure all the kids have their Builder Books opened to the Ella's Awesome page and that they have a sheet of Builder Brick stickers ready. Tell the kids that their goal is to give Ella the most possible Builder Bricks. For every brick awarded, a matching sticker should be added to the Ella's Awesome page. Bricks should be awarded for all the things she did to build up Jesus’ vision of the Kingdom of God. That includes things like this:
One brick for every example from the story about music (pink sticker)
One brick for every example of making something or being creative (purple sticker)
One brick for every example of learning and exploring ideas (blue sticker)
One brick for being a good example and leading the way (yellow sticker)
One brick for accomplishing something new in life (green sticker)
Two bricks for working to include others (orange sticker)
Watch the Lego Video about Mark 2:1-12
Let's check in on Brick World to see what's going on with Jesus--the ultimate builder of God's Kingdom. Keep an eye out for ways Ella is a builder like Jesus, and how we can be too. (You can enlarge the video within the video player.)
Award Ella Bonus Builder Bricks
Make sure the kids still have their Ella's Awesome page and Builder Brick stickers. The kids can now give Ella bonus bricks:
Two bricks for every connection made to Jesus’ Story (red sticker)
Award Builder Bricks to the Kids
Make sure all the kids have their I'm Awesome page and Builder Brick stickers. Tell the kids that their goal is to award the most possible Builder Bricks to everyone. For every brick awarded, a matching sticker should be added to their I'm Awesome page. Kids can give bricks to themselves, to each other, or you can give them bricks. Every Builder Brick given should be explained.
Builder Bricks can be awarded for any of these reasons (or reasons you can come up with):
Two bricks for following Jesus and helping people like he did (red sticker)
One bricks for something about music (pink sticker)
One brick for being creative or making things (purple sticker)
One brick for learning and exploring ideas (blue sticker)
One brick for being a good example and leading the way (yellow sticker)
One brick for being a good team player (green sticker)
Two bricks for working to include others like Ella (orange sticker)
Question to Explore
Does experiencing an illness or disability define all of who you are?
Bring it all Together, Brick by Brick
It's up to leaders how they want to share this reflection with the participating kids and adults. You can read it, share it conversationally, or simply use it to help answer questions that might come up:
Ella spent loads of her time and energy making sure everyone would be included. When she found out a whole city didn't have a place for black people to get medicine, she built a new pharmacy. When she discovered that Asian women were being left out of the plan to create peace, she led a group to lift up their voices.
When the man who lived with a paralysis couldn't get into the house to see Jesus, he and his friends dug a hole in the roof and lowered him to Jesus. When Jesus saw this, he was so so so so so excited! He didn't see a paralyzed person in front of him, he saw a totally brave, awesome, and inventive person with amazing faith. For Jesus, paralysis did not define all of who the man was. Jesus inspired Ella to not see gender or race as all of who someone is.
Today you are challenged to make your church into "a place for all."
Go out and do it!!!
Building A Place for All:
“They rubbed their eyes, amazed—and then glorified God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!”
From Mark 2:1-12
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. Special thanks goes to Rebecca West-Estell of Glenwood Lutheran Church in Toledo, OH, for providing the voice for Ella P. Stewart. 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.