Submitted by Rev. Bill Hoffman
Over 40 youth in Faulkton, South Dakota, went to Rome – well, sort of. The youth and volunteers from three denominations recently participated in vacation Bible school titled "Paul and the Underground Church".
The one-day event was sponsored by the Faulkton Ministerial Association. Three volunteers coordinated the effort: Dawn Melius of St. Thomas Catholic Church, Melissa Hayes of Our Savior Lutheran, and Nikki Melius of the Faulkton United Methodist Church.
With the help of many volunteers, the church basement of St. Thomas was transformed into a Roman marketplace. Youth experienced shops that included toga, scribe, leatherworking, metal working, wreath making, architecture, and a food shop as well as animal sacrifice sales and apprenticeship games.
The children also visited Paul, portrayed by Derek Barrios, while he wrote letters to the Romans. Paul was under house arrest and chained to a Roman guard. Brent Koens was Brutus, the Roman guard. Participants also visited the underground church which was a cave where a few Christians – Lucia, played by Stacy Aesop, and Marcus portrayed by David Hadrick – visited with them about being Christians.
When not in Rome, youth attended "Extollo" at the United Methodist Church, where they learned praise and worship songs as well as meeting in small groups with their families to do activities and discuss each of the day's five themes.
A program was held at 5:00 p.m. to share the day's activities through songs and pictures. A meal was provided by Faulkton United Methodist church to end their fun filled, meaningful day in Rome.