CSM’s 2024 VBS theme tackles food insecurity

By Rassel Meigan Rodriguez

Feb 16, 2024

Amid the growing pressures of food insecurity and world hunger today, where do we turn to for our needs? CSM Publishing’s 2024 Vacation Bible School (VBS) offering, HOPE GARDEN: Thriving in God’s Care, highlights the ways God has provided sustainable and affordable solutions that may be found in our very own homes and churches.

As the Philippines continues to face challenges like hunger, malnutrition, and climate-related supply shocks, this new material for churches helps kids and adults journey through these and learn how to thrive through God’s faithful provision for our daily physical and spiritual needs.

“Our goal is to move from scarcity to a healthy, thriving, and sustainable life,” said Dominique Gonzaga-Sulatra, VBS Hope Garden’s writer and CSM Children’s Materials Editor, at the release’s kick-off event held at the CSM Building on February 15, 2024.

To achieve this, VBS Hope Garden includes ways on how to use God-given resources wisely to live sustainably and even to reach out to others in the community. Some of the practices shared include proper storage of food, planning nutritious meals, helping others, and even cultivating our own vegetables and fruits in Hope Gardens at home or at church.

This emphasis on empowering children and adults to live sustainably in terms of food security also sets VBS Hope Garden apart from previous CSM releases The Good Planet and Earth Keeper, which focus on growing love for God’s creation and becoming good stewards of it.

The VBS Hope Garden Starter Set retains the compact, recyclable carton packaging from past VBS materials, still priced at P995. The set contains 1 Director’s Manual, 3 Teacher’s Manuals, 15 Student’s Journals in full color (Certificate of Attendance included), and 1 VBS Promotional Poster.

For bigger class sizes, additional journals and manuals are also available, along with other accessories like VBS Hope Garden Theme Verse Shirts, ribbons, and flags. For more information and downloadable materials, you may head to the VBS Hope Garden Official Website.

Want to learn how to use VBS Hope Garden for your church? Children’s ministry volunteers and workers are encouraged to attend upcoming Training Workshops to be held on April 6 and 20, 2024 at the CSM Building in Parañaque City. Interested participants may contact the Training Department at 8852-7301 to 04 local 110 / 0908-893-7016 / training@csm-publishing.com on Mondays to Fridays between 7AM-4PM.


VBS Hope Garden Kick-Off

To open the new Vacation Bible School season, CSM staff held a kick-off event at the CSM building on February 15, 2024.

Marketing Manager Ella Rodelas introduces Hope Garden as this year’s VBS theme.

VBS Hope Garden writer Dominique Gonzaga-Sulatra shares the background and overview of this year’s theme, which serves as a “reminder that we have a God whose provision is sufficient for His children.”

Marketing Manager Ella Rodelas discusses the contents of the VBS Starter Set.

Aside from the Starter Set, accessories such as Theme Verse Shirts are also available, along with free supplemental materials like banners and backdrops that may be downloaded from the VBS Hope Garden website.

CSM IT Specialist Aaron Plantilla walks the staff through the newly-launched website for VBS Hope Garden.

CSM staff learn the action steps for this year’s VBS theme song, “My Compassionate Friend,” by Stephen Elkins.

CSM staff share prayer concerns with one another through a “prayer garden.”

In celebration of VBS Hope Garden, the staff also formed teams for cultivating fruits and vegetables such as tomato, eggplant, ampalaya, mustard, and pechay within building spaces until June 2024.