By Caleb Kaltenbach
ASHLAND, MN—Back in January, the family ministry team of First Christian Church gathered to discuss possible VBS themes before finally settling on The Hunger Games.
“It seemed like a good idea,” said student pastor Francis Jenson. “I like the Hunger Games movies, and kids play a significant role in the films. It seemed perfect.”
That first night, parents dropped off their kids in the church’s sanctuary. Many parents left immediately, but some paused as the lights dimmed and a sense of foreboding took over.
“They had fake trees all over the room,” reported Andrea Lansberry, mother of two children who attended that first night. “There were so many trees you couldn’t see the other side of the room. The kids had to sit against the walls. Then the student pastor said something like, ‘May the odds ever be in your favor.’”
As soon as the children started combat—most of them using improvised weapons—many disturbed parents entered the makeshift Hunger Games arena to pull their kids out of VBS.
Still, some children hung on and returned for several nights—though numbers dwindled as players were “eliminated.”
“I guess we should have anticipated that,” Jenson said. Only two children returned that last night.
“On the plus side, several parents told us they’ve never received such big, big hugs from their kids,” Jenson said.
“What’s the big fuss?” questioned children’s assistant Irene Slumtom. “Do we have to do Dare to be a Daniel every year? The parents have no idea how many themes we rejected. I mean, we refused to do a Deadpool theme! Doesn’t that count for anything?”
When asked if he still thought the theme was a good idea, Jenson replied, “I guess not. Why? Do you think we should try it one more time?”
Caleb Kaltenbach is just kidding.