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Standard Publishing Introduces VBS 2011 -- Inside Out & Upside Down on Main Street

Contact: Joni Sullivan Baker, 513-319-3231

ST. LOUIS, June 29 /Christian Newswire/ -- Everyone loves a good story, and stories are one of the best ways to teach people of all ages. Jesus used stories, too, teaching some of the most important lessons of the Christian life in stories his listeners had to think about to understand -- the parables.

Join Standard Publishing on Main Street where children will learn about parables in a friendly, wacky and whimsical town setting for Vacation Bible School 2011.

Standard Publishing announced its exciting new 2011 VBS today in St. Louis at the International Christian Retail Show, officially introducing Inside Out & Upside Down on Main Street: Where Jesus makes a difference every day!

Each day during Inside Out & Upside Down on Main Street, children will learn a parable that teaches an important quality of the Christian life. Called the daily Word on the Street these five concepts will be taught and reinforced throughout the week.

"In Inside Out & Upside Down on Main Street we want to reinforce the message that Jesus changes lives every day as we listen to His teaching and let him change us," said Standard Publishing's VBS Marketing Manager Bob Wallace. "The stories of the parables teach lessons we all need to learn, and be reminded of, so it's great for adults -- and adult workers -- as well as the kids."

"At Standard Publishing we know VBS changes lives and are committed to producing VBS materials that help us all connect to Jesus and his teachings, and let him change us."

The five-day VBS "Word on the Street" themes are:

• Gratitude -- Parable of the Whiny Workers (Workers in the Vineyard -- Matthew 20:1-16)

• Compassion -- Parable of the Roadside Rescue (Good Samaritan -- Luke 10:25-37)

• Forgiveness -- Parable of the Shocking Servant (Unmerciful Servant -- Matthew 18:21-35)

• Grace -- Parable of the Warmest Welcome (Prodigal Son -- Luke 15:11-32)

• Faithfulness -- Parable of the Master's Money (Ten Talents -- Luke 19:12-26)

In field testing at Christ's Church of Mason, Ohio, children were enthusiastic about being on Main Street. From singing songs at Sidewalk Celebration at the beginning and end of each day, to Parable Productions where they act out and experience the day's story in a theatre setting, to the Fun Factory for crafts and projects, Firehouse Fitness for games, and Brown Bag Bistro for snacks, the daily Word on the Street is reinforced in the children's experiences.

Children will wrap up these lessons in the year's memory verse, Psalm 25:4-5: "Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

"I've loved every moment of working with VBS," said Shelby Gillum of Maineville, Ohio, one of the volunteer crew leaders at Standard's field test.

"It touches my heart so deeply I love to do it every year. VBS is definitely a great evangelism tool for any church."

Standard Publishing is one of the nation's leading publishers of VBS. Its award-winning VBS programs consistently rank high with consumers for Biblical content, thorough lessons, and variety of extra materials available. In 2010, Standard's VBS received the year's Best VBS award from Christianity Today's Your Church magazine.

The field-tested lessons and activities work in classroom settings or with children grouped in small crews that move from site to site. The program is adaptable for preschoolers through teens. In addition, small group materials for adults are also available.

Extensive materials to help guarantee a church's success include downloadable resources and web-based tools in addition to CDs of everything from nametags to thank you notes, and from music song sheets to snack recipes.

"We think adults as well as children will love the bright graphics of Main Street and the great music that draws from a range of genres, from pop to country," said Bob Wallace, Standard Publishing's Marketing Manager for Vacation Bible School. "We take seriously the responsibility of helping churches have the tools they need to have a great experience for the children and the workers who bring the parables to life in Inside Out & Upside Down on Main Street."

Standard Publishing also offers all participating churches the opportunity to create their own customized VBS web sites with unique URLs, even those churches that do not have a church web site. Using a web site builder, a church can upload photos, logos and forms to customize its site.

In addition to providing information about an upcoming VBS, the site can streamline registration by allowing participants to register online, and also provides an opportunity for participants to obtain documents such as medical release forms, permission slips and emergency contact forms.

At www.vacationbibleschool.com, VBS leaders will find additional helps, free downloads of MP3 files of VBS music, and a forum for churches to share experiences, tips and even their gently-used décor, costumes and sets. These tools are in addition to other helps such as a Director's Guide, a Decorating Pak and a Planning DVD for promotion.

The Starter Kit and Power Pak for Inside Out & Upside Down on Main Street may be pre-ordered now, and will ship in December. The Starter Kit, at $69.99, will include director's resources, plus sample site leader's guides, and teacher and student materials, a total value of more than $175. The Power Pak will include all items in the Starter Kit plus the Costume Pak, Theme Pack, Art and Decorating CD, two Poster Paks, and Kids View DVD. The Power Pak costs $199.99, with materials valued at more than $325. All additional items will be available in February 2011.

To learn more about Inside Out & Upside Down on Main Street and hear the music, at ICRS come to the Standard Publishing booth #2018, or later visit www.vacationbibleschool.com, or www.standardpub.com.

For more than 140 years, Standard Publishing has been raising the standard for true-to-the-Bible resources that educate, encourage and enrich. The company is based in Cincinnati, Ohio where it was founded in 1866. For more information, visit www.StandardPub.com or call Standard Publishing at 1-800-543-1353.