Lutherans tired with having to use last year’s cartoon trends for your VBS theme, pay attention!

(A few weeks ago I ran into Pastor Burfeind at Ft. Wayne and saw his curriculum materials and was very impressed. I asked him to put to gether a blurb so our BJS readers could become aware of this good stuff – Pastor Rossow)

Pax Domini PressPax Domini Press has been in business since 2004. We produce educational materials for Vacation Bible School and Sunday School. We entered into this enterprise due to the huge gap in the market for materials that are not garish, cartoony, moralizing, and singularly lacking in any substance. We pride ourselves on using artwork from the great legacy of Christian art. Our content is challenging, catechetical, and solidly anchored on the language of our Biblical, liturgical, and confessional heritage. Our crafts are durable as well, using materials like wood, glass, plaster, and cloth.

When we first entered the market, we had a strong “cottage industry” feel to our materials. They were all in black and white. This worked nicely, because we were forced to use artwork from the fine tradition of Reformation-era engraving. But we have always been striving to go “head to head” with the big boys in terms of “curb appeal.”   That meant going color, fine-tuning our crafts, and beefing up our materials in other areas.

I believe we are there. This year we are launching a new website. On the website are 6 VBS programs: In the Name (on the Trinity), Fervent Love for One Another (on Communion and Christian love), Five Words of Understanding (on the ICHTHUS), I Am (on the seven I Am’s in the Gospel of John), According to the Scriptures (on Christ in the Old Testament), and introducing this year, “A New Song” on the songs of Scripture that inform the theology and language of the liturgy.   (We have three other VBS programs  that are currently being updated, on Law and Gospel, on the Baptismal Life, and on Absolution)

At the website, costumers can download the entire program, or order a CD. In these files are everything a congregation will need to self publish a VBS. They have full rights to duplicate as many workbooks as they need, for as many years as they want, all for $150. Pax Domini Press also provides craft kits, craft accessories (molds et. al.),  and workbooks for congregations that may not have these resources.

Pax Domini Press also has three fine Sunday School curricula, one on the Historic Lectionary, one on the texts of the Liturgy, and one on the Gospel of Matthew.

Go to our website and look at our testimonials on the first page. Comments garnered around the internet universe reveal a clientele that is happy with our product!

There’s no need to have to hold your nose and “settle” for VBS fluff this year. Pax Domini Press has you covered!

Rev. Peter Burfeind, Pax Domini Press

You can visit the website at

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Lutherans tired with having to use last year’s cartoon trends for your VBS theme, pay attention! — 13 Comments

  1. Very cool. Makes me wish I was in a situation to use those materials.

    Quote from the website:

    “The traditional Christian illustrations and the focus on the sacramental presence of Jesus among His people, young and old, is a great start in correcting the widely-held error that says you reach the youth by making Jesus a pop star.” – Lutheran Pastor (LCMS) and customer of Pax Domini Press

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  2. Hey, we just launched our new website with a big ad campaign to all LCMS congregations. I want everyone who looks at this page to know that the language in that ad was NOT approved by us. We wrote something up that properly reflected what we wanted to convey about Pax Domini Press, and our web-marketing people handed it over to an advertising person to “work with it.” They came up with language that makes our product sound almost New Agey!!! At least highly neo-evangelical (is there a difference?).

    At any rate, I told our web-marketing people that they should not send out that language in the ad, but what we had originally written. Today when I looked at the ad that was sent out, it had the language we did not want. My heart fell about a mile!

    I know everyone who reads this website will be confessional, so I want everyone to know that if you truly want to know about Pax Domini Press and our products, go to the website. The ad sent out has our products and the blurbs on the product is ours, but all the “opening your heart” stuff is NOT from us.

    Thank you! (I guess we learn that next time be sure to see WHAT gets sent out!)

  3. Oh no, not icons. Next thing you know, you “high church Roman” folks will be promoting weekly Communion and censing the altar. And to genuflect during the Creed…the horrors…

  4. All joking aside, I hope our parish checks this out for VBS this year. This fills the need for VBS materials that are catechetical and grounded in the historic Lutheran Church. Thank you for realizing that VBS (and Sunday School) is about more than hot dogs and learning to be nice to other people.

    I was being sarcastic in the above post, because I get a little tired of the “high church” label. Shouldn’t we all highly view the liturgy?

  5. Boogie,

    I got your sarcasm and I admire your double entendre in the last sentence above! And by the way, our acolytes genuflect after they have lit the candles and before they put them out.


  6. Hurrah! I have been involved with VBS for a few years now and this is what has been missing.

  7. @boogie #4

    We haven’t gotten to incense yet.
    Maybe we can warm up to it with scented candles?

    (Wonder what the Altar Guild would say if I proposed it.) 🙂

  8. @Helen #8
    I don’t know what the response will be, Helen. Please allow me to be clear in saying that it is legalistic to say we HAVE to do these things in the liturgy at every parish. This would be making it Law. We should do these things for the Gospel in gratitude for what the Triune God has done for us, although the use of the liturgy proper should not be negotiable in Lutheranism (no CW).

    Having been through a similar process, my advice would be to introduce such an idea in a loving, humble way. Give it time, as it may take a year for your pastor to educate the congregation. You will likely encounter opposition, so please don’t be hurt. Since we are all sinners, Christian love is often lacking in such debates in the parish, so be prepared. You may also get the “high church” label. Nonetheless, God’s blessings to you. If you have not read “The Fire and the Staff,” it does it great job of covering debates in the parish. This would be my layperson’s advice, but Pastor Rossow or other pastors here would be far better in the advice dept. than myself.

    The point is that we Lutherans tend to reject anything that “appears” like Rome or Constantinople. Yet, we tend to embrace the countless errors of Reformed Protestantism without question. We know the errors of Rome and Constantinople in regards to Faith-plus-works, the understanding of original sin, and others. But we don’t throw out the pastor being vested or the crucifix. Luther did not “throw the baby out with the bath water” like the remainder of Protestantism.

  9. …and if all the necessities to use incense are already there (purchased as a memorial by a member of the parish) it is all the easier to introduce into the services. Just check the various Orthodox and Roman church supply houses.

  10. I’ve been using the “New Song” material for my grades 1-4 Wednesday School class. My only complaint is that the grade 1-2 material is over the heads of the 1st and 2nd graders and is about right for grades 3-4. This may be due to deficiencies in our local public school systems rather than in the material, but it has led to some difficulty keeping the younger children focused.

    Other than that, I love the Pax Domini material! Sometimes I think I’m learning more about the Lutheran liturgy than are my students!

  11. @Helen #8
    Also, I would suggest buying small amounts of incense until you find something that is pleasant to everyone. I have ROCOR in my family, and some of the incense is not very pleasant (as well as some of the theological debates I’ve had with their rector). Steven’s advice is great.

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