Photo by Vici Armsby.
Photo by Vici Armsby.
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Four years ago, Vici Armsby, pastoral associate for faith formation, had an idea to try an “out-of-the-box” approach to faith formation in her K-sixth grade sessions after attendance dwindling in the cold, winter months of January and February.

In January of 2016, Our Lady of Victory in Troy held the first “Let Us Build the City of God” event, where each grade constructed its assigned scripture story, either on the Birth, Life, Death or Resurrection of Jesus, out of Legos.

“During this period of Ordinary Time, mornings are often cold and sometimes even dark and dreary,” Mrs. Armsby said, “I wanted to come up with a project that would engage the children and inspire them to want to come each week to faith formation classes.”

Mrs. Armsby credits her inspiration for livening up classes to Emily Slichter Given’s book, “Building Faith Brick by Brick,” which served as the initial spark to have classmates build the “City of God” in small teams.

Last year, the children built Parables; the prior year Old ­Testament Stories. This year, Women in Scripture will be highlighted, something Mrs. Armsby said is long overdue.

“Many of their stories have never been heard by our children,” Mrs. Armsby said, “If you are teaching strictly out of textbooks you simply don’t find them and as a result become an afterthought in our faith story.”

A few stories the children will learn about include: The Blessed Mother Mary, Eve, The Samaritan Woman at the Well, Martha and Mary, Ruth and Naomi and Queen Esther.

Mrs. Armsby notes the initial reactions to the story of Queen Esther, a narrative involving Haman’s wicked plan to kill the Jews, with the brave Queen deciding to risk her life by going to the King instead of remaining safe in silence while her people were destroyed.

“A couple of fourth-graders were overheard talking about their woman, Queen Esther,” Mrs. Armsby said, “The girls were saying things like, ‘I really like this woman’ and ‘she was so brave and did the right thing.’”

On Sunday, Feb. 10, from 10:30-11:30  a.m. displays of the scripture turned alive with the help of Legos will be exhibited at Our Lady of Victory’s Parish Center. During the grand reveal students from each class will talk in their own words about their scripture story.