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SSTN # 101 - November 17, 2004

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--> Make a Christ-Tree this Christmas!

1) Christmas play / skit for preschoolers
2) S.C.U.B.A. VBS 
3) Advent Ideas?

--> Christmas FunPak

4) Fiery Furnace Musical
5) Halloween poll
6) Problems with confirmation teacher?


7) Christmas song for Jr/Sr High?
8) Prodigal Son?
9) Children's Sabbath

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--> Make a Christ-Tree this Christmas!

Tell the Christmas story using Christ-filled Chrismon ornaments.
Download sample ornaments and learn more on the following page:


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1) Christmas play/skit for preschoolers

Karen Henley has one that we did a few years ago. It's called "To
Bethlehem". It uses a narrator, and the kids have responses (sound
effects, actions, etc.) which are easily cued, so there's not a lot to
memorize. There are 4 songs, of varying difficulty. The one I liked best
"Sweet, soft hay" is the hardest, but could probably be omitted if your
kids can't learn it. One great thing : she gives permission to make
rehearsal copies of the CD narration/responses/songs for the kids (at
least she did when I purchased my copy several years ago). Some of the
kids listened to so much that they knew when the narrator goofed up!
My kids had trouble with the last song "Jump for joy", so instead of piano
background, I used the CD and they mostly just did the actions. There's a
really pretty song "There's room in my heart", too.
You could probably use costumes (animals?) if you want to. We had a
teenager who worked with us during our jr. church time be the narrator,
which was nice - the kids knew her well, she was always available when we
were practicing, and it gave her a part, too.
Linda in Ohio

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2) S.C.U.B.A. VBS 
We are a very small church.  A sister church usually gives us their
leftover VBS material for us to use in the following year.  We generally
have between 36 - 56 kids per day, Monday through Friday, and have
practically every family in our church working it -- about 30 people.
We've recently been given the S.C.U.B.A. VBS program and are very
grateful.  We are changing the verses to KJV.  We have the basics, but no
extras.  Primarily, none of the crafts projects, posters, very few
stickers, etc.  We also need the Scuba and Tide Pool Bible Books.  So, if
anyone has any extras, please let me know.  Thank you so very much.
Is there anyone out there who has any leftovers that they would be willing
to share?  We could give an offering to your church, buy them, etc.
Thank you so very much,
Yvonne Gonzalez
Louisville, Kentucky

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3) Advent Ideas?

Does anyone have any fresh ideas on presenting the advent season?
Does anyone know of a website similar to this one that is for teaching
TEENS? Thanks for all your great ideas.

--from SSTN: The making of a Christ-Tree using "Chrismon Ornaments" is a
very successful Advent preparation for teens. Learn more on this page:

Also, the "Bethlehem Walk" is perfect for teens to act out:
(Actors don't necessarily have to speak in order to present the Bethlehem
Walk. This can be accomplished by actors posing in the different
vignettes. Visitors can then drive by or walk through the Bethlehem

Check our Links page too for teen websites:

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--> Christmas FunPak

Great for gift-giving or Christmas crafting fun. Click on the
"Christmas FunPak" link in the Christmas and Advent section at:


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4) Fiery Furnace Musical

>I had a children's choir and we worked on the musical, "The Fiery
Furnace".  I'm not >certain if that's the exact title, but it was

I think I have a copy of the musical that you are looking for.  I was in
the musical "It's cool in the furnace" about King Nebecanezer, Daniel and
the 3 in the firery furnace 23 years ago.  I know that is the title if you
want to search for it under that.  I will have to look up my copy to make
sure I still have it. You can send me your mailing address at
Amy@afschem.com I will either make a copy of it, or send you mine.


--from SSTN: Just a reminder, before copying any work, make sure copyright
laws are observed.

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5) Halloween poll

    I am fairly young, and celebrated Halloween as a child before I became
a Christian. I thought nothing of it, other than a time to scare people
who didn't recognize my ghoulish costume, and a time to get free candy
(one of the only times my mother would allow us to eat candy).
    Now as an adult, I understand the background to this "holiday". A time
to ward off evil spirits and such. Take a look around, though. Is that
what is really going on? Kids go out and paintball buildings, throw eggs,
go door to door to demand candy. The meaning of the day is lost, and the
respect as well. Children used to appreciate being given candy. I have
noticed that they aren't very appreciative anymore.They wear scary
costumes, and are disappointed if they cannot go out and buy fake blood in
time for the big night. Sure, there are the exceptions, the little ones
who haven't been exposed to it very much. But as they get older each year,
is that what we want to have our children witnessing?
    Now, I am not saying that you CAN'T do it, that is your choice, and
really none of my business. I do agree with another person who wrote that
maybe it would be better to have a fall festival or something to that
extent. We had a fall celebration at our church where we dressed up in
Bible character (one woman dressed up as Methuselah!), where you celebrate
the Bible and the Lord's gifts rather than candy and darkness.

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6) Problems with confirmation teacher?

Dear SSTN,
I am having problems with the teacher (who is also our Pastor) (who is on
probation for a number of things he is doing wrong both for and in the
church) of the confirmation class my 7th grade daughter is attending. He
is teaching her his opinion and not biblical facts. I have brought it up
to him and he tells me that this is the way things are done! I have taken
it to the church council who agrees with me, but they say they are working
on the problem, meanwhile I have taken her out of the class.  We are a
very small church with small class sizes.  The other parent who's daughter
is also in this class agrees but is going to send her just so she can be
confirmed.  What should I do send her to confirmation class anyway or get
some material from a Christian book store and teach her (or them)
myself? I have prayed about this, but I still feel confused. I really need
Christian advice about this.  What would you do?

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An Advent celebration of 31 crafts and recipes. To learn more, go to:


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7) Christmas song for Jr/Sr High?

I teach the High School Class and have been asked to prepare a song for
them (along with the Jr. High) to present in our Christmas Cantata.  I'm
at a loss - I want something fun, peppy and contemporary and don't know
where to start!  The group is mostly boys, so it's got to be lively!
Thank you!

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8) Prodigal Son?

Dear Sarah,
I have  gone through your web site and found it very helpful in my
of spreading the Goodness of God to the children entrusted to my care.
Could you help me.  I am looking  for a play/skit on forgiveness or
goodness....something on the lines of The Prodigal Son.
Thanking you and wishing you God's Blessings in your ministry
Sr. Irene

--from SSTN: thank you! Make sure you check the skits page and the links
page at:  http://www.ChristianCrafters.Com 
Sarah Keith <><

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9) Children's Sabbath

> My pastor gave me a book this morning on the National Observance of
> Children's Sabbath. While I realize that we have missed the "national
> observance", I would love to plan for our own. We have a very small >church

This is something we try to do each year.  Last year we asked agencies in
our community who have to do with children and families to bring us
materials to set up a display outside the sanctuary.  We included some of
the samples in the book you have with litanies and statistics.  Then my
husband created a power point using some of the statistics and some very
powerful pictures of children he found.  We set it to music -- Lord Have
Mercy by Michael W. Smith I believe.  Make sure you have the correct
licensure permissions to use music that way...

It was very powerful and moving!

In the past we have had children create hand-painted cards (using stamps
or sponges).  We packaged them up with matching envelopes and put labels on
the back saying "Created by __________.  All proceeds go to __________." 
We sold these to the congregation to raise money for a specific children's
ministry.  Kids love doing it and congregation always loves to buy the

Jaymie Derden
State Street UMC
Bristol, VA

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