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SSTN # 103 - November 23, 2004

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--> See Christ-Tree Pictures

1) Nativity Scene
2) Making Manger Animals?
3) Colored Bells Christmas songs?

--> Christmas FunPak

4) Preparation for Christmas
5) God not answering prayer?
6) Nativity Scene


7) Nativity Scene
8) Children's Sabbath
9) Monthly Meeting?

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--> See Christ-Tree Pictures

You can now see two different Christ-trees at:


The reason for the season is Jesus!

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1) Nativity Scene
Use an overhead projector to project images of the different scenes onto
the wall behind the players. The images could be silhouettes or full
color. You can also place scenes on rolling room dividers. Each divider
could have a different scene on either side.

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2) Making Manger Animals?

I am hoping for some quick HELP.  I am a 3rd grade SS teacher and need to
do a craft with my class.  I have to have it done in three weeks...yikes. 
I need to find a way to make life size manager animals.  They can be out
of any kind of material.  But I'm struggling with how to do it.
Does anybody have ideas.

--from SSTN: paint onto foam craft board. It is easy to cut and sturdy.

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3) Colored Bells Christmas songs?

I am trying to get a little Christmas Program around for our church.  We
only have about 7 or 8 children.  Anyway, I thought I would use the
colored bells (Kristal Bells) and do two Christmas songs.  Does anyone
have or know where I can find the colors to two different songs?  I don't
care what songs they are, just so I can find the cue colors for them. 

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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) Preparation for Christmas

Our church chooses four missions projects and then each Sunday of advent
we respond to that mission. For example , this year on the Nov, 21 slips
of paper will be passed out that list an item for a Christmas dinner. On
the first Sunday of Advent these items are brought and all items are then
taken to our local Food Pantry. On Dec. 5, we bring in items for the local
nursing home residents. On Dec. 12, we will fill stocking for the
Salvation Army to give to underprivileged children. On the last Sunday we
hold a birthday party for Jesus and items are brought in for our local
Crisis Pregnancy Center. On the Sunday before Advent begins a homemade
book mark it given to each person listing all the missions that we will be
doing so people can prepare in advance. In the past we have also taken
offerings for the Gideons and for Bible for our local county jails. We
live where two counties meet so we provided Bible for both county jails.
Kitty Mills
Bloomington United Methodist Church

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5) God not answering prayer?

Sarah, My daughter has recently quit working a full time job to stay home
with her 3 children. I am happy that she has made that decision. BUT now
they are really struggling financially, she is questioning her decision
and feels that God is not answering her prayers about what to do. Do You
know of any good books that address this problem? I would appreciate any
suggestions. Thanks Elizabeth Johnson

--from SSTN: I can relate to your daughter's situation as I'm sure many in
the network can as well. I too chose to stay home with my three children
and have experienced financial struggle as a result. God expects us to
make decisions as we seek his will. He doesn't promise that we will not
experience difficult times. In fact, I think he opens the door to this so
we can learn to trust him through the difficult times. God does promise
that he'll never forsake us. He promises to be with us (Hebrews 13:5-6).
The decision to stay home and lose part of a family's income is difficult
when they are use to a particular standard of living. Not everyone can do
this because they need to work to put food on their table.  This is by no
means a judgment on anyone that chooses not to stay home with their
children. I was raised by a mom that worked because she had no other
option. On the other hand, I know of women that have chosen to stay home
to "be with their children" but get busy doing so many other things that
they really aren't using their time to be with their children in the first
place. Your daughter needs to evaluate why she made the decision to stay
home. Then she and her husband need to evaluate their budget and cut any
unnecessary spending. Maybe she needs to work part-time or work from her
home? When children are young they need a lot of attention. But as they
grow, and attend school, there is more time to develop a career. My oldest
child is now almost 20, my second child is 16 and my youngest child just
turned 14. Despite the financial struggle my husband and I have
experienced, we will never regret the decision we made for me to stay
home. By doing so a door of ministry, as well as a vocation, opened to me
that would never had presented itself had I continued working in the
corporate world. Moderating this newsletter and operating
ChristianCrafters.Com is a faith-based project. We are not wealthy by any
stretch of the imagination. But through it all, God has been faithful. God
is good and wants his children to trust him above all else. There is NO
GREATER lesson to learn in life. As to a book for your daughter to read,
"Where's God When It Hurts?" (by Philip Yancey) addresses why God allows
suffering in our lives. You can find it by typing
the title into the bookstore search box at:

I hope my long-winded answer helps your daughter.

Your Webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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6) Nativity Scene

We're painting scenes on white sheets, then will attach rings along the
top so they can slide across a makeshift curtain rod. For our play, we'll
need a Jerusalem village, Bethlehem village, the stable, & Herod's palace.
I found biblical village pics on the internet, then printed onto
transparency film to copy onto the sheets. There is also a company called
Creative for Kids that makes decor kits, which is where I found the
buildings for our backdrops. Hope this helps.

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


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7) Nativity Scene

>Christmas is around the corner and I need to get my nativity
>scene together.  Any ideas on how to make props for a nativity scene?  I

You probably want something professional looking, but one of the nicest
project I ever did with the children was a nativity that they made
themselves.  The stable was a shoebox and the characters were old
Christmas cards that I had saved from past Christmas'. You cut out the
shepherds, kings, animals, Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, angels and don't
forget the star.  I think I stood them up with clay with the exception of
the star which we glued.  The children colored the background of the
stable.  I had the children make a manger out of small craft sticks where
they could put baby Jesus.  I don't know if this is what you are looking
for, but possibly it could help other teachers with a Christmas craft
God bless,

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8) 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 had our Youth Day in early October and we too are a
small, rural church. We had about 20 kids who were
able to participate. The kids all sat together in the
choir pews and led the congregation in the singing of
the hymns. Also, we are an Episcopal church so we
assigned duties to the kids that adults usually do.
(For example: reading the lessons, greeting, ushering,
oblationers) Then, in place of a sermon, the kids did
two skits. One for the younger kids and another for
the older youth. The skits expressed the message of
the gospel reading and lessons for the day. We had a
great time. It definitely wasn't professional but it
was heartfelt. Before we had Youth Day, the kids were
somewhat invisible but now the parishoners are much
more involved in our children's and youth ministry. My
advice: don't let preparations stress you out, it
doesn't have to be perfect. Most importantly make sure
that the kids are benefiting from the experience.

Take care,

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9) Monthly Meeting?

Hi I wanted to say that i enjoy your newsletter very much.  it has been
very helpful.  I just started getting it about a month ago. 
I am a Sunday School Supt. and teacher for a very small church and i have
been praying for these young children growing up in this world today.  So
i am starting a monthly ministry meeting with children of all ages, maybe
in January, hoping to get more children to know and learn about our Lord
and Saviour. I know  the Lord is leading me into this, so If any one has
ideas for me i would very much like to hear about them.  thank you very
much.    Linda--------                  

--from SSTN: what is the age span of your group? I would want a specific
goal for your group. Missions? Bible study? Fellowship? All these and
more? I would suggest a Hands-on lesson series for your immediate
launching. Hands-on lessons include Bible stories, crafts, games, and
songs. Missions can grow as an outcome of this. There are many
complimentary resources in the site at: http://www.ChristianCrafters.Com  ,
as well as lessons series you can purchase at:
Your Webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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Sarah Keith <><

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