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SSTN # 108 - December 16, 2004

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Noel Christmas Photo Frame

1) Christmas, Under Attack...the irony!
2) Christian Christmas Stories
3) Preparing Children for Christmas

Curriculum For The New Year

4) Virus Warning
5) Tongues of fire?
6) Seven days of creation?
7) Merry Christmas recipe

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Noel Christmas Photo Frame...Download it today!

An easy make-and-take project with a great fundraising tip!
Learn more here:


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1) Christmas, Under Attack...the irony!

For many years Christians have been concerned about the commercialization
of Christmas in our modern culture. Yet, we have merrily joined in and
helped to make this holiday THE MOST lucrative time of year for retailers.
In fact, many, if not most, businesses make most of their profits during
the CHRISTmas season. It is not "Winter Solstice", "Kwanzaa" or even
"Hanukkah" that established this retail bonanza. No, it is CHRISTmas.

However, the irony now is that many of these businesses (and city
governments) that profit from the CHRISTmas season do not want any mention
of CHRISTmas in their stores or public squares.

Please continue reading to see some of the latest cases of removing
"CHRIST" from the "Holiday Season" AND what we as Christian educators can
do about it:

 * In Denver, CO, Mayor John Hickenlooper, decided to ban the words "Merry
Christmas" from the city and county building in downtown Denver. The Mayor
announced that "Merry Christmas," due to its "offensive nature", would
be replaced with "Happy Holidays." Only after his office was flooded with
complaints did he second-guess his decision and announce a reversal.

 * Federated Department Stores, which owns the Macy's
department-store chain, has ordered its 450 stores to
replace "Merry Christmas" greetings with politically correct
greetings like "Happy Holidays" and "Seasons Greetings".
(Federated also operates Bloomingdale's, Bon-Macy's, Burdines-
Macy's, Goldsmiths-Macy's, Lazarus-Macy's and Rich's Macy's.)

 * The South Orange/Maplewood School District in New Jersey
has declared that school bands will be limited for the first
time to songs such as "Winter Wonderland" and "Frosty the
Snowman," because the district's policy banning Christmas
songs with religious references actually prohibit the
performance of INSTRUMENTAL songs that don't even HAVE

 * The CEO of Target stores has decided to ban Salvation
Army bell ringers from their 1,272 stores nationwide,
costing that charity an estimated $9 million (10% of their
funds raised during Christmas). The Salvation Army
doesn't qualify because it insists on following the
teachings of the Christian faith in how it runs its

 * City officials in GEORGIA told the private owners of an amusement park
they could not present holiday entertainment shows that mentioned the
religious meaning of Christmas...

* A drug store in NORTH CAROLINA removed a manger scene from an
advertising display when a customer complained that viewing this religious
item offended her...

* When a local school multicultural committee in PENNSYLVANIA set up a
holiday display that included a crèche, a menorah, and a Kwanzaa scene,
the principal demanded that the crèche be removed, although the other
items could stay...

What's going on here? The flagrant attempt to remove Christ from Christmas
would never be permitted if applied to the holy days of any other
religion. So much for religious "tolerance."

So what are we as Christian educators to do? I believe it is imperative
that we make our opinions known to retailers, local and national
government, schools and anyone else that wants to take our freedom away.
We must defend our rights and do it in a loving, but direct manner. When
the Apostle Paul was persecuted for his faith, he often reminded his
persecutors that he was a Roman citizen which entitled him to certain
rights under Roman law (see Acts ch: 16, 22, 23, 25).  He didn't give up
his rights!

A few years ago my daughter was asked by her Florida public school Music
director (who is a Christian) to say a part in their "Winter Program". 
When my daughter brought her part home to memorize, her teacher had
crossed out "the child" (referencing Jesus) in her lines. I couldn't
believe it, because at the same time my other two children at a middle
school and high school were being forced to memorize the doctrines of

I went to visit the music teacher and explained why this offended me. She
apologized and said she was afraid if she kept the line in that it would
offend someone in the audience. To make a long story short, the line
remained and no one said a word about it.

What I would REALLY like to do, even though it may be unrealistic, but
maybe not, is to boycott Christmas retail 2005. What if next year every
Christian would say, "If you take CHRIST out of the holiday season, then
we have no reason to celebrate. And if we have no reason to celebrate,
then we have no reason to purchase gifts." What if next year ALL
Christians would say, "Enough is enough, I will only shop at Christian
retailers or give cards or homemade items, such as baked goods or crafts,
to my loved ones and friends."

I guarantee that Christmas retail 2006 would be a different kind of year
and we would see "CHRIST" at the center of the holiday season with
retailers begging Christians to come back to their stores!

Merry CHRIST season!

Your Webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

P.S. Last night (12/16/04) on the news, a woman from Miami said she wanted
to display a nativity set next to the town's menorah. But the town council
refused to allow her to do so for the past two years. The good news is she
took the town to court and they have been ordered by the court to allow
the nativity set to stand!

(Please feel free to copy and paste this posting of SSTN to your email
program and mail it to ALL of your Christian friends, church leaders,
family and local newspapers.)

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2) Christian Christmas Stories

This is sweet - thought you'd enjoy.

Click Below:


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3) Preparing Children for Christmas

Every year, on the first Saturday of the Advent season, our church hosts
an event called "Breakfast in Bethlehem."  For about $2 per person, we
offer a morning filled with a light breakfast, crafts, games (Pin the Tail
on Mary's Donkey, Joseph's Journey - a cookie walk, Bethlehem Bingo -
bingo cards with pictures of Christmas symbols and markers are red and
green m&m's, Three Kings Treasure Dig - small gifts hidden in a mound of
hay), a live nativity and a storytime.  In years past, we have included a
Creche display (members of our congregation put this together).  This year
we are including a fair trade gifts market and a cookie sale to benefit
mission projects.  We have found this to be a wonderful outreach to the
community and a great alternative to Breakfast with Santa.  (Although,
Santa may be a special guest next year and tell the story of the Kneeling
Wishing you a blessed Christmas season,
Kim from Sugar Land, TX
P.S. I am a Christian Educator and I LOVE your website and newsletter,

--from SSTN: thank you, Kim.
xoxo, sarah keith

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Curriculum For The New Year

"Hands On Lessons of the Bible" are easy-to-implement and can be incorporated
into rotation-type programs! One book is all you need for an entire
classroom. Complimentary USA shipping too!

Available at:  http://www.christiancrafters.com/curriculum.html   

All sales help support SSTN and ChristianCrafters.Com.

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4) Virus Warning

Just a note to remind everyone to keep your virus scan programs current
Norton and McAfee are two good virus programs. Their websites have a lot
of useful information as to why you might receive emails with
virus-attachments from people you know. In fact, emails that contain
virus-attachments are "spoof" emails that have masked themselves as known
addresses from your address book.

Please, if you use SSTN, keep your virus scans current!

Your Webservant,
Sarah Keith <><
"Home of the Sunday School Network"

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5) Tongues of fire?

Dear Sarah,
    My pastor has asked me to come up with a "visual tongues of fire" for
Pentecost.  His original thought was some sort of group of flags that
could be brought into the Sanctuary as if they were tongues of fire.  His
saw a high school color guard using some flags and it inspired him to use
flags. However he is open to any suggestions.
    I saw your Pentecost spinner on the web page and I thought it would be
very effective.  However, our santuary is not equipped with a balcony.
    Can anyone think of any way to visualize 'tongues of fire' with flags
or  material?  I had thought of making very light bean bags in the shape
of flames and the children could come into the sanctuary tossing them
up.......  Any suggestions?????

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6) Seven days of creation?

I was looking for crafts concerning the 7 days of creation. Do you have an
idea or perhaps have crafts already in your collection...let me know
In Christ,

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7) Merry Christmas recipe

Just a note to say thank you for your newsletters over
the past year and to offer you a New Zealand desert
popular here all year but special at christmas
regards to all Norma Ardern
3 egg whites                  1+1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons water           3 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
pinch salt                     1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon vinegar
Beat egg whites very stiffly add water and beat again, add sugar
gradually beating well, lastly add cornflour, salt, vinegar stirring
them in cover oven tray with baking paper, pile mixture into in a
circle with the middle lower (for filling)bake 250 degrees farenhight
or 130 degrees celcius 1 hour leave to cool in open oven
whip cream with 1 desertspoon honey instead of sugar, this stops the cream
going watery, and fill hollowed middle decorate with sliced kiwifruit,
strawberrfies or fruit of choice

Kiwi Pavlova roll
this does not have the crust but is marshmallowy)
4 egg whites                 1 tsp cornflour
2 tsp vinegar                 8 tablespoons sugar

line spongeroll tin with baking paper, sprinkle with coconut
whip egg whites until very stiff, add cornflour and beat
slightly, add vinegar still beating then 6 tablespoons sugar
and beat until stiff and glossy.  fold in remaining 2
tablespoons sugar fill tin with mixture and sprinkle with coconut.
bake 250 degrees farenhight (130 celcius 15 mins until
golden brown
have ready a piece of baking paper sprinkled with castor
sugar  tip pavlova roll onto it and gently peel off paper
cool and spoon on whipped cream and kiwifruit slices
roll as you would a jam roll sponge.   enjoy

--from SSTN: wow, thank you. You won't believe this, but I have been
thinking about organizing a collection of recipes from everyone in SSTN.
It would be a diverse collection from all around the world! You've got me
thinkin' even more! I would love to know if SSTN members are interested in
this type of service. If you are, tell me so!
xo, Sarah Keith <><

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Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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