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SSTN # 124 - December 1, 2003

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--> Christ-filled Christmas Ornaments

1) Teaching Isaac & Abraham
2) Need Help After Stroke?
3) Jesus Birthday Party
4) Birthday party for Jesus    

--> Christmas FunPak...Order now for the holidays!

5) Teen Lessons    
6) Glowsticks instead of candles 
7) Words for the Letters of Christmas
8) Mailbox Club?

--> Bloom & Boom - Lessons for Teens

9) Children of the Lord / We are His Hands    
10) Jingle Jars    
11) C H R I S T M A S  letters
12) C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S. letters    
13) Glow Sticks as Candles    
14) Happy Birthday Jesus Party
15) Christmas bells    

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--> Christ-filled Christmas Ornaments

Great for Christmas gift-giving or family crafting fun. Get a free sample
and see a video too! Click on "Chrismon Snowflake Ornaments" in the
Curriculum Creatives section at:


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1) Teaching Isaac & Abraham

>Don't try to take it upon yourselves to make a determination of which
>stories should be told and which should not.  You and your congregation
>are in my thoughts and prayers

I love the way people READ these posts. I am an editor for curriculum,
ages 6 & 7. This is a little to difficult for this age to understand.
Regarding the 2nd posts, as a curriculum company we have to pick and
choose, since we cannot put all lessons in for all ages.  Someone has to
make a decision.
The level this was taught on originally was in kindergarten and we
determined it was to much for them to understand.  If you know anything
about children, you are going to know that the one thing they will
remember is Abraham with a knife, ready to stab Isaac. That is going to
stick in a kindergartners head.
As for taking the WHOLE Bible - thrice could really open a can of worms. 
What about the scriptures regarding long uncut hair for women, or those
that speak against homosexuality? I believe that our church organization
probably takes the whole Bible more than most. However, that is really NOT
the function of this board. This forum is to share ideas for Sunday
Thanks Sarah - for a job well done.

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2) Need Help After Stroke?

I've been teaching CCD for 14 years, I had a storke a month ago and will
be now going back to teach. I have a brace on my left leg and hand and
walk with either a cane or the walker. my kindergarden class has been told
of my condition. how do I go back and work.? christmas  is around the
coner and I used to do alot with my other past classes, but have been put
on restrictions for this year. how can I make it fun and learning full
this year, does anyone have ideas?
please email me with any suggestions or ideas to lcdecker@nac.net
have a wonderful thanksgiving and happy holidays.  god bless.
in christ.
Laurel Decker

--from SSTN: please share via SSTN so all may benefit from your knowledge.
Laurel, There are MANY ideas at ChristianCrafter.com for teaching fun,
creative classes during Advent. Check them out at:


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3) Jesus Birthday Party

We are planning a Jesus Birthday Party this year for our whole church
during church time. Last year we sang songs played games and had a huge
Birthday cake with candles it was great . We would like to try some new
ideas this year  If you could please help with ideas we are also in search
of happy birthday napkins does anyone know where to find them?
God Bless

--from SSTN: Make sure you check out the latest issues of SSTN. Many ideas
have already been shared:  http://christiancrafters.com/archives.html 
As to napkins, according to SSTN guidelines, store names shouldn't be
shared via the listserv. You may answer directly though. ;o)

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4) Birthday party for Jesus    
   My friend and I co-teach 5 year olds. Each Christmas we have a birthday
party for Jesus. We have snack cakes with a candle and apple juice because
it is less likely to stain their holiday clothes.  After telling the
Christmas story, we have our party.  The children wear paper birthday hats
and we decorate our room with a birthday theme. Our class puppet wears a
hat also.  We sing Happy Birthday, baby Jesus.
  We have  a stack of "prop" presents .  Inside each beautiful box is a
slip of paper naming gifts we can give to Jesus-- kindness, love, praise. 
The kids really look
forward to this.
Carolyn Duggan
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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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5) Teen Lessons    

'Teens and preteens' is the my favourite group to teach and also the one I
find most challenging. The resist anything that they perceive as
'uncool'!We are completing a fabulous unit which I 'invented'. We recycled
a dozen lab coats from a medical facility and the kids all made name tags.
They put them an every Sunday while we do 'experiments' and relate the
object lesson back to the bible. The colour change experiment in the
newsletter #118 was perfect for this Sunday and we talked about Christ
making changes in our lives.We did a unit on salt, and how often it
appears in the bible, as well as it's 'Christ-like' qualities:cleansing,
healing, preserving, adding flavour.... In a few months I can let you know
how our Bible 'theme park' works:We know that scary rides at fairs are
safe because we are belted in. When life gives us a scary ride, God has us
securely held as well, so we needn't be afraid. The kids are going to
build a miniature theme park. I will be supervising and watching their
imaginations go wild!! Hope this helps all those teaching the teens and

Donna Nelles

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6) Glowsticks instead of candles    

For our Sunday school program this year, some children are taking gifts
labelled with our spiritual gifts and laying them at the foot of the
cross at the end of the program.  They will carry battery operated
lanterns that I purchased from a local dollar store (they use two AA
batteries) or an alternative would be battery operated candles which can
also be purchased from a department store or dollar store.  This
addresses the safety issue for the children.

Ronna, Port Colborne, Ontario

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7) Words for the Letters of Christmas

C- is for the Christ child, born upon this day
H - for Herald Angels in the sky
R - for our Redeemer
I - mean Israel
S - is for the star that shone so bright
T- is for three wise men , they who traveled far,
M - is for the manger where He lay
A - is all he stand for
S - means shepherds came
...and that's how we spell Christmas day (I think that's
it -- those are words from a song...hope something in it


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8) Mailbox club?    

Hi, I wondered if anyone has attended a Jesus film project showing of the
Jesus movie for kids?  And if you have, did you sign up your kids for the
mailbox club bible lessons that were handed out at the showing?  We did
attend on Veteran's day and thoroughly enjoyed the film.
We want to start the mailbox club and wanted to know other's feedback.
Julie in VAncouver

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--> Bloom & Boom - Lessons for Teens

A girls and guys guide to growing up. Practical advice from a Christian
viewpoint about the internal and external changes experienced by
teenagers. Learn more in the Christian Education section of the bookstore


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9) Children of the Lord / We are His Hands    

Dear Joyce,
The song referred to as "Children of the Lord" is titled We Are His Hands 
and was sung by the group White Heart on their 1984 Vital Signs album by
Home Sweet Home Records.
I have the music in a book distributed by WORD, Inc which contains 20
favorites from 3 albums of White Heart.    Mark Gersmehl is the author. 
There may be someone who recorded this song more recently, but this is how
I know this song.
Contact me if I can be of further help @ rjbapst@zoomnet.net.

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10) Jingle Jars    

Our church is Southern Baptist and this time of year we collect money for
the Lottie Moon offering which goes to further the work of foreign
missionaries.  To involve our children, we have Jingle Jars. Each Sunday
in December, we have the pre-school age children walk through the aisles
of the sanctuary while the musicians play age appropriate music. They each
have a Jingle Jar ( a tall plastic water bottle, no lid, works great.) For
several weeks ahead of time, we have 'advertised' Jingle Jars and the
congregation is ready with pockets of loose change to drop into the jars. 
The children love collecting the 'pennies' and the adults can always find
some extra change to contribute.  This has become a tradition at our
church with the total collected money given to the Lottie Moon Offering. 
This time of year, you can use the money to pay for senior citizen
christmas card postage, a donation to a christmas bureau, endless
possibilities.  The important part is the children get to participate in
collecting and giving, an important lesson to learn. And you will be
surprised at how much the change adds up.  We had over $700.00 one

Note: Your youth department is the ideal place to ask for help in rolling
all the coins to take to the bank. 

Jane Carpenter,

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11) C H R I S T M A S  letters
There are a number of variations to this theme. Here are a few
C = Christ. God's gift to us.
H = Heaven. Jesus came down from Heaven to be born at Bethlehem.
R = Redeemer. You will probably have to explain this. To redeem something
means to buy it back. God  created us, but then he had to buy us back with
the blood of Jesus. The famous story about the boy who
made, lost and then had to buy back a toy boat is helpful in explaining
I = Israel. Jesus was born in Israel. (An alternative could be Isaiah, who
foretold of His coming).
S = Star. God sent a bright star to guide the wise men. (An alternative
could be Stable).
T = The wise men. The Bible doesn't say how many there were, but they
brought Three gifts.
M = Manger, in which Jesus was placed. (An alternative could be Mary).
A = Angels, who announced Jesus' birth.
S = Shepherds, the first to hear the 'Good News. (An alternative could be
Maurice Sweetsur.

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12) C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S. letters   

I do have a copy of what each letter means so if you want a copy of this
send me an email at s0026455@student.cqu.edu.au, and I'll email it to you.

God Bless
Rachel Onions

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13) Glow Sticks as Candles    

This message is in response to the person that asked if anyone has ever
used glow sticks as candles. I personally have never done this, but I have
used a product known as Safe Flame II. You can usually purchase them
through companies that sell items in bulk such as Oriental Trading Company
or party supply stores. Safe Flame II is a glow stick product that uses a
yellow, white, or orange glow stick, but then has a "flame" of the same
color on top. A lot of organizations and events use them, including Carols
By Candlelight. If you can find them they are a safe, battery-free, flame
free alternative to candles. Hope this is helpful. Love in Christ, Sarah
in California
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14) Happy Birthday Jesus Party
>Can anyone give me suggestions for a Happy Birthday Jesus Party for my
>primary Sunday School Class?
We are doing a Happy Birthday Party for Jesus with our preschool and grade
school kids combined.  We put up a live-looking nativity with a manger in
the room with straw around and in the manger and a baby Jesus in the
manger.  Our Pastor drew us a backdrop on cardboard of a stall and we made
an imitation cardboard roof to go over it and covered it with strips of
brown grocery bags cut to make it look like a thatched roof.  (If anyone
wants to see a pic you can email me and I'll send it to you:
bernie@neo.rr.com We are placing stuffed animals around the nativity and
in the background playing background sounds of animals I've downloaded off
the internet (wav files) during the day of the party.  We also will be
playing in background at times in low volume Christmas songs - religious
We are playing a game similar to pin the tail on the donkey but we've made
a large birthday cake out of poster board and cut out candles, one for
each child, and their name will be put on the candle the day of the
party.  Then they will tape the candle to the cake playing the game like
pin the tail on the donkey with them blindfolded.  The cake will say
"Happy Birthday Jesus" on it. 
We have bought a big, plain red stocking with nothing on it and putting
Jesus' name on it in glitter.  Then cutting out red hearts from
construction paper, one for each child.  On day of party, each child will
have their name on their heart.  Then they will put their heart, one by
one, in the stocking, giving their "hearts" to Jesus because that is what
He wants the most at Christmas.
We are making a bundt cake (real one) and putting it on a platter with a
votive cup in the center holding a taper candle and this will be Jesus'
birthday cake.  We will sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
While we are reading the Christmas story from the Bible to the kids, in
words they understand, we are moving the manger from our nativity, and
letting the kids get on the hay and dress up as Joseph, Mary, and wise
men, etc. and let the kids act out the story while it is being read.  The
animal sound files will be playing softly in the background during the
story.  They also will take turns lying on the straw or hay (it will have
a lightweight blanket on it) to let them get the "feel" of what Jesus' bed
felt like and smelled like.
Several weeks before the party we made up invititations for each child.  I
think it will be fun and the teachers really like everything we are doing.
I hope this helps.
Bren in Ohio
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15) Christmas bells    

What kind of bells?
I've made "sets" of jingle bells before .. use sturdy string or yarn or a
shoe string, thread 2 -4 bells on it, and knot securely.
I've seen the idea of jingle mitts : trace mitten shapes on fabric or
felt, cut out and sew, then attach as many jingle bells as you wish along
the edges. Kids wear the mitt and just shake or wave their hands to make
the bells ring.
A third idea I've used is to get the old-fashioned peg clothespins. Use
very strong string or thread or pipecleaners to attach a couple of bells
by winding the string around the indented part. I tried to end up with the
bells opposite each other. The bottom part of the clothespin is easy for
younger children to hold on to, and the bells don't hit their fingers,
like they can if they shake the strings of bells too hard.

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