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SSTN  # 13 - February 13, 2002

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1) Lent Starts Today
-> Easter Story cards
2) Church Auction
3) First Fruits Auction     
4) Thanks for the info   
5) Lent Idea - Stations of the Cross Mural
6) Craft Idea - Two-sided Cross   
7) Memorizing Bible Verses   
-> FaithShapes Card Game
8) Fund Raising Ideas   
9) Song of VBS 1999 Son Castle Faire?   
10) Explaining death to Children
11) Fresh ideas for Bulletin Boards
12) Teaching other Religions to kids

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1) Lent Starts Today

Today is Ash Wednesday which marks the first day of Lent. Many denominations observe Lent in different ways, and some not at all. But the commonality we have as Christians, is that historically Lent marks the 40
day period before Jesus went to the cross. The custom of placing ashes on the head began in the Old Testament as a sign of repentance and sorrow. (See 2 Samuel 13:19, Esther 4:1-3, and Job 42:6) Today, many churches will burn the palm branches from last year's Palm Sunday service. Those ashes
will then be placed on a person's forehead as a sign of repentance. The season of Lent is a time of reflecting on what Jesus has done for us on the cross. It is a time of considering our need for a Savior, and of fasting and repenting of our sins. The Bible says, "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart
that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." Romans 10:9-10.

God bless you as you serve the Risen Savior!
Your friend and webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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The Easter Story - Cards 

10 Egg-shaped cards that tell the Easter Story - When the cards
are cut, colored and assembled, players can play Easter Egg Scramble and
learn the Easter Story! Reproducible so your whole class can make a set!

In the Curriculum section: 

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2) Church Auction

<< Anyway, does
anyone out there have an idea of something nice, yet fairly easy and
inexpensive that I might could take to the auction??? >>

You didn't say what your profession is.  I am a piano teacher and each
year I donate a year's piano lessons to our auction.  Other's donate
babysitting service, teeth cleaning services, baby baskets, children's
baskets filled with story books to take to grandma's, singing at someone's
wedding, cooking dinner for a small group of 8, crocheted blankets, potted
plants.  Once you put on your thinking cap, there are many things you can
give and auction are a lot of fun!
God bless,

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3)  First Fruits Auction     

>church is hosting a First Fruits Auction to raise money for
> missions.    Lots of people

BABYSITTING!  It costs you virtually nothing, and takes very little time.
Four hours of babysitting would certainly entice me to bid up higher at
your auction!  You could even stipulate the number of kids
and/or ages you are willing to include in this offer.
Karen, Minnesota

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4) Thanks for the info   

I just wanted to thank everyone for the URLs and ideas they posted for the
Dinosaur VBS.   I have saved them all and am now trying to compile it into
Thanks so much,

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W.W.J.S.? Gospel Catchers

There's something much worse than cooties...it's called sin!  Now kids can
make Gospel Catchers rather than Cootie Catchers! A fun and innovative way
for kids to learn to share their faith with their friends!  Includes 4
Gospel Catcher patterns to make: the Colors of Christ (Gospel Colors), the
Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and the Promises of God. Follow this
link to learn more:


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5) Lent Idea - Stations of the Cross Mural   

This is an idea in response to the person asking for "Stations of the
Cross" ideas and Sarah's pointing them to the 'Walk Through Bethlehem'
script.  It is very easy, inexpensive (paper, paint and markers - someone
who can type the Bible story and print it) and has a BIG impact.

We are doing 'murals' in the Christian Education hallway at our church.

We did "A walk through Bethlehem" for Advent -- from the Prophecy, Angels
appearing to Mary/Joseph, Shepherds and Stable to the Wisemen.  Each scene
had a one page typed "story" -- directly from Matthew and Luke -- and the
lesson revolved around it for the week as we slowly built Bethlehem.

Now in late January, I keep trying to take it down and get stopped by
adults who say, but it's so NICE.  So, instead of taking it all down, I'm
going to just change it --- for Lent I will do "Born in a
Stable...to...Resurrected Christ!"  The Stable scene from Christmas will
stay and I'll move some parts from the Shepherds and Angels to enhance
it.... then we will add things like Jesus being baptised by John the
Baptist (because we all must be 'born again') and the Holy Week events
ending with 2 crosses --- the cross of our sins that Jesus died for (Good
Friday) and the Glorified Cross of Resurrection with the stone rolled away
from the Tomb.

We do this out of paper.  For the people, I use body drawings -- have each
child 'pose' by laying down on a piece of paper (we have a large bolt of
brown craft paper) and we draw around them.  We cut the shapes out,
decorate with paint, markers, glitter, whatever we want and staple to the
wall for each 'scene'.  This creates a silhouette effect and looks good on
the walls.  When enhanced with a typed description and a title, it comes

Right now, I'm trying to decide what scenes (which are the basis of each
week's lesson!) can be simply done in a broad NON-ARTIST manner for each
week in Lent!  Some current ideas include --- a cock crowing (for Peter's
betrayal), dice (for the soldier's casting lots), maybe loaves and fishes,
and seeds/plants growing (representing Jesus' teachings), palms, a crown
of thorns, etc....... I think we have a problem.... there is TOO MUCH
material here for BOTH walls in only one HALLWAY!!!!


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6) Craft Idea - Two-sided Cross   

I thought I would share an idea I have used often during Lent.  It is a
2-sided cross.  The Cross is cut out of thick cardboard (like in a packing
box).  Make a hole in the top of the cross to hang it (so you can see both
sides) after it is finished.

Side 1 -- The cross of our sins. --- This is the "Good Friday" side of the
cross.  The reason Jesus had to die to save us -- our SINS.  We cut words
and letters as well as pictures out of magazines, also symbols of the
death of Christ -- thorn of crowns, dice, a cock crowing (Peter's betrayal)
etc.  We paste them to one side of the cross in a collage effect to
represent our sins and the evil that Jesus overcame on the cross.  Also we
often use a black background (paper or markers)

Side 2 -- The GLORIFIED cross -- This is the Easter Morning side of the
cross.  The Empty cross GLORIFIED because Christ has risen!  We use WHITE,
purple, & gold paper/markers to cover the cardboard and decorate it
with  pictures of (or even artificial) flowers, butterflies and other
symbols of the resurrected Christ (even glittery jewels from the craft
store etc) It's also done in a collage effect to represent the Glory of
God and the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

I have often done this as a Palm Sunday/Easter Sunday two week project,
making extra Crosses pre-done with the Sin side for the many visitors we
get on Easter Morning.  If you do the Sin side on Palm Sunday you can add
a piece of palm as a decoration on that side of the cross.  Don't let the
children take their crosses home unless they know they won't be at Church
on Easter (because of vacation/travel -- in those cases, I explain how to
complete the other side of the cross at home - so they have both sides of
their cross as well)

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7) Memorizing Bible Verses   

Dear SSTN,
One idea that we have used in our Sunday School class of 9-12 year-olds to
aid in Bible Memory is to provide them with an inexpensive paperback
telephone/address book that we bought at Dollar Tree ($1.00 each).  Each
week we printed the current Bible verse to be learned on return address
labels using my computer.  Each child brought their book to class each
week, and we "stuck" the Bible verse under the letter that it started
with.  This helped them keep up with verses learned an entire quarter (and
We use a point system to reward students for bringing Bibles, visitors,
knowing memory verses, bringing verse memory books, etc.  At the end of
each quarter, we recognize students with the 3 highest scores with prizes
and, sometimes, certificates to redeem at Dairy Queen.
To help our students remember God's answers to their prayers, we gave them
an inexpensive "prayer journal".  Since gel pens are so popular, we bought
dark paper spiral-bound notebooks (from Dollar Tree) and gave them a gel
pen.  They decorated the notebook with stickers and verses about prayer.
Inside they divided the paper in half lengthwise.  On the left side, we
wrote our prayer requests.  On the right, we record when the
event/miracles take place.  It is great to be reminded of God's answers to
our every need.  Every so often we ask the children to bring the books
back to class so we can see if they are using them.  We do not read them
unless they want to share something out of it.  We just kind of glance to
see if they are writing in it. It's actually a reminder for those who put
it aside and forget it.
In our class we have a photo album that we use for our class prayer book.
Every child's prayer requests are recorded on index cards that have been
divided like above.  When the prayer is answered, we record  the date.  It
is a really useful tool to help us remember requests each week.  The
entire class prays over the requests. I hope any of these ideas will help
Thanks for all you do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Moultrie, GA

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FaithShapes -  "The Card Game of Christian Symbols"

A fun game for kids and adults, readers or nonreaders. The 64 cards are
beautifully illustrated with historical explanations and Scripture verses.
Use them at home, in class, or for personal enrichment. Shape Your Faith,
with FaithShapes!

In the Curriculum section: 

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8) Fund Raising Ideas   

I've been enjoying your newsletter for some time now, and have found it
quite useful.  We have a very small church and, needless to say, limited
resources.  The church has always been very supportive of the kids and any
activities we try to do with them.  However, this year those of us who are
working with the children have decided to try and raise money for the
children's activities.  We recently had a bake sale, which did well, and
we're tossing around the idea of a yard sale.  Does anyone have any ideas
we might try?  Thanks for your help and keep up the good work!! Kathy in

--from SSTN: this is one of those topics that you can find TONS of info
from the Archives List of the site:
and on this page:

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9) Song of VBS 1999 Son Castle Faire?   

Does anyone have the tape to the VBS program 1999 of Son Castle Faire?
I am looking for the song "The Gift of God" for my Weekday Religious
Classes. I would appreciate knowing where I can obtain a tape of this.
Thank you,  Judy Moulden, Virginia

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10) Explaining death to Children

Another good book for children explaining death is:
When Someone You Love Dies by Robert V. Dodd

--from SSTN: this is available in the Bookstore:

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"Get em' in the LOOP!" 

L-eading kids to Christ,
O-ffering advice
O-pen discussion forum
P-roviding free resources

Invite your friends, pastors, and coworkers
to join our discussion in SSTN.


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11) Fresh ideas for Bulletin Boards

Hi Joyce:
I did that for a while.  We took pictures of new members and put their
pictures up with names underneath, and we also had pictures of new
arrivals (babies).  We also had announcements of upcoming events and of
course work of the Sunday School children.
God bless,

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12) Teaching other Religions to kids

I would just like to say I love this site.  You ladies are brilliant !
You all are so creative !  For the lady wanting to teach the different
kind of religions, I agree with the lady that said stick to Jesus.  Pray
about it the Lord will give you the answer on what to teach.   I like the
scripure in 2 Timothy 3:15  " And that from a child thou hast known the
Holy scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through
faith which is in Christ Jesus."     I've been teaching Sunday School (I
think four years)  Its amazing at what their little minds absorb.   I pray
about EVERYTHING I teach (I have the primary age 6-9 )  (some act a little
younger so at times its difficult)  But then when you sit back and the
Preacher man is on the floor , and your Sunday school kids are turning
around during the preaching saying we studied that. There is no better
feeling of doing what the Lord ! has called you to do.     We play a game
a kinda made up  Who wants to be a disciple for Jesus,play it like
millionare. Its alot of fun.  Someone was looking for craft ideas , we had
a lock-in not to long ago and I bought cheap wooden boxes from Wal-mart
.97 cents , we got some of the craft jewels  and we glued them onto the
outside of the box,on the inside of the box  we wrote the scripture Lay up
for yourselfs treasures in heaven.  They turned out really well.  Just
some ideas.   Thanks for your time. God Bless.  Mitzi  from Ky

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