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SSTN # 14 - February 27, 2004

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Egg-Shaped Easter Cards

1) Memory Verse Challenge
2) Paul Harvey's Comments on "The Passion"
3) Teenage resources?

Buggie For Jesus - I'm A BEE-liever!

4) No More Teaching?
5) Bible presentation?
6) Puppet Ministry?

Jesus Ascending Mini-Movie

7) Toys in Sunday School    
8) Used Christmas Cards
9) Lord of the Rings    

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Egg-Shaped Easter Cards

When the cards are cut, colored and assembled, players can play Easter Egg
Scramble and discover a secret Easter message! Now with two black and
white "cross" and "resurrection" drawings to color! Reproducible so your
whole class can make a set!

Find them in the Curriculum section at: 

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1) Memory Verse Challenge

I've had a very positive response to the memory verse challenge I proposed
to SSTN. I hope everyone is participating! If you haven't copied down this
month's verse, you can do so on the home page at: 
This month's verse will be up until April 1 to give us more time to
memorize it.

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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2) Paul Harvey's Comments on "The Passion"

I really did not know what to expect. I was thrilled to have been
invited to a private viewing of Mel Gibson's film "The Passion,"
but I had also read all the cautious articles and spin. I grew up in a
Jewish town and owe much of my own faith journey to the influence. I have
a life
long, deeply held aversion to anything that might even indirectly
encourage any
form of anti-Semitic thought, language or actions.

I arrived at the private viewing for "The Passion," held in Washington, DC
and greeted some familiar faces. The environment was typically
Washingtonian, with people greeting you with a smile but seeming to
look beyond you, having an agenda beyond the words. The film was very
introduced, without fanfare, and then the room darkened. From the
gripping opening scene in the Garden of Gethsemane, to the very human and
tender portrayal of the earthly ministry of Jesus, through the betrayal,
the arrest, the
scourging, the way of the cross, the encounter with the thieves, the
surrender on the
Cross, until the final scene in the empty tomb, this was not simply a
movie; it was an encounter, unlike anything I have ever experienced.

In addition to being a masterpiece of film-making and an artistic
triumph, "The Passion" evoked more deep reflection, sorrow
and emotional reaction within me than anything since my wedding, my
ordination or
the birth of my children. Frankly, I will never be the same. When the film
concluded, this "invitation only" gathering of "movers and shakers" in
Washington, DC were shaking indeed, but this time from sobbing. I am not
sure there was a dry eye in the place. The crowd that had been
glad-handing before the film
was now eerily silent. No one could speak because words were woefully
inadequate. We had experienced a kind of art that is a rarity in life, the
kind that
makes heaven touch earth.

One scene in the film has now been forever etched in my mind. A
wounded Jesus was soon to fall again under the weight of the cross. His
mother had made her way along the Via Della Rosa. As she
ran to him, she flashed back to a memory of Jesus as a child, falling in
the dirt
road outside of their home. Just as she reached to protect him from the
fall, she was now reaching to touch his wounded adult face. Jesus looked
at her
with intensely probing and passionately loving eyes (and at all of us
the screen) and said "Behold I make all things new." These are words taken
the last Book of the New Testament, the Book of Revelations. Suddenly, the
purpose of the pain was so clear and the wounds, that earlier in the film
been so difficult to see in His face, His back, indeed all over His body,
intensely beautiful. They had been borne voluntarily for love.

At the end of the film, after we had all had a chance to recover, a
question and answer period ensued. The unanimous praise for
the film, from a rather diverse crowd, was as astounding as the
were effusive. The questions included the one question that seems to
follow this
film, even though it has not yet even been released. "Why is this film
considered by some to be 'anti-Semitic?" Frankly, having now experienced
do not "view" this film) "the Passion" it is a question that is impossible
answer. A law professor whom I admire sat in front of me. He raised his
hand and
responded "After watching this film, I do not understand how anyone can
that it even remotely presents that the Jews killed Jesus. It doesn't." He
continued "It made me realize that my sins killed Jesus" I agree. There is
not a
scintilla of anti-Semitism to be found anywhere in this powerful film. If
were, I would be among the first to decry it. It faithfully tells the
Gospel story in a dramatically beautiful, sensitive and profoundly
engaging way.
Those who are alleging otherwise have either not seen the film or have
another agenda behind their protestations. This is not a "Christian" film,
the sense that it will appeal only to those who identify themselves as
followers of
Jesus Christ. It is a deeply human, beautiful story that will deeply touch
men and women. It is a profound work of art. Yes, its producer is a
Catholic Christian and thankfully has remained faithful to the Gospel
text; if that is no
longer acceptable behavior than we are all in trouble. History demands
that we
remain faithful to the story and Christians have a right to tell it. After
all, we believe that it is the greatest story ever told and that its
message is
for all men and women. The greatest right is the right to hear the truth.
We would all be well advised to remember that the Gospel narratives to
which "The Passion" is so faithful were written by Jewish
men who followed a Jewish Rabbi whose life and teaching have forever
the history of the world. The problem is not the message but those who
distorted it and used it for hate rather than love. The solution is not to
the message, but rather to promote the kind of gift of love that is Mel
Gibson's filmmaking masterpiece, "The Passion." It should be seen by as
many people as possible. I intend to do everything I can to make sure that
is the case.
I am passionate about "The Passion."

P.S.  Mel Gilbson stated he did not appear in his
own movie, by his choice, with one exception:  It is Gibson's hands seen
nailing Jesus to the cross. Gibson said he wanted to do that because it
indeed his own hands that nailed Jesus to the cross (along with all of

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3) Teenage Resources?

hello. i was wondering what are some activities i can do to keep the
teenagers involve in sunday school, do you know where i can get some
resources from. it would be a big help to me. the ages are from 13-17

--from SSTN: yes, you can find some great resources in the Christian
Education and Bibles section of our Bookstore at:
ALSO, check out the "Links" page for Youth Related websites at:

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Buggie For Jesus - I'm A BEE-liever!

Reproducible buggie crafts, games, lessons, and yummy devotions
to coordinate with your summertime programs or midweek classes.

In the Curriculum section: 

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4) No More Teaching?

Hello SSTN. I just wanted to say that I'm very grateful for this site.
It's very encouraging to hear from others, and to express what God's been
teaching us and to share what we struggle with.  I would also like to
share my situation with you all: I would like to resign from teaching
Sunday school (5-9 years old). I know that it's only February, but I think
that it would benefit me and the children more if I quit. The kids are not
benefiting from my teaching so I might as well quit and let someone else
teach who will help the kids learn better. They (and I) are worst off than
when I first taught 2 years ago. I have no idea what went wrong. They are
so much more disrespectful, always wanting to play games and talk and
constantly go to the bathroom. I have talked to our Sunday school director
and he said that I should hang in there but I do not think he knows what
kind of situation I'm in. I am unable to keep the kids under control! I
know, I'm not a good teacher, but maybe that's not where God wants me.
Another reason why I want to quit is because of the lack of communication
in our Sunday school department and our method of disciplining certain
children. (Do we even have one???) Here's the example: If a child is
extremely naughty and distracting, I can't take the kid to his/her parents
or give him/her time out with an adult (like with the Sunday School
director) outside of the room. I have to keep the child in the room and
let him/her keep on distracting the others from learning...as long as they
don't distract their PARENTS from learning about God. It's also quite
difficult because our church comprises of a certain ethnic group and due
to some cultural hindrances, it's quite difficult to talk to the parents
and expect them to do much about their children's behaviors. But maybe I'm
just overestimating and too scared to talk the parents.  But my main point
is, I want to quit!!! Should I?

Unsure what to do,

--from SSTN: Dear "Unsure", this breaks my heart that you are having this
kind of trouble...especially since you are only 17 years old and devoted
to Jesus in this way. You are clearly thinking correctly when you want to
involve adults or parents in this matter. It is very unfortunate (and I
think irresponsible) that the adults are not helping you to problem-solve.
I encourage you to first pray that God will give you wisdom in this
matter. Then go and speak to the adults in charge and tell them how
frustrated you are with the current situation and that you need their
help. Let them know that you cannot continue with the way things are
unless they intervene. I would also suggest that you take someone with you
when you speak to the leadership, such as your parents or a trusted and
respected adult in your church.

I rarely write this harshly when it comes to SSTN topics, but I REALLY
hate to see a young person hindered in his or her ministry. I will be
praying for you.
Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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5) Bible presentation?    

>hello, i am in charge of the bible presentation for our new fourth graders. i would like 
>to read a short story or poem to them before i give them their bibles. do you have 
>anything that would be appropriate for this? please let me know. thank you, lori

--from SSTN:
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged
sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking,
correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be
thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16

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6) Puppet Ministry?

I would like to start a puppet ministry with the children's ministry God
has already blessed me with at church. These little people range from 3-10
years in age. I have search my local Christian shops and have found the people
puppets to be very expensive and I working with a very, very limited
I was able to obtain a few animal puppets from Ikea but, we are in the
need of people puppets. I am interested in any biblical skits, patterns to make
life like puppets or any repairable used puppets that someone my want to
sale.  IF anyone has any leads you can e-mail me @

Thank You,
Dee Anna Jones Becerril

--from SSTN: Check out our Skits page, Bookstore Games & Skits page, and
our LINKS page at:  http://www.ChristianCrafters.Com 

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Jesus Ascending Mini-Movie

A unique flip-card pattern that children color and assemble, then watch
the resurrected Jesus ascend into the clouds. Kids make it and take it
home!  Print out as many patterns as you need for a onetime fee. To see a
picture and to learn more, follow this link:

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7) Toys in Sunday School    

Why not have a special "bag" or "box"  or something to have the toys
dropped off the moment the kids enter the classroom?  This special place is in
plain sight to teacher and children - is off-limits until time to go.  I'd have
something clear plastic or a mesh bag, so no  chance to lose or mis-use toys.
On the other hand, you could provide paper bags for the parents to carry
the toy into the sanctuary - a few times of this and the parent may find the
car is a much better place to keep the toys during Sunday School and Church.
Hope this is helpful. Remember - YOU are in charge here.

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8) Used Christmas Cards
At one time, we cut only interesting or pretty small (2" approx.) squares
or rectangles out of the front of the card. Then toothpicks are glued at an
angle, one under each side/corner of the card piece; the other toothpick on top
side/corner (all 4 corners). We used fish line to make these Christmas
ornaments. My children are grown and we still have them for our tree. Not
sure if I explained it correctly - the toothpicks are glued to make a
frame around the picture.
Another time, our church used the pictures to glue verses given by our
missionaries in Afrida in a native language. These were used as take-home
papers for our African Sunday Schools.  Perhaps your church would be
able to use them like this. The verses came to use from our headquarters,
we cut them apart, and glued them on the back of the pretty part of the
used Christmas card. Good project for kids too.
Hope this helps!
Nancy in Illinois

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9) Lord of the Rings    

> >And you can live a holy life without sin and
> >trying to justify that which is not of God.

> You had me until the last line of your unsigned response to the Lord of
> the Rings question, I am glad you can live a holy and sinless life, I
> would love to meet you! No other Christian I know of including my self
> claims to be without sin, I am a poor miserable sinner who relies on the
> saving blood of Jesus everyday.
> Debbie, California

well said debbie!!!!

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Sarah Keith <><

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