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SSTN - Number 164
March 10, 2001

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1) Easter Vigil services
2) Easter Ideas?
3) Children's church-helicopter lesson
4) Children's church-helicopter lesson
5) Teaching the Books of the Bible
6) Setting up a Jr. High SS Class
7) Ten commandments thought on Buddha idol
8) Armor of God?
9) Decorating A Sunday School Room?
10) Scavenger Hunts
11) Kids involved in missions
12) Outreach retreat ideas

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Don't forget to check out the new FREE FEATURED RESOURCES section
for March, on the home page of: www.ChristianCrafters.Com


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1) Easter Vigil services

This has actually been our Good Friday service for the past 4 years. It is
extremely powerful. I understand that smaller churches may have a more
difficult time figuring out how to present it. I have seen this done two
ways the first is the way my current church family presents it;

On a large video monitor a **loop tape from the "Jesus" movie [distributed
by Crusades for Christ] plays the passion of Christ, from trial to
crucifixion as somber music plays. For our church family, which is fairly
large the service lasts an hour. It is a come and go service. The
congregation comes into the sanctuary individuals or families for prayer
and meditation. As they enter each person [2 and older] is given a blank
piece of paper. When their time of prayer is complete they write a sin or
area of their life in which they need Christ's intervention. They then go
to the front of the sanctuary to receive communion. Once communion is
complete they are give a large nail. They then proceed to a wooden cross
on the floor, where they hammer their sin to the cross and then leave.

For smaller congregations a similar presentation could be done with live
participants recreating the passion of Christ through inspirational dance
and music. I have observed Good Friday in this manner with all of the same
components, but with the passion play substituted for the film. {**Loop
tape plays the same scenes over and over]
Your sister in His service and love
Deb Halleck-Hill Country Bible Church-Austin, Texas

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2) Easter Ideas

Please send some Easter Ideas - activities, games, contests, stories, etc.
Thanks Teresa - McLeod, TX

--from SSTN: make sure you check ChristianCrafters.Com for many new ideas
AND USE the Archives List for many ideas from last year too! ;o))

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'LEFT BEHIND-THE MOVIE' is available in the
Bookstore at ChristianCrafters.Com!

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3) Children's church-helicopter lesson

How about a lesson on praise - we can soar above our problems and even
sing (the noise the helicopter makes-the Bible says make a joyful NOISE.
You could use the story of Paul and Silas singing in prison.
Teresa - La Marque,TX

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4) Children's church-helicopter lesson

> balloon helicopters that will soar into the air and whistle as they
> come down. Could anyone please give me an idea on a bible lesson I could
> use in connection with these little helicopters? This site has been such

You could use these balloons (or regular balloons) to talk about the Holy
Spirit at Pentecost, Act 2:1-13. Without air, the balloon is lifeless.
But with air,the balloon is powerful, moving beautifully into the sky.
Just as air gives power and life to balloons, the Holy Spirit breaths
power and life into us. Just as the whistle on the helicopters can be
heard if we listen closely, the Spirit of God can be heard speaking
to us if we, too, listen closely. This would be a great opening to a
discussion on "How do we listen for God?" Cynthia

--from SSTN: this is why SSTN is sooo great! ;o)) We've already got two
lessons on flying helicopters! What better way to get God's word into kids
than by these fun and innovative ideas contributed by everyone?
In Christ, Sarah <><

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5) Teaching the Books of the Bible

> Please let me know of any creative ways to teach 4th graders the books of
> the Bible.

Dear Jo, I had to teach my older kids last year the books of the Bible..
and the best thing i found was a song on the Wee Sing tape that i found at
Wal Mart . It sets the books to a real catchy tune and its learned
quick...Torri Liano

you can get the Wee Sing Tapes in the Bookstore at ChristianCrafters.Com
-ALL sales help support SSTN, so please spread the word about the site and
help to keep SSTN alive. Thank you! <>< Sarah

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Do you wanna KIDZOO-SHUFFLE? Play a fun game of strategy and skill, for
children ages 5 and up. Kids will develop eye-hand coordination, category
placement, and depth perception skills while playing. For more info, go
to: www.todaysfitnessforkids.com
Click on "Products" when you get there!

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6) Setting up a Jr. High SS Class

To Sheri from Florida, Go for it. Pray lots--work hard. This is
probably the hardest class and the most rewarding. We taught for about a
year and these kids are still on my heart. What an age--wet cement. We
had quite a fluctuation of kids due to broken homes. We found that the
love we could pour into them outside of class was perhaps as important as
what we said in class. Some things we did: Made an a picture album with
a page for each student. Sometimes all we got was a picture; then we
could pray for them. The goal was to get picture, name, address, phone
number, school and a "Life Scripture." My husband and I taught together
so he took the photos. We had tee shirts made for each and asked them to
help us design them. What we ended up with was black with white letters
I DON'T FOLLOW CHRIST". Then we wore the tee shirts on a day hike/dogsled
ride (a lady in our church happened to do the dogsled runs so we were
fortunate). Another time, we had a cookie bake at our house in the
country. The kids (boys too! they loved it!) baked cookies--many dozen.
They each got to take home about 6 cookies. The rest were given away.
We took lots of pictures which we added to our album. Some of our kids
moved away, etc., but we still have the pictures and can pray for them.
We have some fabulous memories. Sadly, one of our former students died in
a (hopefully) accidental situation. After his father's remarriage, he was
sent away to his mother's home in another city. There was apparently
sibling rivalry and he was sent to his room. They thought he was seeking
attention when they heard pounding on the door. They found him hung. He
probably was only seeking attention, but the shoelaces formed a knot he
could not untangle by himself. This illustrates to me the tremendous need
for Jr. Highers' love and direction. It's been two years since we taught
and the tug is still there. We still get hugs and affectionate shoves. If
anyone out there is looking for a rewarding spot, pray about this
possibility. Velma Knobel - Spokane, WA

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7) Ten commandments thought on Buddha idol

I think using a picture of Buddha with a cross out misses the mark of what
we wish to teach our children about idols and idolatry. Few, if any, of
our children will be tempted to bow down and worship a statue of Buddha.
I have some experience facilitating
Christian support groups for childhood abuse survivors. In our groups we
use an idolatry model for addictions - an idol is anything which we use
instead of God to support or define our identity. In the final analysis
the idol we worship is ourselves - Pride.
Gertrude Mueller in her book "To Dance With God" states we do not fall
into sin, we rise into it. Self and pride are the roots of sin. I have
adapted it for Sunday School. An idol is *anything* we put ahead of God.
Sin is when we do what we want to do, instead of what God wants us to do.
Students are very astute at knowing (prodded by the Holy Spirit) what they
put ahead of God, and when they put their own wants ahead of God's
commands. For one student it was her kittens!

Instead of a statue of Buddha, I would use a pedestal, and discuss with
children what they put on their pedestal instead of God - usually boils
down to themselves, wanting their own way, not sharing, being greedy with
treats.... Then let each cross out what is drawn on the pedestal and
create their pin from there. With my class we made our unique, individual
idols out of clay, talked about idols, committed in prayer to put God
first, then smashed them.

From then on, as we studied Bible Characters we looked for any possible
idols in their lives. Samuel had no idols we could discern. Eli's idol
was his sons, he put them ahead of God, (because he did not discipline
them even though God told him to do so TWICE! and accepted the choice
meats they stole from God's sacrifices). Abigail did not have an idol as
far as we could tell, but David's idol was Bathsheba. Mical, David's
first wife, put David ahead of trust in God.
My student whose idol was kittens discovered (by the Holy Spirit, not my
lesson plan!)that God takes away what you hold above him. This led to
talking about what God meant when he said he was a 'jealous' God. How when
God takes away our idols we feel empty and sad, needing God to fill the
hole. Losing our idols hurts, but it is a good thing because it brings us
back to God. Wendy O, Minnesota

--from SSTN: thank you for the alternative suggestion!

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With a $12.00 per year subscription....that's just a Buck-A-Month!

For more info...click on 'Ministry Support' from the home page of:


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8) Armor of God?

Hi! Hope you can help. I'm looking for a graphic or clipart of the Armor
of God. I am going to do a small skit with my 5-10 year olds in Sunday
School. I need the graphic or clipart to see how they are made. thanks.

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9) Decorating A Sunday School Room?

Hi! My husband pastors a sweet church with a lot of young boys and girls.
I have ten -12 every Sunday morning in my third and fourth grades! Do you
have any neat ideas for decorating their new room. We have just completed
our new educational building, that "God blessed us with!" I can decorate
a home, but I don't know where to begin on this! Thanks for any idea that
you may have. God Bless You!
Rita Banks, Richmond Hill, Ga.

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10) Scavenger Hunts

You like games. Have you heard of any creative scavenger hunts lately?
I am looking for new/creative scavenger hunt ideas. If you can help,

Marnie; have you tried "for the homeless?' Jamaciamam@aol.com
Peace, Joy and Laughter

--from SSTN: please share it with SSTN.

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11) Kids involved in missions

Dear Sarah, please send this to Kate asap, I have been busy with the
curriculum for our childrens dept and getting a micro library area and
game room going for my sweet kids at Church, so this is late but I lived
up there and I know how very hard it is to keep motivated, she may contact
me anytime and the sooner the better, there is not a very good support
network in her area and we dont want her to get disheartened! I never
really knew the Lord till I moved to Texas and now am starting my jouney
to become a childrens minister/director, the Lord has really guided me and
I am greatful so any help I can give, I will. In His everlasting
I give you great credit for hanging in there, I lived in New Jersey, and
it wasnt until I moved to Texas that I really started to know how exciting
and fun worshiping the Lord could really be. I have found a wonderful
support network here in finding resources, ideas, curriculum and any other
information I might be looking for. One thing that really works for me is
music, there is a great CD that was sent to me from the church of
Brookhill, if you email me I can give you her name and number.
Willowcreek.org or willowcreek.com is also a wonderful place they have a
childrens church that is called Promiseland, the web sight is
Promiselandonline.com there music CD's are fabulous! Here are some other
places I have found to be encouraging and useful you can get downlaodable
curriculum to try and that is extreemly helpful in deciding what works for
your Childrens Dept. Welcome to ChildrenSermons: Free children's sermons
and Shroud of Turin http://christiancrafters.com/pumpkin.html
ChildrensMinistry.net--The best children's ministry resources on the Web.
For when you get feeling like your heart isnt in it, go here Kidz Blitz
Zone then go to the cold water cafe this will get you going again, it
really helps me to see we are not alone and it has great resources. I
know hao hard it can be to keep motivated up there so feel free to email
me any time, I will do anything I can to help. Lemdjm@aol.com
In Christs Love, Diana

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12) Outreach retreat ideas

>We were wanting to have a mini-retreat for our young people, ages 7-12.
> How might we approach this matter?

I found it useful to plant the seed, let them think on it for a while
and then bring it up again, not only that but if you have some information
as to your game plan spelled out on paper and your schedual, sometimes
they see how much effort you have put into organizing your retreat and
they take a greater interest in your plight. It took me 6 months to
change the curriculum for my childrens dept and I had to record all the
curriculum, prices, material, content etc. befor they saw that this was
important to keep the kids interested and make it fun while learning.
Keep plugging on your efforts will not go unnoticed. In Christ, Diana

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Lake Park, FL 33403

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