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SSTN - Number 207
June 29, 2001

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1) Sunday school attendance
2) Christian symbol pumpkin carving
3) Why Celebrate Halloween
4) Jesus to the Rescue First Aid Kit
5) Another prayer acronym
6) End of Year Sunday School Gift
7) Preschool Sunday school class
8) 50's HOP (House of Praise)
9) Apple Air Bobbing
10) Continuous Curriculum

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1) Sunday school attendance

<< I would like to know how other Sunday school ministries deal
>> with an attendance issue.

I can't believe you mark kids tardy. As irritating as it may be when they
walk in half way through the lesson, this is how we handle it. We have
our children in church the first 15 minutes. They hear the first hymn,
announcements and the children's sermon, then leave for classes. As far
as attendance goes, because of so many broken homes nowadays, we do not
take attendance. Children cannot help their attendance. That may be the
week they are with dad. I have a theme every year. Last year I put up a
large tree and each child had an apple on the tree. As they came in they
dropped their apple in a basket. (At this point, after class, I could take
attendance if I wanted) Next year my bulletin board will have a ship.
They will be the people of course and above it will say "Welcome Aboard."
God bless, Joni

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2) Christian symbol pumpkin carving

> I remember my mom for a craft would get smaller pumpkins and have the
> children carve them with Christian symbols. (Cross, Fish and many others).

We did the same thing last year with BIG success! But instead of using
real pumpkins, we did it with construction paper. Also we made lanterns.
(Just happened to coincide with the lesson) Inside we had them put
glowsticks and they used them for trick or treating that night. God bless,

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3) Why Celebrate Halloween

>I'm not sure I understand why your Church or Sunday School
>class/cirriculum would include anything that has to do with Halloween.
>Halloween is all about death and supernatural. Makes no sense to me. Can
>you help me understand?

I hesitated to answer because, knowing this is a controversial issue, I
don't want to be the spokesperson for those who celebrate Halloween. So I
thought I'd just give you my personal answer. (My church as a whole has
no problem with Halloween but there are members who disagree and don't
participate.) Halloween in our house was always just viewed as a fun time
to create a costume, dress up and GO OUT! after dark, knock on neighbor's
doors and have a fuss made over them, and, of course, eat candy. Our
elderly neighbors always looked so forward to seeing the kids dressed up
and excited, and willing to share information about how the evening was
going. Now that my kids are older (teens), Halloween is still a fun time
to dress up if they have a party to go to. If not, answering our own door
and seeing the excited little ones or helping out at the church party is a
lot of fun. I also know from my kids reminiscing that creating the
costume with Mom was a huge deal too. (We tended to go with clever ideas;
favorites were a wrapped birthday present, a TV, and, of course, an angel.
Any of the "dark" stuff, like witches or ghouls, was seen as too boring.)

When my kids were old enough to realize that some religions, or
individuals, did not celebrate Halloween because of the dark connotations,
they found that curious because, again, it was always just presented to
them as a fun time for make believe. That said, please also know that
they were taught to respect the views of others even if they didn't
understand or agree.

As for Sunday School, I'm getting great responses about a craft, all to do
with pumpkins and harvest time, which is exactly what I'm looking for. I
wouldn't dream of doing anything that in any way connects the idea of
Halloween to evil or ugliness.

I hope this helps, and thanks so much for asking.

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4) Jesus to the Rescue First Aid Kit

I have adapted the First Aid Kits to use on our Kickoff Sunday of "Jesus
to the Rescue" VBS with the kindergarten class. It could also be used the
last night as a review of the 5 stories. The following will be included
along with a listing of the items to explain to parents what each one

Band Aid-reminds us of the "aid" that God gave to Noah, Elijah, etc.
Mint- Noah believed that God "mint" what He said.
Carmel-Elijah "prayed" on Mount Carmel for God to come to the rescue.
Fireball-Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego obeyed even when it became very
A broken tongue depresser- God does not want us to depress our tongues.
Rather we need to courageously speak like Esther.
A lifesaver-Jesus saves us from our sins.

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5) Another prayer acronym



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6) End of Year Sunday School Gift (sstn numb 202)

I realize this is a little late, since most Sunday Schools are over, but
what we did for our class of 4-5 year olds was to take photo's of the
class during the year, and on the last day we had the kids make 'picture
frames' to hold the class photo in. I bought some paper bracelets (from a
teacher's supply store) that said "Smile GOD loves you" on them and used
them for the bottom of the frame and another that said "My Class" for the
top, then they decorated the sides with shapes cut out from paper that
they lick and stick on to the sides. It was great fun and the kids got to
take home a memory of their classmates.

--from SSTN: thanks for sharing this. Many churches have Sunday school all
year long with graduations in late summer or early Fall.

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Did you know that all past issues of SSTN are available for reading?
You can search out hundreds of topical ideas in the Archives List at:
ChristianCrafters.Com It's a gold mine of ideas!

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7) Preschool Sunday school class - help needed

It was my first year as a Sunday School teacher in a room of 12-16 4-year
olds. It didn't take long for us to figure out the first thing we needed
was to have a routine. For the first 15 minutes of every week, we
gathered with the 5 and 6 year olds (and their teachers) along with a
music leader and a high-school aged helper for praise time singing. The
kids enjoyed learning (or repeating) the new songs, most of which had a
dance or some physical activity to go along with it.

After praise time, we broke up into the smaller groups and had our lesson.
The teacher who did the lesson each week was very creative and visual.
He would bring in props (such as a fishing pole and fishing net for our
"fishers of men" theme, a box full of hats for kids to wear as we talked
about loving your neighbor and taught the kids about how everyone is
different and special and that everyone "wears a different hat"). After
that we always did our craft and ended with our snack. By the end the
kids knew exactly what to do and when to do it without being told. It was

If the lesson was short or the kids were extremely "wiggly" we would play
a game of musical chairs using children's bible songs to keep the music,
and the child who was "out" in each round got to push the buttons on the
recorder for the music on the next round. The winner got to lead the
prayer for snack time.

I hope some of these ideas help. I know the first few weeks was hard, but
after that my co-teachers and I coordinated our lesson, craft, snack etc
and now we can't wait until next year to start with a new group of 4 year
olds!! Keep up the good work.
God's blessings, Cheryl P, St John's Lutheran, Brookfield, W

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8) 50's HOP (House of Praise)

I just returned from taking some girls to a Missionettes camp
that had a 1950's theme. I wrote a cheer for the girls to choreograph
and compete with (they won!)--I'll pass on the words in case someone can
use them for a 50's fun night or Vacation Bible School: (Note--House of
Praise = H.O.P., like a sock hop...)

we had hand jive;
sock hop, poodle skirts,
hair in bee hives

Join us at the House of Praise;
The word of the Lord is still the same!

New Millenium:
Now there’s cell phones,
Napster, dot-com,
DVDs in homes.

Join us at the House of Praise;
The word of the Lord is still the same!

Elvis or Brittany Spears,
Rollerskates or blades,
Record or compact disc:
stuff from this world fades.

Join us at the House of Praise;
The word of the Lord is still the same!

--Dana Gagnon, St. Clair Shores, MI

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Praise-Amations! (Only $8.25 AND includes U.S. shipping!)

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cards. In the Curriculum section at:

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9) Apple Air Bobbing

One alternative to bobbing for apples is to "air-bob" for apples. I've
done this with the youth for more than 10 years, and they have so much

You'll need a dress rack (laundry rack) or a line strung across the room.
Tie dental floss to the stem of each apple, then tie the other end of the
floss to the line or dress rack. Make sure that the end apples cannot be
pressed against the wall or rack and trapped easily. The apples, when
strung, should be at various heights so that they are at "mouth high" for
the children. Having to stretch up or bend down a little
is OK. It is actually just as difficult as regular bobbing for apples and
not messy at all! Everyone loves it.

Jeannie Dixon/Fellowship Presbyterian/Tallahassee,FL

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Full Armor of God Game

Kids scramble to be the first to build a full suit of armor using peel 'n'
play stickers, and soak up the lessons taught in Ephesians 6 while they
play! In the Bible Gamestore at: ChristianCrafters.Com

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10) Continuous Curriculum

My name is Cindy and I attend a small church (Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America). I am the Sunday School director and we have been using
material from Augsburg Fortress. The curriculum we use is called "Life Together." Though it is divided into pre-school, lower elementary, and upper elementary, this program follows
the same message that is preached that Sunday. It is really neat because
the kids go to Sunday School and then to church with us. When they
recognize the message and the readings of the day in church (which is what
they did in SS) they think they are so smart!!! It has made a big
difference in what our children are able to absorb and reatin. It also
allows parents to reinforce the message they hear, as well. Good Luck!!

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