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SSTN # 27 - February 28, 2003

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1) Western/Frontier VBS 2003   
2) Puppet Ministry
3) Evolution - Don't straddle the fence
4) HELP ME!!! Burned Out

--> Egg-shaped Easter Story Cards

5) Help Me - Burned Out
6) Western/Frontier VBS   
7) Western/Frontier?   
8) Lent Course for older Children?

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

9) Children Ministering in Sunday School
10) Rotation pros and cons
11) Lessons on behavior?   
12) Moses and the Plagues?


13) Easter Ideas?
14) RELIEF for "Burned Out"!!
15) Rotation pros and cons
16) Burned out   

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When assembled, New Life Puppets turn inside out to change from a tadpole
to a frog, or a caterpillar to a butterfly. They're easy-to-make and
children will learn about becoming new creatures in Christ! Get a free
puppet skit too! In our Curriculum section:


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1) Western/Frontier VBS 2003   

A couple of years ago my church did a Western VBS.  It was great!  We
cornered off sections of the rooms into "corrals" for the different craft
and activity areas.  The kids really liked it.  We had them dress in their
jeans and we made tee shirts with Western themes on them.  We used fabric
paint to write names on the shirts.  We also drew cactus, moons, hats,
boots, things like that.  The kids really thought they were neat.
Jenny from GA

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2)  Puppet Ministry

We have done this before and it is proving successful again at our new
church home after we moved.  This is a puppet ministry that involves many
in the congregation. We are hoping this will be a powerful tool to take
the love of God in Christ to our community, help teach the children to
reach out to others, and also make others want to join us, through their
children's desire to come to the church that has puppets.  We made a
puppet theater using 1 1/2" PVC pipe plus some polyester fabric that we
use for the curtains that hide the mechanics of the theater.  Writing our
own shows, making our own puppets, using voices of adults to read the
script and get it onto a cassette tape, having the kids of confirmation
age actually run the puppets, younger ones make treats to eat or little
Bible verse message cards to hand out, and the really little ones make the
decorations for the theater is making it possible for a large percentage
of the congregation to actively take part.   For Valentines Day, our
theater was decorated with paper hearts, heart cookies were served as a
treat, and the puppet show was one about love - and, ultimately, the love
of God that will take all who trust in Jesus as their savior to heaven.
The plan is to take this show "on the road" to nursing homes, senior care
centers, and schools or daycare centers.  We are a VERY small mission
congregation and would appreciate prayers for growth as well.  Thank you
and God's blessings wherever you are.  JH in S.Dak.

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3) Evolution - Don't straddle the fence

re item 33 8. Feb 14th   
I do not know if a reader submitted this or someone on the site, but I
have a problem with straddling the fence.  I would like to know where the
proof cavemen existed before Adam and Eve?  Where is the proof.  It is
stated we KNOW.  How?
And while I think all sides should be considered in teaching kids, this
presentation of all sides of creation is a dangerous theory.  Either
evolution is true or God"s Word.

Helen Setser

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4) HELP ME!!! Burned Out

Ok, I'm throwing in my two cents worth as well....I too, think "Burned
Out" should consider coming forward with the need for a break. I
coordinate our children's ministries on Wednesday nights. When I did not
have enough adults to work with the children, I went to my pastor and told
him I wanted to announce that there would be no children's classes until
ALL the open spots were filled. I was nervous about upset mommies, but
made the announcement and stuck to it. It took two weeks, but we now have
at least two adults in every room for our classes. It's hard when you
don't want to step on toes, but leaving the need open and unfilled for a
period of time forces people to take an honest look at themselves and
whether they are being fair to current children's workers. So take that

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Egg-shaped Easter Story Cards

Ten 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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5) Help Me - Burned Out   

I teach Sunday School in a small church, I don't think we ever had a
problem finding a Sunday School teacher, but I know that sometimes adults
like to enjoy a service with the rest of the adults. Our church only had a
few kids (3 families maybe) to start with so we just have a Multi-Age
Sunday School class. Last year I took over teaching Sunday School I was
only 13, but it went very well. Most Sundays there would only be my 6
brothers and sisters, my cousins and close friends. Since then we have a
few new families, sometimes we have up to 16 kids. But my mom (or another
adult) would come down to Sunday School if there were lots of kids. So why
not ask an older, responsible teen in the church if he/or she wanted to
teach Sunday School some weeks. If they need help they will ask, younger
children also like being around older kids because they have lots of fun
ideas and are still kids. Someone could help them with the planning.
Melissa Green
--from SSTN: God bless you, Melissa, for serving Jesus!
ysic, sarah keith <><

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6) Western/Frontier VBS   

I have found some wonderful suggestions for "homemade" VBS on the web.
One site that I'd like to share with you is by Barry McWilliams and Chapel
Hill Presbyterian Church.  They have one whole section dedicated to a WIld
West theme.  You can view it here:
http://www.eldrbarry.net/vbs/6/wanted.htm  Hope this helps you!

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7) Western/Frontier?   

I would like to hear more from Sheila from NE about the Western/Fronier
VBS 2003 as to lessons, song, crafts.etc.  Sounds like a fun VBS.

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8) Lent Course for older Children?

I was wondering if you and my fellow Sunday School teachers could help me
please.  I've suggested that our church holds a mid-week Lent Course for
the young people of our church and also the the young people living in our
local community, from the ages of 10 to 16 years.  Does anyone have any
experience of Lent Courses for this age group?  Does anyone have any
course ideas?  I usually teach in Sunday Club children from 3 to 10 years,
so teaching older children is going to be a big challenge!

May I also take this opportunity to thank you for your wonderful website
and the newsletters which inspire me so much.  May God bless all your hard
Annmarie, West Midlands, England.

--from SSTN: for those responding, please include product codes/ISBN.
Thanks! sarah<><

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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 VBS programs, or midweek classes.

In the Curriculum section: 

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9) Children ministering in Sunday School

2/17/03 - reply to Burned Out   
I think we may have fallen quite accidentally into part of a solution of
Burn Out.  This adds more to do (in one way, but in another it takes the
load off one area and puts it into another), however, many more people are
anxious to get involved.  One Sunday a month, we are taking the kids "out"
during the SS hour.  They make cards to give out at a nursing home or
Senior Center, and are taken there to sing songs they have learned.  They
also go to visit shutins with their songs and message of salvation through
Jesus alone.  They take their puppet performance "on the road"  - we have
found even the men want to participate in this with taking the kids and
helping to set up the theater.  At this point, it is looking like there is
less pressure than with the idea of being a "teacher", and with varied
interests, it seems to encourage more people.  Gods Blessings in whatever
area He has chosen for you.  JH in S.Dak

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10) Rotation pros and cons

Yes, although you would cover “only” eight stories a year, that would be
48 stories/concepts taught over a six year time span (assuming grade
levels from 1-6), using methods that have been found to be the most
effective ways that children learn and retain information.  We could
continue to teach one story a week if quantity is the goal.  But as
Christian educators, we need to think beyond quantity, and direct our
attention to the quality of the learning that is taking place.  If we are
not allowing the more important transformational component and spiritual
connections to take place in the hearts and minds of our children, are we
really doing the best teaching we can?  The workshop rotation method
allows that happen.  Also, it allows for the use of the gifts and talents
of many people in the congregation to be put to use.  Lastly, the children
love it!! Becky

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11) Lessons on behavior?   

Does anyone know of some lessons (e.g. a lessonbook, curriculum)which
would teach younger children the way God wants them to act?

I am going to be taking on a class of Kindergarteners who have not had a
lot of classroom discipline and I need help!!!

--from SSTN: for those responding, please include product codes/ISBN.
Thanks! SAK

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12) Moses and the Plagues?

I am wondering if anyone has an idea of how to tell the story of Moses and
the plagues from exodus I am thinking of using props or some type of
visuals. I am working with grade one and two for evening clubs.
thank you Sandra

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13) Easter Ideas?

I teach a small (10) Sunday School class of teens and When SS Class is
over we go in front of the Church and each class does a memory verse.
Does anyone have any ideals what we could do that would be a little
special for Easter. I would appreciate any ideals.
Thank you

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14) RELIEF for "Burned Out"!!

Thank you so much for the responses I received for the "Burned Out"
letter I submitted to Christian Crafters.  Yesterday  after Sunday
School, a young mother came up to me and ask if I would like to
give up the Wednesday Night Preschool class.  She would like to take
it if I were interested.  I said, "Praise The Lord!".  I am going to
stay with her until she and the children feel comfortable with each other.
I offered her resourses that I have had for many years. I am so
excited and so is she.  I now can concentrate on my Sunday School Class
and Childrens Corner. I felt real guilty for complaining.  I should have
known God would take care of my situation in his own time.  Thanks for all
the responses you offered to me.  I can't tell you how much that meant.
Thanks again,
New Joy

--from SSTN: don't you spend one minute feeling guilty. Praise the LORD we
have all seen God work in your situation!  That's the purpose of SSTN!
ysic, sarah

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15) Rotation Pros and Cons

Please be aware that there are MANY ways to do rotation. www.rotation.org
does not have the monopoly on this.  The churches I am familiar with use
it, but they teach a different lesson each week and the kids rotate
through 4 rooms (praise and worship, lesson, craft/games/snack, and
prayer/memory,??). I have listed more than one in each category because
different churches do different things.  We are having a live rotation
model at our annual workshop Saturday.  If you live anywhere within
driving distance of Houston I urge you to be there. This workshop is on
the cutting edge of Children's ministry.  Email me and you can get in at
the pre registration price. We keep costs low, our speakers all volunteer
-- so no one is paid.

La Marque. TX
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16) Burned out

I can sympathize with you.  I have been a Sunday school teacher for many
years and have been in the same position.  Fortunately, there is something
which can be done.  It is important to realize that it is the job of your
pastor/minister to ensure that people are available for the various
activities in your church.  While I am not suggesting that your church
leader personally be involved in all ministries of the Church, He/She has
the accountability to ensure that members of your congregation discover
their spiritual gifts and use those gifts in the congregation.  He/She
should train, or arrange/facilitate training for the various activities of
your church and ensure that there is a support structure in place to
mentor/encourage those involved.  I have found that many people would like
to become involved in Sunday school, but are afraid to do so because they
'feel' they are not qualified.  Once they discover that they have a gift
of teaching and a passion for youth, the chan!
ge is always remarkable.

It is important to understand that this definitely does not include an
impassioned sermon designed to coerce involvement out of guilt, as this
does not lead to long-term commitment.  It is rather a process to lead
parishioners on the road to discover their spiritual gifts and use those
gifts in God's service.  Sunday School is also not intended to merely
impart knowledge of God and the Bible, but to lead to life change.  This
can only be done by dedicated and 'called' people.  Lastly, it must be
said that Sunday school is taught on your knees - Prayer is indispensable.

In Christ

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