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SSTN # 36 - March 14, 2003

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--> God's Top 10

1) Confused...
2) Rotation Method
3) Confused...
4) Confused...

--> Armor of God Playing Cube

5) Psalm 23
6) The Dinosaur Saga   
7) Lying Lips Song?
8) The Perfect Church   


9) St. Patrick's Day and Easter ideas
10) Burned Out   
11) Crafts for Three Year Olds   
12) St. Patrick's and Easter Ideas

--> Egg-shaped Easter Story Cards

13) Confused...
14) Lenten Skit?
15) Puppet Ministry
16) Reaching our youth

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God's Top 10

The Ten Commandments contain many "Do Nots". They teach us God’s holy
standard and show us how far we fall short of his perfection. But they are
more than this; in these "Do Nots", one can find a positive message: a
message of God’s love. To learn more, go to the following page:


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1) Confused...

Dear Confused...What to do
I am sorry to hear of the unfriendly reception you have received from the
church you are presently attending.  And, yes, I think you should probably
leave.  I would suggest that you first talk to your pastor.  Two reasons
for this: First, he/she should know of the situation. Second, he/she may
be able to help.  Talking is often useful to put the situation is an open
forum.  If you get no satisfaction from your talk with the pastor, then by
all means leave.  There are many, many churches out there and most [I
hope] are much more open and welcoming than the one you are currently
attending.  Listen to your heart in this matter; it may be God telling you
that this church is not where He wants you to be.

Barbara Payne Smith

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2) Rotation Method

>Please be aware that there are MANY ways to do rotation.
>does not have the monopoly on this. 

Theresa, There are many ways to do learning centers as you decribe.
Rotation method is very specific and rotation.org is currently the best
source of information.

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3) Confused...

DEar Confused,
I have been in a church that is similar to yours with the net result I
to drag two younger children there and the teenager has joined anoither
church and two youth groups which belong to other churches!! I have been
pleasantly surprised when the Lord sent us a summer Pastor(still with L
plates on !!)who immediately saw our state and began tp pray and preach to
us about having soft hearts towards our fellow Christians. He said to us "
How can you reach out to the unsaved if you don't love each other?? You
get people coming in and not staying because they won't get discipled when
they see how you behave!!!"This was all said very loving ly and he came
alongside the congregation and loved us despite our prickles and guess
what???? There is a change of heart that is steadily growing.
So pray for a softening of their hearts.You'll probabl;y find a lot of
hurting people out there who need friends like you.God bless you with your
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4) Confused...

As to the subject of if you should notify someone when leaving a church.
Please do so.  Someone will notice you are missing (believe it or not) and
wonder what happened to you.  As a church secretary, I can say the church
leadership appreciates it if you say you are leaving, even if you just say
you feel God is leading you elsewhere (instead of going into all the nitty
gritty if you don't want to).  You may want to mention some of the reasons
though, perhaps they are areas the church could grow, or aren't aware of.

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Armor of God Playing Cube

Kids can make it and take it home. A great memory tool!
Only $3.00 to download and print out as many as you need!
Go to the following webpage to get the free lesson and to learn more: 


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5) Psalm 23

We are finishing up a LONG series on Psalm 23 in our children's church
class (we've been working on it since before Christmas). I teach 1st
through 3rd grade. We use the book "The Shepherd's Song" (pictures by
Julia Milner) ISBN 0-8037-1196-4. The book is beautifully illustrated and
the kids love to look at it. It is KJV.  My goal is for the kids to
memorize the psalm, so what I have done is geared toward that. I started
by cutting printing out the psalm and cutting it into strips. Then I put
the strips in a bag and the kids had to put them in order. (I have several
bags and pair the kids up). This was the very first thing I did, it helped
me see if any of them were familiar with it. Then I read the book to them,
and they put the strips in the correct order.  We did this for four or
five weeks. I also gave them art materials and asked them to create their
favorite line of the psalm. This was a great project, they were very
creative! I have also come dressed as a shepherd with staff and bag and
talked to them about taking care of sheep. We've played hangman with words
and phrases from the psalm. I wrote the sentances on balloons, strung then
together and then had! the kids read it. Pop a balloon, have then say it
again, etc. I let the kids pop the balloon of their choice, which made it
a little harder. I've quizzed them about the psalm several times (where
will we live forever?  what overflows? what happens to my soul?) If they
answered right, they get to hop up on our classroom stage and tell a joke
or sing a song; or we use our game wheel and spin for points. Most
recently, they are using puppets to recite the psalm. In a couple weeks,
they will be doing this before the congregation.

--from SSTN: this book is available in our bookstore. Type the title into
the search box to find it:

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6) The Dinosaur Saga   

>Maurice Sweetsur writes:
>Surely, as Christians, we should go instead to the book written
>by the only Person who was there in the beginning -- the Bible.

I am curious as to what kind of scientist you are, sir.  In my opinion,
which is all any of us have to offer, God does not expect us to "check our
brains at the door," so to speak, when we read the Bible.
When you state the you are an ex-evolutionist, I understand what you mean
by that.  But do you also mean to imply that Moses or Abraham could have
understood satellite technology, laser beams or doppler radar?  I don't
think they would have.  Human beings have developed or evolved over time.
God reveals God's self as humans are able to understand.  This is an
ongoing process that does not start and stop with the Bible.  To me that
would indicate that God does not have much faith in God's human creation's
capacity for growth and understanding.

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7) Lying Lips Song?

I tried to send something once and it didn't work so I have a question
I hope someone can answer.  Several years ago I used a song in my kids
program.  I can remember the words and the tune but I have lost the CD or
tape that it was on.  I would love to find it and I have looked through
stacks of tapes and cds at stores.  I am hoping that some of you have used

The song is Lying Lips!! from Proverbs, Chapter 12:22
The words are:  Lying Lips are an Abomination to The Lord but those who
speak truthfully are His delight.
Lying Lips are an abomination to the Lord but those who speak truthfully
His delight.
Proverbs chapter 12, verse 22.  Lying lips are GROSS!!!!!
Proverbs Chpater 12, verse 22.  He loves truth the most!!

Does anyone know what CD or tape this is on or can help me with this.
Thanks,  Betty Isaac,  Director of Kid's Ministries at Burke Community
Church in Burke, Virginia

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8) The Perfect Church   

Regarding the reader who felt that she was not quite fitting into her
My situation is identical to yours.  I keep reminding myself that if I
ever find the perfect church, once I join it, the church will cease to be
perfect.  I go out of my way to welcome visitors, because I know what it
feels like to be ignored!  I don't hold a 20 minute conversation, I simply
say "Welcome.  Thank you for coming."  Let me encourage everyone of you
reading this newsletter to at least smile at visitors and newcomers in
your congregation.   We (Christians) are no longer fishers of men - we
have become watchers of the fishbowl.  (taken from a sermon by  Dr. David
Karen Young

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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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9) St. Patrick's Day and Easter ideas

I don't know about St. Patrick's Day, but there is an abundance of ideas
for Easter on the net. Check out the SSTN site first.

Here is an Object lesson that has been around for some time, but is still
very effective with smaller groups.

What happened on the cross.

For this close-up illustration you will need a little coloured water, a
saucer, a short candle, a glass, a coin and matches.

Presentation.  Tell the children that you are going to explain to them
what happened at the cross of Jesus.

State - that the coin represents you or me - place it in the saucer,
towards the edge.
- that the coloured water represents our sins - pour it into the saucer
until the coin is submerged.
- that the candle represents Jesus - stand it at the centre of the saucer,
and light it.
- that the flame represents the life of Christ.

Tell the children to watch carefully, as you take the glass and place it
over the lighted candle. Within a few seconds, the flame will consume all
the oxygen in the glass and be extinguished. However, it will have created
a vacuum which, in turn, will draw the water up inside the glass (thus
surrounding the candle) and leave the coin dry.

Recap that on the cross, Jesus gave up His life (the flame went out) so
that he could take our sins on Himself and we could go free.

Thank you to all those on this network who have recently requested a free
copy of all the object lessons I have on file. I hope they will be of
value to your children's ministry.

Maurice Sweetsur

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10) Burned Out   

I have just a few suggestions for all those who are "Burned Out". I have
been on both sides of the fence when it comes to volunteering. I was a
volunteer in the nursery at a church where my husband was an Associate
Pastor at. Then I was hired on staff to be the Nursery Coordinator which
my duties included staffing 3 nurseries for 5 weekend services and 1
midweek service. I am now the Children's     Ministry Coordinator at a
Church Plant that my husband pastors.
First, if there is a coordinator for either Nursery, Sunday School, or
Children's Coordinator, then let them know. They cannot help you if you
don't tell them. And when you do tell them, please give them time to find
a replacement because we all know that it does not happen overnight!
Second, if there is not a Coordinator, please work on finding a
replacement your self. You have more contact with possible volunteers than
the pastor and are able to explain the responsibilities and expectations
with first hand experience. Third, if you need to go to the Pastor on
finding a replacement, try to make sure it is last resort. Many times they
will feel obligated to find an immediate replacement. That is good news
for you but, not for most Pastor's Wives. Too many times volunteers (and
not just children's volunteers) will not show up if they don't want to do
something any more or they are too busy. And time after time, it will be
the Pastor's wife who will be expected to pick up the slack to keep things
    Please keep these things in mind when you are checking out your
options. And remember, keep on praying for strength!

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11) Crafts for Three Year Olds   

My daughter is 3.  I've been trying different "crafts" to develop her
interest.  A new product I found is called "Magic Noodles."  They look
like styrofoam peanuts used for packing things for shipping.  She just
loves them.  By using a damp towel or sponge to get them damp, they stick
together or to paper.  They dissolve in water and cleanup of residue is
easy.  You could possibly provide a picture relating to lesson for kids to
color, then they could use magic noodles to decorate a little more.

She also enjoys painting.  We tried the ladybug paperweight that was
featured on Christian Crafters.  She enjoyed the entire project. If you
don't want to mess with the red paint, you could paint them ahead of time
and let the kids decorate with black markers.  Of course, you would need
to watch them closely, but they should enjoy it.  Also, how about projects
gluing popsicle sticks together.  We even tried making tealight
canleholders from babyfood jars.  My daughter loved gluing paper to the
outside of the jars

If you want more info on the "Magic Noodles," feel free to e-mail me.  I
bought them at a local craft store.


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12) St. Patrick's and Easter Ideas   

This is in response to St. Patrick's Day and Easter Ideas. This year, I
came across the most awesome lesson for Sunday School for use on Easter
Sunday. I had been scouring the Internet in search of a new Easter idea
for my pre-kindergarten Sunday School class, and all though the kids in my
class are 4 and 5 years old, I am hoping there is something here that you
or someone else can benefit from.

The driving force behind the Easter lesson is relating our common Easter
traditions to the Easter story as stated in the Bible. There are 7
different parts to the lesson explanation itself, and all though I have
expanded them, and changed them to fit the needs of my class, the basic
idea is as follows:
- Easter grass- representing the hay in the manger for baby Jesus
- Silver or gold chocolate covered coins for the betrayal of Jesus by
- Chocolate rooster to represent Peter's three time denial of Jesus
- Easter basket that is woven together like a crown of thorns
- Hollow plastic egg that opens up to represent the empty tomb
- Marshmallow chicks or bunnies to represent new life and new birth
- Chocolate foil-covered Easter eggs to represent the shiny streets of
gold in
heaven where Jesus is.

After looking through the Internet even more I was able to find coloring
sheets that would correspond with each section as listed above and added
captions in a photo suite program to them to be able to use them in a
coloring book format on Easter Sunday in class. I also pulled the verses
up about each section to create memory verses for Easter and a quick
teacher's guide for the other teacher who teaches the later church
service. I plan to have the children make woven Easter baskets out of
construction paper in class using pre-cut strips, and then will fill with
modifications of the supplies listed above. In addition, older kids can
write notes about what Easter is all about, write down important verses
about Jesus' resurrection, or create Easter poems for inclusion in Easter
cards they can make in class.

I hope you find some, any, or all of these ideas helpful. If you need more
information, web links, or details about how I modified this plan for a
large class please feel free to contact me directly at:

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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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13) Confused...

>"I know this isn't really a "teaching" need - but ...My husband and
myself have recently >found ourselves in a position where we feel that we
may need to leave our
>present church and find something else."

First, I feel it is a "teaching need" because you were teaching before
this problem arose.  And I am in a similar same situation.  Just like you,
I have been going to my church for several years, I am teaching, nothing
personal goes on outside church walls (besides an occasional Tupperware
party), and the church as a whole is not focussed on the children (one
teacher almost always comes, but her lessons are prepared for the older
kids.)  I teach children's Bible crafts during the second half of church
(adult Sunday School), and am still occasionally the only adult (of four)
who shows up for the day.  I am reluctant to leave our congregation and
thus give up on the few children who attend because I might be their only
link to Christ, besides the person who brings them.

Last Summer when Wednesday nights were canceled for summer vacation I was
at wit's end -- my children and I needed to gather together with believers
and Wednesday was practically our only time to do so.  I decided to go to
another town, at least for Wednesdays, where I'd heard about a very
"alive" congregation.

I thought it would be hard to explain to the new church that I felt I
belonged elsewhere as a teacher, but their message to me was "come on
Wednesday nights to recharge yourself, then take that energy back with

It's been a blessing.  It hasn't solved all the problems at my church, but
it's given me new energy and a better attitude.  (That is one solved
problem since I am sure the Sunday children "catch" dissappointment from
adults, and that can be read as disappointment in Jesus in their young

My children look forward to Wednesdays.  My 4-year-old (who would
literally get up ans say "I'm bored") sits for song time amongst the other
pre-schoolers without threats from me.  His older brother remembers his
verses and does simple homework without fuss. And if we're running late
they are both willing to pass off dinner so they can get there on time.
WOW.  They behave better on Sundays, too.  And I've made Christian friends
who acutally speak to, e-mail, or visit with me between the church

I don't know if something like this would be good for you, but it's worked
for me.  I am still teaching, and my children are being taught.  Soon
after we began, my husband voiced concern that attending two churches
would confuse the children.  And I explained to him that if Jesus was
truly taught in both church congregations then our kids wouldn't be
confused.  They needed to see that adult Christians are just like them --
some dance and worship in their hearts while others dance in the isles.
Not a bad lesson for everyone.

~~Vicki yogieg@home.ffni.com

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14) Lenten Skit?

Could someone please direct me to a site where I can get a brief, free
skit for Lent. The scripture must be Matthew 26: 36-46. Thank you very much for
your help and cooperation. May God bless you always and in all ways.
In Christ I remain
Ginger D. <:))))><<

--from SSTN:
Check out our Skits page and our Links page:

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15) Puppet Ministry

Email me and I can help you.  Puppetshoppe1@aol.com

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16) Reaching our youth   

Hi, all:
I recently took on the position of Christian Education chair at a small
urban church.  I was immediately confronted by 2 major problems--lack of
personnel & an obvious failure to meet the needs of our high school youth.

One thought has been to basically abandon the traditional Sunday School &
instead do a Sunday evening contemporary service, in which the youth are
primary participants.  Has anyone had experience starting such a service?
What's needed, what works, what doesn't--any tips would be genuinely

Thanks & God bless.
Don't wait to make a difference!
Jackie McBride

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