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SSTN  # 38 - April 17, 2002

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1) 12 disciples crafts
-> Buggie For Jesus - I'm a BEE-liever!
2) Baptism Song   
3) Borning Cry
4) Strawberry Basket Cross
-> VBS Funpak
5) Empty Tomb Idea
6) Idea for a missionary service?   
7) Tenebrae Service
8)  Overdoing it?
9) Teacher longevity
10) Mother's day Strawberry baskets
11) Mother's Day Craft?
12) Jesus to the Rescue VBS   
13) Shorter class time
14) Shorter class time

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1) 12 disciples crafts

We started the New Year off with a study of the 12 disciples.  One week we
made miniature fish nets with netting and small cork pieces glued to the
top of the net.  Foam fish and other sea creatures were added.
We also learned the names of the 12 disciples to the tune of "Yes, Jesus
Loves Me"

Verse 1
Jesus called them one by one,
Peter, Andrew, James and John.
Then came Philip, Thomas too,
Matthew and Bartholomew.

Yes, Jesus called them, Yes, Jesus called them,
Yes, Jesus called them, and they followed Him.

James his brother Thaddeus,
Simon then came Judas.
Twelve disciples here in all,
Following the Master's call.


We made "bait" to put into our fish nets another week.  Hearts for love,
smiley faces, hands for helping, etc..  The next week we learned that fish
swim in the same school with fish of the same species.  Talking about the
kind of characteristics we wanted our "school of fish" to have, led into a
discussion of the kind of characteristics Jesus looked for in His
and in us.

We also made memory cards with the names of the disciples on them.  Two
cards for each disciple.  They took these home to play the memory game
with family members and friends.

I am proud to say that most of the class can now tell you the names of the
twelve disciples without singing them!

Praying that this will help you in some way!
Fisk, Missouri

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

26 reproducible buggie crafts, games, lessons, and yummy devotions
to coordinate with your summertime VBS programs.

In the Curriculum section: 

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2) Baptism Song    

>We just sang the song "I was there to hear your borning cry" at church
>last week. It was so beautiful, I have been looking all week on the net
>for a place to download it from.

I LOVE that song.  I requested it for my daughter's baptism 6 years ago.
The Lutheran church I attend uses a hymnal entitled "With One Voice" which
includes the words and lyrics for this song.

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3) Borning Cry

"I Was There To Hear Your Borning Cry" is in Voices United, the new hymn
book of the United Church of Canada. I think it is also in the Lutheran
Hymn Book. It won't likely be on the net as it is relatively new and
subject to copyright. I agree it is wonderful.
Hope you can find it.
Rose Ferries
Winnipeg, Canada

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4) Strawberry Basket Cross   

You can make crosses out of strawberry baskets by cutting the sides apart.
Three holes across and eight down.  Then cut into the sides(two on down
on top and five up on bottom of each side) to form a cross.  Weave 1/4
inch satin ribbon. (I use two colors at the same time) through the holes
and leave a tail at the bottom.  Finish off by tacking the ribbon with
glue and cutting ends at an angle.  Makes a good bookmark, refrigerator
magnet, pin.  I teach four year olds and they are able to do this with
some guidance.
Michelle Gikas

--from SSTN: send pics for the site. They sound great!
ysic, Sarah

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Get three great VBS resources at one reduced price!

In the Curriculum section: 

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5) Empty Tomb Idea

Dear Sarah,  I use your site all the time, you provide teachers with such
wonderful inspiration.
I did something new for Easter Sunday this year.  I teach 3rd, 4th and 5th
graders.  I made an "empty tomb" out of the entrance to our room.  We have
suspended ceilings, so I have a large collection of those hooks that you
can hang things from.  I suspended a ceiling and walls (white sheets) for
the tomb. I put a 2' x
6' piece of plywood across two sturdy coffee tables and covered it with a
white blanket for the burial slab.  I put a large wooden object in the
bottom of the doorway and padded and covered it with with white fabric so
it would be like a step.  I hung fabric from the top of the door so you
had to stoop down to look into the new "tomb".  It was about 6' x 10'.
The floor was covered with a white blanket also, and I covered a large
foam object for the 'stone," which was leaned against the doorframe and
the 'step'.  Then I cut 4 yards of white $1 a yard fabric into burial
wrappings and arranged them on the burial 'slab' with two packages of
potporri (the 75 pounds of spice and aloe).  I carefully folded a Jewish
prayer shawl at the head of the slab.  I placed a bunch of old silk Easter
lilies in a stone-type looking pot, attached a beautiful print of the
risen Christ to the back wall (sheet) over the slab, and put a set of
(Christmas) elec! tric candles on the floor.  It took as much work as it
sounds like, but it was a very special kind of 'quiet time' working on it,
and especially taking it down.  My daughter wore an angel costume to greet
people and to assure them that Christ, in all his glory, has risen from

--from SSTN: very creative! Thanks for sharing your idea.
ysic, Sarah Keith <><

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6)  Idea for a missionary service?   

God Bapprecciateless you, I want to know if you have an idea for a
service, I will appreciate your help,
Thank you.

--from SSTN: we have a yearly Missions week at our church. On one of the
Sundays we have a special breakfast and invite missionaries, local and
foreign, to come and set up their booths in our Fellowship Hall to 'show
and tell'. We also have guest misionaries preach on two consecutive

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7) Tenebrae Service

Our church participates in a community Good Friday service during the
afternoon and has no evening Good Friday service.  I don't want my kids,
(3rd, 4th, and 5th) graders, to miss out on the special somber reverence
of Good Friday.  I have my kids prepare, and offer in worship as a gift to
God, a "Tenebrae " service during class on Palm Sunday.  Two weeks prior
to this class I have the kids go to different "stations" in our classroom.
They can make illustrations for the bullitin, write poems and prayers,
rewrite scripture in their own language (or record it on a tape player, or
learn a song for the service on a tape.  I do this two weeks early because
of how many kids can only come every other week.  This is translated into
a program and a bullitin.  On the week of the service I arrange the room
to look as much as possible like a church sanctuary with a lecturn and
chairs in rows.  I cover the ! windows with a pretty drape to block out
the light.  "Tennebrae" is a candlelight service of increasing darkness.
The candles represent Jesus' followers.  I use as many of those Christmas
electric window candles as I can.  You can find them at garage sales
really cheap.  The candles go out little by little during the service (
kids are the 'light techs'. I use power strips to make this easy.) The
candles going out represent how Jesus' followers deserted him.  The
increasing darkness symbolizes the anger and hate of the world growing
against Jesus.  There is a real candle, a "Christ Candle" that is not
extinguished.  When Jesus dies, a child takes the Christ Candle from the
room ("A little while and you will not see me".)After the teaching of
Jesus' burial, the Bible is closed loudly to represent the closing of the
tomb.  Then the class says the Lords' Prayer in the dark, has a little
silence, and some discussion.  This year ! we started the service out with
kids as ushers  passing out the bullitins and taking collection.  My
daughter (11 yrs old) played cornet while the kids presented palm
branches.   This is my totally favorite class of the whole year and of
course it is all a little scrambly.  You have no way of knowing who will
REALLY show up to plan ahead and have kids learn parts.  Next year I will
make sure I have at least two helpers to help distribute parts and help
the kids read them over before we start.  A new kid was brought in very
late in the service this year.  I needed a helper to give their complete
attention to her so that it wouldn't be so scary, strangers and
candlelight and all.  I kept her by me and tried to focus on making her
comfortable, and the program suffered for it.  But last year the kids
really seemed to get a grasp on how special and holy what Jesus did for us
was and we had a really good talk about salvation in the! dark. There is a
lot for me to learn to make it go smoothly, but I hope to keep this
service a yearly thing that works better each time.

--from SSTN: this is the first year I attended a Tenebrae service...it was
ysic, sarah

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8) Overdoing it?

I LOVE to teach Sunday School and I obviously have a pretty passionate
nature. You can tell it by the crazily overdone things that I have just
sent you.  I worry about teachers thinking that they are not doing a good
enough job if they aren't standing on their heads running around in pink
tutus or something.  That is so untrue.  Some kids need calm, quiet
teachers and they are not going to get that from a teacher like me.  The
best teacher in our church is a super sweet elder woman and her kids come
out knowing twice of what I have taught mine without jumping through
hoops.  There are so many things that are not good about how I teach, but
I hope that other things will balance it out.  I hope that children will
have a variety of teachers over their childhood that will be Christian
role models of many personality types.  You don't think I have stop doing
all this special stuff just to keep from discouraging would-be teachers
who would think "I'm not going to teach.  I'm not able to put that much
into it".  I would hate not being able to do all this stuff.

--from SSTN: Because, children learn in different ways, I think it is
wonderful that teachers have their own style of teaching. This makes
lesson time more interesting. I have found there are times when a more
subtle approach works best, and there are times when "standing on your
head" is the best way to grab the children's attention.
Keep doing what you do best! ysic, sarah <><

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9) Teacher longevity

> Teacher longevity isn't a problem.   Neither is burn-out.

I have been teaching Sunday School for sixteen years and have been
Superintendent for the last five or six. The thing to try is to stay away
from your own kids.
You can be ten times more effective with kids who aren't your own. Also,
You can't do enough preparation before class!   There is no such thing as
too much!

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10) Mother's day Strawberry baskets

we used raffia one year to weave new baskets for Mother's Day and filled
them with chocolate covered strawberries.  We did the berries ahead of time
but the children made the baskets.

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"Get em' in the LOOP!" 

L-eading kids to Christ,
O-ffering advice
O-pen discussion forum
P-roviding free resources

Invite your friends, pastors, and coworkers
to join our discussion in SSTN.


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11) Mother's Day Craft?

If you have a Mother's day craft with pictures to share in
ChristianCrafters.Com, please send it in now so I can get it in the site
on time. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith

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12) Jesus to the Rescue VBS   

Dear Julie,
I have access to a few materials for the Jesus to the Rescue VBS. Call me
at 513-931-4050.

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13) Shorter class time

We deal with this each week, and love the time!  Open with a circle time
to introduce new students and review last week lesson (2-3 min. max)  Next
we lightly tell them of what we will be doing today.  Our lessons are
about 15 minutes, our craft time is 15 minutes and we gather for a closing
with snack as we recap the lesson of the day.  The kids love it and
eagerly come each Sunday!  We have 16 preschoolers each Sunday, and with
all the busy-ness, we get alot done.  It may take some adjustments for
you, just don't loose your focus on the reason you are there in the first
May you be richly blessed! 
Wendy of RCCC

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14) Shorter class time

>>Due to the addition of a third worship service, our time for Sunday
>>has been cut from 75 minutes to 45 >>

Our Sunday School classes are 45 minutes each week and it works out
The children start out in church (so we don't get any late-comers).  They
hear the first hymn, and have a children's sermon and then are dismissed
to their classes.  We have a routine in the class.  We do two songs, tell
the story, and then do crafts relating to the story.  If there is time
remaining we gather them again, and refresh them on the story.
God bless,

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