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SSTN #3- January 8, 2003

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--> Easter Pageants...NEW!

1) New Year's Activities
2) Divorced and a pastor
3) New Year's Activities
4) New Year's Activities  

--> Jesus Lights Me Up!

5) Sunday school teacher certification?
6) Divorced and a pastor
7) Divorced and a pastor
8) Teresa's White elephant exchange?

--> Patterns-In-A-Pocket

9) Divorced and a pastor
10) Christmas Program Ideas for Next Year   
11) Happy Birthday Jesus Party
12) Divorced and a pastor

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--> Easter Pageants For 2003!

Two new Easter pageants have been added to the website. Choose "Fun and
Easy Easter Pageants - with Soundtrack CD", or "Stations of the Cross For
Kids". Find them listed in the Games and Skits section of the Bookstore


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1) New Year's Activities

We meet at the church at 7 p.m. on New Year's Eve.  Some come when they
can and leave then they have to.  We bring finger foods, desserts, and pop
to share.  Each family brings one or two of their favorite board games,
and every one grabs a plate of food and playing games.  Try playing
Barderdash at 3 in the morning...the answers get funnier and funnier!
Those with small children, bring their pj's, blanket and some of their
games and also videos to watch. At about 11:30 we come together, have a
devotional, share ideas, testify about what the Lord has done, and then
pray in the New Year.  Then it's back to playing games...last year, myself
and several others were at the church until almost 5 a.m.!!!

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2) Divorced and a pastor

Do you think a divorced person should be a pastor? Absolutely not!  The
Bible says that the qualifications of a Pastor is among other things that
He should be the husband of one wife.
Chastity, TN

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3) New Year's Activities

We have a Watch Night service at our church on New Year's Eve.  We begin
the service at 7:30 pm and have many preachers give a 15-20 minute sermon,
we have special singers come in and around 9:30 or 10:00 we break for a
time of food and fellowship.  We then make sure that we are back in the
sanctuary before midnight and we gather around the alter and pray the new
year in.
Chastity, TN

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4) New Year's Activities  

Our church has a family night on December 31st - we start at 8:00 p.m..
Everyone brings snacks and games.  We fellowship, play games, and we watch
a movie.  We try to pick a movie with  a salvation message, and we try to
make it one that will interest the young people as well as the adults (not
an easytask).  Sometimes we play group games.  We talk, share etc.  We
make sure the movie is finished about 11:30-11:45 so we can pray in the
New Year - which we feel is most important.

Blessings Becca

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--> Jesus Lights Me Up! TM

Five reproducible patterns to cover and decorate single light switch cover
plates. Patterns include: a lion, a lamb, a ladybug, a butterfly, and a
whale. Each pattern comes with accompanying Scripture and Bible points.
A great project to accompany your midweek program!

In the Curriculum section: 

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5) Sunday school teacher certification?   

Brothers and Sisters,
Our church will soon hold commencement exercises for students that have
completed some required training courses. At this time (graduation) I
would like to have a special recognition to certify our Sunday school
teachers. I am looking for recommendations and/or suggestions. What
words/speech would be appropriate?  Has anyone ever done this or seen it
done? You input is greatly needed and appreciated.
Bless Your Spirit!
Rev. Matt Yarbrough, Jr.

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6) Divorced and a pastor

There may be a lot of reasons a pastor or anyone else is divorced.
He may have married before becoming a believer, and his spouse may not
shared his new belief. His wife may have left him for another man, a
situation clearly covered in scripture, and leaves him free to remarry. He
may have been abandoned by his spouse, also covered in scripture.
Scripture tells us that God hates divorce, but he also makes allowances
for those who are married a hard hearted spouse.  I  hope you will give
your pastor a chance to explain his (or her) circumstances, at least to
the board of elders or deacons, it may not be necessary to provide an
explanation to the entire congregation, if it is something that happened a
while ago. We all make choices that cause us pain, and thankfully, we
serve a loving and forgiving God who is the God of second chances. I pray
you and others will keep this pastor in prayer. I would
worry if the pastor has had several divorces and remarriages while being a
believer. God Bless.

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7) Divorced and a pastor

Regarding divorced Pastors- it would be wonderful if all marriages were
made in heaven, unfortunately not all are.  It would be wonderful if all
marriage partners worked at that marriage, but we know that does not
always happen.  It is God's ideal for marriages to last a lifetime,
unfortunately not all do.  If God does not or cannot forgive  a failed
marriage, then how can He forgive anything else?
And we know He does forgive anyone who asks of ALL their sin.
Evelyn Hale 

Jesus is Lord

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8) Teresa's White elephant exchange?

This is a request for Teresa in La Marque, TX,  she commented on doing
"the left right using the Christmas story?"  I was wondering if she or
someone else could explain how this gift exchange works.  I am always
looking for new ideas, and would love to try this one next year.
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--> Patterns-In-A-Pocket...FREE shipping!

Now you can purchase any of the Patterns-In-A-Pocket lessons with
activities and you won't have to pay USA shipping fees!

Learn more here:

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9) Divorced and a pastor

>>Do you think a divorced person should be a pastor?

Although we like to believe that our pastors are infallible, they are just
people, like the rest of us.  We know that pastors are susceptible to sin
as much as anyone else.  Who better to understand and counsel those whose
marriages are in trouble, than someone who knows the pain and anguish of
going through it themselves! My pastor and his wife split several years
ago and I know it was a very humbling experience for him to realize that
he couldn't save his own marriage.  It made it easier for me to consult
him, when the going got tough for me AND, thank the Lord, I'm still
hanging in there with mine because of him.

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10) Christmas Program Ideas for Next Year   

This was the first year I directed a "Christmas Program" at our church.  I
spent a lot of time on it.  But it all fell together and paid off with
"the best program the church has ever done" - a 80 year old lady said -
who has belonged to our church since she was little.

We had a variety of music before and during the pageant. 

Prelude - girl playing a violin with her mom on the organ "O Come, O Come,
Congregation just sang the opening song "O Come, Little Children"
(children marched in) and closing song "Joy to the World"  (Costume Cast
exits from the Manager scene)
4th Grader girl solo  - "What Child is This" played on a guitar.
5th Grader girl solo - "Angel's We Have Heard on High" played on a piano
2nd Grader  girl solo and played her lap harp.  "Silent Night"     This
was beautiful.
1st Grader boy solo - "Away in a Manager" (1st verse only) and other
costume cast members joined in the rest of the verses played by guitar.
Group of Congregation Adults - "Star of Bethlehem" - lady sang with 2
guitars and a bass.

How it all happened.  One of the mom's of the two children said her
children would probably do a solo and the other had a lap harp.  Then I
asked any other children (I only have 12 active children from
preschool-5th grade) I any of ther other children would want to do some.
There the next Sunday, I had 3 children wanting to do something (solo or
playing a violin).  But it was amazed what these elementary children can
do!  If you don't ask them they will not do anything.

Plus we started a bell choir with the kids Grades 1-5 playing "We Three
Kings".  After just a month of practice, they did a great job of playing.
Our Sunday School Children got a lot of great remarks from the
congregation.  You can make up your own music with these colored bells.
Each bell has a note.  One of the music teachers made up the music on
poster board with colored oval circles for when the children would play
their different bells.

To get the people there.  On a half sheet of paper.  Inside a round circle
- was in date, time, etc.  On the out side of the circle and kids wrote
there names.  I made copies of these and put them in everybody mailboxes
and church and the children took some home for their grandparents, friends
and relatives.  We had over 80 people there.  After all the hard work I
did and the children did, I wanted a big crowd and we got it.

Also, if you get the parents involved in the program (decorating the
tables for fellowship afterwards, help dressing the children in the
different areas, narrators, lights, setting up the stage, etc.). That
get's them interested and excited.  It is not the same people doing it
all.  And everybody has a good time.

Also another thing is the have high school kids for Mary & Joseph.  Our
high school kids don't come to Sunday School, there is no involvement.
Then the Sunday School children sings all the songs.  I only had 3 songs
for all the kids to sing.  That was enough.  "On the Eve of the Pageant",
"Come Along with Me to Bethlehem" and "Away in the Manger" (verses 2 on).
We practiced for about 6 weeks every Sunday before the Pageant, and they
learned the songs with out any song sheets.

But here is just a few ideas that made our Christmas Program a SUCCESS!
Yes it was a SUCCESS!  Best one our church has ever done.  So I just
wanted to share these ideas and keep this in mind when you plan next years
I think next year, I'll have more kids doing special music (solo's) songs.

Dillsboro, IN
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11) Happy Birthday Jesus Party   

I watched the kids the last 6 weeks singing songs for the Christmas
Program and did a good job at practices. I had someone video the Christmas
Program to have a copy at church.

Well at Sunday School the Sunday after our Christmas Program, we had a
party.  I thought the kids deserved it after all the hard work.

I got Happy Birthday Hats, Happy Birthday napkins, balloons, gave a couple
favors.  The kids watch the video of themselves and enjoyed them.  I made
upcakes and put a candle on it.  Before the video, we talked what the real
meaning of Christmas is "The Birth of Baby Jesus".  So we sang Happy
Birthday to Baby Jesus and the kids blew out their candles.  They enjoyed
the cupcakes, pretzels and Kolaide.  It was just fun and relaxing after
all the hard work.  Even teachers and mothers enjoyed it.

I had each kid write their name inside their hats and I kept them.  What
we are going to do.  When a child has a birthday, we always did sing Happy
Birthday to them.  We'll the children are going to put the hats on a sing
"Happy Birthday" to the child.  Then if there is an adult in Sunday
School, the children are going to put on their hats and visit their
classroom and sing Happy Birthday to the adult having a birthday.  I think
I'll get a pack of paper bookmarks and the adults can get one for their
birthday.  The children - we have a birthday box, the child picks out 3
things from the box when we celebrate their birthday.  (Usually just
singing "Happy Birthday" close to their birthday)

Hope this helps someone out for the children to have fun sometimes.
You've got to keep up with the children, plus it encourages them to come.

Dillsboro, IN

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12) Divorced and a pastor

>>Do you think a divorced person should be a pastor?

This is a loaded question.  The answer is yes sometimes and no sometimes.

If they was divorced by the guidelines and biblical reasons, or if they
was divorced prior to becoming a christian, when we are saved does not
God cast our sins as far as the east is from the west never to be
remembered. If God doesn't remember then why should we.

If a christian is divorced due to their infidelity then there is greater
issues than the divorce. If the divorce was for any other reason than
those listed in the bible then I'm inclined to say no, however if God
calls someone to pastor/
preach then I can't stop them but I can keep my eyes open for the fruit
and proof that they are called by God. No fruit... not ordained by God,

Rita in WV

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