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SSTN # 57 - May 7, 2003

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--> Sword of the Spirit - Bookmark

1) Evolution & SSTN
2) Promotion Sunday?   
3) The Lord is my Shepherd - Crafts
4) How do you handle VBS   
5) Scuba VBS   

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

6) Finding a church that needs you
7) Finding a church that needs me   
8) Volunteer Appreciation?
9) VBS for a small church

--> NEW-LIFE PUPPET patterns 

10) Finding a church that needs you
11) Finding a church that needs you   
12) How do you handle VBS
13) SCUBA VBS   
14) Finding a church that needs you

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Sword of the Spirit - Bookmark

The Old and New Testament books are listed on either side of the sword's
blade. A great Scripture memory tool from ChristianCrafters.Com.

Children can make it and take it home. Print out as many patterns as you
need for a one-time fee of only $3.00. To see a picture and to learn more,
go to the following webpage:


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1) Evolution & SSTN

Because this issue will never be resolved here, I am going to devote a
separate webpage to print the remaining posts on this subject. This will
be the second time in three years of moderating SSTN that I've taken a
subject off the newsletter, and I think it is appropriate to do so again.
For those just joining the network, this debate began a couple of months
ago after a teacher asked how to explain dinosaurs to her class. As a
result, evolution vs. creationism has been debated. The remaining posts
may now be found at:   http://www.sundayschoolnetwork.com/creation.html

If there are additional posts after today, I will place them onto the new
page. However, please know, this is a temporary page and it will be
removed from the site after a few months. To read the previous
discussions, use the Archives:

Please remember to pray for me to have the wisdom, creative thought, and
the resources necessary to maintain the site and network.

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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2) Promotion Sunday   

I teach Kindergarten Sunday School (4-6) and we will be doing a small
program or skit in June for our Promotion Sunday (when children are
promoted to the next level of class). Each age group does something on
this day. We need to keep it simple, but interesting. Can anyone give me
some ideas?


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3) The Lord is my Shepherd - Crafts

Here are three simple and inexpensive crafts:   (1)Cut white poster board
into about 12-16 square pieces. Fold each in half.(Or you can use thin
paper plates)   Draw or trace around a simple lamb shape so that the back
is on the fold.  While folded, cut out the lamb making sure the fold
remains.  The lamb should stand by itself.  Children can glue white cotton
balls on both sides.  A small piece of felt for a nose and two wiggle
eyes.  (2) Using a candy cane (which I am sure someone in your church has
bought a ton of on sale- I know I did) decorate it by threading it back
and forth through large holed lace. Hot glue each end to keep the lace
from coming off.  This is a shepherd's staff. Glue a nice little ribbon
with a Bible verse attached. Glue on a piece of strip magnet. Great for
the refrigerator (3)  This last craft could be a full week project.  You
can use scrap lumber. Use 8"x8" or 10"x10" there about.  On first day
allow children to sand their board. Place names of back of board. Then
paint it on the top and sides only. The next day give each child a copy of
a shepherd's staff stencil made from poster board. Make it chunky and as
large as possible for the board. Have them lay the copy on the board.
Using a dull pencil or some other dull object have them trace pushing down
hard to make an indentation in the board. That night an adult should place
small dots all around each outline about 1/4th inch apart (or the students
can do it the next day) The next day have them nail small nails with small
heads at each dot. Leave nail head out so string can be wrapped around
them. This will take patience and lots of adult supervision.  Next day
they can finish nailing and begin to "string" their staff going back and
forth around the nails. Some may go straight across and others may want to
criss-cross their stings.  Attach your favorite "Shepherd" Bible verse to
the bottom and have them paint over it with watered down white glue. It
will dry clear.  Good Luck.
Dianne, Valhermoso AL

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4) How do you handle VBS   

An idea you could use is to hold an all day Saturday VBS. You could begin
early in the morning and end that evening. You could have your Family
Night activities that same evening when the parents arrive to pick up
their children.
I have a ton of VBS Saturday ideas. If you would like to e-mail me I would
be happy to send you some ideas.
In Christ,

--from SSTN: please share your ideas with all the teachers. ;o))

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5) Scuba VBS   

    This is to the person inquiring about Scuba VBS, I believe her name
was Lori. There are so many great ideas on the internet that could be used
for Scuba VBS, the resources are just far too many to name. They include
purchased and made wearable, recipes including cupcake ideas, crafts
including cd-rom fish and decorations you can make yourself including
giant easy to make fish and other sea creatures.
For a complete list of resources, please feel free to e-mail me at
Love in Christ,

--from SSTN: If anyone has created new SCUBA ideas, or other new VBS
ideas, please share them here on SSTN. ysic, Sarah Keith <><

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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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6) Finding a church that needs you

I would first, not be looking for a church that needs me, but would rather
be looking for a church I need.  God can use you and you can shine for
Jesus wherever you are.  If you humble yourself and pray for the Lord to
use you and are open and available for His service He will provide the
opening and circumstance to fulfill His needs.  To many times we are not
patient for God to work and we rush ahead, usually with not so hot
results.  Abram and Sarai did the same thing in not waiting for God's
promise for having a child, the result being Ishmael, so we see we are not
alone to be impatient.  And, although God can work with even the mess we
can create, if we just be patient and wait on His hands to do the work, it
is always a greater blessing (in Abram and Sarai's case, the result being
Isaac, and through him, Jesus).  Be patient, pray earnestly for His will
and you will see that you will not have to seek oportunities to fit in but
rather, they will be presented to you.  God bless you as you strive to do
His will.

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7) Finding a church that needs me   

So, you're looking for a church that needs you. Are you prayerfully
searching? You don't like the curriculum in your church. Is that really
sufficient reason to leave? Is it possible that God is calling you to
something new within the church you are currently in? I fully believe that
God uses us no matter where we are. If your first instict when visiting a
new church is that it is cold, I would trust that that instinct came from
God and that church is not where He is leading you. After 25 years of
teaching sunday school you must have made friends in the church you're in
now. Do they know what's in your heart? A church is not just one person
[like a pastor], it's a people. If you are having problems with the
curriculum, perhaps others are too. You have 25 years of valuable
and since I have about the same, I am assuming you are not a young person.
In a time when young people have little contact with the older generation,
you are in an especially appropriate place. Young people need role models
all ages, but especially those with the time, love and dedication you have
to the ministry of children. Be open to new ideas, children today need a
curriculum that meets the special needs of todays generation. What I have
found that works best is lectionary based material because it is
intergenerational. Try something 'out of the box'. Do you have a gift for
puppetry or music, etc. God gives us all gifts. Look for new ways to use
them. It will inspire you and perhaps others to rethink the current
curriculum.  Sunday school can be used to build bridges between families
the congregation and in the community. Change is often difficult because
tend to resist it, but if God is leading you to it,God will get you
it! Pray, and be open to what God is asking of you. Perhaps He is moving
on, or perhaps, He is asking you to move His church in a new direction.
In Jesus name, Mary

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8) Volunteer Appreciation?

That is awesome what you guys are doing for the youth. I was wondering if
may ask you a question. My husband and I are children pastor's and we have
been having our former students who have graduated from Kid's Church to
Youth to help us in our services. They have accepted. Well, it has been
some time now that they have been there every Sunday to help and we are
wanting to show our appreciation to them for their awesome dedication and
the love they have to help God's Kingdom grow. Do you have any ideas on
we can show these youth volunteers how much we appreciate them? We only
have 4 boys who volunteer.

--from SSTN: make sure you check the Archives too:

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9) VBS for a small church

We did a 24hr VBS that was great and drew a great crowd.
It was fairly inexpensive and had great fellowship and incorporated out
Sunday service in with it.
I will be glad to give more details you can email me at proof@infoave.net

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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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10) Finding a church that needs you

Ask for a letter of recommendation from your former pastor/chidlren's
director. Our church organization asks churches receiving members from
another congregation to get a letter from the former church. This tells
the new pastor what positions they held, etc., and is very helpful. It
helps get the member involved right away and also gives the new church
some insight into the member.


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11) Finding a church that needs you

I am a Christian Education Director. Our policy is to not allow people to
serve in Children's ministry until they have attended for at least six
months. There are many reasons for his policy, but the most important is
the protection of our kids. We are told that abusers will not wait for six
months to be with kids, and when they find out that policy they go to
another church. It also allows new people to get to know the culture of
the church, have a rest, get to know some peers, and gives us some frame
of reference to decide on their qualifications.

The director and pastor may have been cold because asking to serve so soon
is seen as red flag.

My advice is to choose a church you like, relax and wait six months or
whatever their policy is. Churches will always need children's workers.

In Christ, Bill in Indiana

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12) How do you handle VBS

Hi Karen - I too belong to a small, rural church.  Last year was the first
VBS we had held in years.  We did the all-day one-day method.  We started
about 8:00 a.m on a Saturday with marching in, pledges and songs, then
broke up into the various classes.  We ordered a VBS school kit, and each
teacher picked one story from the kit.  They were responsible for
preparing only the one story, but had to be able to present it to the
various age groups.  We had one teachers for music, one for crafts, one
for activities, and 3 or 4 who did the different bible stories.  By only
having to prepare for one lesson, the classrooms could be decorated
accordingly.  We set up a schedule, and sessions lasted about 45 minutes
each. The children were rotated from classroom to classroom.  This worked
really well for us.  It's just much easier to get people to commit for one
day than it is! for an entire week.  Several churches in our area have
done this over the years, and it seems to have worked well for them.  This
is what we plan to do again this year.  Good luck!  Kathy - MS

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13) SCUBA VBS   

Hey Lori:
I am doing SCUBA VBS at our church this year.  WE are getting very
excited.  Last year was my first time directing a VBS and it is not as
hard as everyone made it out to be.  It is a lot of work but very

Anyway, we are getting xome of our crafts from Oriental Trading Company
and some things we are making ourselves.  We are not using the VBS crafts
as I have found they are too expensive for our size bible school (100+
children).  I am changing the order of the VBS to have Music as a separate
station rather than in the opening ceremonies each day.  I am doing this
because the children in our church really like the music and get more out
of it when they are in smaller groups.  We are keeping snacks real simple
this year because all the children eat snacks at the same time and we have
found that the children like simple snacks rather than the VBS planned
snacks.  One of the things we do is "Go Fishing Snack"--pretzel sticks,
goldfish crackers and a spoonful of p-nut butter.  The kids LOVE this one.
I do not do any fundraising because our church has a VBS budget.
However, our church provides a lunch for all volunteers, participants and
their family members on the last day of our bible school.  It's a real big
time for the kids with lunch, fun activities like a super slide, train
rides, games and more.  To help with this, I have asked the women and
men's groups in our church to help host the lunch.  This works real well
for both groups.  I am in the process of working on decorations right now
and will be glad to share what we do as I get more things together.
Please feel free to e-mail me at samdermott@faithmail.com if you would
like to let's bounce ideas around.
Hope this helps!!!
Your Sister in Christ,
Sam Dermott

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14) Finding a church that needs you

Finding a church that needs you - Suggestion - I have a question for you.
It seems like you are saying that you teach, but you don't like the
curriculum.  Why don't you find some other curriculum ideas and present
them to the pastor, or whoever is in charge of overseeing what gets
taught.  It sounds like you like the church in general.  Maybe you could
be a part of finding something new in your existing church.  You could
make a big difference, because if you don't like it, others probably don't
either.  You are probably in a position to effect change.  Don't give up.
Sara H.

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--> Is SSTN helping you?

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To help keep SSTN going and to learn more, go to this webpage:

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Please include your email address.)

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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