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SSTN # 67 - June 2, 2003

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--> USA Patriotic Catcher

1) Help! Nursery Ministry?
2) Western-Pioneer VBS
3) Journey / travel song?   
4) Western - Pioneer Theme   
5) Peter's Confession & Jesus' transfiguration
6) Name Tag Icebreaker Idea
7) Name Tags   
8) Ready to give up   
9) Armor of God song

--> First Aid "Others" Kit

10) Western / Pioneer VBS
11) 125th anniversary?
12) Playtime for 0 to 5 yr olds
13) Summer Sunday School video series?
14) Name Tag Idea

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--> USA Patriotic Catcher

Kids will learn the answers to eight basic USA citizenship questions such
as, "Why did the Pilgrims come to America?"; What is the US Constitution?,
and "What does the First Amendment guarantee?". A great activity for July
4th! Kids can make it and take it home! Print out as many patterns as you
need for a onetime fee of only $3.00. Once you've purchased the pattern
and your order is processed, you'll receive instructions via email on how
to download it from the site. Available only online. No waiting for
delivery and no shipping costs!

Find the USA Patriotic Catcher at:

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1) Help! Nursery Ministry?

This is the first time I have posted a message so I hope I am doing this
right.  If not please forgive me. :)  I have a question and I hope there
are people out there that can help me with it.  I have been asked by my
Pastor to head up the Nursery Ministry in our church and get it going.  To
come up with ideas, get it organized ect.  But, this is the first time I
have done this and would LOVE any and all ideas and help that I can get.
Thank you so very much.

Diane-Las Vegas

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2)  Western-Pioneer VBS

> Does anyone have ANY decorating ideas for a Western/Pioneer
>theme? Thank you for any suggestions!

A Western-Pioneer VBS offers great decorating potential! Before you buy
anything, I suggest that you ask members of your church if they have items
they could donate or let you borrow such as:

colorful bandannas, western hats, western boots, western shirts, etc. You
can tack these clothing items to the wall, hang them on shelves, etc. I
don't know where you live. If you are rural at all you can get hay bales
pretty inexpensively, and they set the mood wonderfully. If anyone has
posters from western movies, etc. they would be great.

Try a chuckwagon theme where you have snacks with tin plates, cups,
camping cookware or a coffee pot and a checkered table cloth. Kids could
sit on the floor (or ground) camping style or on hay bales if you get

If there is a stable, a 4-H or FFA group or a riding club nearby, see if
you can borrow any old saddles, bridles, horse blankets, etc.

Some in your church might have mexican style blankets, which look western
and make a great place for kids to sit on the floor, and they make great
tablecloths. Camping lanterns or oil lamps make good decorations if they
are placed high, out of children's reach. Don't forget rope! Inexpensive
rope can be shaped into a lariat and hung on the wall. Cardboard or
newsprint can be painted with horses, cattle, log cabins, covered wagons,
etc. Cardboard horse shoes would be very simple to make. Paint them black
or silver, and ta-da! instant decorations!

If your library or school has an Ellison cutter you may be able to cut out
all kinds of appropriate paper or foam shapes to use as nametags, in
crafts and decorations.

Has anybody in your church got any potted cactus plants?

Wouldn't it be fun to wear blue jeans, western shirts and hats or long
full skirts to set the mood? You see what I mean. The possibilities are
endless, limited only by your imagination and by what you can get a hold
of. Don't neglect to ask businesses in your community for donations of
needed items. If you want to ask me anything you can get me at


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3) Journey/travel song?   

I am doing a summer program called 'Taking a Journey with Jesus'. We'll
be going through various places Jesus ministered, while learning about
the holy land, and ending with His trip to Calvary for us.  My problem
is that I am not musical and I need a song to go with the program.
We'll be making bible time sandals, mountain peaks, boats etc. as
crafts. Any ideas for a song that would go along with this?
May the Lord bless,

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4) Western - Pioneer Theme   

Years ago we did a Western activity at our church. We made a "Chuckwagon"
for our meal time main dish.   We used a ping-pong table (you could use a
large table) and looped 3 large sturdy wires over it; hooking them
securely to the legs.  We draped a large white sheet over that and secured
that snug.  Large wheels were made from a refrigerator box.   We also made
a backdrop for the front of the church using 4 of the blue Styrofoam 4'x9'
sheets. We taped them together in the back and painted them using a roller
brush.  We made it look like mountains with cacti; we included a fence in
the distance.  Good Luck. DAR Valhermoso, AL

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5) Peter's Confession & Jesus' transfiguration

Find a picture of this (even one from a coloring book or old SS curric.).
Use blacklight crayons to color the clothes. Turn on a blacklight when you
talk about being transfigured and the clothes will be white (or whatever
color you make them). This makes the lesson very vivid and real.  You can
get blacklight crayons from an art supply, theatrical supply, or on the


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6) Name Tag Icebreaker Idea

TO Julie Richardson - (from #62)- 5-19-03   
Dear Julie,
This is in reply to your question about a creative Name Tag idea.

Here is a Great Get acquainted game kids AND adults alike enjoy.  And YOU
CAN TIE IT INTO THE "Making your own Name Tag," craft.

Choose a Theme for your game!  IT CAN tie into the lesson for that day or
for the season, etc.  Then EVERYONE needs to choose a name that goes along
with the theme and that starts with the FIRST LETTER OF THEIR NAME.

Examples:                                 Characteristics:
Undersea theme:                              Joyful Jane
Electric Eel Ellen                           Lovable Lori
Magnificant Mugfish Mel                      Marvelous Mitch

After everyone chooses a name, HAVE THEM MAKE THEIR NAME TAG with this
name on it and decorate it, so the NAME IS READABLE!
Then have everyone sit in a circle on the floor or in chairs.
Now we are going to play MY VERSION of Hot potato.
Instead of a Potato, Use an inflatable Fish or Bug or Ball!
When you throw it to someone, YOU MUST SAY THEIR NAME and then they throw
to someone else, saying their name and so on. Go slow at first and them go
faster as you go along.

If you have 37 kids or people, break them up into groups of 8 or 10
children. Too many people and names to remember is even not so fun for

Enjoy and everyoen learns to KNOW Everyone's name and SO DO YOU!

My Prayers and
Peace of Christ,

VBS Director / Sunday School Teacher
Junior Church Teacher and Coordinator
The Church of Christ at Greenpoint
Brooklyn, New York

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7) Name Tags   

I went to the Dollar Tree and bought the large kid puzzles and sprayed
them gold, punched a two holes and use yarn to make necklace  name tags.
Betty Bradley

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8) Ready to give up   

Dear ready to give up. 
I had a similar problem just a few weeks ago.  I am the children's
director of a small church.  A few weeks back one of the key children's
teachers did something behind my back.  I talked with her about it, but
she just got upset and decided to gossip about me.  I had people calling
me yelling at me for confronting the lady about what she did.  (this is
not the first time for this lady to have gossiped)  I went to the pastor
and he called a meeting with the deacons, this lady and me.  We talked to
her about what she had done wrong and she apologized.  She needed to know
that if she caused descension she was going to get called on it.  Now
that was an unusually drastic circumstances, but I think the general idea
applies.  If she is not willing to work things out with you, go to the
person "above" you for mediation.  I don't think you should give up.
Also check out Christian book stores, they always have books with great
activity ideas.  (also ask the kids what they would like to do) Since
it's on Saturday, get other parents involved.  There's so much you could

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9) Armor of God song

On the soundtrack from the movie "The Apostle" there is a great version of
"I'm a Soldier in the Army of the Lord"... kinda upbeat and southern

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--> First Aid "Others" Kit

Holds a Band-Aid, a stick of Gum, a Lifesaver candy, an Eraser, and a
Toothpick. Discover why, follow the link below to learn more:


Children can make it and take it home. Print out as many patterns as you
need for a onetime fee of only $3.00. Once you've purchased the pattern
and your order is processed, you'll receive instructions via email on how
to download it from the site. Available only online. No waiting for
delivery and no shipping costs!

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10) Western / Pioneer VBS

We did a VBS called Pioneering on Life's Trail a couple of years ago.  We
used old lanterns, deer antlers, cowboy hats & boots, saddles, old
fashioned milk jugs, guitars, rope, etc. to sit around the church.  We had
a campfire area which we put several bales of hay in a circle up front on
the platform and had a fake campfire in the middle of the circle.  The
kids sat here for memory verse class.  We made cowboy boots and hats from
colored poster board and hung them on the walls.  We had an offering
contest wagon train.  All the teachers dressed like pioneers or in western
gear.  Someone made a small covered wagon using a child's wagon and we
used that as a prop.  At the end of the week, we had a Pioneer Pinic with
horseshoes, bobbing for apples, photo booth with old fashioned clothes,
etc.  Hope this helps!  If you need more info, email me at

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11) 125th anniversary?

Hi All,
Our church is having its 125th anniversary in the Fall. Does anyone have
any suggestions on how we might celebrate it? Have any of you had a big
anniversary with your church and what did you do?
God Bless,
Gwen German

--from SSTN: type "anniversary" into the archives search box:

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12) Playtime for 0 to 5 yr olds

I am too a Sunday School co-ordinator and continue to be encouraged and
inspired by the network - many thanks.  Just wanted to share about our
Tuesday morning playgroup outreach program which has been operating for 8
years now.  It has been a blessing to a huge number of families over the
years and some have come into other programs in our church a result.
Parents come with their under school age children for 90 mins and pay a
donation of $2 per family per week.  We start with free play and have a
range of toys on a big carpet mat and at a couple of tables.  After
packing up, we break into groups of no more than 12 families per group.
We sing grace and while the children eat their own morning tea and are
normally fairly quiet, a short devotion including a handout  is given out
before morning tea for the parents. The children then do a craft with
parents help and then sit for a story or game presented by one of the
parents.  We finish by joining together again for singing, birthdays and a
sung prayer.  We have a theme each week and everyone takes their turn on
the roster approx. once a month for craft, story, morning tea for the
parents.  Some of the Christian parents share the devotion rosters and
also include bible stories into the story segment.  We have an outdoor day
about every 6 weeks where we go places/do different things.   We have a
couple of night Playtimes a year - Easter/Christmas where we follow
roughly the same format (we have craft tables in free play and don't break
into groups) but invite the whole family.   Every couple of months a small
booklet/newletter is produced including lots of thought provoking snippets
about God, parenting, etc.

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13) Summer Sunday School video series?

Hi, we are facing the classic summer Sunday School
situation of how to engage a small, but diverse group
of children.  We are thinking of a pre-packaged video
series with accompanying lesson plans/study
guides/activity sheets to make the preparation less
intimidating for our volunteers.  Does something like
this exist?  Any input is greately appreciated.

Lord's blessings on your day!

--from SSTN: for those responding, please include ISBN - product codes.

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14) Name Tag Idea

You could make necklaces with letter beads and string.  Guys wear
them now too, so it wouldn't be a problem. 

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