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SSTN # 75 - August 20, 2004

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Curriculum for Fall Session

1) Right date for VBS
2) Right date for VBS
3) Used VBS Resources?
4) Right date for VBS

"His Name Shall Be Called..."

5) Songs in sign language
6) Songs in sign language
7) Ten Commandments' Song - 1960s ?
8) Attendance Promotion Contest Ideas

"Spirit Gifts...An Introduction For Children"

9) Used VBS curriculum / materials?
10) Children's Day
11) Right Date For VBS
12) Youth Sunday

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--> Curriculum for Fall Session 

What will you be teaching this Fall? Why not choose from one of the
"Hands On Lessons of the Bible" (for Kindergarten - 5th grade)? They are easy to
implement and are great for midweek lessons. They can be incorporated into
rotation-type programs too!

Available at:   http://www.christiancrafters.com/curriculum.html   

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1) Right date for VBS

>HELP! Does anyone have any suggestions on when the perfect date to hold
>VBS would be?

I have been directing VBS for a while now, and have had the best luck with
the 3rd week of July.
It depends on your area and other activities that are in competition with
VBS.  Our summer baseball/softball starts in April and ends around the
first of July... the kids and parents around here are so absorbed in this
that everything takes a backseat from what I can tell.  Then you have the
4thholiday.  It seems that a lot of families take their vacations at the
very beginning of summer or the very end... we had lots of people gone
last week. Also by the middle of July the kids are bored with summer and
ready for an exciting VBS!

Hope this helps!

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2) Right date for VBS

I understand your frustration.  You cannot try to plan a date that will
please EVERYONE, but you have also been jumping around the calendar for
the past few years, which may make it worse.  What we have done is picked
a week and stuck with it.  For us it is the second week after our county
fair, which alot of our kids are involved in, and people seem to remember
now when it will be.  It falls usually the last week in July.  We jumped
around for a few years too with our dates, and sticking to one seems to be
working better.  There are so many activities kids are involved in these
days - there is no way to avoid all of them!  God Bless you for doing what
you have, and good luck!

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3) Used VBS resource?

>> living_life_my_way@earthlink.net

I am interested in your VBS resources for my program.

--from SSTN: if you email the above address and title your message
"Used VBS", I'm sure she'll help you.

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4) Right date for VBS

> HELP! Does anyone have any suggestions on when the perfect date to hold
> VBS would be? I have been the director of Children's Ministries at our
> the date right. We have approx. 50 children attend VBS each year but we
> have many, many more who choose not to attend or go on vacation that
Why, oh why aren't you rejoicing in the 50 that faithfully attend instead
of bemoaning the fact that others choose to go on a vacation, or have
babysitting issues,  whatever, etc? It's not the 50's anymore
dear....don't worry about reporting the numbers; it's not about numbers -
it's about leading children to Christ or helping them grow in the Lord.
You are in the business of "planting seeds" here, not showing off your
numbers or how great  your VBS was.  ........       .....Our church for
the past 2 years has chosen to have a VBS in the park. We have 7 or 8
faithful workers who plan and carry everything into the park for one hour
on Wednesdays in June and July.
We never know how many children or who they will be. This year, we
touched 68 children with God's love....So, please adjust your thinking on
VBS.....you are a seed planter, and God gives the increase.
Been where you seem to be, but changed my thinking (after 26 years of
traditional VBS directing) ... 

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--> "His Name Shall Be Called..."

The God of the Old and New Testament is known by many names. These names
help us to understand his nature and reputation. They define him as
Protector, Defender, Friend, Advisor, Judge, and Savior to name just a
few. The Third Commandment says, "Do Not Misuse God’s Name". It is my
desire that this study will help you to teach respect and honor for God to
the children in your ministry. Free USA shipping!

To learn more, go to this page:
(you may need to copy and paste this address to your browser)

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5) Songs in sign language
> Where can I find information as to how to learn and teach this to our

If you want to learn some signs, you could check out
http://www.deafmonkey.com/ and check out the deaf links, or even look at
the religious section (there are some links to religious songs in sign
language online).  Look at the top two links on this page:
http://www.deafmonkey.com/christian_links.htm (those are religious sign
links and one of 'em has songs in sign language).
I hope everyone enjoys seeing your young people signing songs!  I perform
signing songs a lot with my church group (we are a deaf church) and during
services we do sign songs...we've never had anyone use their voices to
sing :).  If you want more information, email me at
God Bless,
Kim in Oklahoma

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6) Songs in sign language

ASL Dictionary Letter starts with A see bottom for rest
ASL Dictionary Letter A

Guy Short of
Lawrenceville, VA ask this Songs in sign language?
Here are some site I really like. I used some in teaching children to
dance with their hand movement.
Jan in Birmingham, AL
Uses RealOne Player  on my PC it is a little to dark to see but yours may
do better.
American Sign Language (ASL) Dictionary of Religious Words
Some are religious good site
Lesson Tutor: ASL Picture Index 
International alphabet for hard of hearing people
Sign Language alphabet for hard of hearing people
Basic Dictionary of ASL Terms
A Basic Guide to ASL

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7) Ten Commandments' Song - 1960s?

Under question 4 (previous SSTN)...someone asked about the 10 commandment
song...I TOO have been trying to recall the song from my days back in the
60's. How do I find out if that question posted ever got an answer? 
Thanks and God Bless.............pspeed6362@aol.com

--from SSTN: when you find an article of interest in the Archives
follow the links to the articles before and after that issue to find
related postings on that subject.

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8) Attendance Promotion Contest Ideas
Our Sunday School has had good success by holding an attendance contest in
the fall.  We challenge the students to invite friends by offering prizes
and rewards, and we have several large prizes for the ones who bring the
most friends.
One year our theme was "Sunday School Roundup", with an emphasis on
rounding up kids so they can hear the gospel story. We used a
Western/cowboy theme for the music, prizes, invitations, and final party. 
The "Roundup" also featured little felt gold nugget bags containing
Hershey's gold nuggets.  We talked and sang about heaven's streets of gold
and about the value of every soul in God's eyes.  The boys competed
against the girls, and the winning team (boys) got to shave a male
teacher's head (Cowboy Matt).  This turned out to be very entertaining and
fun for the kids. They all took turns with the electric shaver.
Another year we did a "Gumball Extravaganza", which featured a large glass
container of cellophane-wrapped gumballs.  Each student's name was placed
on a wrapped gumball, and gumballs were drawn out of the container weekly
for prizes.  Extra gumballs with the students' names were added for each
Sunday a new friend attended, which increased the student's liklihood of
being drawn.  At the final party students were given all of their gumballs
from the container.
This year I am searching for new ideas.  Can you help me?  Please let me
know if you have done an attendance contest which worked well for you.
Thank you, Donna

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--> Spirit Gifts...An Introduction For Children

An inspirational midweek program that contains a variety of fun lessons,
crafts, and games to teach the children in your ministry about the
following Spirit-filled Gifts:

To learn more, visit this webpage:

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9) Used VBS curriculum / materials?

We are a small church (about 40) members and are wondering if any of the
churches have already had their VBS this summer and have left-over
curriculum/craft/ideas/etc.  We would like to plan one for next summer but
have a very limited budget.  I can pay the postage if anyone has materials
they'd like to donate.  Please contact me at my email address
njg1933@hotmail.com. and I will be happy to give you my Bothell, WA
  Thank you     IN CHRIST, Nita

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10) Children's Day

I am writing in response to the childrens day in church.  I don't know
how old your kids are but, in our church depending on the kids ages we
have some of them read the scripture and usher.  I don't know if you
have any sort of media in your church.  In our church we have a large
projector screen in the front of the church on which we display the
scripture and words to the songs.  For some of our different programs
such as VBS we do a little slide show showing some of the things the
kids do pertaining to that activity.  You could show pictures of the
class(es) in session. Games that you play together.  Things like that.
We also have a few kids in our church that play musical instruments so
we have had some of them accompany the piano for songs or even play the
piano for songs during the service or for the opening.  I hope this will


Sonya, Iowa

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11) Right Date For VBS

I totally understand where you're coming
from, but I really don't think there is a "right" date.  I've
found that there will always be someone who can't come for whatever
reason.  Like you, we have to fight the vacation thing too; then
we fight little league playoffs (all summer long if the teams
do well).  Plus, school starts back here the first week of August.
We always just try to plan for whatever week the majority of
the people involved will be in town.

I suggest asking your parents at the first of the year (if you
can wait that long for planning purposes) and see when the majority
of them plan to be gone and plan around that.  I know you'll
stil have some unable to attend, but it's worth a shot.  Good

Fultondale, AL

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12) Youth Sunday


We also attend a small church and I think our experience with Youth Sunday
might be useful. Besides the tasks that you mentioned our youth act as
greeters and read the scripture lessons. In our church we also always read
a psalm responsively. Even pre-readers can memorize one half of a verse of
the psalm. Even if there is only one child in this category they can
memorize the beginning of the first verse (or perhaps even two) and then
an adult can read the rest. Older readers can do other readings. We
normally use NRSV bur depending on the ability of the reader we have used
simpler translations. The great thing about this is, if you can get the
parents co-operation from your sporadic attenders, the practice can be
done at home.

Last year we had one older youth write (with input from the minister) and
deliver the sermon. In other years we have had plays and puppet shows.

As far as songs go since our group of children is small we have chosen not
to have them sing songs by themselves. Instead the children select all the
songs for the congregation. We look at what the readings for Youth Sunday
are going to be and get the kids to think about what song talks about
specific passages. I am always amazed that their suggestions are so
appropriate. We do try to sing a song that the congregation knows and we
know or can make up motions for.

God's Peace,


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