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SSTN # 77 - August 25, 2004

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--> One Book...One Class

1) Picnic Themes
2) Children in Church
3) Songs In Sign
4) Leading Two Groups?

"His Name Shall Be Called..."

5) Children in Church
6) Peculiar Dinner Menu
7) Pirates, Not of God
8) Strange dinner menu

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

9) Right Date For VBS
10) Reproducing SSTN?
11) Sunday School Picnic
12) Lava Island VBS
13) Sunday School Class Names?
14) Sunday School Picnic

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--> One Book...One Class

"Hands On Lessons of the Bible" are easy to implement and are great for Sunday or
midweek classes. Lessons include crafts, games, enrichment ideas and
song-time suggestions. One book is all you need for an entire class! For
Kindergarten - 5th grade.

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

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1) Picnic Theme

We do a Church wide fish fry every September.  It is quite a production
with 1800+ members but it is great fun and we look forward to it every
year.  You would probably not need as much fish and hushpuppies as we do

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2) Children in Church

Just a little  note to add to the discussion, a little food for thought.
One Sunday morning at the end of the service my husband and I were
standing at the back door greeting the congregation as they left.  One of
the first in line was a boy about seven years old.  He is a very bright
and outgoing little boy and captured my heart when we first came here last
year.  He grabbed my husband's hand and shook it heartily and told him,
"Good message!"  He doesn't attend with his parents and he wasn't prompted
by any adult, none had comented on the message before him.  It was his own
opinion.  He listens and can tell you what he picks up from the sermons. 
Don't underestimate the little ones.  They are always listening, that is
how they learn, at home, at school and even at church.  The Holy Spirit is
quite capable of reaching a child, sometimes even more easily than an
adult who has ideas and traditions that get in the way. 
There are pros and cons, the most important thing to remember is that
church is the place where we all come to hear the Word and learn more
about the Lord so that we can mature in our faith.  Whether in Children's
Church or in the congregtional service, we just want to be sure we are
teaching them, not just entertaining them to make them happy. 
By the way, the sound of children in the service is like music to me, it
is a sound of hope for the future growth of the church.  And they never
disturb or distract my husband as he preaches, he loves seeing them there.
Nancy in Oklahoma

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3) Songs In Sign

There is an ASL browser at the MIchigan State website:


You can look alphabetically at the list of words and a video of someone
demonstrating the sign pops up.


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4) Leading Two Groups?

Hello, I have gotten so much ideas from this newsletter and thought that I
would ask for some help.

In my church I have been voted in to be the youth leader for the year and
I already did a children's program (for kids up to 12).  The problem that
I am facing is that they both are held on the same night.  My question is:
 does anyone have any ideas that they could suggest that might benefit me
in leading both groups?  Hopefully there is a solution.  I don't have any
help that is one of my problems.

Thank you

--from SSTN: if you must be the ONLY leader, then why not try using the
older kids as junior leaders to help you with the younger kids. But, it is
also important to find time for the older kids to fellowship and learn
Scripture apart from the younger ones. Maybe one time a month could be set
aside to focus on one of the groups, one for the older ones, another for
the younger ones, then the other two times would be a combined group.

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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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) Children in Church
The children in our Church start attending "Big Church" starting at age
4.  They get used to it and it always amazes me just how much of the
message they pick up on.  One thing that I have seen parents do for their
kids and something I am going to do for my son who is starting to attend
services with me this week is make a "Big Church Book" with markers,
crayons, paper, activity books and story books to help keep them quite and
still for the time they are in the service.  No matter how young they are
they still need the exposure to God's Word.
Hope this helps someone.
Dee Dee Humphrey
Irving, Texas

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6) Peculiar Dinner Menu

To: Rebecca
I have that menu you are talking about . . . I just need to locate it. If
I cannot find it, I will get it from a friend of mine, hopefully by
Friday, Aug. 20.

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7) Pirates, Not of God

> No, I do not agree with teaching children something, that is not of
> God!!! AND PIRATES ARE NOT OF GOD!! Now what you do at home, or allow
> your child to do or be at home, is fine, that's AT HOME! BUT DON'T BRING

So it's ok to to be "of the world" at home, but not in the church
May I remind you that the CHURCH is the body, which is the members of the
congregation, not the building.  So by saying this, you are advocating
that it's ok to have a double standard, one set of conduct for home, and
another in front of "the church".  This idea is much more dangerous than using
pirates in a kids activity.  You talk about the little things.  Well
children learn FAR more from modelling the behaviour they see AT HOME than
they do from the couple hours they spend in the church building on Sunday.
I agree with you that we have to be careful not to let little, seemingly
harmless things undermine our relationship with God.  BUT I think it is BY
FAR more damaging to a child's fledgling faith to show them, by your
example, that what they do in the eyes of the "church" (that is, in front
of the congregation) is more important than what they do at home.  Where do
they spend most of their time?

In addition, if we're going to condemn pirates as a VBS or SS theme, then
you'd better get ready to condemn Santa Claus, Christmas, Easter,
Birthdays...the list will be endless.  ALL of these things listed are OF
THE WORLD.  Not a single one is based on anything biblically sound. Want

Santa Claus-Most religious historians and experts in folklore believe that
there is no valid evidence to indicate that St. Nicholas ever existed as a
human. In fact, there are quite a few indicators that his life story was
simply recycled from those of Pagan gods. Many other ancient Pagan gods
and goddesses were similarly Christianized in the early centuries of the
His legends seems to have been mainly created out of myths attributed to
the Greek God Poseidon, the Roman God Neptune, and the Teutonic God Hold
When the church created the persona of St. Nicholas, they adopted
Poseidon's title "the Sailor." They seem to have picked up his last name from Nickar.
Various temples of Poseidon became shrines of St. Nicholas.  St. Nicholas
also adopted some of the qualities of "The Grandmother" or Befana from
Italy. She was said to have filled children's stockings with gifts. Her
shrine at Bari was also converted into a shrine to St. Nicholas. Also
Sinterklaas, or Saint Nicolas, is a typical Dutch folklore, celebrated in
the Netherlands and partly in Belgium

Christmas-originated as the Pagan Roman festival of Saturnalia, ascribed
to the God Janus.  Basically a big bacchanalia to celebrate the winter

Easter-The death and resurrection of the god Attis was officially
celebrated at Rome on 24 and 25 March, the latter being regarded as the spring
equinox and, therefore, the most appropriate day for the revival of a god of
vegetation who had been dead or sleeping throughout the winter.
Conveniently adapted by the church to celebrate the death and resurrection

The only birthday celebration mentioned in the bible is the feast at which
John the Baptist's head was presented to King Herod.

SO unless you are prepared to eschew those celebrations as well, you'd
best get your knickers out of a knot over pirates.  A few rogues on the high
seas are the least of a Christian's worries.

Kristine Bell

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8) Strange Dinner Menu

this is in response to a query from rebecca about a 'strange' dinner.  we
have had several 'mystery' dinners in our church.  if she wants to contact
me i can help her with menus and ideas.  please put 'mystery dinner' in
the subject line.  thank you.     linda conrad

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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) Right Date For VBS

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

This message is in response to the posting about the right date for VBS. I
am not sure that anyone can recommend a "perfect date", but here are a few
suggestions, maybe some of them will help. It seems like "summer vacation"
every year gets shorter and shorter, especially in the public school
system. The "general unpublished rule" is not to hold VBS during the first
two weeks that kids are out of school, or the last two weeks before they
go back to school, because families generally take a vacation during those
times. It may not be the date that is causing the low attendance either,
it could be any number of factors, you may want to try holding an evening
VBS that encourages family participation, or a morning VBS (especially if
you live where the weather is hot in the summer) that keeps kids from
getting too hot and exhausted, you may try holding VBS over Spring break
or Christian Break, or even an all day weekend VBS that takes place on a
Saturday. Changing the way you do VBS at your church, may increase the
attendance more than trying to pick an exact date. I would get feedback
from the church itself, a simple little slip of paper distributed in the
church program or Sunday School classes that asks if there is an interest
in VBS to check a yes or no box, and if the answer is yes, what date
and/or time(s) do they find most appealing. You could print these on a
computer, print four on a page, and have the dates/times you are
considering listed so parents only have to check mark the boxes. I can't
think of a better way to find the "perfect" date for VBS at your church,
then by asking the church itself.
Hope this helps!
Love in Christ,
Sarah in California

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10) Reproducing SSTN?

I just have a quick question, if I wanted to save one of the ideas for my
own personal use can I print out the idea and keep it in a file folder? 
I'm a little confused abou the reproduction clause at the bottom of the
--from SSTN: Hi Deanna, Sure, you may save it to your computer. The clause
at the bottom of SSTN is for reproducing in newsletters, websites and
other forms of publication. Also, keep in mind that ALL previous SSTNs are
posted in the Archives at:
Your Webservant,
Sarah Keith <><
"Home of the Sunday School Teacher's Network"

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11) Sunday School Picnic

>do you have any good ideas for sunday school picnics for tiny churches...
Our SS has 17 kids.  Since it's an Olypics year, we're having an Olympics
theme for our Rally Sunday.  I'm going to make the kids t-shirts that say
B.I.B.L.E. Games 2004 on the back-the name of our SS program is B.I.B.L.E.
Adventures (Belong, Inquire, Believe, Love, Explore).  Then I'll let them
paint whatever they want on the front.  The kids will be divided into
teams to play games including water balloon shot put, egg/spoon relay
(kids line up- each have a spoon-pass egg to end of line & back again), &
an obtacle course (have members of team all get inside of a large
hula-hoop and go through an obstacle course). 
By the way, I'm working on a lesson plan for Moses- Wandering in the
Wilderness.  Does anyone have any good ideas for this?  I checked the
archives, but didn't find much on this particular part of the Moses story.

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12) Lava Island VBS

I am responding to Sharon’s post about Lava Lava Island VBS. I would have
to agree that this VBS was very good for the Island concept and the kids
loved the theme. For teachers however, it was not such a good choice. The
curriculum, in my opinion, was poorly written and much of it needed an
overhaul. We didn’t use any of the snack, craft or game ideas. The crafts
were more like pop together toys. The snacks weren’t really appealing
either. We did have a great VBS week using Lava Lava Island though, again,
the concept was fantastic but the curriculum wasn’t the best. It was also
very expensive. We went way over budget trying to purchase all of the
little things that go with it. I agree that this VBS curriculum is geared
toward a large church with lots of members and money and not a good choice
for a small or medium church.

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13) Sunday School Class Names?

As Program Director in our church, I have tried to encourage everyone to
get involved.  However, our Sunday school attendance has been very low.  I
thought maybe we could spice it up by changing the names of our Sunday
school classes.  Does anyone have any suggestions of names for Sunday
school classes for our 2 year old through 12th graders.  We have them
broken into 6 different classes.  Thanks for any help and if you want to
e-mail me directly, please send it to samdermott03@yahoo.com.

--from SSTN: there are some great names listed in the Archives. Type
"Youth Ministry Names" into the search box to locate them at:

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14) Sunday School Picnic

Just an idea .... One thing we will be doing with the kids this Rally Day
might work for your picnic! We are doing a around the world Rally Day. One
of the ideas which came from our music teacher is to make self-addressed
stamped postcards (addressed to the church)  - one for each child.   Each
children can write a message about Jesus asking the finder to please mail
this back and write on the card where it was found. TIE THEM TO A BALLOON
AND LET EM GO! On a large map we will marking when each of the postcards
are returned where it was found.

Just a thought?
SKC Director

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