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SSTN # 81 - September 10, 2004

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--> Teach Your Kids to F.R.O.G.!

1) Attendance Promotion Contest Ideas
2) Children in church
3) How to be tactful?
4) Fall Festival?

--> Your support makes SSTN possible!

5) Behavior
6) Children In Church
7) Workshop Topics
8) Fellowshipping around the country

"His Name Shall Be Called..."

9) Fruit of the Spirit game
10) Sunday School Picnic
11) Revelation Study For Kids
12) Parade Floats
13) Praying For Muslims
14) Songs in sign language

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Teach Your Kids to F.R.O.G.!

Teach your kids to "Fully Rely On God"! Check out our new craft project
based on "Trust in the Lord with all your heart..." from Proverbs 3:5-6.
Learn more at:


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1) Attendance Promotion Contest Ideas
This may sound really bad, but I am so into "bribing" the kids into coming
to church. Once we get them here then we can fill them with the gospel and
hopefully they will have so much fun they will want to come back. We are
holding a fall Sunday School Drive. We will have some type of "gimic"
every Sunday for the next 3 months. Here is our schedual of events. Each
Sunday there is a different prize that goes along with the theme for
children who bring a guest.
a. Sweet Sunday-Candy for every one who comes to church.
b. Silly Sunday-wear your silliest cloths.
c. Ssssuper Ssssunday- We have a guests coming to show his collection of
snakes and other reptiles.
d. No electricity sunday- No lights. Kids bring their flashlights.
e. Pajama Sunday- Wear pajamas as long as they are appropriate for church.
f. Pumpkin Sunday- Everyone gets to decorate a (small) pumkin.
g. Backwards Sunday- Wear your cloths backwards. as well as walk, talk or
whatever else backwards.
h. Wild west Sunday- Dress like a character out of the wild west.
i. (Oct. 31) Costume Sunday- Wear costume as long as it is appropriate for
j. Patriotic Sunday- Wear red white and blue.
k. Sports Sunday-wear your favorite sports cloths.
l. Picture Perfect Sunday- We will be taking pictures of all the kids.
m. Sundae Sunday- Kids will make their own ice cream sundaes.
I am hoping this will keep the kids interested through out the entire fall
quarter. Only time will tell.

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2) Children in church

I am of the belief that it is not proper that my child be running around
the sanctuary before, after or during service.  My 4-year old son does attend
Sunday school, but stays with me in church when there is no SS.  He bows
his head & folds his hands during every prayer, he looks at this bible story
book, or colors or draws, he sometimes stand on the pew next to me and
claps & "dances" to the hymns (which in an upstate NY conservative United
Methodist church is quite out of the ordinary)and truly believes in God,
as I often find him "talking to God" from everything about his grandmother
who died, a boy who was not nice to him or whether or not he really should eat
his peas. God is his confidant and friend - and for that I am proud and
thankful - but it is difficult for him to simply sit and listen to someone
talking for much more than 10 minutes even though we have a great and
engaging pastor.
This used to bother me, but I have learned two things -
1. even when he's looking around, waving and appears totally distracted -
he IS hearing what Pastor is saying as he will often mention things from the
sermon when an applicable situation comes up a day or two later
2. learning God's word should be an exciting, engaging and positive
experience.  Would sitting on a hard wooden plank, bound and gagged make
YOU want to learn more?  God's helped me see that I wouldn't do well in that
situation either. Jesus died so that we could be free, so why do we insist on the bondage of
restraint with our children, why do we make church a place of rules and
regulations and then wonder why our teens rebel against us?  Let them
rejoice in the Lord in their own way.  Yes, rules are necessary but we
need to keep things in perspective.   Whether you are dealing with
pre-schoolers, teenagers or weathered adults we all have to remember why we are there,
rejoice that the children ARE there.  God made each of us unique
- he is okay with that, so why aren't we?

Laus Deo!
Pam Tichy

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3) How to be tactful?

Here we are at the end of Sept. and as far as I can tell there's been no
attempt to recruit Sunday school teachers.

I asked our DRE about the fall, and she said just what I would have said
to brush someone off, "Oh, we're still working on the curriculum, and
we're not sure what we're doing the with 10:45 class" (the one I taught.)

So I don't know if it's a personal thing with me, or if it's just general
disorganization.  I criticized the CE program to the pastor, because there
was too much busy work and too little continuity.  Maybe she is annoyed
because of my criticisms, or because I didn't  take them up with her.  (I
thought about that, but she seemed so enthusiastic about the curriculum it
seemed useless to raise the issue with her.)

Any suggestions to what to do next?

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4) Fall Festival?

My church will be having a fall festival this Halloween.  Any ideas for
fun, safe, cheap games/activities we could use?

--from SSTN: check the archives too:

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5) Behavior

I have four children that attend weekly, both SS and church service.  I
stress the weekly part.  My children know that Sunday is a day of worship,
a day to give to God.  I don't have to argue with getting my children to
church, its routine.  That doesn't make it boring.  I have allowed small
bible story books, paper and pencils in the pew.  The older children are
encourage to keep track of how often Pastor uses the words, God, Jesus,
Lord, Holy Spirit, etc., who can catch the most?  It helps Mom too, so as
to not let her mind wander as well !!!! Teaching about the service,
encouraging them to sing along or to follow the scripture reading can help
them be more involved.  My son has autism, and yes some Sundays can be
challenging, but routine keeps us on an even keel most of the time. He
knows what is expected, no surprises. Our church is most understanding of
his behaviors at times rarely do I have to remove him from the church. 
What has helped us the most is talking ahead of time of what our
expectations of his behavior will be.  Such as, you will stand when we
stand, pray when we pray and no talking when Pastor is talking. Another thought,  how can we expect any
child to "behave" in church if they are not there frequently enough to
know what is expected of them?  As an observor from the "last pew" the children
that have the most difficulty sitting still are the ones that only come
sporatically.  All children have times when they just can't sit still, did
you feed them the high sugar cereal just before service???  Can you be
that extra pair of hand for those parent who are at the end of the patience?
Very often, the children sitting in front of me are children I have taught
in SS, a smile or a small shake of the head, will tell the children that
I'm watching, its amazing how often that has worked! Also offering to have
the child sit on your lap for a while, give Mom and Dad a break and a
distraction for the child.
In His Service
Ann in Ohio

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6) Children In Church

At our church, children start attending 'Big Church' in Kindergarten. I
recently became the Kindergarten Sunday School Teacher and decided to
make the transition to 'Big Church' an exciting one for the kids! First
of all I send them a letter about joining our class, what we do and that
they get a great new gift when they move up so they need to make sure
they don't miss the first week. I throw in some information about
attending 'Big Church' and how exciting it will be to get to sing with
the choir, listen to beautiful music and get to hear lessons from our
Pastor. The gift last year was a folder with a pencil pouch, a
Bible-based coloring book, crayons and notepad.

This not only keeps them quiet during church, but they have a chance to
work on their Sunday School take-home sheets.

The importance of children in church can be debated for a long time. I
have three daughters and depending on what day  it is, I could go either
way! I do recall my amazement last year when our Pastor was preaching on
the significance of the three crosses and Rejection, Repentance and
Redemption and my 6-year-old began illustrating his message on the back
of her bulletin. She clearly understood what he was talking about.

I firmly believe that if we don't secure them in their faith early in
their lives, by late elementary school to middle school, we will lose
them. I say hit 'em with The Word every chance we can! Besides, don't
children often mimic what they see?

Have a Blessed Week!
Beckie Lane

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7) Workshop Topics

>Looking for ideals for a Sunday School Workshop, for children and adults.

What kind of ideas do you need?  We teach workshops all over the country
and our church hosts a large one in Feb each year. We usually do not
include children in our workshops, as we show teachers "How-to" and if the
kids know the "how-to" things tend to be less effective.
La Marque, TX

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8) Fellowshipping around the country

I am Sunday School teachers for teens (13-17years old).   I am always
looking for new and exciting ways to keep my students interested in
growing in their spiritual walk.  As we began this fall season, I decided
that I wanted my students to branch outside of their comfort zone.  I want
them to begin fellowshipping (through pen-pals -email or regular mail)
with other teens who live in different cities across the country. Perhaps
over time we would have the opportunity to fellowship in person with my
class visiting that city or them visiting us.  If there are any teachers
who also teach teenagers and are interested in fellowshipping with us,
please email me at PTSLUV@hotmail.com
Thank you
God Bless All Teachers Everywhere Always

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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:
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9) Fruit of the Spirit game

I just wanted to tell you how fun the Fruit of the Spirit Bingo game was!
We had a fourteen week study of the Fruit of the Spirit and we ended it
with a fun day playing Fruit of the Spirit Bingo. The kids used Fruit
Loops cereal to mark their cards and to have to munch on during the hour.
Each time there was a Bingo they won a small prize of fruit flavored gum
or a Starburst fruit chew. The kids got very excited about this game and
didn’t want to quit at the end of the hour! I am planning on using this
game again as a Sunday school fun day event. Thank you! Jeannine,

--from SSTN: Dear Jeannine, I'm always excited to hear
results...especially when they're good. ;o) Thank you! For anyone else
interested in learning more about this game, go to the Curriuclum
Creatives page at:  http://www.christiancrafters.com/curriculum.html 
Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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10) Sunday School Picnic

We are a small church and we have Church Family Awareness the third Sunday
in each month.  We have games for all ages, such as:
*Valentine Night - everyone had to bring a valentine signed for a shut-in.
We set up a shuffel board using masking tape, used brooms to slide the
heart shaped pucks while staying seated in a chair.  Everyone had a ball.
*In January, we have had a snow theme and played Bible Bingo.  Everyone
brought an inexpensive prize in a tied paper bag.  Instead of numbers,
Bible verses were called out and if you had the verse on you card you
covered it with popcorn.  Each adult was assigned a youth or small child
and they worked together.
*May has been hymn night before.  Someone calls out a line in a hymn and
the group has to fine the page that song appears.
These are just a few of the themes we have used.
Betsy mdixon10@nc.rr.com

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11) Revelation Study For Kids

I taught a class of  4th & 5th graders last year the book of Revelations. 
I started the class by having them draw a picture of Christ using chalk in
different colors on black posterboard.  We hung the pictures on our
bulletin board for the complete year.  After the first lesson, they drew
pictures of the symbols discribed in each chapter.  They wrote under their
pictures what they felt the meaning was for the symbol.  The last two
Sundays I put objects inside different sized and colored bags and stapled
them closed.
Each student felt of the bags and guessed what was in them.  We then
opened the bags and discovered that "all things are not as they seem".  This was
to show them that the symbols may stand for other things but that some of
the things written in the Bible were done in symbols because of the
writers being afraid  of being persercuted for their writings.  The whole object
of Revelations is "Hope" and eternal "Love".
Just use your Bible and cover each chapter..you would be surprised how
kids can understand.

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12) Parade Floats

In repsonse to Vanessa regarding Parade Floats, our church had a float in
our annual Halloween Parade 4 years ago, we did Noah's Ark.  It was so
easy, we used lots and lots of card board and drew the 'wood lines' on
with marker and then used sheets dyed blue for the water. Then we had the
kids sit on hay bales, we purchased animal masks from Oriental Trading and
the kids then wore sweatsuits to match their animal.

Hope that helps,

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13) Praying for Muslims

Sarah— I hope you will see fit to include the following.  I noticed that,
while you found space for an extensive discussion of the appropriateness
of pirate themes (which is fine), you couldn’t include a mention that a
curriculum focusing on rickshaws was offensive to many Christians.

I hope you will consider that the comment below is worth inclusion.   I
was most concerned to read the comment bout “vicious, all-out warfare
against us by those most committed to Islam.”  The “30-days Muslim Prayer
Focus” itself sounds like a good program.  Their web site include comments
by many Christians whose hearts were opened to love their Muslim brothers
and sisters by praying for them.   Their goals include both that “Muslim
peoples of the world . . . may at least have an opportunity to consider
God's grace revealed in Jesus Christ,” and also “that we may live
peaceably and respectfully side-by-side.”

But to equate devotion to Islam to violence is misleading and dangerous. 
Such a view makes us look for danger where it is not and creates fear that
keeps us from experiencing perfect love.

It also seems to me that a program of prayer might also include some
repentance for our sins against Muslims in the past.  Surely the memory of
the Crusades keeps many of them from being open to hear of Our Lord Jesus

Anne L. Haehl--I tell stories. 
Seek peace and pursue it.

--from SSTN: Dear Anne: I'm not sure what you mean by not including a
posting on "Rickshaws". I never excluded it. Most likely I never received
it. I rarely exclude a posting unless it goes against SSTN guidelines:

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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14) Songs in sign language

I wanted to teach the "Apostle's Creed" in sign for VBS however, time
crunched me so I was not able to do so.  For my new preschool class I plan
to teach them something a bit smaller but these are the sites that were
most helpful and the video library is really spectacular.


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