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SSTN # 85 - September 24, 2005

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1) Snacks in Sunday School
2) Snacks can be expensive
3) Snacks in Sunday School
4) Halloween Handout
5) Pastor Appreciation
6) Inexpensive Snacks


7) Budgeting Snacks
8) Lord's Prayer skit
9) Holiday Family Events?
10) Hurricane Relief for MS and LA
11) Pastor Appreciation Day
12) Christmas program ideas

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32 basic Christian symbol patterns for making a variety of craft projects,
including Christ-trees (for ages 3-103). Click on Chrismon-Kids at: 


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1) Snacks in Sunday School

My husband and I pastor a church and I am in charge of teaching and
recruiting teachers for our youth church.  We have snack every week too. 
Below are some ideas/experiences that I have to help you with your snack
dilemma.  Hope it helps.
a)  If I am reading a story that I do not have anything visual to go along
with it like pictures or posters I find this is a great time to let the
kids have snack because they tend to be more settled while they are eating
and I can hold their attention more.  You could do it this way and not
loose any teaching time.
b)  Also I have an attendance chart we use each week ( for some reason
kids love to put on their stars) and on the chart I also have a space for
a different helper each week.  Kids love it when it's their turn to be my
helper.  My helper helps me give out napkins, juice boxes, the snack and
also says the blessing over the snack.  This is a time saver too.
c)    Snack Ideas - dry cereal (our kids love Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple
Jacks, and sometimes I let them have Fruit Loops) A handful of cereal is
good and with a whole box you can use it again in a few weeks.  Also
raisins,  peanut butter crackers, buy a big box of cookies and use again
in a few weeks.  Fruit Roll Ups, cereal bars cut in half, any type of
fruit gummies, cut up apples, bananas, even a bag of popcorn.  For juice
you could just buy a bottle of whatever is on sale but I have found that
taking time to give out cups and pour some into each one is time
consuming.  I prefer to buy the juice boxes.  They are always on sale.
d)     If would skip anything chocolate unless you are having a special
celebration.  Chocolate seems to get them over into a hyper level.
e)     I watch for sales, buy in bulk and clip coupons.  I even sometime
use whatever I have in my cabinets.
f)     If you start out with just a small snack and juice they won't
expect so much.  We starting having 3 and 4 different snacks at a time and
it just got to be             too much.   
g)    Also something you can do is if your church has a bulletin, put a
little paragraph in there that snack and juice donations would be greatly
       Then all of the classes could share them.  We take up an offering
in Children's Church every week that the kids bring in to send to
Samaritan's Purse             every month.  One week out of the month I
tithe ,of course, on what is given and then I use the rest to buy snacks
or supplies for the class.
h)    We have had children come to church who didn't eat before they
came.  Some was a "running late for church" issue and some were inner city
kids who             didn't have the option of breakfast.   Either way, I
have found when they are hungry thy don't concentrate as well.  We know as
adults how we feel when         we are hungry.  We hate to think that
every household is not perfect but some are not.  For those children,
snack can be something that makes them             look forward to
church.  But as I said, keep the snack in the "small" range and it won't
be something that is just expected and not appreciated.
Hope this helps you in some way.

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2) Snacks can be expensive

(Sarah, the rotating snack basket idea is great!).  But children who don't
eat breakfast will also have a harder time paying attention and learning,
so a snack can be important.  One way I've cut down on the cost of snacks
is to use water as the drink most of the time.  I buy crackers, fruit
snacks, etc. when they're on sale and keep them in the trunk of my car so
my family doesn't eat them :)

Small sanwiches -- PB&J, tuna, etc. also work.  If you have time, homemade
muffins are inexpensive.  I've even used waffle sticks (cut up frozen
waffles) with syrup.

And there are a lot of ways to make the snack connected to the lesson. 
SSTN has ideas on this, as well as several other online sites.  While all
the kids are sitting and eating it's also a great time to review the
lesson, ask questions (maybe awarding an extra cracker for right answers)
or go over the memory verse, so it doesn't have to be wasted time.  And
it's a wonderful chance for kids to get used to praying out loud.

Finally, I really think that the church should provide snacks as well as
any other supplies needed for Sunday school.  I know it doesn't always
work that way, but maybe they just don't know what's needed.  It doesn't
hurt to ask if there is money available in the budget for snacks.

Karen in Montana

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3) Snacks in Sunday School

Snacks can definitely get pricey, particularly if you have many children.
Most of the children in our church are old enough to be in the service, so
our one Sunday school class is almost strictly bus children. Most of them
come from unstable homes, and they're rarely fed breakfast. This has
motivated us to provide snack every Sunday - it's rarely anything fancy,
just cookies & koolaid, etc. Walmart popcorn is a big favorite because you
can buy a large bag for $1.00, and the kids love it. I might suggest
asking some of the other members of the church to pitch in on snacks. I
have found that there are members who do not feel they can teach Sunday
School, but are willing to help provide snacks, supplies, etc. Even other
teachers who are not on rotation are frequently willing to help, as they
understand all to well the expense. Perhaps different familes can take
turns providing the snacks each week.

Hope this helps.

Kari in CO

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4) Halloween Handout

Hi Sarah,
I hope this finds you well and strong.
I wanted drop you a note and let you know that since taking over the
children's ministry at our church over 2 years ago...and with the help of
your wonderful books to guide me in teaching...you have helped to inspire
a group of children.
The Pastor's wife and I apporached the kids about trick or treating this
year...but adding a twist. Intead of taking a treat...we are planning on
leaving a treat....we had the kids vote on what they wanted to leave and
it was a tie between salvation bracelets and your first aid kits from the
Spirit Fruit series.  I told them I would write and ask your permission to
pass out these kits to people when they open their doors on halloween. We
wanted you to be a part of the process since it will be your pattern we
are using.
your Sister in Christ,

--from SSTN: Hi Cynthia:

Thank you. I am doing really well. Thank you for your encouraging remarks
too. ;o) Yes, of course you may use the pattern to handout. For anyone
else that's interested, you can find the pattern in the download section
Also, there are more Halloween handout ideas in the crafts section at:

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5) Pastor Appreciation

For a Pastor Appreciation gift our church invited all members of the
congregation to write a blessing for our pastor or write how the pastor
has blessed them or helped them. Members wrote how much they appreciated
our pastor and some included favorite scripture passages for him. Our
Women's group collected the messages and typed and printed each message on
separate pieces of colorful paper strips and placed them in a large glass
hurricane style vase. The "Blessing Jar" sits on the pastor's desk and he
can pull a blessing out each day or when he needs a lift to remind him how
loved he is within the church. The congregation has been encouraged to
continue to write a message of blessing and put it in the jar as they
think of it. Everyone needs to be encouraged and blessed and this is a
simple, inexpensive way to show anyone that they are loved. Our pastor was
in tears when we presented him the jar and he read some of the messages.
In Christ,

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6) Inexpensive Snacks

For Debbie asking about snacks:
    I'm currently teaching 3rd graders.  I do provide a snack but I do not
buy juices, etc. unless it is for a special treat.  I have a large pitcher
of fresh water that they drink if they are thirsty.  I don't buy Kool-Aid,
etc.--too much sugar that makes my already hyper kids a little more hyper
I find.  Juice would cost  way to much.  I've never had a child complain
that we only had water in all the years I've taught. I do take in graham
crackers, soda crackers, popcorn (that I pop downstairs just before
When the fancy crackers are on sale or I have a good coupon, I'll buy them
too.  Right now their favorite food is the "Whales" that I buy at Wal-Mart
for a fair cost. Sometimes the Dollar Stores have very nice crackers for a
dollar too.
     I found that my kids do not usually get breakfast before Sunday
School either.  They just can't pay attention when they are hungry.  Plus they
were more apt to start fights, etc. with the other students.  For my classes, it
pays me to buy the extra snacks for them.  I've even taken in a loaf of
white bread and had them put peanut butter or honey on their "snack".  It
fills them up.  Another thing I try to do is make the snack fit the
story--'whales" or "goldfish" for Jonah and the whale, Jesus feeding the
5,000, etc.  Cut the bread out with cookie cutters to match the story too.
There's cookie cutters out there for most anything.
      About your other concern about taking time away from the
lesson--because I try to pull in the food with the story, I don't think I'm
taking away from the story.  Sometimes I let them eat their snack while I'm
doing the lesson--if they are really hungry.  Otherwise I usually wait until
after the story and we sit around in a circle to eat and I ask review questions  
and let them answer them and discuss the story together. That way
we are learning even while they are eating--and they don't even realize
You could work on Memory Verses, learning the books of the Bible--most
anything while they are eating.
    I hope some of this is a help to you.

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NEW-LIFE PUPPETS / no-sew patterns

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
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7) Budgeting Snacks

As the SS coordinator and a teacher at our church I believe that the SS
budget should provide the bulk of the snacks. So I buy the snacks or have
the teacher submit receipts for snacks she has bought herself. Because we
write our own curriculum and so save costs there we are able to have the
funds to do this. If I was having to provide snacks myself on a regular
basis at my own cost I would try for cheap, but filling food like bread or
muffins. My students love it when I bring homemade bread. It's easy to
in the breadmaker and inexpensive as well. I like to make a snack that
relates to the lesson and bread can be shaped in so many ways.

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8) Lord's Prayer skit

The following link has a skit on the Lord's prayer.
Not sure if the age range is suitable


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9) Holiday Family Events?

I am looking for ideas for fun, inexpensive Thanksgiving and Christmas
family event ideas. The main focus is to have each family work together on
a fun project or event that is focused on Christ and they can take a craft
home to help encourage family devotional activities. Last year we had our
first Advent Event and each family signed up to make an Advent wreath, the
church provided the supplies (we charged a small fee) and each family was
given an Advent booklet created by our church. For the booklet, we asked
for volunteers to write a one page devotional that included a special
family tradition. It was very well received and a lot of fun for all
This year I am trying to find ideas to make a small craft. We considered
making ornaments with each family creating one ornament for the church
ornament exchange ( we pray during the year for the families ornament that
is chosen, one per family). However, I am stuck on trying to make it work
with a family, if each family makes two ornaments then not everyone will
get to "make" one or have each member of the family make one ornament plus
a family ornament (worked on together) to make for the exchange.  This
might get too expensive!
We start the event with a object lesson tying it to the bible and Christ.
I have several ideas for things just for kids, but I want both adults with
or without children to participate and have fun. Thank you all for your
ideas in advance! We are all so blessed with this website.
Your sister in Christ,

--from SSTN: creating Christ-trees or "Chrismon Trees" (Christ-monograms)
are great family activities and inexpensive too. Learn more at:

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10) Hurricane Relief for MS and LA

Hi, Sarah- how are YOU feeling? I will be in Louisiana with a mostly
Christian group next week. Please pray for us and those we are going to
help. We have 7 tractor trailerloads of donations to take and several more
in reserve. We are planning a trip to Mississippi as well. Perhaps if the
person who wrote in from the Mississippi coast wants to email me, we could
get some supplies to her/his area. Thanks, may God bless you and yours-
YSIC Linda from Maryland (rainbowniz@hotmail.com)

--from SSTN: doing really well. Thank you for asking!
ysic, sarah <><

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11) Pastor Appreciation Day

Sherry in Missouri, 
     What we did one year on Pastor Appreciation Day was the Sunday before
we asked our pastor if we could borrow his shoes (or ask him to bring
another pair with him) just for our Sunday school class.  Then we had the
children trace his shoes onto different colored construction paper then
cut them out to look like feet. Also have the children make cards and
maybe wite a poem just say something nice about the pastor. then before
Sunday School on the day of that special day we put the "feet" all the
way from the front door down the main isle and upto the alter.  Then i
went up and asked the pastor and his wife to follow the feet and come on
up front. Then I said this to the congregation. "Did you know that our
pastor has beautiful feet? Well, the bible says he does.  Romans 10:15
says,  and how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written,
how BEAUTIFUL are the FEET of them that preach the gospel of peace, and
bring glad tidings of good things."  Then have each of the children come
up and give there cards or read what they have wrote or just tell how they
feel about the pastor. and also ask if anyone else would like to stand up
and add to this.  I thought it went over really well. 
      God bless you
        Linda in Ohio

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12) Christmas program ideas
I have a number of ideas on my web site
Check out Newsletters 6 and 27 in particular.
Maurice Sweetsur

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