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SSTN # 90 - August 20, 2003

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--> Super Heroes of the Bible

1) Jungle / Safari ideas   
2) Women's Retreat
3) How To Handle 3-5 Year Olds?

--> His Name Shall Be Called...

4) Sunday School Kickoff
5) Jungle/Safari Ideas
6) Women's retreat   

--> Fruit of the Spirit - Bingo Game

7) Multiple Ages   
8) How To Handle 3-5 Year Olds   
9) Apostle Coloring Pages

--> Worth a dollar a month?

10) Jungle VBS       
11) Women's ministry site   
12) Church in Turmoil-Update   

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--> Super Heroes of the Bible

This special midweek program examines the lives of some famous
and not-so-famous people who had willing hearts to obey God.
And by obeying him, they were used in miraculous and powerful
ways to help change the course of human history. It is the goal of this
series to build FAITH, COURAGE, and OBEDIENCE in the lives of children,
and to change the world for Jesus Christ.

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

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1) Jungle/Safari ideas   

>>I am looking for ideas for a jungle/safari VBS.  Any ideas for crafts,
>>decorations, music, etc. would be appreciated.  <<<<<

I remember several years ago some Sunday School teachers in the church I
used to attend had this theme. They put up those huge palm trees - they
borrowed them, but you can order them through Oriental trading. They used
some of that fake grass you see at Easter and put it in the windows with
little animal crackers. They also had various animal decorations,
including a rubber snake.

I've also made a tree before using brown paper sacks for the trunk and the
top cut out of a green plastic tablecloth.

1st UPC
Ages 5-12

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2) Women's Retreat

In response to D. Imes and theWomen's retreat - why not use a basket
The title could be something like 'A Harvest Basket' or 'From the seed to
basket'. Then your goal of the 'fruit' at the end of the retreat has to
have a
place to put - hence you are the basket to carry the fruit. This could
for great decorating, crafts, or even a basket to send home as a

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3) How To Handle 3-5 Year Olds

>We have just started our Sunday School in our church, with a 3yr old boy
>and a 5 yr old girl. They're emotions are still up and down.

Hi Susan,
We had the same thing going on in our Kids Church.  We no longer have
Sunday School but have Fellowship the hour before church serving donuts,
coffee & juice and having a devotion.  The preschoolers are in their own
worship service during church service.  We found out they were bored with
the lessons, especially if the lesson is what was done at the very
beginning of the service.  One of the teachers happened to start her
session one Sunday with letting them have free time with playdough.  (we
put tarps down on the floor so it doesn't get imbedded into the carpet).
They have 10-15 minutes of playdough activity or some other fun activity
to start them out since they are "rearing to go" right at the start of
their worship session.  Then we moved on to their craft, followed by a
snack.  When they are having their snack, she sat down with them at their
table and did their 5-7 minute lesson.  It worked!  They listened, they
got involved and answered questions,etc.  It really helped to have the
excitability out of them before the lesson and when they were in a quiet
time and had their mouths full ;-) they had no choice but to listen.  We
always do a lesson (sometimes an object lesson using Group Publishing Kids
Own Worship program), a craft, a snack, and Christian videos and free play
at the start of our session.   Our free time is with the playdough or we
let them use the puppets and come up with their own puppet skit.  If you
let them use puppets after their lesson for free time you'll be surprised
at how much they DID listen...our kids generally say something about the
lesson integrated into their puppet skit.  Our snack consists of 1/2 donut
or small cookie with a drink box.  We don't serve them anything fancy or
big so it doesn't ruin their dinners.  Our kids didn't want to sing either
so we cut out that part of the program.  I hope this helps.

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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". "His Name
Shall Be Called..." contains fun crafts, games, and lessons to teach
respect and honor for God to the children in your ministry. Free USA

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

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4) Sunday School Kickoff

We have planned to have nursery through junior high all meet together at
the beginning of the hour for songs.  Then we've planned a couple of
get-to-know-you games like: a sheet of paper that has all sorts of things
written in boxes like "wear glasses" "have red hair" "have a brother". The
kids all mingle and if you have/possess one of the things in the box, you
write your name in the box.  The object is to get all your boxes filled
out by different people.  Another idea is to put name-tags on the kids
backs, but the name tags would have a Biblical name on it.  The kids have
to ask each other questions to figure out what their name-tag says.  Then
we are going to split off into separate classes.  Once in the classrooms
everyone is going to help decorate the room.  Each room is going to have
posters to have posters to hang and bulletin boards to decorate.  Then we
were going to all get back together for refreshments before dismissing. 
Hope this helps. Peace,

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5) Jungle/Safari Ideas

I am looking for ideas for a jungle/safari VBS.  Any ideas for crafts,
decorations, music, etc. would be appreciated. 

Here are some websites to check out for all sorts of ideas!
These sites are good for other VBS and Sunday School themes, too.


In His Service,  Donna in Little Rock, AR

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6) Women's retreat   

Sowing and planting a harvest was the women's retreat theme for about 10
years ago with the title of "Bloom where you are planted"   The leader
introduced crafting for Jesus and the church at the retreat with little
pots for herb.  We had blooming at home and this was the class on leading
your children to the Lord with suggested gardening crafts for them.  THen
blooms on the mantel was about the husbands.  I don't remember the title
to the session on the church but it was about getting involved.  THere was
sessions on gardens of the Bible and how to plant on by a missionary who
had been in the middle east.  THe advertising papers were bordered by seed
packet photos.  Eash one of us got a name tag to make with our favorite
flowers (silk or polysilk) and a pray request list of "weeds" in our
garden that our secret prayer sister would pray for this retreat.  They
offered classes in how to plant herbs and how to make pressed flower
stationary.  Every area of a woman's life had a gardening session theme
session.  THey had prizes for the best decorated hats to wear in the
garden and lots of packets of seeds.  The main dinner on Saturday had
little clay pots with a baggy of dirt and a small packet of seeds to plant
in the pot with instructions.  They had tissue paper in bright colors
wrapping the pots, with tissue paper flowers done the center of the
tables.  The next morning, Sunday was the day our partner in weeding
"prayers" sat across the table from you and you gave them your flower from
your name tag.  We are all beautiful flowers in the LORD's garden,  is on
of the things I learned.  I also learned how to bloom where I am planted.
I hope this helps you.  Have fun with the ideas that are out there now. 
They have a lot of bugs patterns out there, it could be cute to have the
LORD helps us with what bugs us.  blessings and prayers Gloria from AZ.

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--> Fruit of the Spirit - Bingo Game

A fun way for players to learn the Fruit of the Spirit characteristics.
Players score using real fruit candy! FREE SHIPPING!
Learn more here:
(you may need to copy and paste this address to your browser)

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7) Multiple Ages   

I am the Family Coordinator for a small church, so I handle all of the
children and youth.  I have ages 3 to 9 in the same Sunday School class as
well. Our class is not big enough to split, even though I would really
love to do that. Some curriculum I have found that is great is the "Sunday
School Specials" curriculum from Group Publishing.  There are four volumes
and each has 13 lessons. I may even have an extra set that I can send you.
I have taught this group for a year now so I can empathize with you on the
difficulty in planning lessons. Feel free to email me.
Peace in Christ,

--from SSTN: Sunday School Specials is available in our bookstore,
Christian education section:

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8) How To Handle 3-5 Year Olds   

This message is in response to the question as to how to handle 3-5 year
olds in Sunday School. I am sure there are hundreds of ways, tips, and
ideas as to handle that young and impressionable age group, here are just
a few that have worked for me when teaching Pre-K: The first thing that I
keep in mind, is how a 3-5 year old thinks. They want to know the "WHY" in
everything, why this, why that...I used to spend at least 15 minutes a
Sunday answering why. I have learned to gear my lessons around the why.
Such as we are going to have song time now....(why) we praise God by
singing to Him (why) because Jesus likes it when we rejoice in Him (why)
to show we are thankful. I take much of the same approach at prayer and
snack time. We are getting ready to pray for our snack (why) because we
are thankful that we have food to eat (why) because we need food to grow
big and strong. Most of the time answering the why gets rid of the I don't
want to, I don't feel like it, not today's that the class will mutter.

When telling the Bible story itself I try to involve the children as much
as possible. Often we act out the Bible story, other times I constantly
ask questions that will relate it to their own life. For instance, we are
currently studying Jonah, and last week we were talking about the fact
that Jonah couldn't hide from God because God sees us everywhere. Then I
asked the children to come up with places that God could see them (they
mentioned in their house, in their pool, even using the potty). Every time
I ask questions to let them relate the story to their lives, they seem to
stay pretty much involved.

Above all, the best advice I can offer for this age group is to keep it
short, sweet, and to the point. Answer the who, what, where, why, when,
and how in the most creative way possible, in under 15 minutes, and you
should hold their attention.
Hope this helps!
Love in Christ,
Sarah in California

--from SSTN: great advice!

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9) Apostle Coloring Pages   

This message is in response to the person searching for Apostles Coloring
Pages. While I have never seen a coloring sheet that has only the Apostles
on it, I have seen dozens of coloring sheets with each individual Apostle
on them. Try using a search engine such as Google or Dogpile and typing in
the names of the Apostles one by one followed by the word coloring pages
(example: Simon Peter Coloring Pages) then click search, you will get
dozens of coloring pages with each name you enter. Additionally, you can
try the links available at:
http://mssscrafts.com/newtestament/fishermen.htm which may give you some
of what you are searching for. Hope this helps! Love in Christ, Sarah in

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--> Worth a dollar a month?

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support it. Just one dollar per month will help to keep the website and
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To learn more, go to this webpage:


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Please include your email address.)

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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10) Jungle VBS   

When we did a VBS jungle theme we made palm trees from butcher paper to
frame the doorways to the classes. They were like flat pictures but they
put some palm fronds over the top to make if feel like you were going into
a jungle.  Then one of the teachers made a black and white jungle car from
a wagon and washer/dryer box.  She cut the box to fit the wagon size and
put windows of plastic wrap.  She used it for safarii adventures with the
real little ones. We collected from the church members stuffed animals of
a jungle nature to put around, and we hide in the wall pictures animals
and birds.  THe Bible verses were put onto colored paper to age groups
theme, my group had palm leaves to attach to the paper towel roll trunk.
They had bananna bunches and birds in cage.  We made puppets of yarn.
styrofoam balls,  feathers, and the larger size of craft sticks.  The long
legged birds were a big hit   Our craft leader got the pattern for the
puppet from the library.  We made trading beads and put them into a
wordless book braclet.  You can either make the beads of clay or use the
pony beads on leather cords.  We wove baskets of paper with older children
to use as a box for special things.  WE also made cards of construction
paper to write to someone far away, with stickers and paper and card
stock.  SNack time was jungle punch ,bananna chips, with trail mix and
coconut cookies.  The leaders wore jungle print whatever, I wore the zebra
stripped scarves on a red shirt.  ANother teacher wore a print shirt  Then
we had scarves and sunglesses for the children to pretend they were in the
jungle.  I hope this helps.
Gloria from AZ

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11) Women's ministry site   

Creative Ladies Ministry

  / \     In His Love
   ""     ~ JANICE~

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12) Church in Turmoil-Update   

Thank you so much for your encouragement and affirmation.  As a volunteer
with only about a year of experience in this job, your words have warmed
my heart- and yes, we will continue PRAYING! :-).
I made a presentation to the Board of Elders enumerating the changes that
have been made to accommodate the loss of 1/3 of our church members and
1/2 of our ministry workers in the past few years.  In order to continue,
we will be discontinuing Children's Church for now and combining Sunday
School to one multi-age class.  The "Room to Grow" will come from the
three person mentoring teams that I am creating to teach this class, and
perhaps an opportunity for our youth drama/puppet team (that we created
over the summer) and others to present a 10 min."Children's Corner" lesson
in the main worship service (they are not available during the S.S. hour).
The pastor has made it clear to me previously that he is VERY opposed to
"family style worship" (only nursery-PS childcare provided), but the
elders and others recognize the necessity.  I've raised the age of
Preschool to include kindergarteners, and a small sheet of Bible games and
puzzles is handed out as a "Children's Bulletin" for elementary students
to help curb the squirming.
We are looking forward to a Prayer and Training Meeting on Sept. 7 when we
will begin using Child Evangelism Fellowship's curriculum.  Most of the
teachers we have retained/recruited have experience teaching it, in class
or on mission trips, and are pleased with the change.  My hopes are rising
for effective ministry to our children, but the larger church is still in
turmoil.  Please pray for our leaders to be wise and courageous, that they
will trust in God to provide, not respond(or hide) in fear as issues
continue to surface.  Any further advice is still welcome.
-A Fellow Servant of Christ

P.S.  NEVER did I speak to people (elders, etc.) after they had left the
church, only while they where serving with the authority to assist our
department, which had been in decline for several years.  Please read
carefully before accusing someone of "being part of the problem" in your

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