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SSTN # 98 - November 1, 2004

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--> Vote Your Values on Tuesday!

1) Birthday party for Jesus
2) Pastor Appreciation
3) Christmas Play/Skit for Preschoolers?
4) Halloween...sounds pagan

--> Christmas FunPak

5) Halloween Celebrates Jesus' Victory
6) Lessons In A Box
7) Painting / decorating classrooms
8) Halloween Poll


9) Christians and Halloween
10) Gospel puppet scripts?
11) Questionnaire to SS teachers?
12) Snack Ideas for preschool

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VOTE Your Values On Tuesday!

SSTN-USA subscribers: Don't forget, tomorrow, Tuesday Nov. 2, is our day
to vote. Vote your values locally and nationally!

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1) Birthday party for Jesus

We have been doing a Birthday party for Jesus for many years at our
church. we have a large cake made at our bakery with a picture of the
birth of Jesus on it.  we make gifts for the shutins and elderly of our
church.  All the children bring a gift or our local toys for tots. We
gather around the church christmas tree and someone reads the Christmas
Story. Then toward the end we  stand around the birthday cake, hold hands
and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and we have ice cream and cake. It is
really a beautiful time and the whole night is to teach the children that
it is not all about us. It is our one time to teach the kids that it is
better to give than to receive........Wanda

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2) Pastor Appreciation

I am a youth leader at our small church.  I made a 1/2 fold card on a
print program that had Happy Pastor Appreciation Day on the front with the
letters made large enough to color and the inside had From One of Your
Flock with a picture of a sheep.  We copied these and gave them to the
small children to color and decorate.  The older youth generally make
cards from either card stock or construction paper and decorate them with
crayons, markers and/or foam shapes.  We did a large mural on bulletin
paper that said the quote to Abraham about his descendants being as many
as the stars.  I bought precut star forms and had one for each child with
their name on it and decorated the mural with the stars and glitter and
hung in behind the pulpit.  We sent out a card to the members lettiing
them know we planned a surpirse for the pastor on a certain date and gave
them the option of buying a gift or pooling the money for a larger gift. 
I did a poem and matted and framed it for our pastor.
We change ideas from year to year on this, but this was the recent plan.
Anita  Joshua 24:15

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3) Christmas Play / Skit for Preschoolers?

I am looking for a play/skit for preschool age children.  This will be
used for children ranging from ages 2-5 (not in Kindergarten yet).  I would
like it to include lines, verses and a couple of songs.  If you have any great
ideas to share, it would be appreciated.  Thanks!


--from SSTN: check out our Skits and Games in the Bookstore at:
and the Links page at: http://www.ChristianCrafters.Com 

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4) Halloween...sounds pagan

>"On All Hallows Eve, scarey things and mask were used to scare
>away bad spirits before the celebration of All Saints Day. It is not a
>pagan origin unless you make it one."

Don't you think that wearing a scary mask to scare away evil spirits

I know this is very controversial.  I would suggest that everyone pray and
ask God how to handle Halloween.


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--> Christmas FunPak

Great for gift-giving or Christmas crafting fun. Click on the
"Christmas FunPak" link in the Christmas and Advent section at:


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5) Halloween Celebrates Jesus' Victory

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Steve Gushee, the
religion writer for the Palm Beach Post regarding Halloween (if you can
get past his bigoted remarks from some of the article, his perspective
might be of interest to you):

"Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, is the evening before All Saints Day (Nov.
1). It is similar to a Friday night bonfire rally before the homecoming
game. It is meant to be a raucous celebration. Halloween celebrates the
victory of Christ over 'principalities and powers', including 'ghoulies
and ghosties, long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night.'

The faithful traditionally dressed up in costumes of the devil and other
evil spirits to mock those vanquished foes."

The entire article can be read at:

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6) Lessons In A Box

Why not have them decide what items they would put in a box?  I often do
this in a workshop I teach.  I teach for an hour or so, giving them 15
ideas (object lessons, prayer ideas, snacks, misplaced items, etc.). They
break into groups and I give each of them a card with the lesson title,
text, etc.  They have a set amount of time to figure out 3 of the 15 items
to fit their story.
La Marque, TX

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7) Painting / decorating classrooms

We have recently changed over to the Rotation style of Sunday
School, with each room having a theme.  We first painted murals on the
wall one room was a garden entitled "Discovery Garden".  We also put
lattice and silk ivy to make to look alive.  Another was painted like
Jonah and the Whale.  We again, painted a mural on one wall and then
expanded the blue paint and allowed the children to trace a sea creature
shape from a transparency on to the wall and paint.  We finished the this
room by hanging inflatable fish and a large whale.  Another room's mural
is fashioned after Daniel and the Lion's Den.  We want to add Den effects
on the other walls , but haven't as of yet.  The last room is painted to
look like a dark theatre.  It's black with silver stars and reels painted
on it.  We show movies in this room, and the kids love it, even if the
adults don't. 
        A good rule of thumb is choose a picture with VERY little detail
(I: coloring book page)and make a transparency.  Trace with pencil and
paint. Make sure you keep a record of all paint colors used, in case you
want to expand or modify.   It does take a lot of work, but we enlisted
the help of our youth group during vacation days.  God bless!

Nicene from NJ

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8) Halloween Poll

>For anyone 35 years and older, I am interested in hearing and learning if
>Halloween was considered a forbidden holiday by your church

I am 66.  As a child we had Halloween parties which would include costume
judging, games, bobbing for apples, eating a doughnot on a string and of
course cider and home made doughnuts. Our children who are now in their
40's remember fondly having the church halloween party at our home where
we would have spooky music playing and do the same kind of activities as I
did when I was a kid - followed by a special devotion time.  We also
attended "Spook" houses put on by other churches which would follow the
same format. We attend a Fundemental Baptist Church.

It is my opinion that the church's crackdown on this type of activity has
been because of the growth in society of witchcraft, Satanism, and other
activities.  That which was only spooky when I was a kid and when my kids
were kids is now going on even in rural communities.  When it becomes real
it is more than spooky. 

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An Advent celebration of 31 crafts and recipes.
To learn more, go to:


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9) Christians and Halloween

> > why Christians don't celebrate Halloween.
> > If you have the answer please let me know, because I am a Christian and
> > I lOVE Halloween.
> Thanks for your response, Joni. I feel the same way. Each Halloween some
> people try to put down the celebration because they have interpreted it to
> be anti-Christian. It originated from All Hallows Eve, the day before All
> Saints Day. On All Hallows Eve, scarey things and mask were used to scare
> away bad spirits before the celebration of All Saints Day. It is not a
> pagan origin unless you make it one.
> Betsy
> mdixon10@nc.rr.com

We don't celebrate Halloween for several reasons.  The first is I believe
that the tradition stemmed from people who didn't trust in God as their
savior.  The holiday is from All Hallows Eve, where satan is supposed to
allow spirits of those who didn't go to heaven to roam the earth.  So the
traditions of spooky masks and jack-o-lanterns stem from people who were
afraid of the spirits.  I am trying to teach my children to be fearful of
God.  What He thinks matters more than anything.  God clearly states that
we must stay clear of anything evil.  We can judge by whether or not our
Halloween activities bring glory to God.  Dressing up in costumes and
begging for candy from door to door just doesn't bring glory to God in my
book.  The second is why would we want to fill our children full of gobs
junk.  Our bodies are a temple for God, how does eating candy for weeks
glorify God?  Why go beg for it if you are just going to throw it out?  I
have seen and heard so many parents who take their children out begging at
every nearby community and nursing home nearby.  What is that teaching
children?  I don't judge people who celebrate Halloween, (that will be
God's job) but wanted to throw my thoughts out there.


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10) Gospel Puppet Scripts?

I am looking for puppet scripts about spreading the gospel around the
world/mission work etc…

Can you please help.     
Thanks in advance

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11) Questionnaire to SS teachers?

I saw on one of the emails I received from Christian crafters, a
Children's Ministry Director sent out questionairres to her SS teachers
before a training.  I wondered if anyone had an example of one of these? 
I am always looking to improve myself and our programs.  Thanks to all!!
Joyfully Serving Him,
Sonia Williams
Director of Children's Ministries
Argos United Methodist Church
540 N Michigan
Argos IN 46501

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12) Snack Ideas for preschool

I teach a midweek class for 3-5 year olds. I have a couple lesson/snack
combos that I wanted to share:

When we talked about the multiplying fish and loaves,
Before class, I lined a serving basket with a cloth napkin and filled it
with more than enough goldfish crackers and pita bread triangles for the
whole class. Over that, I placed an identical cloth napkin. On the top, I
arranged two goldfish crackers and five pita bread triangles, and covered
that with another identical cloth napkin. After we read the story, I
brought out the covered basked and lifted the first napkin, revealing the
2 fish crackers and 5 pitas. We reviewed the story, and I told them it was
our snack and asked if they thought it would  be enough. I covered it back
up, and we all prayed and gave thanks for the snack. Then, I carefully
pulled both top napkins off at once revealing the large amount of
crackers. I got quite a response, they were so cute.  I explained that
what I did was a trick, but could you imagine how surprised and happy the
disciples were when Jesus did it for real?

I also plan, for the wedding at Cana story, to put sugar and powdered
mix in the bottom of an ceramic pitcher before class.  I will have some
plain water in a clear pitcher, and pour it into the pitcher and see how
the water "miraculously" changes to red (after stirring with the ladle)
when it is ladled into the cups, and we will have it as our drink with our


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