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SSTN # 37 - May 8, 2006

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Color Coded Product Areas

1) Growing In God's Word
2) Donation Necessary?
3) Complaint on SSTN
4) Crippled Lamb Christmas program?

After Easter Activities

5) Growing In God's Word
6) Lord's Prayer Tune
7) Making Palm Trees
8) Growing In God's Word
9) Christmas In July?

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Color Coded Product Areas

For your convenience the curriculum pages have been totally revamped!
Products are now placed into color-coded areas to help you identify
specific ministry resources in the following areas:

Main page with contact info (yellow)
Bible-4-Life Curriculum (turquoise),
Gospel Fun Activities (purple),
Easy Make N' Take Downloads (navy),
Holidays & Holy Days (red).

Please take a peek at our new look at:

I sure hope you find this to be helpful! I welcome your feedback.

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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1) Growing In God's Word

Hi everyone, can we please stop squabbling over research methods for
sunday school material and maybe get on with the jobs that we're supposed
to be doing rather than arguing with ourselves.  After all it's not a good
witness, remember this memory verse: "By this all men will know that you
are my disciples, if you love one another."

John 13:35



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2) Donation Necessary?
I received an email this week from a subscriber asking, "Is a financial
donation to the newsletter necessary in order to keep receiving it? and if
it was, "then I should remove her from SSTN."
The answer to this question is, "yes" and "no". Everyone is entitled
to join the network with a complimentary subscription, but the fact is
that if no one supported my work, then SundaySchoolNetwork.com and the
SSTN newsletter could not continue.
My hope is that you find the site and newsletter to be helpful to your
ministry. I also hope you find it to be an outlet whereby you can
share your ideas with other Christian educators.
With this in mind, without your support other Christians and soon-to-be
Christians cannot benefit from it. So, if you're reading this newsletter
and using the site, then you and I have my Support Partners to thank! ;o))

In service together for Him,
Sarah Keith <><

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3) Complaint on SSTN

This is in response to Shawna in Canada.  I must say you are the first
person I have seen in the two years I have been part of this network who
has had a complaint of any type.  I have always been extremely happy with
all responses. Sometimes we must be patient and wait for the replies
because not all of us are able to sit down daily to review the
newsletters. Just as you stated in your letter; you don't have time to go
thru the archives, so it is with some of us.  Sometimes I miss the
newsletters because more than one person checks them out at my house and
will delete them when they are finished...I am very dissappointed that you
responded in the way you did...I hope this is not a reflection as to how
you handle situations in your children's ministries.
Dianne in AL

--from SSTN: Dianne: I wish I could same the same, I receive lots of
complaints all year long for different things I have said or done in the
network that someone doesn't approve of. In the beginning it REALLY hurt
my feelings, but now I'm not quite as sensitive. Unfortunately I've had to
develop a bit of a thick skin.

Anyway, please pray that I'll have the wisdom to know how to handle these
situations as they arise in SSTN.

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

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4) Crippled Lamb Christmas program?

I am considering centering our church Christmas program around Max
Lucado's book "The Crippled Lamb."  For those unfamiliar with the book it
is about a little lamb who is crippled and different from everyone. 
Because of this, he ends up in the stable with baby Jesus and learns to
love himself in the process and also that Jesus came to this earth to save
us.  I was thinking that someone could sit around the Christmas tree with
some children and read the story to them (choir in the background) while a
few children act out the story.  Any ideas of Christmas songs that could
be placed in or around the story that would be fitting, or any other ideas
in general for the program?  Thanks!  Jill 

--from SSTN: for anyone interested in learning more about this book, you
can find it by typing the title into our bookstore's search box at:

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After Easter Activities

Check out our New Life Puppets and the Jesus Ascending Mini-Movie at:

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5) Growing In God's Word

Whoa.  I guess you don't think the rest of us are busy too, in our own
ministry to children, working, family, etc. You expect us to take our time
to search for you, and neglect the children God has put in our
churches/ministry??? While all of us are passionate about children (or we
would not be doing what we do), I think all would agree the children in
our ministry come first. As a CM director, as well as a teacher trainer
and speaker who travels lots of miles every year, one of the things we
advocate is balance. Getting to know the children/interacting is
important, but on the other side of the scale - preparation and teaching
them the Word is also essential.  
I do not consider any time I am on the computer putting lessons together,
researching for an upcoming lesson, etc., as play time. That is time spent
in preparation so I can reach children with the Gospel.

This forum, along with several others, is a great SHARING place. We all
share ideas with each other, and use each others ideas. Other people think
of things we have never thought of, and by sharing ideas we all benefit.
However, if a person uses ideas and never posts any, that sort of messes
up the sharing idea.
 Sarah has the archives set up so well that searching a subject is quick
and easy. 
Just my 2 cents!

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6) Lord's Prayer Tune
Ishmael has a good version on the album  '52 scripture songs with

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7) Making Palm Trees

--from SSTN: A lot of palm trees are being made out there. ;o)) We
received multiple replies on this. Rather than post them all, I'll post a
few of the ones which were different:

We did a teacher appreciation banquet that had a Hawaiian theme.  We
made palm trees out of the tubes that you get large rolls of paper on.
We wrapped them with brown construction paper that we had cut slits in
the tops of.  When the tube was all wrapped in the construction paper we
bent the tops back to look like the bark of the palm tree.  Then we cut
out leaves from green tissue wrap.  Attached a wire to them and used
duct tape to secure them to the top inside of the tube.  Yellow colored
balloons were used to represent pineapples.  

If you are looking for other decorating ideas, we also made grass shacks
to serve the food in.  What we did was set up a shade tent (awning),
then we put a table under the tent, used a Hawaiian style print table
cloth and put a grass table skirt around the bottom.  Palm branches were
put around the edge of the table to make it blend in.  The top of the
tent was covered with another grass table skirt.  Toy snakes and other
animals were put around the poles to decorate them.  We also put Tekki
poles around the tent (of course, unlit).  If you don't want to spend
the money for grass table skirts, brown paper can be used to create a
table skirt that looks like grass.  Simply tape it from the top of the
table to the floor and then cut strips in it.  

Connie G.


Susie:  We made palm trees a couple of years ago for our VBS.  We got
roll tubes from a carpet shop and a local florist donated a bunch of palm
leaves. (You could also make the palm leaves from green posterboard.)  We
used a staple gun to secure the branches to the tubes.  I hope this helps.


For Tall Palm Trees
Supplies: A roll of brown craft paper or lots of brown construction paper
and a roll of green paper (from teacher store)
a. Look at the shape of the stalk of a palm and cut out pieces to that
b. Start at the bottom of your area and tape the first one, then overlap
the second, etc.
c. Once you have your palm as tall as you wish or when you are tired,
to tape the fronds.
d. If you have any more energy left, make some balls out of brown tissue
paper and put at the center of the fronds for coconuts.


We made palm trees for our Christmas Pageant several years ago, and we are
still using them for various events.
We were fortunate to have someone who was handy with power tools and
hardware stores, and had a pickup truck, who helped out.
We went to our local carpet store who gave us the carpet roll tubes -
these come in 12' lengths (they offered to cut them for us - so we had
them done in different heights)
They are very, very sturdy.
Our handy man cut foot square pieces of wood and screwed on a plastic plug
(from the Home Depot) to the top of the wood, which fit the tube. The
tube  (palm trunk) was placed firmly over the plug. We painted the trunks
with brown squiggle to resemble a plam tree. We bough round green foam
balls from Costume and Display (local to us in Seattle but available on
the web)  - these are firmer then the green foam you use for wet flower
arrangements . Our handy man drilled four holes near the top edge of the
trunk , we then hot glued the balls in place , and used nylon cable ties
(more Home Depot) and criss crossed them across the top of the balls going
through the holes in the trunk - we did this because we were concerned
about the balls popping loose, which has never happened. For the fronds I
cut the long, sucker branches from a tree in my yard - any long, thin
branches would work. We glued end to end large size pieces of dark green
construction paper, folded them in half lengthwise, and cut palm fronds -
they varied in size and length. We then hot glued the frond to the
branches. My branches had a natural curve to them and the fit really well
into the crease of the paper. I thing we used around 12 branches per
As you can tell these were fairly involved to make,  but with several
people helping it's make it not hard to do, and they didn't cost too much.
We broke the job down into tasks - our handy man + 3 painters ( 2 would
have been fine),  2  frond makers/gluers (this was more time consuming
then we expected, I would get a few more helpers).
We made 5 palm trees and have taken them to camp, lent them to another
church for VBS, and to a school for a play, used them for Christmas
Pageants and Sunday School rotations. And just recently had to replace
some of the fronds.
Linda in Edmonds

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8) Growing In God's Word

We had a VBS that we wrote ourselves called "Down on the Farm".  If you
would like to use some of our songs or puppet shows, please feel free to
email me at Singer1966@aol.com...      This is a very busy time we live
in, and anything that I have written or found on the internet thru hours
of searching I would love to share with any of you. We should all want to
help each other further the cause of our Lord and Savior!   This
newsletter has been a God-send for me...  I hope you will continue to
enjoy it as much as I have!  Sarah, thank you for publishing all of the
replies, even if some are not exactly nice...  It helps me to see that we
all fall short, and not just Me..LOL 
Sandy from Indiana

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9) Christmas In July?

Hi, I'm doing a Christmas In July theme for VBS this summer,
does anyone have any ideas?

--from SSTN: there are TONS of Christmas ideas in the site.
Use the search box to locate them at:

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Sarah Keith <><

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