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SSTN # 78 - October 10, 2006

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Christmas FUNpak - For gift giving too!

1) Magnetic strips - memorizing
2) Mission emphasis
3) Missionaries
4) The Tabernacle?
5) Mission emphasis

Instant Christmas Pageants

6) Three trees legend
7) Rewards
8) Church opposition
9) Church Opposition
10) Golden Calf

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Christmas FUNpak - For gift giving too!

Get ready for some holiday fun with our Christmas Funpak. Check it out at:

Includes activities to make your own gifts!

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1) Magnetic strips - memorizing

A less-expensive way to make magnetic pieces (cards with names on them,
story illustrations, etc.) is to make them out of sturdy paper or
cardstock, then get adhesive magnetic tape and attach a small piece to the
back of each card, figure, whatever. I got a roll of the tape at WalMart
for about $3 and I think it will last a long time! It's 1/2 " wide, and (I
think) about 9 feet long.
You can also use it for crafts - to make something to hang on the
refrigerator, perhaps. A few weeks ago, I did a story about learning from
the ants (from Proverbs).  The kids colored paper plates to look like ant
hills, some even made tunnels, then I gave each one a small picture of an
ant with a little piece of magnetic tape on the back. I gave each child a
magnetic stick (about 1 1/2 " long) that I got at Dollar Tree (in a
package of about 10 with small metal balls to use as connectors for
building). Put the ant on top of the plate, use the stick underneath to
move the ant around.  This could be used for lots of things - Abraham to
the promised land, Jesus & Mary fleeing to Egypt, the wise men following
the star, etc. 
My kids (preschool/kindergarten) are fascinated by magnets. Moving the
ants around gave their hands something to do while they repeated our song
(tune : ants go marching) "The Bible says learn from the ants, the ants,
the ants. (repeat)  Do what you should without being told (repeat) for the
Bible says we should learn from the ants"  Most of them were eagerly
showing their craft and singing the song when their parents picked them up
to go home.

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2) Mission emphasis

> A great, hands-on mission activity is Operation Christmas Child.

My 5th-6th grade Sunday school class has done Operation Christmas Child
for several years now. I always let the class decide if they want to do
this or some other Christmas project, but OCC always wins out. We have a
Bake Sale early in November, before and after church, with the kids
bringing in things they and their parents make and manning the table
themselves. Then each child chooses an age and gender to buy for. We make
out lists of items to buy, spreading them evenly among toys, candy, school
supplies, and personal hygiene items. Then the best part: I divide the
bake sale money up evenly and put each child's share into a separate
envelope. Then we make a class trip to Dollar Tree to purchase the items
for the shoeboxes. Each child knows just how much he/she has to spend, and
it is easy to keep track of at Dollar Tree, since everything is a dollar.
(I don't actually give them their envelopes of money until they are in
line at the cashier, to avoid any getting lost.)

We always include an address and a photo of the child, or the class, in
the box, but we have never heard back from any of the recipients. Still,
the children love the project.

Susan M
Gresham, Oregon

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3) Missionaries

Dear Sarah,
First of all I really enjoy your website and the newsletter.  I've gotten
so many ideas for Sunday School and Children's Church.  Thank you so much
for your ministry.

I just wanted to share with you what we are doing in Children's Church for
our missionaries.  We have six missionary families that our church
supports.  We, at God's leading, adopt one family a season (Summer,
Spring, Autumn, Winter) and take up donations for that family.  Our goal
at the end of each season is to collect at least $50.00 to send to them. 
We have a styro foam poster board that we have sitting on an easel that
post the picture of the current adopted missionary family, as well as,
information about them, their missionary work, and interesting facts about
the country that they are in.  After the season is over, we have made a
scrapbook, (notebook with clear vinyl sheets) titled "Remember Our
Missionaries", with all the info that we had posted on poster board.  The
children have learned a lot about our missionaries and the importance of
supporting their missionary work.

Love in Christ,

--from SSTN: thank you, Sharon, for your kind words. Please remember me in
your prayers. sarah keith <><

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4) The Tabernacle?

We are doing the Tabernacle in SS for just one week as we are moving
swiftly through the old testament. The Bible Point is Work together for

I wonder if anyone here has any suggestions for my Grade 3/4 kids please.
I tend to like a hands on/interactive lesson as I have a couple of boys
that definately like to be busy. I find if their hands are busy they will
stay focused.
Thanks for any ideas

--from SSTN: what about making a model using a shoe box and clay dough?

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Instant Christmas Pageants

Choose from any of the following skits:
"Live From Bethlehem", "The Not So Silent Night",
"Operation Baby King", "The Fumbly Bumbly Angels",
"The Mouse's Tale" or "Wee Three Kings".

To find all of them, type >  Instant Christmas Pageants  <
into the SSTN bookstore search box at:


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5) Mission emphasis

We did something fun with our youth a few years ago for Missions Emphasis.

First, we selected several countries and we wrote letters to the
Missionaries asking if they would write a letter or note to our youth.  We
found a recipe or a major food export from each country.  And purchased
little stamps that represented each country (like a pepper for Mexico and
a tiger for Africa).

One the Missions Night, we set up and decorated a table for each
country.  We made up a little "passport" for each youth.  They were
divided into groups (the number of tables) and went from table to table
in their groups.  At each table, we had pictures of the Missionaries, some
info about the country, a stamp (to stamp their passport), a note from the
Missionary (if they responded), and something to eat.  Each group spent
about 15 minutes at each table.


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6) Three trees legend

>We are using the theme "the legend of the Three trees" for Christmas this
>year.  Anyone have any craft, game or other ideas?

This was a special 'all grade' gathering we did:  it's from
www.rotation.org.......   i went to it's 'find' box and typed in The Three
Trees.......... and had a grown-up sing a song by Ray Boltz - "The Perfect
Tree'.........IT TRULY WAS PERFECT!!!!

ysic, Randi +

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7) Rewards

We reward our children for perfect attendace in Sunday School. When they
attend 4 consecutive weeks in a row they are given a little certificate
that is just copied on colored paper through the copy machine and a
"freebie" certificate from the local fast food stores. I have found that
if you request coupons from Taco Bell, McDonalds, Wendy's and Sonic Drive
Inns, etc. they are more than happy to give them to you...FREE, because it
is advertising for them. They are coupons for a FREE Taco, FREE hamburger,
FREE fries or drinks or frosties. Usually they will give them to you in
quantities of 50 or more. I just go into the stores during the slow hours
and talk with the managers and explain that we are rewarding the children
for perfect attendance (you can choose your reward reasons). I sometimes
have to write a request letter to the corporate office, but it is worth
the stamp! The church is out 39 cents.
I know that we shouldn't have to give rewards for the children coming to
Sunday School, but the rewards have increased our SS attendance by 350% in
the past year. The children get upset with the parents when they cannot
bring them to Sunday School.....which in turn gets the parents into THEIR
Sunday School Classes each week too.
We also arranged a "creature campout" at the local zoo for perfect
attendance for 4 months in a row this summer. The children actually
attended 16 consecutive weeks of Sunday school to be able to go. The Zoo
arranged an educational evening with pizza, movie, flashlight tours,
camping in tents in the African Veldt and breakfast. We had almost 65% of
or children achieving this award!
Karen Moser, Director of Christian Ed.kmoser1@myway.com

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8) Church opposition

The Devil is surely working to keep the youth from being reached.  Our
church is likewise going through a very hard time. The "mature" christians
have left and are meeting with the "mature" former associate pastor to
start a church right here in our very small community. The "mature"
christians only wanted a ministry to the "church" children,  not to those
who are unchurched. The "mature" Sunday School teachers only wanted to
pick what children they wanted in their classes. I would never had
believed such behavior if I hadn't seen it for myself.  Thanks be to

We have a pastor who has a vision for children of all backgrounds.  Our
pastor is 69 years old and has not been receiving a salary for several
months now. He is looking for a secular job and I am asking all of you to
please hold this man of God up in prayer. I want to Praise God for His
goodness in that our church is growing. Our SS has increased and the
church bills are being met. I know that God has great thing is store for
this church. Please, pray for us as we hold all of the struggling church
up in our prayers.

Looking for the Lord,

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9) Church Opposition

Kathy, I am going through the same problems.  I taught Jr. Church for the
last 2 1/2 years in a remote location on the reservation.  Our church is
not supportive of our ministry to children and youth.  Our pastor and
elders in our church have opposed our ideas in working with the
community.  For the past 5 years, I have also volunteered to help my
sister in a good newsclub which has been part of this church only outreach
program.  The club has ministered to many children in the community for
the past 40 years and has now come to an end because of opposition. 
Many of the people in our church are Navajo speaking elders, who do not
desire to make changes and oppose to the idea of change.  We have
attempted to bring in new ideas like implementing a contemporary English
speaking service to the community who do not speak the Navajo language but
that failed too. Our church is basically a family clan church who is
either related to the pastor or is an in-law to him and they tend to side
with him. The club has reached out to 30 - 40 Navajo children in this
community, ages 4-12.  Our youth leaders have faced this same problem
because of their denomination and have moved their ministry to another
location.  Our children's ministry leaders and volunteers have left the
progam. I am not attending this church anymore.  Pray that the pastor and
elders of this church have a change of heart and realize that children and
youth are an important part of the future and also to Christ.

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10) Golden Calf

>Does anyone have any ideas, craft to teach the Golden Calf?

Dear  Erin, 
What we did, we brought in jewelry, explained that the jewelry was melted
down and formed by average normal people like us. Then we gave each
child foil. (Reynolds makes sheets that is gold on one side)  The children
were  told to make a "golden calf" out of the foil. So they could see the
foolishness behind worshiping "metal".

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