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Issue #8 - February 26, 2008
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"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." -- Jesus



    Scroll down the page to view articles.

1) 
Catechism Challenge and YOUR Birth Day!
2) Another wonderful Easter book
3) Empty Tomb Food Devotion using Twinkies?
4) Water of Life

5) Water of Life
6) 
Outdoor VBS 
7) Water of Life - Living Water Relays
8) The Teacup and THE Potter





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1) Catechism Challenge and YOUR Birth Day!

Here's an idea for the Shorter Catechism "Question/Answer #22". I chose #22 because I was born on that day of the month. If everyone would do the same and develop idea to match their birthday, then we would have plenty of new and fresh ideas for the network and the archives! Ideas can range from crafts, food devotions, active or passive games (ie. puzzles), skits, etc. If everyone participates it would be lots of fun! 

If you do participate, make sure you list the question and answer and then your idea to coincide with it.
(The list of catechism questions and answers may be found at: http://www.westminstershortercatechism.net ) 

So here is my idea:
Question 22: How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
Answer: Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin. 

Scripture Focus: God taking on the form of a man. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God...and the Word became flesh a lived among us." John 1:1, 14. 

Activity Idea: Create a clay figurine to "form" a human-being, or present a food devotion and make cookies using a ginger bread cookie cutter. 

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><
http://www.SundaySchoolNetwork.com  

 



2) Another wonderful Easter book

Another wonderful Easter book is "The Best Thing About Easter" by Christine Harder Tangvald. It tells about all the things we tend to think Easter is all about, such as: candy, new clothes, colored eggs, and more. But at the end of each page it says, "But that's not the best thing about Easter"...on the last several pages it tells about God's amazing plan and how Jesus died but lives again...It is a wonderful book. I use it every year to tell the story of Easter at our family Easter dinner....it is just short enough to keep your attention and has a wonderful surprise ending for those who have never heard it. I am thinking of making an Easter skit using this book as a base. Dianne, AL

--from SSTN: you can find this book in our bookstore by typing the title into the search box at:
http://www.sundayschoolnetwork.com/bookstore.html 

 



3) Empty Tomb Food Devotion using Twinkies?

Hello,
I have several children in my Sunday School class that have severe allergies to Wheat products, Nuts, and Dairy products. I would like to do this craft but wondered if you could think of a substitution for the twinkies?

Thank you in advance.
God bless,
Jessica

--from SSTN: you can buy gluten-free sandwich wraps and use marshmallow fluff. (According to Marshmallowfluff.com, fluff is made of corn syrup, sugar syrup, vanilla flavor, and egg white. There are no artificial preservatives, stabilizers, emulsifiers, or colorings in Marshmallow Fluff). 

For those of you who've never heard of the Empty Tomb food devotion, you can find two listed at:
http://sundayschoolnetwork.com/treat_emptytomb.html 

 




4) 
Water of Life

In answer to the question #4 concerning explain Jesus/Samaritan Woman/Water of Life. I have attached an outline of a lesson that I have taught twice to this very age group and have had great discussion about friendship among the students. This particular lesson was strung out over a couple of Sundays so we could take it slow.

In my experience, children from the 5-8 age group have a hard time discerning the concept of "water of life." But by approaching this from the angle of Jesus being a "friend" to the woman at the well, the children understood the woman was excited enough to spread the word about Jesus and cause others to want to see and speak with Him. 

You may use any or all of this lesson with my permission and blessing.

Shelia Biggers
Evansville, Indiana

--from SSTN: You can find Sheila's lesson in the Lessons and Sermons page under "Jesus is a Friend" at: 
http://www.sundayschoolnetwork.com/sermons.html  

 




5) Water of Life

How about this for a fresh idea for our Water of Life?

Jesus is Jacob's well.

John 4:6
Now Jacob's well was there. .....
Jesus is both the ladder the messengers of God rise and fall, depending on, and He is the 
water that God gives, even in dry desert places. Once we partake of him, we need never thirst again, for God gives us that which is from heaven to give us strength when we look
to him, because of Jesus. The name of Jesus is always honored in heaven. When we use
his name on earth honorably, heaven will honor him here also.


 



6) Outdoor VBS 

We have done this for the past 5 years - going to a different city park.
You may use any VBS materials and with a theme you prefer. Just remember, you must
take everything you need to the park. We carried in blankets for the kids to sit on, a CD
player for the music, a puppet stage we have, craft materials and of course game materials.
We also learned to bring in things we probably wouldn't have thought of except the need 
arose for a first aid kit, a hammer, rope or twine, mosquito repellent and some tie-down stakes
for our puppet stage (wind sometimes is a problem outdoors).....wet-ones for glue-y little
fingers and for skinned knees.....pencils....we also have the need to provide "permission to
photograph the children who attend forms" as people are becoming more cautious and
aware of problems protecting children.....

The folks who presented the lesson usually dressed up in character, which the kids loved.
Most VBS material has a puppet skit; and a "character" which you could substitute for any
puppet you may have....our young pastor dressed up as a cowboy one year; a super-hero
another year and this year we will use that material again. I usually provide crafting materials.
I find the ice cream buckets (1 gal) with lids perfect to store glue, scissors, etc. in and they
are easy to carry....I also usually make a large stand-up painting of one of the VBS characters
and cut a hole in the face area for the kids to stand behind for pictures to take home (I usually
include a craft as a picture frame).....The games people just love having races, or water type
games - at the end of the evening we send the children home with a goody-type bag with a
take home paper (either from the VBS material, or one we make up), a token of some kind
regarding the lesson, a legally reproduced CD of the VBS music for each child....we also have
a time with a cookie and small water bottle...we close with a huge prayer circle....

We try to find hats or scarves, or even have t-shirts printed up for the kids to wear each week, in
keeping with a particular theme.....
We kept the cowboy hats from week to week, and washed the scarves each week for them
to wear....at the end of VBS, we sent that all home.

We hold our VBS in the Park on Wednesday nights from about the middle or second week of
June to the end of July...we then take time off in August to plan our Wednesday night Bible
Club and include those children in invitations to our
Wednesday Night God's Kids program the rest of the year. 

We make flyers and walk the park neighborhood about a week before the VBS and of course send a mailer out to the same area.... and at some of the parks, we found out we had to have city permission to use the park at the time we wanted....we are a twin city and one city requires this, the other is "first come, first served"......

Hope this helps you Cathy. Please contact me with any questions through the newsletter.
NFlohr5948@verizon.net 


 



7) Water of Life - Living Water Relays

There is a game with short lesson listed at: http://www.sundayschoolnetwork.com/game_livingH2O.html 

 

 



8) The Teacup and THE Potter

There was a couple who took a trip to England to shop in a beautiful antique store to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially teacups. Spotting an exceptional cup, they
asked "May we see that? We've never seen a cup quite so beautiful."

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke, "You don't understand. I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me pounded and patted
me over and over and I yelled out, 'Don't do that. I don't like it! Let me alone.' But he only smiled, and gently said; 'Not yet!'" "Then. WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and
around. 'Stop it! I'm getting so dizzy! I'm going to be sick,' I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, quietly; 'Not yet.'

"He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and thenů Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. Help! Get me out of here! I could see him
through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, 'Not yet'."

"When I thought I couldn't bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! Ah, this is much better, I thought. But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. 'Oh, please; Stop it, Stop it!' I cried. He only shook his head and said. 'Not yet!'."

"Then suddenly he put me back in to the oven. Only it was not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited ------- and waited, wondering "What's he going to do to me next? An hour later he handed me a mirror and said 'Look at yourself.'" "And I did. I said, 'That's not me; that couldn't be me. It's beautiful. I'm beautiful!'

Quietly he spoke: 'I want you to remember, then,' he said, 'I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just left you alone, you'd have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if
I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over,
but if I hadn't done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life. If I hadn't put you back in that second oven, you wouldn't have survived for long because the hardness would not have
held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you."

The moral of this story is this: God knows what He's doing for each of us. He is the potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds that we may be
made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing and perfect will.

So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of control; when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials; when life seems to "stink", try this...brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest teacup, sit down and think on this story and then, have a little talk with the Potter.

-- Author Unknown
  

 



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