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How Do You Get Refreshed For Next Year?

Next week I will be attending a colloquium for grant recipients at Calvin College. During this time I hope to get new ideas, spend time in worship, and talk with Christians from many churches and denominations. This time reminds me that God's work happens in many different ways in many different places. It centers me. I am no longer just part of 14th Street CRC but part of a much larger church. I try to find a conference or two each year to help me take a step back from the weekly pressures of ministry and gain perspective on what I am trying to do. What do you do over the summer months to...
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School's Out for Summer

Faith formation is a daily reality that doesn’t stop for any season. That’s why I’m excited about the new summer articles on the Nurture blog with great ideas for families to use this summer.

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For Seniors Of All Ages

Many of us treat church education like drivers’ training – once you get your license you’re good to go and you never ever have to take one of those classes again. But church education should not be like that. So maybe what we need is a commencement ceremony

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Singing Global Songs

The church is much bigger than just our town or country. God’s people live all over this world and people from all over the world write songs too. By singing songs written by people from other parts of the world we can better understand them, what is important to them and the challenges they face.

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Being Intentional, Being Intergenerational

In Sunday School we are usually spilt up by age groups like in schools.  There are good reasons for that. As we grow we can learn at age appropriate ways with our peers. But have we been using the school paradigm too much?

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Wondering Out Loud

One of the wondering questions for the Parable of the Ten Virgins was "I wonder who the foolish virgins were?” A child answered, "I know, it was Jill" (another child in the class).  What is the best way to respond?

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At Your Baptism...

I’m always looking for ways to help kids “remember” their baptism and understand what it means. So I was excited to see the latest board book from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. It’s called At Your Baptism

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Using and Promoting Good Resources

The three year olds I teach in Sunday school are wonderfully creative and fun but I need to be ready to adjust my lesson on the fly. A few weeks ago the lesson I had prepared began with each child getting a paper figure of a child to represent themselves. Then I handed out the figures ... That’s when things started to go in ways I didn’t plan for.

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What are good books to give children for their Profession of Faith?

I am looking for books to give a 10 year old boy and girl as gifts for their Profession of Faith. Any ideas? I didn't want to give them a bible since they already have one from their parents and one from Sunday school. I appreciate your help. Allen
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What Do You See?

Everyone dreams of a Sunday school where everyone comes on time, listens attentively, responds appropriately and loves to come every Sunday. Like in Lake Wobegon all the children, teens and adults in Sunday school are above average. Then comes the reality of Sunday

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New Guide for Sunday School

Hi Everyone. My name is Laura Keeley and I am the new guide for the Sunday School network. This is a great opportunity to work with you and to learn from you about Sunday School and other things related to working with children, teens and adults. I want to thank Jolanda Howe for the great work

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The Next Year

This is my last blog as the Sunday school Network guide, but you’ll still see me posting comments and even writing guest blogs now and then. That’s because I believe in The Network.  I believe we are stronger when we share ideas, encourage one another, and look for  

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Supplies, Room Names, and Learning to Listen

It's always fun to visit other churches and see what they do.  One pastor I spoke with this week told me about something unique that his church does for 6th grade Sunday school. The group meets after the worship service and spends the whole time discussing the sermon   

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3 Year Olds

This age is a challenge for me. I plan something active, then a quiet activity, followed by something active again. Because these children are quite young I can go through many of these active/quiet sets in half an hour. Yet some days, no matter what I do, they lose interest . . .

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Observing Lent with Kids

Though this somber season seems at odds with the boisterous nature of kids, it can be a meaningful time to talk together about the love, forgiveness, and hope we find in Jesus. For ideas on how to help kids journey with Jesus through Lent . . . 

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Sibling Squabbles

I have a pair of 9 and 10 year old girls in my group who get on each others nerves quite easily. I'd love some ideas for keeping siblings on track during Sunday school!
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He Knows My Name

After singing the chorus once through they came to the part that said, “He knows my name”, and the little girl in the top row spoke her name loud and clear into the microphone, and passed it on to the next child, who spoke and then passed it to the next—each one saying...  

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Using Symbols With Kids

I recently attended the Dwell preview event. Each story in the curriculum has been given a symbol and these symbols are included on all of the materials for that story.

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What resources do you use when singing with kids?

For Sunday school we always use the CD's that come along with the curriculum. And for children's church (during the sermon) a musician from our congregation leads singing using the Sing With Me and LiFE songbooks. It works out great, but I'm wondering what others do? Do you bring all the kids together to sing, or do they sing in their Sunday school rooms? I've seen lots of worship DVDs that include kids singing and song motions. Has anyone used those? Any recommendations?
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Faithful Teaching

Hanging from the ceiling was a hanger with people’s names written on it. There were the names of family members: mom, dad and his three sisters. Then there was another name: Mr. Mulder. Mr. Mulder wasn’t part of our family...

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Library and Sunday School

Does anyone from the Sunday School Ministry contact the Library Ministry for resources? Or does your Sunday School "advertize" that the Library exists or has materials for kid? As a Church Library Ministry leader I want to get the kids and youth into the library to pick out some of the great resources we have available. How can the library get information out to our sunday school kids? Any ideas or suggestions would help?
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Does anyone have recommendations for parenting classes?

Anyone have classes they would recommend that are geared toward parents. I have heard good things about Love and Logic, but it is pretty spendy. Wondering if there are other options out there?
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What is Dwell all About?

If your church uses the Young Children and Worship program you may appreciate the wondering approach that Dwell uses to help kids enter imaginatively into God's story. With this curriculum kids and young teens imagine themselves in all the stories of Scripture and them see that their lives are part of the one BIG story of ... 

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Lesson Prep Without Stress!

It’s easy to spend less time prepping as the season goes on, even though we know  how critical prayer and preparation are for sharing a great lesson. If you tend to be like me, and associate planning with panic and procrastination, try these tips to help you skip the stress...

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Try it This Week: Musical Prayers

This activity involves making up a prayer to the tune of a song you know. This is great for kids who are musical or who love to move around, and it works as an individual or a group prayer activity. It also lends itself to a broader conversation about worship and prayer...

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