Monday, December 27, 2010

Activity (Series A3 - Lesson 3): Pencil People

Sunday Schoolhouse Series Activity - Unit A3
Lesson 3: Parable of the Forgiving Father (Luke 15:11 - 32)

As part of this lesson the children will make Pencil People:
For this project each child will need a pencil with an eraser, two wiggly eyes each, craft glue, scissors, fabric remnants, and yarn. Glue the eyes onto the pencil near the eraser end, cut a robe shape out of the fabric and slip them over the pencil below the eyes. Glue the fabric in place and use bits of yarn to act as a belt. Feel free to use other items available for further embellishment; bits of craft foam could make a nose or mouth, etc. Explain that just like the father in the story, when we repent and ask forgiveness for our sins, God our Father erases our sins.

Additional activity to go along with the pencil people:
For younger children, using a pencil make, make a list of sins and add some everyday activities that are not sins. Have the children go through the list erasing only the sins. For older children, have them use their pencil to write a letter to God expressing repentance and asking for forgiveness for something they have done; alternatively, they could write to a person who they need to ask forgiveness from or give forgiveness too. Let them know their letters will not be collected and they can do with them what they choose, i.e. possibly giving them to the person they are writing to.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Activity (Series A3 - Lesson 2): Repentance Experiment

Sunday Schoolhouse Series Activity - Unit A3
Lesson 2: Jesus Calls Matthew (Matthew 9:9-13)

As part of this lesson the class will do a "repentance experiment":
For the experiment you will need a clear glass full of clear soda pop and raisins. Put a few raisins in the glass of soda pop. Throughout the class time watch the raisins, they will rise to the top of the glass. They may end up sinking and rising again. Explain that our lives of sin and repentance are like the movement of the raisins. When we sin we turn away from God, just like the raisins left to themselves will sink to the bottom of the class. Repentance is when we return to God in faith, like when the raisins return to the top. Some questions to consider:
a) Is it the raisins themselves that have the power to rise, or is something more at work here?
b) Is repentance something that happens just once in our lives, or is it something that needs to happen again and again?

Additional Craft Idea: U-Turn Tire Tracks
For the craft you will need a piece of light colored construction paper for each child, a dark color paint in a tray and a toy car for each child (cars with textured wheels would be the most fun). The level of detail can vary greatly. Older children could list sins or scenarios on the right side of the page and write the prayer from page 8 of the Classroom Resource Book on the left side of the page. Younger children could draw pictures of sinful behavior on the right side of the page and print "God" on the left side.

The children dip the wheels of the car in the paint and drive the car from the left side of the paper "away from God" toward sin, but then turn around and drive back toward God again. The paint will leave "tire tracks" showing how repentance works: as we find ourselves heading toward sin, we turn around and head back to God.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas from Sola Publishing!

As a little Christmas gift from Sola Publishing, feel free to download an original story written by Gerald Kline of Urbandale IA, called "The Magniffy Cat." I've drawn a children's coloring picture of the nativity to go along with it. You are welcome to reproduce the pdf for local use in your congregation. (Hint: It might work well for a children's sermon on Christmas!)

To download, click the link: HERE

Gerald had written the story some time ago.  When he saw my "Luther's Small Cat" mascot, we started talking about how well his story might go along with my own character.  In the coming year, Sola will be producing a story-book version of his Christmas cat story.  For now, enjoy Gerald's story ...

Merry Christmas from Sola!
Pastor Steve King, Director

Monday, December 13, 2010

Activity (Series A3 - Lesson 1): Temple Diorama

Sunday Schoolhouse Activity - Unit A3
Lesson 1: Boy Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41 - 52)

As part of this lesson the children will make a Temple Diorama:
For this project each child will need an empty large cereal box, a copy of the drawing of Jesus from the Classroom Resource book (p5), brown construction paper, scissor, markers or crayons, and glue. Cut out a large arched entrance from the front of the box. It should be large enough to allow the picture of Jesus to be added inside the box. Cover the outside of the box with brown construction paper and glue it into place. Color in the picture of Jesus. Cut out the drawing of Jesus leaving about 1 inch under his feet. Fold over the extra paper under Jesus' feet and glue that onto the floor of the box in the archway so that Jesus is standing in the temple. Decorate the temple adding lines for stones on the brown construction paper.

The older children could make a more detailed diorama; for example, cut out a domed window and add an outdoor scene by gluing their drawing to the back of the box. They could draw and add people learning from Jesus in the Temple.

ReClaim Catechism now available through Sola!

NOW AVAILABLE FOR SALE ON THE SOLA PUBLISHING WEBSITE — we are pleased to make available this Christmas season:
catechismcoversmall.jpgThe ReClaim Catechism
2010 Edition of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism
Have you been disappointed with recent versions of the catechism and want something in more familiar language from a trustworthy source? 
In cooperation with ReClaim Resources, Sola Publishing is releasing a pocket edition of Luther’s Small Catechism, produced as a joint effort by authors representing Lutheran Core, WordAlone, ReClaim, LCMC, and NALC. The primary translator of this edition is Rev. Scott Grorud, with Rev. Thomas Jacobson, Rev. Natalie Gessert, and Dr. Gracia Grindal as translational consultants.
The catechism is available through the Sola Publishing website as a Single Sample ($3.99), or at a reduced rate as a Pack of 5 ($17.50) or Pack of 25 ($64.95).  For orders of 50 or more, go directly to the ReClaim Resources website at:
This edition of the catechism is being incorporated into the new confirmation series being developed by Sola Publishing, released as a “beta test version” for the 2010-2011 school year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Activity (Series A2 - Lesson 7): Tambourine

Sunday Schoolhouse Series Activity - Unit A2
Lesson 7: Praise the Lord! (Psalm 150)

As part of this lesson the children will make tambourines:
For this project you will need two heavy paper plates per child, yarn, several hole-punches, scissors, unpopped popcorn or dried beans, markers, decorations such as stickers, sequence, etc. Each child receives two paper plates, depending on age have them write or write for them "Praise the Lord" on the bottom of one of the plates. Then the children can decorate the bottom of both plates with decorations provided. Using the hole-punch take one of the plates and punch holes about every inch around the outsides. Holding the two plates together (bottoms facing out), mark the holes from the first plate onto the second. Punch along the markers on the second plate. Fill one plate with unpopped popcorn or dried beans. Set the second plate on top. Thread the yarn through each of the holes, then tie a knot.  Use different color yarn.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Already Thinking About Lent?

Sola Publishing has just released its first Lenten Drama series, entitled: "Will You Betray Me?" The dramas are meant to be featured as part of a mid-week worship series during the Lenten season.

The theme for the series comes from Jesus’ question to Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night he was arrested.  In our lives of faith as Jesus’ disciples, it is a question that could be asked of each of us as well.  Unlike more simplistic characterizations, these dramas are written in a direct and edgy style, revealing the inner rationalizations and bitterness against Jesus that ultimately led to his death.

Characters include:
 1. Simon, the Upstanding Pharisee
 2. Rachel, the Concerned Mother
 3. Simon, the Innocent Bystander
 4. Dinah, the Forgiven Adulteress
 5. Judas, the Good Disciple

Scripture texts are assigned for each of the dramas, along with notes for actors.  Discussion questions are included with each, to be used as the basis for a sermonic reflection or mini-Bible Study.   Each drama is about 10-12 minutes long.  A suggested order of worship is also provided at the back of the booklet.  Go HERE to order from the main Sola website.

5" x 8.5" Booklet, 40 Pages