Thursday, September 29, 2011

E-Book on The Augsburg Confession

Looking for something to read on your Kindle? Check out this e-book from Pastor DJ Lura:

lura.pngSo What's a Lutheran, Don'tcha Know?
[Kindle Edition] - by Rev. D.J. Lura

What does it mean to be Lutheran? In the vast spectrum of Christianity how do Lutherans differ from other Christians? With a bit of humor and an intentional effort to simplify “theological” language, this book looks at the Augsburg Confession; the official declaration of faith that began the Evangelical Lutheran Church. It highlights the unique message of the Gospel, and explains what Lutherans offer the Evangelical witness of Jesus Christ in the world today. This is an e-book available only at Amazon for $2.99 (Go HERE).

(Parts of Pastor Lura's e-book were included in printed form in the leader's guide of Sola Publishing's study on the Augsburg Confession.  He currently serves as a Lutheran pastor in the Philadelphia area.)

Activity B1 - Lesson 7: Window Craft

Sunday Schoolhouse Series Activity - Red Unit B1
Lesson 7: Rahab and the Spies at Jericho (Joshua 2:1 - 24)

Create a Window - Materials Needed:
- square piece of cardboard for each child
- square piece of tin foil big enough to fold over the back side of the cardboard
- red cord or yarn
- popsicle sticks (several for each child)
- copy of the prayer for this lesson
- glue and scissors

Wrap the foil around the cardboard square. Glue the edges to the back of the cardboard to hold the foil in place. This is the glass pane for the window. Glue popsicle sticks around the edges of the square to make the window casing. Add more sticks to create smaller panes of glass. Glue the prayer for today's lesson on ones of the window panes.

Back In Time Activity:
This game leads the class in a quick review of the stories they have covered so far. Picture sheets from previous lessons can be used as "flash cards", with the teacher asking the students the basic plot of each story and how the story ends.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ESV - English Standard Version

Beginning in Advent 2011, Sola will be producing weekly lectionary inserts as downloadable pdf files, able to be reproduced locally.  These inserts will incorporate texts from the English Standard Version of Scripture (ESV).
Because of its textual accuracy, the ESV comes highly recommended by people from across our partner associations, including leaders of NALC, LCMC, CALC, and Lutheran CORE.  It is the version used in the Lutheran Study Bible from Concordia Publishing House, and is also the version of Scripture quoted in the ReClaim Catechism sold through Sola.  It will be the primary recommended version of Scripture included in future Sola Publishing releases.
From the Crossway website (
The ESV® Bible (English Standard Version®) is an “essentially literal” translation of the Bible in contemporary English. The ESV Bible emphasizes "word-for-word" accuracy, literary excellence, and depth of meaning. The ESV is ideally suited for personal reading, for public worship, for in-depth study, and for Scripture memorization. The ESV Bible is available in more than 200 print editions, and it is free online anytime everywhere in the world.
The ESV Bible was created by a team of more than 100 leading evangelical scholars and pastors. Since its publication in 2001, the ESV has gained wide acceptance and is used and trusted by church leaders, numerous denominations, and millions of individuals around the world.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Activity B1 - Lesson 6: Serpent on a Stick

Sunday Schoolhouse Series Activity - Red Unit B1
Lesson 6: Moses and the Bronze Serpent (Numbers 21:4 - 9)

Make a Serpent on a Stick - Materials Needed:
- one chop stick or ruler per child
- 8.5x11 yellow construction paper
- scissors, glue, transparent tape, markers
- googlie eyes
- yarn

Have the children take the yellow construction paper and begin to cut a spiral leading toward the center of the paper. Leave approximately 1 1/2 inches between cuts as the spiral is made. Near the middle of the paper stop the spiral cutting leaving an oval shape at the end - this makes the snake's head. Lay the paper on the table and use the markers to decorate it with snake skin patterns. Add googlie eyes to the head and glue on a yarn tongue. Fray the ends of the yarn slightly to make the tongue look forked. Tape the top of the snakes head to the top of the stick and wind the body around the stick (the body may need to be shortened).

Re-do Drama Activity:
Read the drama in parts as written. Then go back and choose a better path for the people. Instead of asking why they were brought out to the wilderness to die; choose to thank God for releasing them from slavery. Instead of complaining about the food; thank God for giving them just what they need to live on.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Activity B1 - Lesson 5: Sponge Painting the Burning Bush

Sunday Schoolhouse Series Activity - Red Unit B1
Lesson 5: Moses and the Burning Bush (Exodus 3:1 - 20)

Sponge Painting the Burning Bush - Materials Needed:
- glue
- acrylic paints in tan, brown, black, red, orange, and yellow
- paint brushes
- several sponges (large and small)
- stamps of shoe prints and footprints or sponges cut in those shapes.
- large piece of white paper per child
- copies of Exodus 3:5 "Remove the sandals from your are standing on holy ground."

Barely dip the face of a large sponge into the tan paint and gently dab a little paint on the paper to make the mountains. Using a brush paint the branches of the bush on the mountain. Using the smaller sponges, barely dip the face of one sponge into yellow and another in orange and red. Dab them gently around the branches adding fire. Show Moses' path up the mountain by using the shoe shaped stamp/sponge and black paint, then add the barefoot prints closer to the bush. Glue the verse at the top of the paper.
Alternatively, make this a class project using a large piece of paper for a mural and have everyone work together.

Out-the-Door Activity:
Have the students line up at the door. In order to get out the door, each student must answer a question from the story. If a student misses the question, have him or her move to the back of the line and try again. You may want to ask harder questions first, moving on to the easier ones. If you finish all the quesions, start over; don't worry about asking the same questions a second time.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday Schoolhouse Unit B2 Released!

The second installment in the the "Red Year" of the Sunday Schoolhouse series has just been released.  This unit covers the second half of the Old Testament, under the subtitle: "Stories of Prophets and Kings."  If you are using the Red series this year, you are now set with lessons through the end of December.

For those who are counting — maybe it's just me — the three-year cycle of Bible Story Lesson Books is now halfway complete!  I'm pleased to say that Sola has published its Sunday School installments on schedule, according to our three plan.

When the basic three-year Sunday Schoolhouse series is complete, I look forward to adding a matching workbook for older elementary students.  Our plan is to produce a "digging deeper" edition to match the Sunday Schoolhouse series, which will include Bible history, geography, and text study for question/discussion, aimed at the 5-7 grade level.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Activity B1 - Lesson 4: Cow Paper Tube Craft

Sunday Schoolhouse Series Activity - Red Unit B1
Lesson 4: Joseph Explains Pharaoh's Dreams (Genesis 41:1 - 45)

Cow Paper Tube Craft - Matierals Needed
- two empty toilet paper cardboard tubes per child
- black construction paper
- yarn, craft glue, markers, scissors
- copies of the cow face provided

Cut one of the cardboard tubes in half the short way to make the cows legs. Cut the other cardboard tube in half lengthwise. One of the halves will be the cow's body. Take the other half and cut it again the short way, this quarter piece will be the head. Using black marker, color a line around the bottom of each of the two short tubes that make the cow legs - these are the hooves. Cut black construction paper in the form of patches and glue them randomly onthe cow's body and legs. Glue the cow's body onto the top of the legs using thick craft glue. Use yarn to make a tail and glue it to the underside of the body. Older children can braid the yarn. Glue the cow faces onto the quarter piece of tube and use craft glue to attach it at an angle to the front of the cow's body.

Go HERE for a Cattle Head pattern sheet.

Ball Toss Greeting Activity:
Have the children gather in a circle. Using a small soft ball start tossing gently to each child saying, "Good morning (name that person)." The child that catches the ball replies likewise and tosses to someone else until each person has been greeted.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Activity B1 - Lesson 3: Family Tree Craft

Sunday Schoolhouse Series Activity - Red Unit B1
Lesson 3: Abraham and Sarah Promised a Child (Genesis 18:1 - 15)

Family Tree Craft - Materials Needed
fair amount of small branches
- blue, brown, green construction paper
- green tissue paper
- glue and scissors
- pencils and markers

Use the blue construction paper as the background. Have the children cut a tree trunk out of brown construction paper and glue it onto the blue paper. Have the children cut out enough leaves from the green construction paper so that they have one per family member. Write the names of the children and their family members on the leaves. Glue the small branches above the tree trunk making the branches of the family tree. Glue the small leaves near the branches. To make the tree appear full, glue small pieces of green tissue paper around the tree top by wrapping a small piece on the erasor end of a pencil, dipping it in glue and pressing it onto the paper. Use markers to make wood grain lines on the trunk.

"Find the Verse" Race Activity:
Break the class into two teams. Pick a Bible verse, whichever team can find the verse and read it first gets a point. Highest points wins the race.