Newsletters for Children's ministers.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Newsletter 54.

Newsletter 54 from Maurice Sweetsur

The Easter (April) edition of "Kidzone" ( ) will soon be on line. Contents are:-
Story - A free pardon.
Illusions - a. The meaning of the cross. b.The resurrection of Christ.
Laugh break - Can you trust your senses?
Your questions answered - Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

Maurice Sweetsur
All teaching material (All Newsletters) - Object lessons / Illusions only - Teaching tips only -
Stories, skits and puppet plays -
Kidzone (Children's site) -
Kidzone - Archives. -


Play - The water pump.
Object Lesson 63 - Three miraculous signs for Moses.
Teaching tip 38 - The progressive revelation of God.
Selection from Parish bulletins (Part 1).

Play - The water pump.

This is a good play for to demonstrate to children how we can be "cleaned up" on the inside by Jesus. As leader, I do the narrating myself, and get the actors to act out their parts by following the narration. The actors either read their lines, or repeat their lines, after I speak them out. Alternatively for very young children, there is no need for your actors to say any lines - just follow your narration.

Actors. Water pump. (One arm is used as the lever, and the other as the spout). Mrs (Smith). Mr (Brown).
Note. You can use any names you wish - perhaps the surnames of your two actors.

Props. Bucket, duster, sponge, spray can (labelled "Water pump polish"), coat (large enough to put over the 'water pump') and a spanner (I use a large cut out cardboard one with the words "water pump spanner" written on it).

Narrator. In villages in some countries, if people need water, they have to go to a water pump to obtain it. This is a play about one such water pump (Choose your first actor, and demonstrate how the pump works). One day Mrs Smith came along with her empty bucket to get some water, because she needed to bath her ten children. She put her bucket under the spout of the water pump, and began to move the lever up and down. Out came the water. She was about to take her bucket of water home when she looked at it and said:-

Mrs. Smith. "Oh no. This water is dirty."

Narrator. Mrs Smith threw the water away (pretend to throw it over the other children) and had a good look at the water pump.

Mrs. Smith. "This water pump is rather dirty. I need to give it a good dusting."

Narrator. So she got out her duster, and gave the water pump a good dusting. She thought "It looks a lot cleaner now, I will get clean water this time." She put her bucket in place, and began to pump out the water. But when she looked at the water she said:-

Mrs, Smith. "This water is still dirty (throw it away). Dusting obviously wasn't good enough. I will have to give the pump a good wash."

Narrator. So she got out her soap and sponge, and gave the water pump a good wash. "It is bound to give clean water now " she thought. But when she pumped out more water, it was still dirty (throw it away).

Mrs. Smith. "I know. I will have to give the pump a good polish." (Get out the spray can and duster and polish the pump).

Narrator. "It looks just like new " thought Mrs Smith, "It is certain to give clean water this time." But when she pumped out more water, it was still dirty (throw it away).

Mrs. Smith. "There is only one last thing to do, I will have to paint the water pump."

Narrator. So she painted it all over (Put the coat on the water pump to represent the new paint). "It must give clean water this time" thought Mrs. Smith. But when she pumped out the water, it was still dirty. Mrs Smith didn't know what else she could do, but just then, along came her friend - Mr Brown.

Mr. Brown. "What is wrong with you?"

Mrs. Smith. "This water pump is what is wrong. I have dusted it, washed it, polished it, even painted it, but it still gives dirty water!"

Mr. Brown. "I know what the problem is. This water pump gives dirty water, not because it is dirty on the outside, but because it is dirty on the inside! Let me have a look."

Narrator. So Mr. Brown opened up the water pump (undo the coat), got out his special water pump spanner, made a few adjustments, closed up the pump and said "Now give it a try." This time, out came clean water. So Mrs. Smith was able to go home, and bath all her children.

Application. The Bible tells us that "Man looks on the outside, but God looks on the heart" (1 Samuel 16.7). In other words, when I see all of you, I might say to myself "What a good looking, well dressed group of children these are." I just see your outsides. But God sees your hearts - he sees what you are like on your insides, whether you are clean or dirty. That is what really matters to God.

Many people are like that water pump. Dirty things - such as lies, swearing, hatred, envy, jealousy, greed and selfishness - come out of them because they are dirty on the inside. And there is nothing they can do to clean themselves on the inside. Even if they have ten baths every day, they will still be dirty on the inside. The good news is that there is Someone who can clean us up on the inside. His name is Jesus. So the next time you have a bath or shower and clean yourself on the outside, ask yourself "Am I also clean on the inside?" If the answer is "No", then ask Jesus to come and clean you up on the inside. If you do that, then gradually bad things will stop coming out from you, and good things - such as kindness, generosity, honesty and love - will start coming from you instead.

O.L. 63 - Three miraculous signs for Moses

(by Helen Setser)

In the famous encounter with God at the burning bush (Exodus, chapters 3 and 4), Moses was concerned that the Israelites and Egyptians would not believe that he had really been sent by God. Therefore, God gave Moses three miraculous signs that he could use to convince them. These were :- a. Throwing his staff to the ground, and it turning into a snake. b. Putting his hand into his cloak, and it coming out leprous, like snow. When he repeated the process, his hand became clean again. c. Pouring water from the Nile onto the ground, and it turning to blood.

With a little preparation, you can re-enact these three signs for your class. You can perform them all yourself, or use a previously prepared volunteer.

a. Cut out a piece of cardboard in the shape of a staff. On the other side of the staff, draw a snake. Thus when you throw it to the ground, ensure that the "snake" side is upwards.

b. Have your (or your volunteer's) hand coated with petroleum jelly, and some talcum powder in your coat pocket. As you place your hand in your pocket and give it a good rub round, it should come out looking leprous, like snow. When you place your hand in your pocket a second time, you should be able to rub off the powder.

c. Place some red food coloring, or some red (tempera) powdered paint in a tray, and cover it with soil. When you pour water onto the soil, it will appear to have turned to blood.

T.T.38 - The progressive revelation of God.

Many children (and some adults) find it hard to reconcile the "God of the Old Testament" who often appears rather harsh and judgemental, with the "God of love" as revealed in the New Testament.

It may help to remember that, in contrast to other religions, Christianity is a revelation religion. We can only know God's nature through what He chooses to reveal to us about Himself. And God reveals Himself to His people in a progressive way. Consider your own experience. At some point in your life, God must have revealed enough of Himself to you for you to see your need of Jesus as Saviour. But thereafter, your understanding of God's nature would continue to increase. If God revealed all of Himself to us in one go, I am sure it would have been too much for our minds and spirits to handle!

In much the same way God's revelation of Himself to his "special people", the Israelites, as recorded in the Bible, is progressive. Here is an outline of the way in which, over about 2,000 years, God revealed Himself to the Israelites (and ultimately to all mankind). Hence their understanding of His nature gradually increased:-

1900 B.C. Abraham - God is a tribal God (each tribe had their own 'god').
1400 B.C. Moses - God is a Covenant (or Agreement) keeping God (He desires to enter into covenants with His people).
860 B.C. Elijah - There is only one God.
760 B.C. Amos - God is Righteous. (He does not have favourites).
740 B.C. Hosea - God is righteous, yet Merciful.
740 B.C. Isaiah - God is Holy, worthy of worship, and Concerned for all mankind.
620 B.C. Jeremiah - God is a Personal God, desiring to have a personal relationship with us.
30 A.D. Jesus - The Supreme revelation to mankind - "God is love."

Selection from Parish bulletins (Part 1).

1) This afternoon there will be a meeting in the south and north ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.
2) Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. there will be an Ice Cream Social. All ladies giving milk please come early.
3) Wednesday, the Ladies Literary Society will meet. Mrs. Johnson will sing "Put Me in My Little Bed" accompanied by the Pastor.
4) This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Johnson to come forward and lay an egg on the Altar.
5) The service will close with "Little Drops of Water". One of the ladies will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.
6) On Sunday, a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the carpet, please come forward and get a piece of paper.
7) The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind and they may be seen in the church basement on Friday.
8) Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on Oct. 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in school days.
9) This week's saints include a French woman (Teresa, the Little Flower), a Swedish woman (Bridget), an Italian man (Francis of Assisi), a German man (Bruno), a Jewess from the Holy Land (Mary, God's Mother). They include single people and married people. Bridget was a wife and mother. Mary was a virgin and virgin mother. If they could do it, so can we.
10) For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
11) The Rev. Merriwether spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.
12) The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth Into Joy."
13) The choir will meet at the Larsen house for fun and sinning.
14) Thursday at 5 p.m. there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All wishing to become little mothers will please meet with the minister in the study.
15) During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J.F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit.
16) Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service. The pastor will then speak on "It's a Terrible Experience."
17) Due to the Rector's illness, Wednesday's healing services will be discontinued until further notice.
18) Offertory: "Jesus Paid It All"
19) Today - Christian Youth Fellowship House Sexuality Course, 1 p.m.-8 p.m. Please park in the rear parking lot for this activity.
20) The music for today's service was all composed by George Friedrich Handel in celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth.
21) Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.
22) The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the church basement on Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
23) The concert held in Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister's daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.
24) 22 members were present at the church meeting held at the home of Mrs. Marsha Crutchfield last evening. Mrs. Crutchfield and Mrs. Rankin sang a duet, The Lord Knows Why.
25) Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say, "hell" to someone who doesn't care much about you.
26) A song fest was hell at the Methodist church Wednesday.
27) Today's Sermon: HOW MUCH CAN A MAN DRINK? with hymns from a full choir.
28) Hymn 43: "Great God, what do I see here?"Preacher: The Rev. Horace BlodgettHymn 47: "Hark! an awful voice is sounding"
29) On a church bulletin during the minister's illness:GOD IS GOODDr. Hargreaves is better.
30) Potluck supper: prayer and medication to follow.
31) Don't let worry kill you off - let the church help.
From "Anguished English," by Richard Lederer.