E-QUIP An E-Newsletter for those who minister to children in the Friends Church Summer 2007 E-Quip is an electronic newsletter with information and insights for children’s workers, prepared by the WordAction Children’s Ministries staff and the Evangelical Friends International Christian Education Board. This material may be reproduced for local church use. __________________________________________ E-QUIPping You for Ministry E-Quip is full of great ideas for all who minister with children in our Friends churches across North America. This month you will find the following encouraging articles: - Open the Gates—New Opportunities for Gospel Outreach in Northern India - Nursery Nuggets: Safety in the Church Nursery - Kinderzone: Starting Points - Elementary Energizers: Rainsticks of Praise - Middler Moments: Questions—An Important Part of Your Lesson - Preteen Passages: Get Them Reading this Summer - VBS: How to Organize Your VBS Dear friends in ministry, This edition of E-Quip will be the final one for a while as we will be looking at the format and considering some changes for the future. If you have any specific feedback on what you find helpful or would like to see in a newsletter, please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to read your opinions. In the meantime, have a sunny summer and treasure those kids! This E-newsletter is intended for all C.E. leaders, children’s teachers and assistants, and pastors in our EFI churches. Send contact information for any who would like to get this publication by e-mail to: email@example.com. You are welcome to make copies of this publication for local church use. In His service with you, Marva Hoopes Chair, Christian Education Board, Evangelical Friends International—North America Open the Gates—New Opportunities for Gospel Outreach in Northern India Evangelical Friends Mission Summer Offering Our Evangelical Friends summer missions believe that their sins can be washed away if offering will feature northern India and the they dip themselves into the Ganges River. work of Edwin and Nivedit Daliya. They have Some try to do this every year and travel done pioneering work with the Garwahl people many miles to get there. There are many and have seen God move in significant and temples there and people trying to be very mighty ways. You will be blessed and inspired holy go there. They take time to meditate and as you present this material to your children to do penance, or hard tasks, so that their sins this summer. The stories are so compelling, will be forgiven. you might even want to use them with older As Christians, we know that the Bible tells us people too! that everyone in the world has sinned. The Printed materials have been mailed to all EFI only way we can have our sins forgiven is to churches. You may also access and download believe in Jesus, ask Him for forgiveness, and the material online in a PDF format at: decide to follow God’s way. It doesn’t matter http://barclaypress.com/ceresources/index.html. what water we may dip in, what words we would repeat over and over, or what hard Right now there is an abundant spiritual tasks we would do. What matters is to be harvest going on in northern India among humble, admit our sin to God, and ask Him for people groups that have not heard much forgiveness. Because God loves us so much, about Jesus Christ. The 2007 summer offering He has given us the promise of forgiveness of for Evangelical Friends Mission will be used sins and the free gift of eternal life to everyone for literature, discipleship training for leaders, who believes and follows Him. transportation to the villages, and renting meeting places. We invite Friends churches People in northern India need to hear the truth across the United States to raise $7,500 for that will set them free. In this beautiful land this wonderful work. with towering mountains, lovely lakes, and flowing rivers, people need to know how much In the western Himalayan mountains of God loves them. John 3:16 tells us “For God northern India is the state called Uttaranchal. so loved the world, that he sent his one and People call this area the “gateway to heaven” only Son, that whoever believes in him will not because many of the Hindu beliefs come from perish but have eternal life.” We want the this land. precious people of northern India to under- Uttaranchal is a beautiful place with tall, snow- stand how much God loves them and to see capped mountains, clear mountain lakes, God has opened the gates of heaven through emerald green forests, deep gorges with Jesus Christ. We long for them to receive gurgling streams and rivers, and grassy God’s gift of forgiveness of sin and the meadows. But in all of this natural beauty promise of eternal life. Let’s pray together for there are many stories from the Hindu religion the people of Uttarnachal, that gateway to the about false gods, which are not the one true gods, so that they may enter the one true God. People believe that these false gods God’s gates to heaven, through Jesus Christ. came down to earth through these mountains. Contributed by Marva Hoopes, The most famous river in India, the Ganges C.E. board chair River, has its beginnings here. Many people Nursery Nuggets: Safety in the Church Nursery There is nothing that tells parents you love crib slats should be no more than 23/8″ their children more than showing concern for apart. the children’s safety. Even though initially Look for protruding edges and sharp some parents might be a little upset by corners. children’s ministry rules, gentle explanations and consistency will help both the ministry Make sure there are no dangling cords, team and parents feel confident that a safety- or anything in which a baby could first policy is best. become tangled or be choked. The Environment Diaper-Changing Policies A safe nursery is important. A caregiver Diaper changes are an opportunity for one-on- should make a visual check of the nursery one care for children. This time allows workers before each use. Here is a quick checklist to the opportunity to praise God for the use. wonderful bodies the babies have. The diaper- changing policies should include healthy Look for small or dangerous objects, attitudes and healthy practices. Here is a such as pins, buttons, coins, hot sample changing policy to post at the beverages, and broken toys. Look on changing area: the floor, on shelves, and under furniture. Any object smaller than a fist 1. Cover the changing area, and obtain should be inspected for safety, and any all supplies from the diaper bag before object smaller in diameter than a fifty- taking the child to the changing area. cent piece should be removed from the 2. Use clean gloves for changing each infant/toddler nursery. baby’s diaper. Make sure all the electrical outlets are 3. Return the child to your coworker covered; do not assume this has when you are finished changing the already been done. Someone may have diaper. Note: Always have another used a radio or vacuum and forgotten to adult present. replace the cover. 4. Remove the changing table cover and Check the windows and screens to be discard it. Disinfect the area sure they are fastened. You don’t want immediately. to lose a child through an opened 5. Remove your gloves and wash your window! hands before handling any of the other Do not leave any cleaning supplies out. babies. All cleaning supplies should be kept in a Have a supply of touchable teaching items for locked cabinet. the babies during changing times, and use Make sure gates and doors can be this opportunity to talk with the babies about secured. A child can escape quickly Jesus and God or the day’s theme. After when your attention is distracted. changing the baby, immediately place the Look for items that might pinch. Rocking teaching item in an area for disinfecting after chairs, drawers that pull in and out, and class. toy boxes with lids can be dangerous to Well-Baby Policy little fingers. You need a strong policy concerning sick Make sure your equipment meets babies. It is important for parents to provide current safety standards. For example, loving care for a sick baby at home. Babies can develop symptoms of illness very quickly, are not allowed to keep a child in the nursery and parents may not realize their child has if he or she: become ill. It is each worker’s responsibility to Has or has had a fever above 99 watch for signs of illness including: degrees in the last 24 hours. 1. Fever Is vomiting, has diarrhea, or has had 2. Nasal discharge that is either thick or diarrhea within the last 24 hours. darkly-colored Has nasal discharge that is either thick 3. Vomiting or diarrhea or darkly-colored. 4. Uncharacteristic lethargy (slow Is showing signs of physical distress, responsiveness or failure to engage such as being lethargic or in pain (such with others) as ear-pulling). If children arrive with or develop any of these Be sure of our prayers, and please call the symptoms while in the nursery, parents should church office if you need extra support while be advised of the well-baby nursery policy. your child is ill. Here is a sample policy: Safety is important for all age levels, but it is We are sorry your child is not feeling well especially important in the nursery. today. For the well-being of all babies, we Submitted by Beula Postlewait, want to make sure your child gets the WordAction executive coordinator individual care he or she needs at home. We -------------------------------------------------- Kinderzone: Starting Points People who teach preschoolers are well- On the Christianity Today Web site is an aware of the challenges presented by children article by Kerri Mahla entitled “Starting this age. Some teachers are disconcerted Points.” The article gives many useful tips for while telling the Bible story when a child teaching preschoolers. Mahla’s suggestions suddenly declares she has a dog, for may give you some good ideas as you seek to example. Others may be discouraged by more effectively minister to the preschoolers children who are clearly becoming bored, in your church. Follow this link to read the even though the lesson has only begun. While article, or type www.christianitytoday.com it is true that many find it very easy to love the /childrensministry/articles/startingpoints.html eagerness and enthusiasm of preschoolers, it into your Internet browser. is also true that teaching them can be a great challenge. Contributed by Nate Adams, WordAction administrative assistant Elementary Energizers: Rainsticks of Praise Make a fun craft which can double as an aid 3. The rain pours down and covers the to praise. earth and helps the plants, grass, and trees grow. God’s love is like that; it Materials needed: pours down on us and helps us to grow a long cardboard tube for each child (you too. may also roll up card stock and tape it in a roll) 4. People in Africa use an instrument like this, called a rainstick. When you shake uncooked rice it or tip it, it sounds like the gentle falling aluminum foil of rain. You can make it go slowly or markers quickly. rubber bands 5. As we make the sounds of the rain, we can praise God for His wonderful love. Directions: Here is an action chant we can say 1. Have the children decorate their together as we use our rain sticks of cardboard tubes using the markers. praise (To the tune of “It’s Raining, It’s 2. Place squares of aluminum foil (use Pouring”): several squares for extra strength) over God’s love is pouring down one end of the tube and secure with In the country and in town rubber band. People everywhere can know 3. Put about a half cup of rice into each God’s the One who loves them so. tube. God’s help is pouring down 4. Cover the other end of the tube with In the country and in town several squares of aluminum foil and People everywhere can know secure with rubber band, as in step 2. God’s the One who helps them so. Discussion: 6. Sing some other songs of praise and 1. What makes it rain? Where does rain encourage children to use their rhythm come from? instrument as they praise. 2. When it rains very hard, we say it is “pouring” down on us. Contributed by Marva Hoopes, C.E. board chair -------------------------------------------------- Middler Moments: Questions—an Important Part of Your Lesson! A good discussion begins with good memorization. Bible study tools, such as questions. Good questions help children commentaries, Bible dictionaries, and Bible internalize facts and emotions and make the handbooks can help teachers become story part of their lives. knowledgeable about culture and everyday life during Bible times. Good preparation helps a Preparation is important; the teacher must teacher produce good questions. spend time becoming so familiar with the story that he or she feels a part of the story. Familiarization is more important than There is a hierarchy of six types questions of King David and King Saul. What happens starting with knowledge questions and moving when people bring tithes and offerings to to evaluation questions. church? What did the early church do that we still do today? These are upper-level Knowledge questions help children questions that are most effective with older remember facts and information. What are the children and teens. names of some cities Paul and Silas visited? Where did Jesus go when He was twelve Evaluation questions challenge children to years old, and what happened to Him there? make informed judgments about given Knowledge questions are basic; they tell information. The children will judge, debate, whether children listened for facts. They do decide, and evaluate. Which Bible character not, however, help children understand how presents the best example of obeying God? the message of the story relates to their lives. What is the most important thing for a Christian to do? These questions are the most Comprehension questions help children difficult to answer because they require understand what was happening in the story, mature thinking skills. They can challenge helping children retell, explain, describe, or preteens and teens, and you might be identify with it. Why do you think Jonah surprised by some of their answers! decided to go to Nineveh? How did Mary and Martha relate differently to Jesus’ visit? These In a good curriculum the writer and editor will questions move children beyond knowing the provide a variety of questions based on the facts to understanding what was happening. children’s age-level and reasoning ability. If you are writing game questions or writing your Application questions help children apply own review questions, keep in mind the the story to their lives, making the lesson hierarchy of questions and the age-level of the personal so each child can take the children. information and use it in a different setting. How can you follow Jesus’ example to show Asking the children good questions will cause compassion to someone who is ill? How can them to ask you good questions, some of we make good use of our abilities? These which you may not be able to answer. This is questions encourage some action or change OK. Tell the child you will try to find the of attitude from the children. answer, and then follow through on that. Synthesis questions encourage children to Try to avoid asking questions that have a yes use their knowledge in an original or creative or no answer. Such abrupt answers bring a way. Children can imagine, design, create, or halt to discussion and do not challenge construct something related to the story. What children to higher thinking. You may, however, do you think it would be like to be locked in an have children within the group who have ark with all those animals? What might have learning disabilities or speech impediments. happened if Samson had followed God whole- For them, you can ask questions with yes or heartedly? What would you have seen if you no answers or provide some knowledge had witnessed the feeding of the 5,000 questions, so they can answer easily and feel people? Answers are not right or wrong; success within the group. children should be free to express their ideas. Too often, teachers stop with knowledge Analysis questions help children take apart questions. Move beyond that level and watch information and look at its parts and the difference questions can make in how relationships. These questions require children relate to your lesson. children to arrange, connect, analyze, Submitted by Beula Postlewait, compare, and contrast. Compare the actions WordAction executive coordinator Preteen Passages: Get Them Reading this Summer You’ve heard people say, “My plans got club. Make a contest urging children to read changed!” Maybe you’ve even had this four books a month this summer. See if local experience yourself, where what you thought fast-food restaurants will donate coupons for would happen didn’t. This is exactly what free items—coupons you can distribute to happened to Catherine Cattell. Having grown children who reach this goal. You can also up as the daughter of missionary parents in use a graphics program or word processor on China, she was sure that God would call her a computer to print out certificates. back to serve there when she was an adult. But God had other plans. Rather than going You’ll especially want to check out the three back to China, Catherine was called by God to books about missionaries in India, since that’s India. God was with her and helped her learn the focus of our summer missions offering a new language and love new people. project. Happiness Under the Indian Tress tells The book Happiness Under the Indian Trees the life story of Catherine Cattell. by Betty Hockett is one of ten children’s “Life-Story” missions books that your children Whistling Bombs and Bumpy Trains will love reading. It is our hope that children tells the life story of Anna Nixon. will understand Christian missions, become Outside Doctor on Call tells the life interested in missions at an early age, and story of Dr. Ezra and Frances DeVol. find their place in the worldwide outreach of These books are available for $5 each from the church. Through these books children can Barclay Press. Call 800-962-4014 or order be informed, inspired, and entertained. online at www.barclaypress.com. Encourage your children to read all ten books. Contributed by Marva Hoopes, One way to do this is to start a children’s book C.E. board chair How to Organize Your VBS Vacation Bible school (VBS) is a wonderful end before Friday. Consider holding the outreach into your community. This ministry closing ceremony on Friday night or opens your church to children and parents consider hosting a community party. who may never otherwise visit. Since VBS is often an introduction to your church, make Mid-week Meeting: sure the VBS program fits the philosophy of Five Wednesday nights: Incorporate the your church. Not all VBS ministries look the VBS theme into your normal Wednesday- same; in fact, each is unique. Make sure your night ministry. VBS not only fits your local church but that it Backyard VBS: Hold your VBS outdoors, also creates a bridge to the other ministries perhaps in a nearby park. The closing your church offers. ceremony could be a large party at your church or in a park. There are many different structures for VBS. These ideas are meant to be tweaked and Pre-packaged Summer Theme: adapted to fit your church and to make your Summer camp VBS an effective outreach in your community. Sunday school Traditional Five-Day Program: Children’s worship Monday–Friday: Choose to hold your VBS in the morning or the evening. These organizational structures are only the beginning. Seek the ideal structure for your Sunday–Thursday: Because Friday local church and surrounding community. Be attendance is often low, move the first creative and have fun! day to Sunday and continue through Thursday. Contributed by Jeff Harmon, ministries coordinator Two, Three, or Four Days: Adapt the traditional VBS one-week -------------------------------------------------- timeframe. Determine what to keep and what To subscribe to this E-newsletter, send an e-mail to to sacrifice in order to host effective ministry. firstname.lastname@example.org with the word "subscribe" in the subject line. To unsubscribe from this E-newsletter, Weekend: Begin on Friday night and send an e-mail to email@example.com with the continue all day Saturday, closing with word "unsubscribe" in the subject line. a service on Sunday morning. E-Quip is an electronic newsletter with information and Tuesday–Thursday: Choose three insights for children's workers, prepared by WordAction lessons or combine stories. editorial staff and EFI Christian Education Board. Monday–Thursday: Choose four Permission is granted to reproduce this material for local lessons or combine stories so you can church use.