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E-QUIP Powered By Docstoc
                  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: I would be happy to read your

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: 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      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
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.
                                                                  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.
                                                         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
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. with the word "subscribe" in
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   Weekend: Begin on Friday night and
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    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.