Stories Further in Advance:
Dear Sabbath School Leaders and Teachers,
Date Clarification: There continues to be confusion about one of the biggest changes made in the GraceLink curriculum: lessons are designed to be presented FIRST in Sabbath School and then reinforced at home the week following. Churches and teachers and parents who haven't implemented this change continue to be confused about the discrepancy between the distribution dates indicated on the covers of Primary Treasure and Our Little Friend and the dates the lessons in those magazines are being taught in their church. The dates of Primary Treasure and Our Little Friend coincide with the dates on the Bible Study Guide (quarterly) contents page, but there is still much confusion.
I can see wisdom in both ways of presenting the lessons so have nothing to urge except that you talk with Sabbath School leaders and/or Sabbath School secretaries so that the magazines are distributed to children either on the Sabbath indicated by the distribution date or else on the Sabbath when children are expected to begin reviewing the lessons for the next week--depending on which way the lessons are being taught. I'm hoping to find a good way to indicate either date on the cover of the magazines, but haven't hit on it yet.
Book to Help You Teach GraceLink in Primary: Creative Bible Learning Activities for Sabbath School, available AdventSource, has this valuable advice on making GraceLink work for you (page 7).
The GraceLink materials are designed to introduce the lesson on Sabbath morning, so that students will be interested and inspired to study that same lesson throughout the following week. Encourage them to find opportunities to share activities from Sabbath School with their family during the week.
Many parents are motivated to study the Sabbath School lesson with their children only if they think the child will need it to make a good showing at church. Further, more than any other age group, primary children enjoy checklists and competition—the feeling that they are earning their way towards something.
So while you continue to challenge children to study because it is the best way to grow a relationship with God, you may also choose to reward the children with stickers each week for answering the following questions:
1. How many days did you study your lesson? (Affirm any response, encouraging them to try for daily study.)
2. Did you read the lesson from the Bible? (This is an important part of lesson study.)
3. Can you remember last week’s text? (Affirm their effort; assist them if necessary.)
4. How did you do the sharing activity for last week’s lesson? (Remind them what it was.)
Primary Treasure and Our Little Friend and this Web site exist partly to help you send each weekly lesson home so that it can be reinforced during the week ahead. Our goal, both through the magazines and this Web site, is to help children
understand their infinite value to their Creator and Redeemer
learn how to respond to God
show love to their family and friends
serve others in their world
find fulfillment in participating in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
I hope, if you need another way to tell the lessons story, that you will download the audio files on this site to play in Sabbath School. Small Sabbath Schools especially could benefit from doing this from time to time. (Thanks for remembering that the story is copyrighted by the General Conference Sabbath School Department and download it only for use at home or in your local church.)
Our web site is always a work in progress. I will be adding features and links of interest to you as time goes by so please keep checking back. If you have suggestions, questions, or comments, please feel free to email me.
You are in my thoughts and prayers,
Aileen Andres Sox
Editor, Our Little Friend / Primary Treasure
Sabbath School Information Links:
North American Division Children’s Ministries: www.childmin.com
GraceLink Sabbath School Lesson Information: www.gracelink.net
Adventist Mission Quarterly: http://www.adventistmission.org/article.php?id=232
Protecting Children Against Molesters and Predators. It is something no one wants to talk about, but child sexual abuse is a horrible reality in today's world. Most abuse is perpetrated by people children know and trust. People you may also know and trust. Recently here in Idaho, Adventist parents, pastors, educators, Sabbath School personnel and others who work with children were privileged to hear presentations on how to protect our children by Cory Jewell Jensen, a highly regarded national expert in this field. Thanks to the volumes of wonderful information available on the internet, you can access Ms. Jensen's material from her appearance on the Oprah show. Follow this link to read her vital information. Especially be sure to download and read the information packet on Understanding and Protecting Your Children From Child Molesters and Predators: http://www.oprah.com/tows/pastshows/tows_2002/tows_past_20020426.jhtml.
Protecting Your Children: Advice from Child Molesters: http://www.safest.org/
Sex Offenders in Church: Information from Adventist Risk Management: download pdf
Child Abuse Prevention Information and Forms from Adventist Risk Management: http://www.adventistrisk.org/prevention-resources/safety-topics/child-and-youth-activities/child-protection.
Other links of interest:
http://www.kidshealth.org/index.html. Lots and lots of answers to lots and lots of the questions kids ask.