A Subtle Attack on Our Children
Including Alternative Options for Your Sabbath School
The following are more serious concerns about the GraceLink
curriculum from concerned parents and church leaders. The
GraceLink curriculum is published by one of our SDA publishing
houses. There are a number of churches that have decidedly
chosen not to use the GraceLink materials because they do
not represent the kind of spiritual food that we should give
to our children. Included in this transmission is a letter
from such a church. Also included are two articles from an
SDA pastor who is charged with the care of the "little lambs"
in his flock. God bless him for being a faithful watchman.
Further this edition of the Hartland E-Magazine also includes
a list of alternative materials that are available for churches
to use instead of GraceLink. We hope this will be helpful
to all who hunger for material that is faithful to Adventism's
true message, and that will lead the children to a true relationship
with Christ. Also if you need electronic copies of the pictures
and text material on them, we are presently preparing these
for distribution and in a short while they should be ready
- no promises. But if you would like us to email you attachments
with pictures on which these letters from concerned parents
and Sabbath School teachers are based, feel free to ask. When
they are available, we'll send them.
We do not mean to be laborious with the long list of problems
with the GraceLink curriculum illuminated by these many concerned
parents, teachers, and leaders. But we felt that you need
as much documentation as possible. Remember that none of them
were actually written by anyone connected with Hartland. Some
things mentioned in this as well as previous transmissions
(and for that matter, future transmissions), are of less consequence
than other things. When combined together, the composite picture
emerges that clearly leaves much to be desired. Both the important
and the less important issues are posted in this series so
that you will have a resource upon which to draw in addressing
this curriculum in your own churches. We apologize if there
is some amount of overlap, but with the sheer level of concern
and the wide variety of letters and materials from so many
concerned parents, it seemed the best way to share it would
be to simply publish at least the most significant letters
in their entirety. We realize that we have only published
some of the concerns that have been expressed, but we hope
that it will cover the issues adequately.
Again, our loyalty to God's truth and to the SDA church will
not let us remain silent. You are free to share this unedited
with any SDA. But more importantly, please write the General
Conference Sabbath School department with your concerns. They
need to hear from you. If you have already written, please
send us a copy. [Our further comments in brackets].
A look at GraceLink
(By a concerned parent, name withheld)
I was recently called upon to make a presentation to my local
church board about the concerns that the other teachers and
I had with the new GraceLink curriculum. Since then I have
been asked by a number of people for a copy of what I said
that day and the illustrations that I used. It was because
of these requests that I decided to make up this information
packet so that it can be easily handed out to you, a concerned
teacher, parent or church member. I wish that I could include
some of the illustrations that I will be referring to but
I fear that would violate copyright laws. I encourage you
to take the effort to look up as many of the examples as possible.
I have tried to be concise and to the point and have made
a concerted effort to include references where pertinent.
I hope that this information will help you in making the decision
that is best for your church and your children.
If you haven't already done so I would suggest that you look
at the GraceLink web site. This will give you an overview
of the new curriculum and how it is to be implemented. [We
understand that the website has been changed recently to tone
down the more objectionable material]. This will be especially
helpful if you aren't already familiar with this new material.
You can view sample lessons and pictures on the home page.
Also the Frequently asked Questions page gives quite a bit
of background, and can be informative. The Web address is:
Before I get started with specifics I would like to make
a few general statements that relate to this new materials
and the changes I see in them. The new material has made a
complete change in format from the old in that it is all done
in a cartoon/comic book format. Now there are many views on
cartoons among us. Some of us allow our children to watch
them on TV or read about them in books at home and some of
us don't. What ever your stand on this personally, doesn't
really matter, but I am sure that you will agree with me on
this point, and that being that we have all told our children
that these are made up stories and they are not real. Here
in lies the problem. Our children have always associated cartoons
with fiction. Now they are suddenly supposed to associate
them with the true stories of the Bible. Small children especially,
have a hard time differentiating between what is real and
what is made up. Why would we want to intentionally make the
stories of the Bible fictionalized and therefore in the minds
of children put them in the same class as Gepetto and the
whale in Pinocchio, or Jack and the Beanstalk?
I must share a true story that is an excellent example of
this. I know the people involved in this story so I know it
is true, but I will not share their names here for confidentiality
The father in this story was raised as an SDA but strayed
away. He married and had a son, but mom and dad eventually
divorced. The son lives with mom, but visits dad from time
to time. The SDA Grandparents took the boy to their church
with them where he attended Sabbath school and was given a
junior quarterly from the new GraceLink curriculum. He brought
it home and showed it to his dad and asked if he wanted to
read it with him. After looking at the quarterly, Dad said,
"son what do we know about cartoons?" The son replied, "Well
we know that they are not true." Dad said, "So what does that
tell us about these stories?" The son said " Well I guess
they are not true either" and so saying the son discarded
I know that this is a drastic approach, but I also think
that we are fooling ourselves if we think that our kids will
not draw similar conclusions about some of this material.
We must ask ourselves, is this really the kind of association
that we want to promote with our Sabbath School materials.
I teach in the Cradle Roll division, and it is as a result
of reviewing the pilot program for this division that has
led me to the point of making this information available for
The lesson that I received as the sample pilot lesson, is
on the flood. In the attempt to simplify this story to the
level of 0-3 year olds the writers have left out so many details
that the main point of this story is completely lost.
You can view the student's text and the pictures on the web
site under the section of sample lessons. I suggest that you
read this now and look at the accompanying pictures. So that
my following comments will make sense.
Cradle Roll Division
Page 1. There is no mention of why God was sending a flood
or anything about the wicked state of the world.
Page 2. The children are led to believe through the text
and the pictures that only Noah and his boys built the ark.
Never are they told that Noah preached to the people or that
he invited anyone to come into the ark with him. Also the
two boys in the foreground of the picture could be perceived
as black and oriental. The flood happened before the tower
of Babel, and this is when we know the changes in race happened
with the changing of the languages.
Page 3. Then they are told that " Animals came waking towards
Noah's big boat. No one was leading them. They were coming
all by them selves …….it was an animal parade"
Page 4. Then the family enters the ark and it begins to rain.
No mention of the 7 days wait. And the accompanying picture
shows a black, an oriental and a white angel protecting the
ark during the storm. We have no indication that angels are
ethnically correct, and again this story took place while
everyone was still one race.
Page 6. When the storm is over they get off the ark and the
first thing they see is a rainbow. We know the rainbow was
not given to them until after they had built an alter, offered
the sacrifices and prayed.
Page 7. It says that Noah's family first thanked God for
the rainbow and then the care during the flood. No mention
is ever made of the sacrifices and the prayers that preceded
the rainbow. Nowhere in the Bible or SOP does it say that
Noah thanked God for the Rainbow.
Under the new program, Cradle Roll would only have 12 lessons
a year. Each lesson would be repeated for a month. I understand
that these are small children that need repetition and activities,
but what I see in the teacher's helps for this new curriculum
is a lack of reverence. The focus is more on the "fun." The
suggested activities are more appropriate for a VBS program
or a daycare setting than Sabbath School. n reviewing the
pilot program the suggested activities that I would do in
Sabbath School for this lesson are things like: Have the kids
float boats in a tub of water. Give them play-doe and animal
shaped cookie cutters to cut out animals with. We are to have
them dress up like Noah while we sing "Noah was a friend of
God" to the tune of London Bridge is falling Down" or swing
the kids in a blanked while we sing "who is in the ark". Another
suggested song has the words "Noah hoped his boat would float."
Noah was a man of God with a great deal of faith. I am sure
that through faith he KNEW it would float. The kids are to
make finger paint rainbows. Glue cotton balls to a cloud shape
with hanging strings of raindrops. Make animal shapes out
of your fingerprints that you stamp onto paper with inkpads,
make an angel out of a lollypop and tissue paper, or make
an edible ark out of banana and animal crackers and serve
it in Sabbath school. This is the Cradle Roll division, birth
through 3 years. Can you imagine the chaos that activities
like this would create? Most of the craft activities would
take one-on-one adult supervision. I know in my Sabbath School,
I don't have that kind of help. Sabbath would no longer be
a sacred time where we learn about Jesus and the other Bible
characters, but would turn into a glorified daycare where
we have lots of "fun" and tell a story that is a little bit
of truth mixed with a whole lot of error.
"The Sabbath School is not a place of entertainment, to amuse
and divert the children, although, rightly conducted, it can
be all of this: but it is a place where children and youth
are educated, where the Bible is opened to the understanding,
line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there
a little. It is a place where the light of truth is to be
imparted." Counsels on Sabbath School Work p. 99
The Primary division has just started the new GraceLink curriculum
in January. I only have this quarter and the material that
we have received for next quarter to review but that is enough
to raise concerns in that division also.
(This first example is on the web page and I encourage you
to download it and look at it now.) The very first lesson
in this quarter (Jan-March 2001) was about the tower of Babel.
The point that the writers made with this story was that "God
loves differences." The story had very little emphasis on
the wrong that the people were doing. It doesn't even mention
that they were worshiping idols. Instead it implied that the
reason that God confused the languages was to get the people
to populate the earth instead of staying all in one place.
It says, "They were crowding together in one city. What could
God do to stop them? How could He get them to make their homes
in quiet, safe places?" So because He loved them so much He
confused their language. The lesson concludes with a picture
that shows a bunch of happy smiling people leaving a tower
that was never destroyed and going off to "enjoy the good
things God continued to shower upon them" I also need to point
out the memory verse. It says, "God does not show favoritism,
but accepts men from every nation" Acts 10: 34 and 35 (NIV).
What Acts 10: 34 and 35 (KJV) actually says is: "Then Peter
opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God
is no respecter of persons. But in every nation he that feareth
Him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him." What
they have done with this lesson and this verse is leave out
the qualifiers. God doesn't just unconditionally accept every
one, but those that feareth him and worketh righteousness.
Then to emphasize the lesson the teacher's quarterly suggests
that you give the kids paper and scissors and have them cut
out different animal ear shapes and tape them to their head
and then have them discuss how they feel about different animals.
Or you can call out words like Toddler, Soldier, Elderly person,
Woman in high heals, and have the kids parade around the room
imitating the way these people might walk. Then you are supposed
to make the point that people walk differently because they
have some special need and maybe the kids could help when
they recognize a need. Later you can give them all cups and
plates and various art supplies and have them team up and
see who can imitate the Babel builders and make the highest
tower in the shortest time and them give a big round of applause
to the winning team. Sabbath School is ended with a grug (group
hug) so that everyone can feel included and loved.
"Love is dwelt upon as the chief attribute of God, but it
is degraded to a weak sentimentalism, making little distinction
between good and evil. God's Justice, His denunciations of
sin, the requirements of His holy Law, are all kept out of
sight" -The Great Controversy, p 558
"Let there be no frivolous or superficial interpretations
of the Scriptures, but let each be prepared to go to the bottom
of the subject presented" -Counsels on Sabbath School Work
In the quarterly that would be passed out next quarter there
is a story of Korah, Dathan, and Abihu, This story tells of
the rebellion against Moses and Aaron. The problem is that
in the 5 times that these men's names are mentioned in the
story no one caught the fact that Abihu had been killed sometime
before this story ever happened and that it was actually Abiram
that joined Korah and Dathan.
It is a sad day when the parents and teachers have to proof
the lessons ahead of time for factual errors in the basic
Bible story. Blatant error shows up in these quarterlies time
and time again.
Also it disturbs me that the point of this lesson is that
"We worship God when we respect His authority." The point
is true that Korah, Dathan and Abiram were really murmuring
against God when they murmured against Moses, but as one of
the activities for Sabbath School the kids are suppose to
act out and then discuss the people in authority over them.
The people that are listed are: policeman, parents, soldier,
babysitter, coach, teacher, grandparents, friends' parents,
Then there is a discussion about such things as "How do we
show respect to each of these people?" "How is the authority
these people have like God's authority? How is it different?
How do you feel when you are required to show respect? How
do we show respect to God?" The lesson goes on as the teacher
reads the story of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. And then a discussion
follows, in which a question is asked. "Explain why we should
not grumble about people in authority over us." The answer
being "When you grumble about people in authority, you grumble
against the person who put them in authority--God." Yes, I
think respect and obedience is very important. We probably
need to stress it more than we do! But in this day and age
of abuse and child molestation and incest we had better not
be giving the kids the idea that if they speak out against
an adult that they are murmuring against God, since it was
He who put the adults over us. Maybe I am thinking to deeply,
but I think we underestimate what the kids pick up.
Junior and Teen
We have had the GraceLink curriculum in these two divisions
for over a year now, and I had a hard time picking just a
few things to bring to your attention.
I would like to start with a few examples from the artwork.
You know the saying that "a picture paints a thousand words,"
These pictures can speak volumes of error in themselves.
Concerns with the Artwork
Year C - quarter 1:
Page 19: A lewd and suggestive picture of two women with
one man is hanging on the wall in Samson's cell (Samson is
blind, by the way!). Page 21-23 Samson is shown pulling down
the temple of Dagon and he only has a few short sprigs of
hair. (See PP 566."As his hair grew his power gradually returned.")
Year C - quarter 4:
Jesus, and God and the majestic heavenly beings are often
made to look like new age, spiritualistic, feminine beings.
Also from picture to picture Jesus is not made to look the
same so until you read the text most of the time you don't
even know who the character is suppose to be. Page 56: This
is supposed to be Jesus in this picture.
Year C - quarter 1
Page. 13. This is also supposed to be Jesus. On pg.72 this
is an angel.
Year D - quarter 2
Page 55. This is God the Father. God's throne is a giant
crystal. Crystals are very much involved in new age concepts
and ideas. They are supposed to be a source of power.
Year B - quarter 1
Cover Page. The pigs did not follow the prodigal son home
clinging to his clothes as he ran to his father. He left the
sin behind when he returned to his father. This is an error
in art and in the theology it symbolizes. This picture symbolizes
the thread of error that is woven into a lot of the lessons,
that being: I need to do nothing to gain salvation except
come to God and be loved, because God does it all. This concept
has always been referred to as cheap grace.
Year C - quarter 3
Page 58-59: This picture shows Thomas sitting at a table
while Jesus is standing behind him with a silly grin on his
face and Jesus has his hands over Thomas's eyes. Two other
disciples sit in the sidelines snickering. The entire picture
is a lie. Jesus did no such thing to Thomas. John 20:26-27
states that "then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood
in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then said he to
Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands;"
Year D - quarter 1
Page 21 shows a horrified mother on the shore of the Jordan
River with the other Israelites, looking on as her naughty
boy rock hops in the water ahead of the priest as the Israelites
prepare to cross the Jordan River. PP 483-484 states that
'the people sanctified themselves and put away their sins."
And "The people had been directed to fall back, so that there
was a vacant space of more than half a mile about the ark."
"Pictures (used) to represent Bible scenes must be no cheap
design… A proper illustration of Bible scenes requires talent
of a superior quality. With these cheap, common productions,
the sacred lessons of the Bible disdain comparison" Ms 23,
Concerns with the Text
What I have seen done over and over in these lessons is what
you might call fictionalization of the Bible stories. Characters
and names are added as if it were fact and written in such
a way that it is hard to know which part is real and which
is made up by the writer.
"The Bible lessons which are taught in our schools are of
far greater consequence than many now discern. These children
will have to meet in the near future the heresies and fables
that abound in the Christian world. Instruct the youth with
simplicity but with great thoroughness. Our work must stand
the test of the judgment. The youth in this age must be fitted
by the grace of Christ to meet and overcome evils, which have
been introduced into society… The supporters of error and
of unscriptural doctrines are numerous. The world at large
is leading them to forget God and to despise his claims. The
law of God is trampled beneath unholy feet. Every youth is
responsible to God for His opportunities, and for the precious
light shining upon him from the scriptures"--Counsels on Sabbath
School Work, p. 36
These first three are good examples of fictionalization.
1. Year C - quarter 1, Lessons FIVE and SIX.
These lessons are about John the Baptist. Both these lessons
are almost complete fabrications. Yes, John lived in the wilderness
and preached. He lived a very plain lifestyle and he was a
voice in the wilderness to prepare the way for Jesus. But
nowhere in the Bible or S.O.P. do we find anything that even
hints that he mentored a young man while in the wilderness.
This imaginary person is instructed in spiritual matters in
lesson Five and given lessons in the laws of health in lesson
Six. We are going to have the kids thinking this really happened.
[Our note: This represents the asceticism of the 4th century,
which eventually led to monasticism and its attendant corruptions]
2. Year A - quarter 3, Lesson TWO.
This entire lesson is a fictitious tale of King Solomon and
Rehoboam. It tells of them taking their horses and riding
out for a picnic. It goes into great detail about their day
together. The entire lesson is dreamed up in someone's imagination
to make the kids want to read Proverbs 22:1-5 and hopefully
help them understand the meaning of these five verses.
3. Year D quarter 1
Page 33. This Lesson is about Jesus as a child. I know from
SOP that Jesus older brothers were not always kind to him
but I have never thought that Jesus grew up in a dysfunctional
home, "With an inner pool of tears a hollow place that love
from family should have filled" as is implied in the lesson.
DA 87 says Jesus loved His brothers and treated them with
unfailing kindness….and on pg. 90 "The life of Christ was
marked with respect and love for His mother." The lesson implies
that he spent time with Mary, Martha and Lazarus in their
home because they filled a void left by his own family. And
that Lazarus was like an older brother to him. The SOP and
the Bible states that Jesus spent time in the home of Mary,
Martha and Lazarus but I have never heard it stated that this
was because he had such a terrible home life. And where does
it say that Lazarus was older than Jesus?
4. Year A - quarter 3, Lesson FOURTEEN
This lesson is about the gift of the Sabbath. You really
need to read this one word for word to get the whole picture.
But in summery, the author of this lesson degraded a beautiful
story with a lot of cheap, flippant talk. Adam and Eve ask
God so many trivial questions, that God has to interrupt.
Adam apologizes to the Lord for getting so carried away. Adam
knew nothing of the word "sorry" or its related words, for
sin had not entered Eden yet. Eve asks the Lord to explain
to her what children and grandchildren are. God replies that
He will talk to her about that later, implying to the reader
that Eve has a lesson about the "birds and the bees" coming
after the Sabbath. The lesson concludes by saying that Adam
needs to do nothing for the Sabbath day except "be loved"
by God. Not once is the Sabbath identified as the seventh
day of the week. Instead the lesson infers, that the Sabbath
started a day after Adam and Eve were created. Not true. The
Sabbath came only hours after they were created. Friday at
sunset is the beginning of Sabbath.
I have given you some examples of the suggested activities
for Sabbath School time in the other divisions. Let me just
mention a few activities that go along with this lesson on
the Sabbath. They have three suggested activities to choose
from. One is stand in a circle while you read a list of things
one might do on Sabbath. The kids are to put their right foot
in if they think it is ok to do or put their left foot in
if it is not. The list covers all sorts of controversial issues,
which would more than likely cause an obvious divide between
the conservative and liberal families.
The Next activity is to have the kids use boxes and wrapping
paper and art supplies to create a gift that would symbolize
the Sabbath. When they are done the teacher is suppose to
ask them " How did it feel to think like God?" Thinking like
God is a very new age concept. It is very much like getting
in touch with the God in each of us. How close do we really
want to go to that idea?
The third thing you can do is divide in teams and play "capture
the gift." You just use a gift box instead of a flag and modify
the rules to capture the flag enough to be able to play it
indoors. When the game is done then you are to ask, "How did
it feel to compete for the gift? How is this like the way
God must feel when we don't celebrate the Sabbath? What are
some things that steal the Sabbath gift from us?"
Then to experience the story the teacher can read the creation
story from the bible while they play soft music in the background
and have the kids close their eyes relax and visualize. Again
this is very new age.
There is a discussion about how it might be better to use
some other word than keeping the Sabbath. Perhaps celebrating,
observing, honoring, or remembering. They say celebrating
sounds more festive. Then throughout the remainder of the
lesson celebrating is the primary term used.
The last activity is having the kids create a Sabbath slogan
by thinking up some TV advertisement slogan that they could
put Sabbath with. I suppose something like "Sabbath; good
to the last drop"(I made that one up). When they are done
you ask how did it feel to think of Sabbath as we think of
a popular product? Why is it important to have a good attitude
about celebrating Sabbath? How will these slogans help you
appreciate Sabbath more? I do not see how thinking about a
bunch of worldly products would help us at all. I think it
would only distract from the Sabbath.
"If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing
thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight,
the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not
doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor
speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself
in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places
of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy
father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Isaiah
I hope that this has been helpful to you in seeing some of
the errors in this material. I pray that the Lord will lead
you in finding material to use in your Sabbath schools that
is Bible based and Doctrinally sound. Our church has made
the decision to cancel all GraceLink-related material and
use alternative material. I spent quite a bit of time searching
for material to use that we felt was appropriate. My sister
has also struggled with the GraceLink material and has given
me a few suggestions for alternatives. The following list
is a combination of both of our searches. These are all good
alternatives to the GraceLink material.
Alternative Sabbath School Options
1. Betty and Lester Ortner
Sun World Graphics
P. O. Box 8336
SUMMARY : Mr. and Mrs. Ortner have been working with the
production of Sabbath School materials for nearly 37 years.
They have worked very closely with the GC for many years.
They produce mission stories and their accompanying felts,
nature attendance devices, name tags, geographical sketches
for the quarterly mission projects, theme devises for Cradle
Roll, Kindergarten and Primary levels, program helps and VBS
material. Their material has been carried for years through
our ABC's. Their products are very traditional and provide
an option to the new Gracelink programs. Currently they sell
through the Southeastern California Conference ABC @ 909-359-5800,
or you may order directly from them at the above address.
Direct orders receive a 25% discount. Their catalog contains
hundreds of traditional S.S. items that would lighten any
Sabbath School teacher's work load.
P. O. Box 431
Susanville, CA 96130
Summary: This ministry supplies Sabbath School material to
over 2000 churches in N. America. You may order their material
through any ABC in N. America, or you may order directly.
This press is an excellent source of alternative material
for any S.S including alternative lesson material. They provide
memory verse devises, and lesson helps that coordinate with
the GC material in subject matter on the Cradle Roll through
Jr. levels. They also are providing memory verse devices that
will go along with the new My Bible First lessons produced
by Phil Mills. (see next item). KMP produces an alternate
Jr./ET lesson that follows the same story and memory verse,
which is found in the GraceLink. To date, KMP has been working
on alternative lessons for the Beginners.
P. O. Box 495
Kechi, KS 67067
Summary: This material is geared for the kindergarten through
primary level. The art work is "Harry Anderson" style. It
is being carried by the ABC's of the Florida, Potomac, Idaho,
and George-Cumberland Conferences as well as by Amazing Facts.
The following is a letter from the producers themselves explaining
Thank you for your interest. I am responding for my wife,
Sherry. She is the overall organizational coordinator of the
children's departments in our Sabbath school.
We are quite excited about My Bible First, a weekly full-color
lesson aid designed to assist parents of kindergarten and
primary age with their daily family worships. It covers the
entire Bible sequentially from Genesis to Revelation in a
three-year period. It was written by Amy Sherrard, a vigorously
active 84 year old, retired missionary who worked for years
developing child evangelism programs for the church in the
Philippines/Far Eastern Division.
It is faithful to the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy and emphasizes
important character qualities needed by younger members of
God's family. The lessons are interesting with thought questions
included to assist the parents with discussion. Attractive,
colorful, and realistic artwork is utilized and a short mission
story, nature story, or health story with character value
is also included weekly. The printed memory verse selection
comes from the popular New King James Version, but other versions
could be substituted, of course.
It is also useful as an outreach to non-Adventist with a
special version planned to assist in child evangelism. Some
parents and grandparents who have seen it are sponsoring for
family members who live in other localities. Amazing Facts
has contacted us and may be a distributor in the near future.
The cost is $8.50/quarter or $34/year, which makes it less
expensive than the combined cost of a quarterly and Our Little
Friend or a quarterly and the Primary Treasure. Since this
is a missionary venture, the cost is purposely kept low.
We have been overwhelmed by the response. We simply started
this to meet a need for the members of our church to assist
them in their family worships. Several churches are now utilizing
it for their kindergarten and primary Sabbath schools. We
send it to any children missing and it has been useful in
follow up for the children.
We have seen God's hand in making this available to meet
the spiritual needs for our local congregation as we are held
accountable for instructing our children thoroughly in the
Word of God. We have seen God's hand in many miracles in producing
this but I believe this letter is long enough and I won't
bore you with the details so thrilling to us!
We hope to have a sample on the web soon, but would be happy
to mail an issue to you if you request.
E. Cameron Rd.
Spangle, WA 99031
Phone and Fax 509-245-3222
Summary: Jim Triplet has been working at producing quality
Sabbath School felts and teaching aids for our churches and
ABC's since the 70's. His material is available at any ABC
around the country (but you must ask for it sometimes.) ,
and it is usually on the Sabbath School standing order forms.
BJK's catalog of products has over 6000 items in felts alone.
Mr. Triplet has produces theme devices for Cradle Roll through
Early Teens for years. He has produced some "black and white"
lessons for the Jr. age that can be photo copied for the students
in your class.
Here are some excerpts from a letter written by Terri Prouty
who works for BJK.
"Over the past nearly 20 years, they (BJK) have kept some
of the manuscript material from the G.C. Last summer we went
through all the Primary and Junior materials and compiled
two series for each division that included theme devices,
programs, and as much lesson and teachers' materials as we
could put together. Since they had already done theme devices
for the programs, it was a matter of putting lessons with
The Primary material is simpler, in that most of the students'
lessons were included in the Primary Treasure on a weekly
basis. We wanted to keep with the idea of going through the
Bible stories in a consecutive and orderly manner. One thing
I personally dislike about the GraceLink lessons is the way
they jump around--not only from Old Testament to New, but
within the lifetime of one Bible character. I've been told
that these lessons are supposed to target children who don't
know much, if anything, about the Bible. In which case, I
would find it very confusing to really grasp the life of many
of the major Bible heroes like Paul, Moses, Joseph, and especially
I can tell you what I am including in the material. Each
memory verse is provided in KJV and NIV. Many lessons have
at least a portion of the Bible story written in what I hope
is an interest-catching way. There are also questions to answer.
Some are factual look-up-the-answer questions, and some are
designed to generate a little more thought (I hope I'm not
trying to get too detailed for Junior age kids, while still
giving Teens something to think about). The lessons are designed
to be studied the week ahead. (That was the biggest complaint
we had about the "GraceLink" programs.) I've kept the concept
of journaling, which was introduced in the lessons a few years
ago, as I think it's an important study tool.
Because the lesson and teaching materials are provided at
little cost with the programs, there hasn't been any budget
for artwork, so the problem of the cartoon-style illustrations
is eliminated. It would be nice if the kids' lessons could
have pictures, but at this point, the money for that isn't
- Country Garden School Resource Center
P. O. Box 6
College Place, WA 99324
Summary: This is a great resource center for both school
and Sabbath School supplies. Ask for their Sabbath School
order form, if you want S.S. supplementary material. They
sell Theme devices for babies through teens. Their program
helps, called "As Jesus Taught" (AJT) , have been around for
almost 20 years, and are sold at a number of ABC's nationwide.
These folks are ASI members and have displayed their materials
at the General Conference session in 1990, 1995 and 2000.
They also sell study guides to books such as "Acts of the
Apostles", " Story of Redemption" and "Christ's Object Lessons".
P. O. Box 650
Georgetown, CA 95634
Summary: Hazel Todd has produced Sabbath School material
for nearly three decades. She has worked closely with the
G.C. Sabbath School Dept. for years. Hazel has traveled extensively
giving S.S. workshops. She is now helping to produce an alternate
program for Cradle Roll age children that runs parallel to
the G.C. material. Mrs. Todd is authoring a quarterly packet
called, "Illustrated Beginners' Lesson and Program Guides"
which will be available only through Kid's Ministry Press.
These packets follow the new cycle of the Beginners' lessons
as outlined by the G.C. She is also preparing a quarterly
home worship packet, which is a follow up to the S.S. program.
It is priceless material for parents of pre-school children.
This packet will only be available through Kid's Ministry
Press. Nothing is produced from Hazel's ministry that is not
realistic, (no cartoons). She specializes in tiny tot material.
The book, "Tested Teaching Techniques for Tiny Tots" is now
available and can be ordered directly from her.
P. O. Box 14243
Palm Desert, CA 92255
P. O. Box 2407
Rohnert Part, CA 94927
Summary: These two companies produce the Bible in Felts that
we have used for years in our Sabbath Schools and which have
been sold in all our ABC's. There is the three year cycle
that runs along with our S.S. lessons. The manual has the
Bible stories printed as they are written in the old quarterlies
(pre-Gracelink). I am told that they carry Ellen White stories
in felt as well as Daniel and Revelation in felt. Specify
that you want SDA material. These ladies sell to many non-SDA
persons, so if you want material specific to our Adventist
beliefs, you must state that.
P. O. Box 400
Inchelium, WA 99138
Summary: This is a Junior level magazine that contains a
daily Bible study guide and a few character building stories.
There is an issue per week @ a subscription cost of $36.00/year.
The ministry was started about 10 years ago by Janet Evert,
an SDA mother and Jr. leader in California. Young Disciple
Ministries is a member of ASI and has an excellent working
relationship with the local church and Conference. Its materials,
including Young Disciple Magazine, are carried by several
ABC's. I am aware of many churches across the country using
YD in place of the GraceLink lesson.
P. O. Box 700
Tontitown, AR 72770
Summary: This ministry is producing beautiful study guides
to the books "Steps to Christ" and "Christ's Object Lessons".
They are recommended for age 12 and up. These guides were
advertised in the May 2001 issue of the Adventist Review (NAD
edition) on page 5. You can obtain them from your local ABC
or directly from the above address. The art work is beautifully
realistic and the guides are about the size of an adult S.S.
quarterly. Their price is $2.49 each.
P. O. Box 1058
Roseville, CA 95678
Summary: Amazing Facts has a great set of Bible studies that
is Junior/Early Teen level. They are called Storacles of Prophecy
and are written by Doug Batchelor. This is a set of 24 lessons
and they cover the fundamental beliefs of the SDA church.
I have been informed by the producers of "My Bible First"
that Amazing Facts will soon be selling the "My Bible First"
- Trim Your Lamps Ministries
P. O. Box 174
Apison, TN 37302
Summary: This ministry produces a set of eight study guides
that accompany "Messages to Young People". The guides contain
thirteen lessons each, with daily lesson activities. There
is a short reading assignment and three questions per day
for the student to answer from the assigned reading and the
scriptures. At the end of two years the student will have
read through the entire MYP. Margaret Jordan, author, wrote
these lessons in a simple, easy to understand format. Age
level: 10 and up.
LMN Publishing International
HC 4 Box 94-C
St. Maries, ID 83861
Summary: Write and ask LMN for anything they have on S.S.
material. They have a catalog of their products. They have
some great reprinted mission stories and character building
stories. Ask to speak with Terri Prouty. She is helping to
write Sabbath School material for the Junior level.
Truth for Today
The Homeward Bound booklets are looking at present truth
from a child's perspective. The theme is that this earth with
all its trappings is not our real home but that we are making
for the city whose maker and builder is God and that we are
but pilgrims and strangers here. The first quarter was on
the subject of the Word of God, and its faithfulness and reliability,
how we should show it reverence, how it takes us like a guidebook
on our way Home. There are pictures to color, texts to look
up, and something to learn each week. The themes have been
appreciated by new adult Adventists too, who have not heard
all the filling in bits and seen how everything fits together.
We had to do a re-print for adults! They are best received
by children between ages 7-11, and are best studied with parents
or older children in the family, so that the significance
of the lessons is absorbed as they do not talk down to children.
The full purpose is to help young people see what is important
about being a Seventh-Day Adventist and how the Truth is firmly
Bible based and what our purpose is in the world.
The next quarter is about Creation, the days of Creation
on a simple level, but also what it means to have the Creator
as our God in these last days. How there is one truth but
many errors. They have been written as if I were teaching
a children's class and are quite 'every day' in style and
illustration, but do not talk down to children in any way.
They are not glossy presentations, but truth filled.
The quarter that is being prepared now is about the Snares
of Satan and dare in preparation now. These lessons will show
how the supernatural is for real! And how to avoid the temptations
P. O. Box 1
Rapidan, VA 22733
Summary: Hartland Publications has material that is very
useful, with reprints of history, many of them written for
young people, especially about our protestant heritage and
the Reformation. They have many children's and youth materials,
books, etc., as well as material for adults, that would be
useful and practical for Sabbath Schools, Home Schools and
[Our next transmission will include an email from one of
those responsible for GraceLink, and a report of a meeting
held in the Northeast part of America with some of those responsible
for the GraceLink theology, and format. Stay tuned].