Best Sunday School Teacher Sought

Sunday school teachers can never receive too much encouragement and appreciation for their invaluable ministry. Although praise and recognition isn't the reason volunteers serve in this ministry, it is important to honor and thank those who faithfully invest in the lives of children, youth and adults. That's why Gospel Light launched Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day in 1993, with the goal of honoring the 15 million Sunday School teachers nationwide who dedicate themselves to teaching the Word of God in the local church.

Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day is a special day when churches across America are invited to honor their Sunday school teachers for their dedication, hard work and life-changing impact on their students. Celebrated on the third Sunday in October-October 17, 2004, this year-churches across America are encouraged to celebrate and recognize their Sunday school teachers.

An integral part of the event is the national search for the Sunday School Teacher of the Year. This award was established to honor Dr. Henrietta Mears-a famous Christian educator who influenced the lives of such well-known and respected Christian leaders such as Billy Graham, Bill and Vonette Bright, Richard Halverson and many more.

Every year, a Sunday school teacher is chosen from across the nation for this award. The recipient will receive national recognition and a vacation for two to Hawaii, plus free curriculum and resources for his or her Sunday school class. The honoree's church also receives a $500 gift certificate from Gospel Light, which may be redeemed for Sunday school or VBS curriculum, Regal books, teaching resources, videos, and more. 

Each Top 10 finalist is also recognized with special gifts from Gospel Light and its partners.

If you know of a special teacher you would like to nominate for the Sunday School Teacher of the Year award, you can do so by visiting and submitting the nomination directly online or by calling the Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day hotline at 1-800-354-4224 to receive a nomination form in the mail. All nominations must be received at Gospel Light by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on August 31, 2004.

You can also recognize Sunday school teachers year-round by incorporating these simple appreciation ideas throughout the year:

• Feature a different teacher or Sunday school class each week or month in your bulletin or newsletter. Include personal notes about each teacher using the "Did you know…" format. Encourage the congregation to pray for these teachers during the coming week/month.

• Put up a bulletin board in a well-traveled area of the church facility. Feature one department or age level each month including several pictures of teachers in action with their classes.

• Send your Sunday school teachers encouraging cards and thank-you notes.

• Designate one Sunday as a "teacher treat day." Ask a parent from each class to bring a basket of muffins, cookies, or other treats to the child's teacher, along with an encouraging card that all the students can sign.

For more ideas on how to recognize and encourage these "unsung heroes of the faith" visit the Web address given above.

From information provided by Gospel Light

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