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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Tuned in and turned on

Innovative Sunday school programs reach kids in a media-saturated age

Young people today are bombarded by information and images from all sides. The Internet, music videos, $100 million action movies and flashy ads compete for their interest. Teachers lament that the constant stimulation of young brain cells has shortened attention spans. But some Christian education programs and products a re adapting to the realities of a changing media environment.

For fifth- through eighth-graders at Zion Lutheran Church, Oregon City, Ore., Sunday school is now a matter of megabytes and mouse clicks. The church's multimedia lab premiered Easter 1995.

"We were losing touch with our junior-high group, and feeling as though they were losing touch with us," says Henry "Bud" Coates, pastor of Zion. A bequest to the Sunday school program made possible the renovation of a room and the purchase of 10 computers, a printer, software, tables and chairs. Two adult volunteers "upgraded" their skills by learning the software.


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