Faith offers a wonderful way of forming our children in the Christian faith: Godly Play.
Godly Play is rooted in a belief that children have an intrinsic yearning for and sense of divine, and need the language of sacred story to help them articulate it, share it, and understand it.
Godly Play is built upon the pedagogical work of Maria Montessori. These core values include respect for the children, prepared learning environments, an awareness of the absorbent minds that children have, and that children have the ability to teach themselves.
Each Godly play session includes a story time, where children listen to a sacred story being told, using high quality materials to aid in the story-telling. The children are invited to wonder about the story, and even asked to ponder who and where they are in the story. Then the children are invited to do their own “work,” which might include working with another story, doing art or crafts, reading a book, or even just resting. Finally the group gathers for a “feast,” echoing the actions of Holy Communion, where the children are invited to share their own prayers or thanksgivings.
The Godly Play space is a sacred one, carefully put together to be welcoming to our youngest sisters and brothers in Christ. The walls are lined with low shelving, and story sets are grouped together in thematic ways. Children are welcomed into this space by an adult door person, who makes sure they are ready. The other adult in the room is the storyteller who guides the children through the experience.
The threshold between the outside world and the Godly Play space is an important one. Parents leave their children at this threshold, and the children enter this holy space that is created for their own growth and formation.
Godly Play sessions are offered on Sundays starting at 9:15 a.m. (15 minutes before Worship).
You can learn more about Godly Play at the Godly Play Foundation website: www.godlyplay.org.
You can see a great introduction by the creator of Godly Play, Jerome Berryman, here:
Questions, please contact us! firstname.lastname@example.org