Our kids are SO IMPORTANT to us and we take pride in caring for the spiritual life of our kids. Our children's ministry currently offers two programs for our kids on Sunday mornings--Sunday School at 9:15am and Godly Play during our worship gathering--and we trust that your children will be spiritually enriched through participating in one or both programs. Keep scrolling for more info.
Join us for a great time of music, Bible study, skits, and crafts. We focus on learning about the characters of scripture, the books of the Bible, and lessons on how we can better live as God's children. This program is currently led by Mandy Bowker.
Godly Play is a Montessori-based program that allows our children to learn bible stories and traditions through storytelling, wondering, and play. It is a curriculum that invites children to discover God--both themselves, and with one another through the stories in the Bible. Godly Play uses a careful telling of scripture stories, engaging story figures, and activities to encourage children to seek and find answers to their faith questions. Godly Play respects the innate spirituality of children and encourages curiosity and imagination in experiencing the mystery and joy of God.
Keep scrolling for an introductory video about Godly Play and some Frequently Asked Questions about this incredible program.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GODLY PLAY*
What is Godly Play?
Godly Play offers a creative, child-honoring way of entering into and experiencing the biblical story. In Godly Play, we play with the language of God and God's People: our sacred stories, parables, liturgical actions and silence. Through this powerful language, through our wondering, through the community of players gathered together, we hear the deepest invitation of all: an invitation to come play with God.
This Montessori based approach was developed and classroom tested for over 25 years by Dr. Jerome Berryman, teacher, author and Episcopal priest. It is currently being used in churches of many denominations throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
What Makes Godly Play Distinctive?
In Godly Play, we tell Bible stories to encourage children to enter the stories and relate them to their personal experience. It is concerned with the spiritual development of each child as an individual.
In Godly Play, each session follows the pattern of the service for Holy Communion, so children develop a deep understanding and enjoy fuller participation when they attend corporate worship. The class follows the Order of Worship: Getting ready, listening and responding to the Word (lesson), the Feast (Holy Communion) and Blessing and Dismissal (saying goodbye).
When We Arrive on Sunday, what do we do?
The children are invited to the front of the church, prayed for, and then escorted to the classroom. We treat the Godly Play classroom as a "sacred space." Greeters help each child at the door become ready to enter the room quietly. Children leave the room one at a time after receiving personal words of blessing and affirmation from the teacher.
What kinds of projects will my child do in Godly Play?
After the lesson, the teacher and children wonder together about the story. Then, each child chooses how to respond to the lesson with art or lesson materials. We encourage children to take time on their projects.
How will I know if my child is learning anything?
One of the most important things we teach in this program is how Christian people live and work together in community. This is hard to measure. Many parents find their children begin to retell Bible stories and wonder aloud about the meaning of these stories.
What are on the shelves in the classrooms?
These objects are the lesson materials that make the images of religious language come alive. In Godly Play, the teacher (storyteller) sits in the circle with the children on the floor, literally surrounded by our religious language system. The materials help us tell the story of the day and are placed in the middle of the circle, symbolizing the fact that God is present and accessible to all, children and adults alike. Working in the circle also helps us emphasize many aspects of being together in a Christian community.
Will my child bring home craft projects?
The classroom has a selection of art materials. The focus of Godly Play is not crafts, but art can be incorporated during the reflection time after the story. The children often choose to work with the story materials during reflection time.
Will my child enjoy Godly Play?
One of the goals of Godly Play is to create a safe space for children a place where their ideas, opinions, and gifts are deeply respected. Because everything in the classroom is designed for children to use and enjoy, most children look forward to coming to Godly Play.
*borrowed from St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church in VA