Godly Play

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For a schedule of worship & children’s formation, click here.

Christian education is not the communication of correct views about what the various works and words of Jesus might mean; rather it is the stocking of the imagination with the icons of those works and words themselves. It is most successfully accomplished, therefore, not by catechisms that purport to product understanding but by stories that hang the icons, understood or not, on the walls of the mind.”

— Robert Capon, Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus

 

We offer “Godly Play,” a method of Christian education and spiritual direction for children. The goal of Godly Play is “to teach children the art of using religious language — parable, sacred story, silence, and liturgical action — to help them become more fully aware of the mystery of God’s presence in their lives.” Rooted in the Montessori tradition, Godly Play was developed and classroom tested for more than twenty years by Episcopal priest, author, and teacher Jerome Berryman. Visit Jerome Berryman’s Godly Play® website.

The Godly Play method is currently being used in churches of many denominations throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. Since 1991, Godly Play has spread to nearly 1000 churches and institutions.

During a typical Godly Play session children are greeted, told a sacred story using special materials, and are engaged in a series of “I wonder” questions allowing them to explore the relationship between the story and their lives. The session concludes with children working with materials of their choice to express and “meditate” on the story in an artistic and kinesthetic way. In this way, Godly Play helps children know God — not just know about God or the Bible.

While Godly Play is very disciplined in its format (the same way that liturgy is), it encourages children to explore their questions through work with art materials. In this way, the program gives children both the kind of structure they need and the freedom they need to work based on their own different personalities and interests. We believe that this approach is uniquely suited to forming children within an Anglican or Episcopal spiritual tradition — one that values both a way of doing things that has flow and grace and cultivates a spirit of experimentation and freedom.

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