While our building is closed, Godly Play is now offered virtually.
Click the button below to find additional Godly Play resources your family can use, including video links to past lessons and weekly print-outs:
On Sundays, 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.
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.
Children in Worship
The embodied and mysterious nature of worship in an Anglo-Catholic parish is highly evocative for children. At St. Paul’s, the look and smell of incense, the use of chant and song, and the employment of the body in worship—bowing, crossing ourselves, touching the water of the font to remember our baptisms, lighting candles in the presence of the icon of Mary—all attract the attention and participation of children in the liturgy.
We treasure children at St. Paul’s and treasure the privilege of helping to influence children in their journey to adulthood as Christians. In our liturgy, in our children’s formation and in our relationships with children and their parents, we seek both to honor children’s dignity as well as prepare them for healthy participation in an adult world. Thus, we seek to provide ways children to encounter the stuff of our Biblical and historical traditions as well as ways for each child to express his or her creativity.
To the caretakers of our youngest members
· Sing the hymns, pray, and respond. Children learn liturgical behavior from you.
· If you need to leave Mass with your child, feel free to do so, but please come back.
· Remember! The way we welcome children in church directly affects the way they respond to Church, to God, and to Christ. Let them know that they are at home in this liturgical gathering.
· Relax! God put the wiggle in children; don’t feel you have to suppress it here.
· Feel free to sit towards the front where it’s easier for little ones to see and hear.
· Please let us know how we can become more welcoming to your children.
Children ages 11 and up are welcome to serve in our Sunday liturgies as Acolytes.