Godly Play is a method of Christian education and spiritual nurture, offered at St. John’s for children in the Kindergarten Class (4, 5, & 6-year-olds). 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.
Godly Play was developed and classroom tested for more than 20 years by Jerome Berryman, an Episcopal Priest, author and teacher; and Sonja Stewart, Professor of Christian Education & Director of the Master of Religious Education Program at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. The Godly Play method is currently used in churches of many denominations throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Godly Play is what Jerome Berryman calls his interpretation of Montesssori religious education. It is an imaginative approach to working with children, an approach that supports, challenges, nourishes and guides their spiritual quest; it is more akin to spiritual direction than to what we generally think of as religious education.
Godly Play assumes that children have some experience of the mystery of the presence of God in their lives, but that they lack the language, permission and understanding to express & enjoy that in our culture. In Godly Play, we enter into parables, silence, sacred stories and sacred liturgy in order to discover more about God, ourselves, one another, and the world around us.
One of the goals of Godly Play is to create a safe space for children – a place wher etheir ideas, opinions & gifts are deeply respected. Because everything in the worship center is designed for children to use and enjoy, most children look forward to Sunday School.
For more information on Godly Play, please be in touch with Linda Meier. Thank you!