July 24, 2017

  

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Christian Education

Godly Play draws on the traditions of ancient storytelling. The primary goal is for teachers to model how to use the language of the Christian tradition through presentations of parables, sacred stories, liturgy and silence. The Godly Play classroom provides a space to worship God, not just speak about God.


There are two adults in each room, the storyteller and the doorperson. Adults are there in service to the child and to support the community that develops. Just as adults experience the Sanctuary as sacred space, so do the children experience the Godly Play room as sacred space.


Greeting – every child is welcomed individually to the circle


Offering – every child is invited to share with those in need and the teacher may ask about uses for the offering. Offering envelopes are available in the classroom.


Sharing the Word – the storyteller shares an oral narrative. Visual materials help the children focus on the story.


Responding to the Word – children are invited to reflect on the story and work on a personal response to it. We help the child make a connection between religious language and personal creativity.


Thanksgiving Prayer and Feast – the community of children gathers to pray and share the feast. This time prepares the children indirectly for participating in communion with the worshiping community.


Blessing - after visiting as a group the storyteller invites each child to leave the circle individually. This provides an opportunity for the child to receive personal words of affirmation. This could not occur if parents were able to enter the room at this time so we invite parents to wait by the door.


Children hear the core stories of the Christian tradition several times over the elementary years because as children grow and change so their understanding of these stories changes and deepens. In the fall, we focus on the stories of the Hebrew Scriptures and move to the story of Jesus on the first Sunday in Advent. Following Christmas we continue with the New Testament.


There is more repetition in the rooms for younger children as they are hearing these stories for the first time. By the time children are entering second grade additional lessons are introduced. Parent Pages are distributed to parents by the doorperson on Sunday so parents can engage their child in dialogue and follow up with any supplementary reading at home.


Parents are encouraged to observe their child’s Godly Play program. Only two parents may observe on any given Sunday.