Godly Play

Godly Play

Created by Rev. Dr. Jerome Berryman, the Godly Play® method is a curriculum of spiritual practice exploring the mystery of God’s presence in our lives. The Godly Play curriculum engages what is most exciting about religious education: God inviting us into—and pursuing us in the midst of—Scripture and spiritual experience. Godly Play® practice teaches us to listen for God and to make authentic and creative responses to God’s call in our lives.

Godly Play is a creative, imaginative approach to Christian formation and spiritual guidance.
Godly Play has a Montessori foundation with 40+ years of research and practice.
Godly Play values process, openness, discovery, community and relationships.
Godly Play models the worship life, stories, symbols and rituals of Christian congregations.
Godly Play allows practitioners to make relevant and personal theological meaning.
Godly Play nurtures participants to larger dimensions of belief and faith through wondering and play.

For online videos and instruction from the Godly Play Foundation website click here.

Godly Play: ages 3 – 5th grade

Please join us for Godly Play on Sundays at 9:30 am in the Godly Play room in the big parish hall.

A doorkeeper will greet each child as they enter the Godly Play room adorned with a bright red circular rug and plenty of bible stories. A trained storyteller brings Bible stories out of the pages by retelling them using props and accessories. Children are invited to ask questions about the story during a “wondering time.” At the end, children can respond to the story in art form, by painting, drawing, or using other art media we have on hand. Older children help younger children, and it is a wonderful way to learn about the stories of the Bible and grow faith.

Sunday School: What's Happening in February!

Sunday School: What's Happening in February!

Sunday School for kids ages 3 – 6th grade has a busy February lined up! Read what’s at the heart of our lessons each Sunday:

February 4:

No Sunday School – First Sunday Family Worship

February 11:

Preschool (3-4 year olds): “God Floods the Earth” – Noah and his family lived through a one-of-a-kind natural disaster. Most people have had the experience of being worried by a tornado, a blizzard, a hurricane or an electrical storm. But even the worst of our present day storms last no more than a few days. Noah and his family coped with torrential rains and water that burst forth from the ground and sky, and it lasted for almost six weeks. Noah and his family were confined to the ark for more than a year–that’s plenty of time to consider the changes they would encounter when the world dried out. Friends and neighbors would be gone, and cities would be destroyed. There would be no more civilization. Noah and his family would have to start all over.
And yet, through it all, God cared for them, protected them, and provided for them. There’s no indication in scripture that Noah or any of his family ever lost faith in God. Perhaps they knew, as the children in our church will learn in this lesson, that God is utterly dependable. God always has our best interests at heart. God always acts with love, justice and integrity. We can count on God!
Godly Play (grades K-3): Epiphany: “Daniel & the lion’s den” – Daniel was a great man of faith and prayer. When he had to choose between praying to God or facing death for his beliefs, he was faithful to God. He was protected all night by an angel when he was thrown into a den of lions. In this lesson children will learn about what it means to remain faithful to God.
Grapple (grades 4-6): “Jesus Surprises Nathanael” – Tweens often compare God with humans and find it difficult to understand that there could be a being who knows (and has always known) everything about them and still loves them unconditionally. Often tweens evaluate their understanding of God based on their relationships with people they look up to as spiritual people. In this lesson, we will help them see that God’s perfect knowledge and care surpass that of anyone they may know. Tweens will leave reminded that God loves each one of them dearly, considers each one of them special, and has a unique plan for each of their lives.

February 18:

Preschool (3-4 year olds): “People Build a Tower at Babel” – The people at Babel wanted to make a name for themselves, so they decided to build a tower that reached to the heavens. At first glance, it’s hard to see what their sin was because our culture values ambition and hard work. However, in choosing to build this tower, the people were developing a pattern of self-sufficiency that left out God. It’s a pattern that plagues us to this day.
God made us for his glory and for his purposes. This lesson will help children realize the God deserves more than just a portion of their devotion; God deserves it all.
Dig In (grades K-3): “Jesus Came for Everyone” – In this lesson, Jesus asks a tax collector named Matthew to be his disciple. Tax collectors were known for being greedy, cheating men whom no one liked. So when Jesus went to Matthew’s house for dinner with a lot of other “bad” people, the religious leaders got mad. But Jesus came for everyone, and those who realize they are sinners need Jesus.
Jesus came for everyone. Kids will be familiar with the categories of popular people and outcasts. They may have experienced similar scenes as the one in the Bible story, where someone was judged for associating with a “loser.” Maybe they’ve felt like the “loser.” Children will learn that in Jesus’ view, there are no outcasts. Everyone is welcome.
Grapple (grades 4-6): “Disciples Follow Jesus” – When tweens consider how to follow Christ, what immediately comes to mind is how the disciples followed Jesus. Basically they left their families behind and followed Jesus wherever he went. This leaves tweens with very little concrete information on what it means for them to follow Christ. This lesson will help kids grapple with practical ways they can follow Jesus in their everyday lives.

February 25:

Preschool (3-4 year olds): “Abraham Follows God’s Direction” – Where would we be without God’s guidance? As Christians we know that God has plans for us. We also know that God has a master plan and that each one of us fits into it. Our God is infinitely capable of guiding us. At all times, God is aware of how things will turn out. This knowledge gives us a sense of security and trust. We can know that even though things don’t always make sense and even though we don’t always have the answers, God is leading us every day. We will use this lesson to lead children in praising a God who cares for them enough to plan their lives and lead them through one step at a time.
Dig In (grades K-3): “Jesus Heals a Lame Man by a Pool” – In this lesson, Jesus goes to a pool where sick people often hang out hoping to be healed by the power of the bubbling water in the pool. One lame man is never able to get there soon enough, so Jesus heals him. The religious leaders get mad, but Jesus is God, and he tells them so.
Children will learn that Jesus is God in human form to show us the heart of God and his love for us. Because Jesus lived in human form, kids can read about tangible and specific events involving God. Recognizing that Jesus is God helps them realize that God’s amazing power can be real in their lives.
Grapple (grades 4-6): “Jesus Demonstrates His Authority” – Tweens have been raised on a diet of comic book heroes, each with amazing powers, so they have a ready point of identification and interest when we discus Jesus’ power. In this lesson, we will help them explore his many different powers and his miraculous works and wonders. Parents, be ready to share with your teens examples of God’s power at work in your own life and how you tap into this power.

Sunday School News For Children: The January Scoop

Sunday School News For Children: The January Scoop

The Children’s Ministry team has been hard at work preparing a wonderful Spring Semester for your children to enjoy! Take a peak at what we have planned for the month of January:

January 14:

Preschool: “God Creates the World” – God’s creation is awesome, and it tells us of our awesome God. God designed creation so it would teach us about him and draw us into a relationship with him. Through this lesson, children will find out that God made everything they see in the world and that God made it good. We will use this lesson to lead children in praising an infinitely creative God.
Godly Play: Epiphany: “Baby Jesus Presented to God” – During this lesson, children will learn that Epiphany is a time when we celebrate the mystery that God came to
us in Jesus the Christ child, a light for the whole world. Children will hear about how baby Jesus was presented to God in the Temple.
Grapple: “We Thank God for Jesus” – Let’s face it, middle-schoolers are not always as thankful as they could be. They may assume and expect good things and not recognize that these good things come from God. Here tweens will be reminded that good things come from God and they will look for ways to be grateful and thankful to God for all the things they enjoy.

January 21:

Preschool: “God Creates Adam and Eve” – When we look at creation we see its beauty and complexity; we also wonder that God takes such an interest in people. But Scripture tells us that we have a special place in creation. We were created in God’s image; we were created to care for creation, to rule over it; we were created to be God’s children. The Creator loves us! Here children will learn about why we worship the most amazing God.
Dig In: “Jesus is Amazing!” – In a world of YouTube and social media, kids have seen a lot more amazing things than kids of past generations saw. They’ve seen dogs riding bicycles, cats turning doorknobs, and so much more. It can be hard to amaze them, but this lesson will captivate them with the amazing miracles Jesus can do.
Grapple: “Wise Men Find Jesus” – Tweens often think of worship as the singing part of a church service. In most cases, they haven’t come to recognize what it means to live in a worshipful way. We will use this lesson to help them understand that worship goes beyond singing a song of praise; worship is when we give ourselves to God and live for him.

January 28:

Preschool: “Noah Builds the Ark” – In this lesson, preschoolers will learn about God asking Noah to build by hand a boat with approximately 100,000 square feet of space and care for all the animals he would bring with him on that vessel. Children will learn that God is all-knowing and there is nothing that God does not know or understand.
Dig In: “Wise and Foolish Builder” – Here students will learn that Jesus is trustworthy. There’s one thing we know for sure about this world: Kids will face storms like the ones Jesus talks about in his parables. They need to be prepared to stand firm in their faith, knowing that they can trust Jesus to help them through anything. We will use this lesson to help kids build their lives on Jesus – the trustworthy foundation.
Grapple: “John Baptizes Jesus” – Preteens are making the transition from concrete to abstract thinking. This maturing in their reasoning ability can have a strong impact on their belief systems. The simpler reasoning of their elementary years gives way to the ability to explore the “why” behind the facts. The questions in this lesson are designed to help kids wrestle with the application of Jesus coming to earth. We will encourage kids to think through what they are learning to help make faith more real in their lives.