Where do you go when you need to pause, ground yourself, and reconnect with the Holy Spirit?
Sometimes I like to slip into an empty church and walk up the aisle, watching where the sun slants through the windows and lightly touching the wood of each pew until I find a place to kneel. I notice how the space feels sacred even when empty of the souls who have invested it with such meaning. A church is a people, not merely a building; yet I find holiness in this very space set aside for worship, as if the wood and stones are saturated with so many prayers from thousands and thousands of services.
Another place I find that sense of reverence is in the Godly Play space. Continue reading →
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).
Focusing on a single saying of Jesus, Jerome Berryman’s latest work combines decades of research with a lifetime of practice with lively stories from the Godly Play classroom. It’s the kind of book I want to spend much more time with, before saying anything at all. Yet, I also want to share it with you as soon as possible, because I hope you will read it and share it, and we can discuss it.
Becoming Like a Child (Church Publishing, 2017) is the sort of book I’d like to study in a Sunday class or a seminary class. Although the book is in some ways about Godly Play, it is not exactly a monograph. One need not be familiar with the practice, nor even interested in children’s ministry, to read this book and be led into a deeper understanding of Christianity, of the metaphor from which it takes its name, of human nature, and of oneself. Continue reading →
Godly Play founder Jerome Berryman’s newest work, Becoming Like a Child is available at Church Publishing Incorporated (CPI) and other booksellers.
“The quality of Jerome Berryman’s scholarship, insight, and vision about childhood’s theological and spiritual nature is without equal. In this one book, the reader will find rewards and challenges that could not be provided by reading a hundred other books in this field.” — Dr. Rebecca Nye, researcher, consultant, and trainer in the field of children’s spirituality and author of Children’s Spirituality: What It Is and Why It Matters
Berryman includes many stories and examples, offering an accessible overview of Godly Play practice. In this book he also explores the theology and Christian ethos developed through a lifetime of attending to the curiosity of children.
A Reflection on the Story & an Interview with Jerome Berryman
by Jeannie Babb
The hymn O Come All Ye Faithful is as majestic as it is ubiquitous. For me, it evokes an early childhood memory so visceral that singing the refrain still gives me a shiver.
“They were late. Every year, they are late! They are adoring the baby.”
I’ve sung this Christmas carol in the plain white-walled space of the Southern Baptist Church in which I was raised, and beneath vaulted ceilings, and in a house church with tambourines. Yet, when I hear those words “O come let us adore him,” I am transported back to the seventies. Continue reading →
“I love living into the Advent story every year. I am currently thinking about the Prophets and what they told us about what it means to listen to God’s word.”
For Maureen Hagen, Director for the Academy for Formation and Mission in the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon, listening and living into the story leads to giving. As part of her own spiritual practice, Hagen follows 30 Days of Gratitude in November, with 31 Days of Giving each December.
A Godly Play storyteller since 2003, Hagen says her Godly Play practice informs her approach to Christian formation as a whole, and generosity in particular. Whether teaching, giving, or supporting in other ways, she spends time first in prayer, then listening, wondering, response. Continue reading →