Author Archives: Regan Schutz

Godly Play at Greenbelt in the UK

Greenbelt is a Christian community in the United Kingdom committed to arts, faith, and culture. As they say on their website: Greenbelt is ‘engaged with culture, inspired by the arts, sustained by faith and aspires to be an open generous community re-imagining the Christian narrative for the present moment’. This mission is primarily lived out each year on the August Bank Holiday weekend when they host a festival that includes a programme of music, visual and performing arts, spirituality, comedy, talks, and discussion. How fitting then that Godly Play United Kingdom chose to be an integral part of this rich experience by being present at the Greenbelt festival.

IMG_0695Each morning there were full Godly Play sessions indoors, throughout the day pop-up sessions were held outdoors, and each evening Deep Talk sessions were held. Over twenty volunteers ran these sessions under the able leadership of Jeremy and Louise Clines and Kathryn Lord. I was privileged to be present for a day and to witness many children and adults experiencing Godly Play for the first time. This was an inspired project that combined ministry and promotion. Those who took part in the sessions were able to experience the wonder of Godly Play, and they are sure to go home and share the good news in ways that will lead to the growth of Godly Play in the UK.

IMG_0691Through this project, Godly Play UK has reminded us all of the importance of seeking out opportunities to promote this gift that is Godly Play. One of the commendable things about Godly Play is how it has grown based on reputation, results, and relationships as opposed to a coordinated and manufactured marketing plan. Nonetheless, to the extent we believe that Godly Play is good news for the people of the world, then to that extent we may need to be more proactive and intentional in seeking out opportunities to share this good news. Events like Greenbelt take place all over the world all of the time, and I encourage national and regional circles of Godly Play to imagine the ways in which they can be present at these events. Thank you Godly Play UK for your example.

Andrew Sheldon
Godly Play Advocate for International Development

An Alaska Teenager’s Godly Play Legacy: Honoring Joseph Balko (2000-2016)

Eaglescout5Joseph James Balko died Saturday, May 21st after he collapsed as he finished a race in the Regional Track and Field Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska. He was 15 years old. While they say “there are saints known only to God,” Joseph is a saint well-known to God and to the Fairbanks community.

Joseph left a legacy of Godly Play story materials that he lovingly made for the Catholic Schools of Fairbanks. When he was just 13 years old, Joseph identified the need for more story materials for his school’s Godly Play program. So Joseph decided to produce the materials as his Eagle Scout project. Because of this gift, Joseph’s loving, faithful spirit lives on through all who now–and all who will–work with the Godly Play story materials he produced. Continue reading

Book Reviews from the Center!

stack of books on the dark wood background. toning. selective focus on the middle bookThe Foundation is pleased to announce a series of book reviews presented by the
Center for the Theology of Childhood.

The Center’s book reviews are available here and more will be added periodically. The first book reviewed in this series is The Grace of Playing: Pedagogies for Leaning into God’s New Creation (2016) by Courtney T. Goto.

The Center for the Theology of Childhood of the Godly Play Foundation is interested in the theory, practice, and empirical research concerning children’s religious lives, their spirituality, and the theological implications of what is learned. The Center is embarking on a project to offer original book reviews of volumes related to the spiritual guidance of children. This project is aimed to serve the international Godly Play community and to draw on it for these reviews, but those generally interested in this field will find them helpful as well. Continue reading