As we celebrate All Saints and All Souls, I find myself reflecting on the community of holy people whose handiwork brought Godly Play to the parishes of which I have belonged. My previous parish is a small, rural Episcopal church who brought Godly Play to their community some twenty or more years ago. If collective memory is correct, a cohort of lay and ordained traveled to be trained by Jerome Berryman himself as they began the enterprise to share the stories in Young Children and Worship with the children of the parish. Creating the Godly Play space was truly a community effort.
I find myself recalling the woman who created and painted the ceramic nativity set that the children still use. Roberta died several years ago, but her presence and faith lives on in the art that she created for the children. “This Holy Family is for you,” says the Godly Play script. Continue reading →
Doug Watts and Ryan Campbell recently presented a workshop at the 15th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CHILDREN’S SPIRITUALITY, convened by the International Association for Children’s Spirituality, at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln, UK.
15th International Conference on Children’s Spirituality Workshop Leaders
The theme of this year’s conference, SPIRITUALITY AND THE WHOLE CHILD: INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES, matches closely the focus of the work Watts and Campbell do at Children’s Medical Center – Dallas. Continue reading →
“I have to learn how to do this.” That’s what the Rev. Cheryl V. Minor, Ph.D., freshly ordained, said after she watched a woman sit on the floor to tell a story. The storyteller, Laurel Mosteller, encouraged Minor to fly with her to Houston, where Dr. Jerome Berryman was serving as Canon Educator at Christ Church Cathedral. She attended a three day training that included every Liturgical Action story, plus modules on response time led by Thea Berryman.
Neither Minor’s ministry nor her personal spirituality have been the same since. Godly Play changed her work in the parish, her work as a parent, and who she is as a person. Continue reading →
“I like the fire.” The smallest children answer first, eyes still locked on the smoldering candles half submerged in the great glass bowl of sand. “I like smelling the oil.”
“The light’s not gone,” says someone older, “it’s only changed.”
This wondering isn’t unfolding in a Godly Play room. We’re in the parish hall, where big bowls of potato salad and coleslaw are lined up like train cars behind Southern BBQ and platters of pickles and homegrown tomatoes. We are sitting on the same rug some of the children know, but strong hands have hauled it through the corridor and placed it here in the center of everything. The little ones crowd close to the storyteller while older children and adults sit in a half moon near the corners of the rug and on the floor and in chairs like layers of nested parentheses. Continue reading →