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 →
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 →
As the academic and publishing arm of the Godly Play Foundation, the Center for the Theology of Childhood functions as a research center. It houses a library of over 4,000 books related to Godly Play. Some of the topics includes classical theology, mystical theology, philosophy (especially the existentialists), ethics, child development, Montessori, play, silence, laughter, tears, religious education, and the history of childhood. The archive houses a collection of Jerome Berryman’s publications and important historical documents related to Godly Play and the Foundation. The Center also includes a well-equipped Godly Play room nearby, hosted by St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in South Denver. Children of the parish gather there each Sunday. Continue reading →