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 →
The Story of Godly Play at Christ Church in Statford, CT
by Jeannie Babb
“What are you doing for children?”
This is the question the Rev. Scott Lee asks me when he learns I am the Christian Formation Director of Otey Memorial Parish.
“Godly Play,” I reply simply. Before telling him I also work for the Godly Play Foundation, I want to see what he’ll say about the ministry.
The Ten Best Ways shared with the congregation
At the mention of Godly Play, Lee excitedly tells me how it has changed his church. Christ Church in Stratford, Connecticut, had very limited Christian education opportunities when Lee answered the call to serve as Priest-in-Charge. Only two or three children attended on Sundays, with one faithful mother greeting them each week.
After the death of Blanche Kent, the beloved parishioner’s daughter Lauren wanted to give the church a significant memorial. Thinking of Kent’s love for children, Lee suggested launching a Godly Play program.
He says, “Godly Play is the best the church has to offer for formation for young people. I also knew that it provides deep formation for the storytellers.” Continue reading →
Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age(New York: Penguin Books, 2016)
Reclaiming Conversation (2016) arouses all sorts of deep feelings. Some may feel nostalgia for a time that never was, when we all talked frankly and honestly with each other. Others may feel enthusiasm for the latest, greatest device. Perhaps, defensiveness will be aroused unconsciously to withstand or deter uncomfortable ideas. We bring our personal histories with us as we read about the rapid shift in technology that we have been involved in. That is as it should be.
In my case I did not even see a television set until about 1950. I was a freshman in high school, when my father and I watched enthusiastically in a store window, as shadowy, black and white images moved amid electronic “snow.” Before that I had lived in a world of radio, newspapers, books, people, and nature. Today no one graduating from college knows a world that does not include television, computers, handheld communication devices, and robots of varying sophistication. Continue reading →