“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 →
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 →