I attended my first official Godly Play workshop in 2013 at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in San Angelo, Texas, and although it was just an introduction to the method, I was excited to finally attend a real Godly Play event! My husband and I were in discernment about a potential toddler adoption, and so I personally felt unsettled and nervous about the future. But I knew this introductory workshop was something I needed to do for me. After dinner in the church fellowship hall, we settled into a circle on the floor and introduced ourselves.
“Hi, I’m Beth, and I’m actually from South 11th and Willis Church of Christ in Abilene.” An elderly woman sitting nearby raised her eyebrows, and I heard her whisper in a somber tone, “The Lord help you!” I laughed, because I knew what she meant. The Churches of Christ are located in what scholars call the Restoration Movement, which began in the early 19th century. Some of the movement’s key “features” include: local autonomous churches, a shedding of all creeds, and a reliance on the Bible as the one and only revelation of God to humankind. There was to be no fancy high church liturgy and no instrumental music. One of its highest aspirations was to restore Christianity to what it would have looked like in the first century (as much as possible), as described in the New Testament.
So yeah, it seemed a little strange that a lady from a conservative, non-liturgical, and historically fundamentalist religious group was hanging out with liberal Episcopalians. I guess I’ve never been good at knowing where I belong. Continue reading