In this season of giving, the Godly Play Foundation has given a gift:
A Lending Library of Stories of God at Home for Church of our Saviour in Arlington, MA
Several weeks ago the Godly Play Foundation dreamed up a special way to celebrate Christmas in 2018 – to give a whole set of Home Edition Godly Play lessons and two copies of Stories of God at Home: A Godly Play Approach to a church ready to dive into this ministry but lacking the resources to establish it. This church would then have the opportunity to set up a lending library for families interested in trying out the stories at home. To further support this ministry, the Rev. Cheryl Minor, Ph.D., the Director of the Center for the Theology of Childhood for the Foundation will offer a free workshop at the parish for parents.
When asked which parish should be chosen, Dr. Minor immediately named The Church of Saviour in Arlington, Massachusetts. Church of our Saviour is a small parish. Their Rector, the Rev. Malia Crawford, has a special heart for children and has worked tirelessly during her time at Our Saviour to serve the children in her community. In addition to developing a small, but thriving Godly Play program with very little budget, she developed a monthly service intentionally designed for babies, toddlers, and their families. The service has been wildly successful and has become program which in turn supports their Godly Play program.
Mid-Advent, Dr. Minor had the opportunity to deliver the stories and books in person to the Rev. Crawford and her Director of Christian Formation, Fiona Vidal. Both Crawford and Vidal spoke about how transforming Godly Play has been for the children and families in their parish. They are always looking for opportunities to bring Godly Play into the all-ages service and other times during the church year. Stories of God at Home seems like a wonderful new opportunity to extend into people’s homes what they already are doing so well at church.
Additionally, Rev. Crawford spoke of several faithful families in the parish who have one or more parents who have to work on Sunday mornings, so this will be a special opportunity for them to access faith formation for their children since they cannot always get to Sunday morning Godly Play.
Dr. Minor and the team at Our Saviour quickly put together a plan for a workshop for parents during the season of Lent. The plan is to introduce them to the book and prepare them to use the “Knowing Jesus in a New Way” lesson at home during the season of Easter. In the meantime, Vidal will organize the lending library for parents so the stories can begin to be used immediately.
It was simply thrilling to give this gift to this special community – one with a unique charism for children! We pray the stories will find their way into many homes, and that they will stimulate family storytelling and theological reflection for years to come!
Merry Christmas from all of us at the Godly Play Foundation!!!