Are you ready to draw the circle wider?

This summer, Godly Play teachers, Trainers, and leaders from around the world will gather June 23-25, 2017, for continuing education, inspiration and fellowship. Continuing a tradition of coming together about every other year, the conference in Denver, Colorado, will include small group workshop rotations and work time. We will also celebrate Godly Play founder Jerome Berryman’s birthday! We hope you will join us.

The Inverness Hotel and Conference Center

The conference will be held at the Inverness Hotel and Conference Center, featuring a large indoor pool, golf course and driving range, on-site spa and fitness center, and many other amenities.

As we gather on Friday, the Rev. Dr. Eric Law will help us build community with an insightful icebreaker activity. Law has been traveling internationally since the 1980s to lead trainings for churches of all denominations. In 2006, he founded Kaleidoscope Institute to continue his work with leadership programs on intercultural competency, anti-racism training, building inclusive community, media and faith, community transformation, stewardship and congregation vitality. Law’s published works include The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb, Inclusion-Making Room for Grace, and Holy Currencies—Six Blessings for Sustainable and Missional Ministries.  He says his ministry is guided by the question, “How can I follow Christ’s call to seek and serve Christ in every person and respect the dignity of every human being?”

Where We Started:  The Story of Godly Play & Jerome’s 80th Birthday

Celebration will characterize the first evening of 2017 NAGPC. We will reconsider our own story. Have you ever wondered how it all began? Why do we do what we do in the Godly Play room, and how was this process discovered and developed?

Jerome Berryman

This story is in many ways the story of Jerome Berryman’s life, his beloved Thea, and their discovery together of better ways to engage with children in imaginative thinking. We will hear that story together, then enjoy a banquet and party to celebrate Berryman’s 80th birthday.


What We Have:  The Full Curriculum

Saturday morning, we will explore the current offerings of Godly Play. Activities include worship together and a lecture by the Rev. Canon Dr. Andrew Sheldon, an early adopter of Godly Play in Toronto who now serves as the Godly Play Advocate for International Development.

The lecture will be followed by workshop rotations taught by experienced Godly Play Foundation Trainers and practitioners. Perhaps you have had the privilege of learning from some of these leaders in a Godly Play training. Their experience and creative ministry will allow us to delve more deeply and wonder together about a particular aspect of Godly Play.

During the rotations we will explore side-by-side storytelling, and Emily Griffin will offer a workshop on response materials that grow with children. Kathy Peddle and Donna Ronan will offer a rotation on the use of Godly Play in worship settings. Amy Crawford, Executive Director of Godly Play Canada, will offer the Liturgical Synthesis Story. A rotation on the spiral curriculum will be led by Nancy St. John, and another on Urkainian Easter Eggs by Erin Arrowsmith of Godly Play Canada.

Ukrainian style batik Easter eggs

What We Need:  Spiritual Maturity

Saturday afternoon, an interactive discussion led by the Rev. Dr. Eric Law will address the path to spiritual maturity for Godly Play and those who practice it. Rotations will offer the opportunity to explore the topic further with Law, to delve into the Art of Wondering or Play Therapy Perspectives, and others to be announced.

Where We Are Headed:  New Stories, New Books

Sunday, after gathering and worship, the Rev. Cheryl V. Minor, Ph.D., Director of the Center for the Theology of Childhood, will expound on new Godly Play stories and books. Rotations will provide a chance to explore new stories in detail with an experienced Godly Play Trainer. Sunday rotations include: The Holy Bible (Susan Mallison), The Prophets (Rosemary Beales), Epiphany (Linda Clapp), Symbols of the Holy Eucharist (Emily Griffin), and Saul Changes (Sally Thomas).

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Denver lights

3 thoughts on “Are you ready to draw the circle wider?

  1. Sarah Gibson

    Perhaps some of the Saturday morning rotations could be repeated Saturday afternoon. I would like to attend at least five of the offerings and I imagine there would only be time for one or two.

  2. Nancy Brock

    Sounds good . I am looking to do a mission trip to Nicaragua and do not speak Spanish. Which core lessons I should start with are another important question I have. Also basic class starters.

    1. David Pritchard

      Nancy… I hope to be co-leading Godly Play core training in Nicaragua next September for two groups. My colleague, Cristina Centeno, is a Nicaraguan trainer based in Managua. I am a Spanish-speaking trainer based in Spain. Please let us know more details of your plans for the mission trip.

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