Godly Play® News

Godly Play Foundation Board Anti-Racism Statement

Like many organizations committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, the Godly Play Foundation Board realized in the summer of 2020 that we needed to become more intentional and active in the work of anti-racism. We are therefore excited to announce that our anti-racism task force will begin its work this December and to share with you the Board statement committing the Foundation to this on-going work of building ever more diverse circles.

Godly Play Foundation Board Anti-Racism Statement

Our mission at the Godly Play Foundation is to understand, promote, and nurture children’s spirituality so that children have the tools they need to make meaning about life and death in a way that will foster growth throughout their lives. In the story of the Great Family (Genesis 12, 15, 17-18, 21, 24) told in Godly Play circles around the world, we hear that God came so close to Abraham and Abraham came so close to God that he knew what God wanted him to do. He made of Abraham a Great Family, “and we are all part of this Great Family, as many as the grains of sand in the desert, and the stars in the sky.” The crises in our country right now reveal the degree to which racism and its legacy of unjust systems and institutions have made many feel as if they are not a part of this family. These crises compel those of us in Godly Play circles to, like Abraham, seek ways to come close to God, so that we have both the courage and the strength to work to make this vision a reality, not just for some but for all.

In response, we, the Board of the Godly Play Foundation, turn and commit ourselves and the Foundation to move beyond guilt and good intentions into action grounded in the Gospel. For us, this means ensuring that Godly Play includes all children as it equips them and the adults who partner with them to imagine and create a more just future.

There will always be more to see and do. So, we will continuously evaluate and address what God is calling us to leave out of our work – or to add – so that we have all that we need for our stories, our materials, our training, and our leadership structures.

We long for the day when the dream of the ancient Hebrew prophet Amos (5:24) and the modern prophet the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. comes true and “justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream;” and we commit ourselves to work toward the realization of this dream for all children.

Announcing our New Executive Director!

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that Heather Ingersoll, Ph.D. has been called to serve as the next Executive Director of the Godly Play Foundation. Heather brings a broad range of leadership experience in academia, the non-profit world, and the church to this work. We are most excited, though, by Heather’s relentless passion for and commitment to honoring and nurturing children and their spirituality. Heather is currently serving as the Director of Christian Education at First United Methodist Church, Salem, Oregon and as an adjunct professor at California Baptist University and will officially join the Foundation staff on September 15.

~Mary Hunter Maxwell

“When I first experienced Godly Play nearly two decades ago, I was immediately captivated by the approach and have come to know it as one of the most powerful frameworks for inviting children—and all ages—into God’s mystery in profound ways. In this season of unrest and uncertainty, now more than ever, we need creative and reflective spaces where the spiritual lives and existential questions of children are valued and elevated. I am thrilled to join the Godly Play Foundation and eager to work alongside the community as we continue and expand this transformative mission.” – Dr. Heather Ingersoll

Welcome, Heather!

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