At St. John the Divine, we have adopted Godly Play as our Sunday morning time together for our 5-12 year olds. Godly Play assumes that children have some experience of the mystery of the presence of God in their lives, but that they lack the language, permission and understanding to express and enjoy that in our culture. In Godly Play, we enter into parables, silence, sacred stories and sacred liturgy in order to discover God, ourselves, one another and the world around us. We prepare a special environment for children to work with adult guides. Two teachers guide the session making time for the children:
*to enter the space and be greeted
*to get ready for the presentation
*to enter into a presentation based on a parable, sacred story or liturgical action
*to respond to the presentation through shared wondering
*to respond to the presentation with their own work, either expressive art or with the lesson materials
*to prepare and share a feast
*to say goodbye and leave the space.
At the conclusion of Godly Play, children and teachers join their families in the sanctuary to share in the Eucharist. The Godly Play notice in the bulletin each week, offers a brief synopsis of the materials being explored.
We meet in our classroom for Godly Play at 9:45 AM on the second-fifth Sundays each month. In Godly Play, we recognize our children as experiential-learners. Therefore, we have chosen, on the first Sunday of each month, to have them present with us in worship. As members of the worshipping-congregation, they participate in the sacred relationship between God and God's people, and absorb the elements of the service, serving as acolytes, crucifers, ushers, readers and chalice bearers.