All posts filed under: Godly Play

Rich in Love: The Story of St. Francis

Thank you to Jeremy Downey for sharing with us the story of St. Francis, which he wrote for our church’s Godly Play program. At the bottom of this post, you can see the books on St.Francis recommended by Jeremy and his wife Jennifer. Rich in Love: St. Francis, a Godly Play-Inspired Story Francis was born in the town of Assisi, in Italy. His father was a wealthy merchant, who named his son Francis—which means “Frenchman”—because he loved the fine wares and delicious food of France. Francis grew up loving fine food and wine and beautiful clothes and music and dancing as well, and he loved to have wonderful parties with his friends so he could share these things with them. He wanted to be brave and strong and to protect his town from enemies, so when Assisi went to war against a nearby town he rode off with the soldiers to fight. In the battle Francis was captured and made a prisoner, and he had to live for a year in a dark and miserable dungeon. But …

Godly Play at Christ the King, Part 2

This is the second part of our series on Godly Play. You can find the first part on its philosophy here. Thank you to Jennifer Downey and Michelle Abernathy for being willing to share about this great program. One parent writes, “I love being part of a church that . . . seeks to invite everyone (including littles) to experience the wonder, gravity, intimacy, and community of the Gospel.”  What does the Godly Play program look like at our church?  Jenny:  At some parishes, the Godly Play program happens while parents are in the main worship service.  It may last for the duration of the whole service, or the children may be dismissed for Godly Play before the sermon and brought back for Communion.  Our church, however, believes that Godly Play, while mirroring the liturgy, should not replace full participation in worship.  We do the program from 9:00-9:45 as our Sunday School program, and then families go into the Holy Communion service all together.  Their time in Godly Play prepares them for a sanctuary full of sacred …

Godly Play at Christ the King, Part 1

For the past several years, Jennifer Downey has been developing the Godly Play program at our church, with the assistance of Michelle Abernathy. Godly Play is our Sunday School program for ages 2/3 to 5/6, held before Holy Communion. As the parent of a two year old who just started going this past year, I (Amanda) am very thankful for the emphasis on reverence in Godly Play. I am thankful that the shape of the lesson mirrors our Holy Communion service, so that even Sunday School for preschoolers is intrinsically connected to the life of the historic Church. In this short series, Jennifer and Michelle will share the philosophy and practical side of Godly Play, as well as helpful resources. What is the philosophy of Godly Play? Jennifer: Developed by Jerome Berryman, Godly Play is a unique approach to children’s religious education informed by the Montessori method.  Berryman encourages people to think of this method as conforming more to the ancient Church’s idea of formation as “spiritual direction,” rather than religious education. Jerome Berryman understood that …