Godly Play is a method of Christian education and spiritual direction for children. The goal of Godly Play is to teach children the art of using religious language — parables, sacred stories and liturgical action — to help them become more fully aware of the mystery of God's presence in their lives.
Godly Play is an effort to focus clearly and deeply on the child's spirituality.
With Godly Play, we tell Bible stories to children to encourage them to enter into the stories and relate them to their personal experience and to "wonder" about their meaning.
One of the goals of Godly Play is to create a safe space for children, a place where their ideas, opinions and gifts are deeply respected. Because everything in the worship-education center is designed for children to use and enjoy, most children look forward to Sunday School.
In Godly Play, we focus on our relationship with God and the depths of relationships in the community of children.
The Godly Play circle is built by welcoming each child, one at a time. They wait outside and the doorkeeper welcomes them into the room.
We ask that others not come into the room during the class because we want the Godly Play room to be a special place for the community of children. Even teachers keep their profile low during a Godly Play session!
It takes training and dedication to be a Godly Play teacher.
In June 2005, five members of Dunbar Heights United Church traveled to Naramata Center for a three-day intensive, teacher accreditation process for the Godly Play Curriculum.
Those teachers are Anne Clark, Jill Parker, Jill Stewart, Anne O'Sullivan and Cathy Cryder.
As you can see, the stories are told with specifically designed props and teachers memorize how each story is told. You might hear some of these Godly Play stories during Children's Theme time in morning worship and you won't be surprised that the children know how the story goes.
Our congregation is growing and new families are bringing their children to Dunbar Heights. That means our Godly Play classes are growing, too. If you are interested in being part of this program of spiritual growth, contact Cathy Cryder at the church.