For Children (Under 12)

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This week in children’s ministry

Take Home Faith – resources and ideas to bring your spiritual practice home

Learn more about Godly Play

St. Andrew’s Children’s Ministry

Welcome to the Children’s Ministry page. We are so glad you are here. This page has information about our offerings for children under 12, including a detailed overview of our core curriculum, Godly Play. Keep scrolling (or use the “Jump To” links) to see what we’ll be learning about this week, discover ways to share faith at home, and to learn more about the Godly Play curriculum. And if you’re curious about upcoming special events, hop on over to our events page.

This week in children’s ministry

Sunday, May 21st at 9am – Godly Play

We wrap up our Godly Play season this Sunday with the story of Pentecost. Join Peter DeBlois and Janice Burley for this amazing story about the Holy Spirit coming to God’s people in a time of deep mourning following the crucifixion. Now, you might be saying, “wait a minute, Pentecost is NEXT Sunday”! And you’d be right! However, Pentecost Sunday will be Mother Elizabeth’s final day with us, and it seemed best to have ALL of us together on that day, in church, as one community. So we’re telling the Godly Play story a week early. 

Take Home Faith

All About Discernment

I’m sharing the practice of discernment with you this week. Now, you might not realize this, but if you’ve been in Godly Play, you already know about discernment! Because discernment is really like saying….. “I wonder”. Think about those questions we always ask in Godly Play. “I wonder what part of this story is about you”? “I wonder what part of the story we could leave out and still have all the story we need?” “I wonder what part of the story you like best?”.

When we “discern”, that means we are bringing our questions about our own lives to God. And a good way to do that is to WONDER with God! “I wonder what the best way forward is for me right now?”, or “I wonder how I should handle this situation?” And when we wonder and leave space like we do in Godly Play, we invite God to provide wisdom for us. And very importantly, just as a Godly Play teacher leaves space for EVERY idea and EVERY voice when we share wondering questions, when we “wonder with God”, we should leave ourselves completely open to whatever God might say to us – sometimes, it might not feel like an answer to our question at all, and yet it might be just what we need to hear.

Now, there’s one extra step you might need to take if you’re going to bring God wondering questions. Think again about Godly Play. When do we wonder? We wonder together after we’ve heard a sacred story. We wonder together after we have brought ourselves into the circle, when we’re feeling calm, when our listening ears are “warmed up” by the story. At home, prayer can be our sacred story. So here’s a simple discernment prayer you might try before bringing your wondering questions before God:

God, I pray for a calm mind. I pray for an open heart. I pray for listening ears. I pray for wisdom and I pray for patience. I bring you my questions of wonder, and I wait for your calm, still voice. Amen.

More ideas to explore:

  • Letting Go in Lent
    In a way, Lent is kind of an easy one for “Take Home Faith”, because Lent already has its own well-known practice. We give […]
  • Who is YOUR Samaritan?
    Did you know that in Jesus’ time, Samaritans were a despised group among the people in his audience? Over the years, this parable has […]
  • SEEDS OF KINDNESS – The Parable of the Sower
    “Seeds of kindness” is a simple idea based on the parable of the Sower. Jesus talks a lot about seeds in His teaching. The […]

Learn More About Godly Play

Developed by Episcopal priest Jerome Berryman, Godly Play introduces the sacred stories of the Christian tradition to our youngest members. Designed for children from 3 to 12 years, Godly Play is a rich, story-based curriculum that speaks to children’s innate understanding of the presence of God. Rather than focusing on giving children a set of “right answers”, or drilling scripture passages as if we’re preparing for the SAT’s, Godly Play invites children to wonder deeply about the presence of God, the meanings of these sacred stories, and their OWN sense of meaning.

Every Godly Play story ends with “I wonder” questions, in which the storyteller poses a series of questions starting with this wonderful phrase.

“I wonder which part of this story you liked best?”

“I wonder which part of this story is about you?”

And more.

These wondering questions are open-ended, and invite our children to form their own connections, to make their own discoveries about their relationship with God, and to draw forth their own spiritual wisdom. They are not questions in which we adults try to nudge them toward a “correct answer”. Instead, we are co-investigators into the wonder and awe of these sacred stories, into the wonder and awe of God.

We invite you to come to a Godly Play meeting one Sunday morning (at 9am) to experience Godly Play’s truly unique approach to children’s faith formation. Experiencing it firsthand is the BEST way to understand the magic of this approach. In the meantime, you can follow the links below to learn more about the founder, Jerome Berryman, and the Godly Play curriculum.

An Introduction to Godly Play

Jerome Berryman, the founder of Godly Play

Godly Play Foundation Website

Godly Play YouTube Channel