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Animals, Sand, and Desert - Godly Play

By Sheila Callaghan

Through Godly Play, children help Moses lead the People of God through the Red Sea
Through Godly Play, children help Moses lead the People of God through the Red Sea.

Matthew 22:37-40 -- Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

We love our new Godly Play space; the smaller size makes it feel more like a classroom. The younger children, not quite ready for the circle, are in the classroom next door and have been joining us for our feast and song. It is wonderful that they are welcomed into our group each week.

October began with the Story of St. Francis, whose feast day is October 4. Francis abandoned his life of luxury for a life devoted to Christianity after hearing the voice of God. He is known as the patron saint of the environment and animals. We joined the congregation at announcement time and Fr. Rob blessed our stuffed friends in the sheepfold.

The following week a small piece of the desert came to the circle in our "Desert Box." The children love the Old Testament stories and watching the People of God move through such a dangerous place. Our first story in the desert was The Great Family. God promised Abraham and Sarah that their descendants would be as many as stars in the sky and grains of sand in the desert. Their son Isaac married Rebekah and they had children and so on… Now we are all part of that Great Family.

The story of The Exodus was our final story in October. The People of God were living in a place where the rains did not come so they traveled through the desert into Egypt. When they got to Egypt the Pharaoh trapped them and they could not go home. Moses said to Pharaoh, "Let my people go." God was with Moses and the People as they went out from slavery into freedom through water.

November Godly Play story schedule:

11/3 The Ten Best Ways

11/10 The Ark and the Tent

11/17 The Ark and the Temple

11/24 The Exile and Return

Sunday school starts at 10am with the Godly Play storyteller inviting the children to “the circle.” The children hear a short story which includes engaging visuals: either manipulatives or cards. After hearing the story we enter a time of “wonder" when the children reflect: How would you feel? Where in the story might you be? Wondering an important part of the Godly Play method and the children’s responses help everyone better understand what the storyteller has shared.

One Sunday a month we will begin downstairs and come up at the Peace to join the congregation for Eucharist. Abigail Travers provides childcare for younger children not quite ready to join the Godly Play circle.


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