Saturday, June 7, 2014

My Godly Play Room

 My first challenge when Godly Play gripped me was where and how!

Whilst not essential, it is highly desirable that the children have a space of their own and be surrounded by the stories. My one conviction was that I would not be running this from my car as I had seen one Storyteller doing - as my car already suffers from being very small with a growing (in size not numbers!) family.  Immediately I knew that this challenge should not defeat my thoughts on Godly Play as whilst our church does not have a spare room we have access too many spaces and surly we could work out some good ways to share them.

So our Godly Play room shares what is called 'The Upper Room - the balcony room of the church hall which is used by the school as their German Language room. To my perfectionist eyes I lament the visual pollution of this room but it is a trade for the space and comfort (It has heating and cooling), proximity to the church (we can just hear the music so we know when to go back) and the storage cupboard which means we can have a portable room as such. So we have a fiddly set up and pack down to restore to a class room (which greatly pains me for the long term of running Godly Play).
But  the first photo shows our Old testament stories (We haven't done these yet)
 Our back row of shelves is a row of desks which holds our parables (we have done most of these now).
 We have another set of portable shelves for our response shelves which holds a whole lot of stuff -playdo, plasticine, papers,feathers, shells, glue sticky tape, paper plates, paints, crayons, fabrics and so on - I keep changing things adding and taking away.
And this fabulous storage room. The 2 shelving units and our focal table all roll in here during the week - each week I spend a bit of time sorting through he last few generations of resources which I have moved all into this cupboard and I am gradually tidying and pulling out to use (and adding to!).
The third side of the cupboard has our work in progress - which has blown out a bit but a tidy today has it looking functional again. It just needs time. If Godly Play can take root in this congregation I think I need some more mobile shelving for the parables but  my fear is that there may not be future hearts prepared to tackle storytelling in this style. But my hope is that there will. It is still new and it needs to be nurtured.
Pentecost tomorrow - so I'm off to bake some cake for the feast.
Blessings and Wonderings.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

This is The Holy Family


This the Holy Family.....  And that is how this year began.
Last year Godly Play found me, I tried to ignore it but it was under my skin. I spent a whole lot of time reading about it, learning about it, dabbling badly in it when it sort of fit in our current sunday church program and at homes and finally I did some training to really understand this philosophy and style of faith formation.

Let me tell you it's not for the faint hearted, in fact for me it is almost a lifestyle choice. A decision to fully soak myself and most of my family in Gods stories and to look at where we are in the stories. After a lot of prayer and preparation this year we have been running Godly Play sessions at church. I have so valued the support of others online in this community that I thought I should give back with some of our experiences some good, some bad. Godly Play is a slow process, it is slow to learn, slow to deliver, slow to reap rewards and when you start from scratch the room builds oh so slow. I have long prayed for more patience, and lament that God won't just give it to me but demands I practice and hone it. How much would I like to say that after 6 months of Godly Play it came easy to me and my team, that we always achieved a state of "Godly Play" but we are all still learning and each time is so different.

So where am I in the story of the Holy Family, well perhaps I was a sheep but perhaps now I'm leaning towards the shepherd or at least one with 'L' plates

God Bless