During the summer months, our Sunday Stars leaders take a well deserved rest as Sunday Stars goes on break during the school holidays. However, children’s ministry does not stop in the summer and children are welcome year round to worship with us. From the last Sunday in June until the end of August, we offer Godly Play storytelling in the Session Room for children in primary start through to P7 with holiday crèche in the Baird Hall for children three years old and younger. Holiday crèche is available from the start of worship each week. Children attending the Godly Play storytelling start off in worship with their parents and come down to the session room after the minister’s talk time.
What is Godly Play?
Godly Play is a way to share bible stories with children, young people and/or adults in a small group. The storyteller sits in a circle on the ground and one by one, the participants come into the circle and find their cushion. The storyteller is able to “build the circle” by saying hello to each person by name as they enter. The intentionally slow welcome gathers the participants in and helps set the tone for our worship space.
In a Godly Play classroom, the children are surrounded by all of the stories. There are the Sacred Stories (the Old Testament), the Parables, and the Liturgical Lessons (Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Baptism, Communion, the Holy Family and the Circle of the Church Year). When everyone has arrived and we are “all ready,” then the storyteller gets the materials for the day’s story and begins.
As the story is told, silence is kept as we experience the story by seeing the materials laid out before us and hearing the storyteller slowly and quietly explain what is happening. Amazingly, this focused form of storytelling really works with children and adults of all energy levels. After the story is told, the storyteller looks up and engages the participants in a time of wondering. This question time is a safe place for people to express their thoughts on the story as all answers are equally valued.
Once the wondering is finished, participants are invited to carry on with their worship through art or play. With the help of other volunteers in the room, some children choose to draw, paint, glue, work with play dough or create anything they can imagine with the art materials at hand. Other children stay with the storyteller and explore the story further for themselves with the materials or they can choose to get another story from the room and tell that one.
When our session comes to a close, the group tidies up and returns to the cushions where we say a prayer.
Our Children’s and Youthworker Michelle Brown is trained by Godly Play UK to be a an official storyteller and she continues to get support and further training through Godly Play Scotland which is located in the basement of the manse at Duddingston Kirk. You can speak with Michelle about Godly play anytime or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also contact Alex MacKenzie or Margaret Grant at Godly Play Scotland via their website. http://www.godlyplayscotland.co.uk/index.html ror you can email Alex or Margaret at email@example.com