This fall, we have been using the Godly Play curriculum with the younger children in the Upper Parish Hall on Sunday mornings. As we gather in our circle a few minutes after the 10:00 bells finish ringing, I look around and wonder how the story will unfold for this group of children and adults that has come together this morning. I have told these stories many times over the 32 years since I first taught Godly Play at Epiphany and it is never the same, just as it will be different today for each of the children watching to see which tray I will get from the shelf for today’s story. And so we settle in and begin… Over the course of the last three weeks in October, we told the story about Noah and Naamah, we traveled in the desert with Abraham and Sarah, we escaped Pharoah and his army. During the flood, the ark rose higher and higher above our heads as the waters rose. Abraham and Sarah traveled to new places across our desert box, wondering if God would be in these places too. And the children helped God’s people through the parted waters of the Red Sea.
At the end of each story we ask wondering questions:
I wonder what part of this story you like best?
I wonder what part is the most important?
I wonder where you are in the story or what part is about you?
I wonder if there is any part of the story we can leave out and still have all the story we need?
Each week, as the children listen to the story and retell the story to themselves afterwards or play with the Play-Doh or other materials that we put out, the far end of the Upper Parish Hall becomes this particular group of children and adults’ space for our time together.
I wonder how many spaces we each have at Epiphany? I wonder what we bring to our spaces and what our spaces bring to us? I wonder how God changes us in these spaces.
Nelia Newell, Warden