As February drew to a close on Saturday the 28th, a group of 30 people from 11 parishes of the Diocese met at St Philip’s, Dunbar to experience and explore Godly Play. The event was led by Godly Play Canada’s Western Coordinator, Anne Clark of Dunbar Heights United Church, and Children and Youth Ministries Coordinator Caitlin Reilley Beck with the support of a team of Godly Play leaders from parishes in the Diocese. Together the group, which also included three children aged 7, 5 and 19 months, was invited into a Godly Play space to hear the Parable of the Mustard Seed and together wonder what it might really mean.
Practical questions about beginning a Godly Play programme were also addressed – from what training is available for leaders to our new Diocesan grants process and how it will support the development of Godly Play programmes. Also on hand to help answer these questions was Director of Mission and Ministry Development Ruth Monette, who also brought her young daughter to the day, “The creation of sacred space and the storytelling style of Godly Play completely captured and held my 19-month-old’s attention. Part of what I love about this approach to Christian formation for children is its commitment to honouring their spirituality and inviting their worship, prayer, and wonder.”
Godly Play is a Montessori style approach to spiritual formation with children. A great deal of new interest in Godly Play is developing in the Diocese, and exposure events like Saturday’s are a wonderful opportunity for parish leaders to learn about why they might choose to use this approach for spiritual formation in their parish. Developing Godly Play programmes is one of the initiatives that the current funding campaign for Children and Youth Ministries in the Diocese would help to support. By this Easter, we are aiming to raise $320,000 to be spent on Children and Youth Ministries in the Diocese over the next three years. Donations and pledges towards this campaign can be made through Glen Mitchell, the Diocesan Director of Stewardship and Planned Giving. For more information about Godly Play and dates for upcoming training events, contact Children and Youth Ministries Coordinator, Caitlin Reilley Beck.
Photos by John Sovereign