Monday, October 6, 2014

Overhearing Godly Play: The Holy Family

Did you visit the Godly Play room at Sunday's forum? Godly Play is a creative approach to Christian formation of children, and an important part of our family programming. Overhearing Godly Play is a new blog series by Robin Taylor that will put Godly Play in a context we all can relate to. Robin is a member of St. Paul's Cathedral, and a contributor to various cathedral activities. She particularly enjoys learning more about Faith and God from a child's perspective.

Godly Play Lesson 9/28 - The Holy Family

The focus of today's Godly Play lesson was the Holy Family. The curriculum uses the Nativity set (Mary, Joseph, Christ child, shepherd, sheep, donkey, three kings) throughout the year as a way of introducing the central tenant of our faith as Christians: Birth-Death-Rebirth. We introduced the Holy Family today as a way to begin the new church-school year, and set the tone for the mysteries we have yet to explore.

I had the privilege of being the storyteller for this lesson and observed first hand the creative, dynamic minds we have represented in our GP kids. They were prompted with a few different "wondering" questions. The first, "I wonder what part of the Holy Family you like best" elicited such great responses. Some said the donkey, for its hard work in bringing Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. Others said the shepherds because they were the first to hear the news of Jesus's birth.

The second question, "I wonder if you have ever seen the Holy Family in our church", was a bit less inspiring for the kids, but that's ok too. Because it got me thinking about the multiple ways you can interpret that question. Literally or figuratively, concretely or metaphorically. I asked myself if we aren't all part of THE Holy Family (as members of the Christian church in general and St. Paul's in particular), and simultaneously members of our own individual Holy Families. And all of these Families are just as motley a crew as that first Holy Family - with neighbors, tradesmen, wise people, parents, kids and animal friends all contributing to the whole, and helping each other better understand the mind-blowing truth of Birth-Death-Rebirth in our lives.

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