In December 2018 Faye Findlay sent an email to let people connected to and supportive of her Godly Play ministry within the Sunday Morning Program know that she had decided to bring this ministry to an end. Responding to my invitation Faye explained how Godly Play works …
Gathering Together Intentionally
Godly Play is a worship space. There is a safe place for each player in the circle where they connect with a ready community of seekers. Godly Play is an immersion space. The circle tells the children that they have many things to learn from each other, as well as James and myself.
Godly Play is about teaching the art of playing so we can come close to the Creator who comes close to us – and even joins us when we are playing at any age. Montessori, conscious of the intuitive nature of childhood, indicated the child’s first language is play and children learn by doing. Acknowledging this, Godly Play embraces being in scripture and worship through its wonder-filled process approach to the telling of parable or sacred story and the showing of a liturgical symbol or action.
Listening to the scriptures
I tell the story with my eyes down, focussed on the actual story material which has the effect of giving my complete permission to be with the story – to radiate wonder.
After the telling, the story is then opened up for all players in the circle to wonder without judgement. I wonder where you are in the story? I wonder what part of the story is about you?
The opportunity is there for each player to notice their feelings and thoughts arising from the story, to respect the interpretations of others and ponder from the stillness within.
Responding to the lesson
This exploratory dialogue nudges a starting point for the children’s personal response.
Artistic resources to draw, paint, collage and sculpt enable us to respond to the story in a contemplative way. Such concentrated play is where an identity of journeying towards God is forming.
Sharing a Feast
Whilst interplay is the jewel of Godly Play, the rhythm of the lesson’s energy leads us on to prayer. When time permits, we have a “feast” – water and GF crackers usually. As we eat and drink, we share what we were thankful for in the past week.
To close we stand for a blessing. What works well in Godly Play is that which is pared back to the basics.
God bless you …. (child’s name)
May Jesus’ way call to you.
Faye offered her thanks to the many people who have empowered her to teach S.M.P. at B.U.C.
We in turn responded with appreciation and comments offered including:
We have been so honoured to have your grace and wisdom for so long, leading by example and calling to us with your unique insights. Your deep care and love for the children has been apparent for decades. Janet
I have loved all our contact and learning together. Many thanks back to you, Faye for all you have given and your steady, quiet contributions. Blessings for the road ahead. Jeanette
What a rock you have been for the kids through SMP and other things like Nourish! I’ve often been touched by your quiet generosity, and know the kids in our community have been too. I just asked Oscar if he remembers you teaching him in SMP, and his face lit up. He told me you are one of his favourites because he did fun activities with you, and you are a kind and lovely person. He hit the nail on the head! Thanks for all your dedication over the years and all you have brought to SMP! Nic
You have certainly been an important part of the village for our children (and I’m sure will continue to be in a different capacity). Ian
It has been a privilege assisting you during the S.M.P. for several years. Your beautiful story-telling with the use of your magnificent hand-made props has enhanced the children’s biblical knowledge and your movement and open-ended art experiences have allowed the children to express themselves freely and creatively. It’s been wonderful to watch the children grow and explore under your nurturing watch! Wayne & Susan
It is so moving to read these tributes for your work. I can only echo the words of children and adults alike who have thanked you here. … You have been a profound and generous member of the village and you will be greatly missed. Julie
We also publicly offered our thanks to Faye during worship on 23rd December with the presentation of a card made by the children.
Join us at ‘Let’s Play‘, a FUNdraising event on Saturday 23rd February to support the ongoing training of new leaders for this ministry and the creation of a dedicated space and resources.