Early Christian Education at St. Luke's features the program Godly Play. Godly Play is a Montessori-based method of Christian education and spiritual direction for children of all ages. In Godly Play, we tell Bible stories to children and encourage them to enter into the stories and relate them to their personal experience. We encourage children to explore meaning together, to the extent of their maturation and ability.
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A Glimpse into Godly Play
Its 10:00 am Sunday morning. The children come in from free play. The chatter of little voices float up as they make their way up to the third floor. They enter the room one by one, as the door person, who welcomes and greets each one of them individually, inviting them to join the storyteller. They each find a place in the circle as the storyteller greets them individually.
As a community everyone takes a deep breath and remembers that this is a special place to be with God. The storyteller greets the children with “The Lord be with you”. Children respond with, “And also with you”. The anticipation grows as silence fills the air. The storyteller reminds the children to watch where the lesson of the day comes from so that they will know where to find it. The lesson is presented to the children. During the presentation, the children sit back in the circle and listen. At the end is the wondering phase of the lesson, which involves responses from the children. The lesson is put back on the shelf.
The children now work on the responses to the story. They use their choice of materials, paints, clay, markers, desert box, or may choose to retell the story. Returning to the circle, they get ready for the feast. Holding hands, each child in turn says a prayer either aloud or silently. The feast is enjoyed.
One by one the children receive a blessing first from the storyteller and then the door person. They line up and head back downstairs to join the congregation for communion.
Godly Play is concerned with the spiritual development of each child as an individual. As a values-oriented curriculum, Godly Play helps each child learn the appropriate behaviors expected of people living in a Christian community--but in a secular world. The program was developed and classroom tested for more than twenty years by Episcopal priest, author, and teacher Jerome Berryman. The Director of Youth Christian Education at St. Luke's is accredited by the Center for the Spirituality of Children as a Godly Play teacher.
At St. Luke’s, the Godly Play program is supplemented with active, integrated church
participation. Children also enjoy a supervised playtime following the classroom
experience. After the sermon, they join their parents in church. St. Luke’s also
has a variety of activities during the year designed to make learning fun and to
encourage involvement of the children in the church community.
Godly Play is best appreciated through the experience of an actual classroom. To provide this exposure, St. Luke's invites you and your child to come and see the classrooms and meet the teachers. Class time runs from 10:00 AM until approximately 10:45 each Sunday during the School Year.
Your children are welcome to join our Godly Play program anytime throughout the school year. You can reach us at (978)562-2701, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org (Please put in the subject "Attention Sunday School"). We will be delighted to talk or meet with you!