The first goal of St. Augustine’s Anglican is to provide Christian education for its children. Godly Play, the program we have instituted, is a hands-on curriculum for children 3 – 10. A dedicated team of adults at St. Augustine’s works together to provide active lessons to teach the stories of the Bible. During this time, the parents are in the worship service. Before the Eucharist, families are reunited.
You will find specific details from the Godly Play website by clicking here.
Below is a description of Godly Play from Cathy Holmes, who leads the Godly Play program.
“The children are dismissed for Godly Play….”
Godly Play is a time at church where we share the gospel of Christ and worship with the youngest members of our church. It is a time where the innate value of children is respected. Through a careful telling of the sacred stories of the Bible using the Montessori method, the youngest members of our church are invited to share the good news of our salvation. It is a time where the children are encouraged to experience the mystery and joy of God.
Let the little children come to me….
Some of the Godly Play lessons start with the following script:
There was once someone who said such amazing things and did such wonderful things that people followed him. They couldn’t help it. Large crowds gathered around him to see what he might say and watch what he might do.
We can almost picture the large crowds clamoring around Jesus, pushing and perhaps shoving just to catch a glimpse of Him or hear what He might say next. We are told that many important people questioned Him and sought His time, including prominent leaders of the church and government. And living in our broken world, we can just imagine how many were desperate for healing and prayer from Jesus. To say the least, Jesus was busy.
One such scene from the gospel is described in St. Mathew, Chapter 19. We are told that “large crowds followed Jesus” and many leaders of the day questioned Him. As He was teaching, many people brought their children to Jesus for prayer and healing. The disciples, in an attempt to be helpful, quickly rebuked them. (And I probably would have done the same if I were in their position!)
You see, a lot has changed in the world since this time, but children were not that much different. These children probably were too loud. They probably asked strange questions and talked when they weren’t supposed to. They probably had difficulty sitting still. They probably were distracting from all of the big important things the adults were trying to accomplish. Of course, the disciples were quick to rebuke them!
However, Jesus didn’t feel this way. Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there” (Mathew 19:14-15). Jesus, being fully God and fully man, welcomed the little children and invited them into His presence.
You see, God doesn’t measure someone’s worth by how old they are, how tall they stand, or how mature they act. That isn’t how we earn a place in His kingdom. Because let’s be honest for a second: In God’s eyes, we are all immature and childish. Even adults are slow to listen, fast to judge, and have trouble being obedient. You see, the children surrounding Jesus, and the children today, are just as important as any of us who seek to serve the Lord. We are all members of the body of Christ.
Jesus said, Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me (Mark 9:37). My hope is that we may continually strive to welcome the youth into our church, and that by doing so, we may continually welcome Jesus into our own lives.
You may contact Fr. Kevin for more information by clicking here.
Below you will find a video explaining the basics of Godly Play.