On Sunday mornings, Trinity’s children from Kindergarten to 2nd grade have the opportunity to worship in a special setting using the Godly Play model. Based on the Montessori method of education, Godly Play is a gentle, prayerful way of doing Sunday school which respects the work of the Holy Spirit in every child’s life, honors the sacred stories of Scripture, and creates the environment where children experience the wonder, the awe and the mystery of Christ’s presence. Godly Play encourages children to not only learn about God, but to experience God as he meets them in their sacred space.
CREATING THE ENVIRONMENT
Just as the sanctuary with its stained glass windows, the cross, and the tall ceilings helps adults worship, an environment has been created in the Godly Play rooms where the meeting of God and the child is the focus. Trinity has been blessed with a team of amazing, talented individuals who have made it possible for us to open two Godly Play worship centers. We are incredibly thankful to all who have helped with woodworking skills, painted materials, cut fabric, sewn, glued, and organized the spaces. Special thanks also goes to the committed group of eight leaders and eight assistants who have attended special training to enable them to lead our children in worship the Godly Play way.
STRUCTURE OF GODLY PLAY
Similar to adult worship, at the beginning of each Godly Play session, children are greeted individually and are invited to get ready to be with God and with each other. The first thing they experience after they are greeted is the sacred story: the teacher shares a multi-sensory presentation of a parable or a part of the Biblical narrative, using compelling three-dimensional materials. The story time is followed by a time of wondering, when the group engages in an open dialogue with the story and one another. After the children get a chance to interact with the story as a group, comes time for a personal response, when each child is invited to choose the art options or storytelling materials to use as they continue to reflect on and connect with the story they heard. The Godly Play session concludes with the Feast– a time of fellowship and nourishment, which echoes communion, but also becomes a time for the children to simply spend time with each other and their teachers. Children worship, pray and fellowship in their own special place apart from the adult congregation so they may later worship more meaningfully with the congregation.
SPECIAL THANKS TO LOREN
An 88 year old woodworker from Puyallup, Loren Peterson, worked tirelessly to create close to 200 pieces for our 1st & 2nd graders with all the materials they need for a year’s worth of Bible stories in their new Godly Play room. Born March 3, 1926, Loren was raised in Minnesota and spent most of his life fixing cars or ground equipment in airports. After retiring from his 40 year career with Northwest Airlines, Loren took up woodworking as a hobby, and never stopped since. Loren and his wife of 66 years, Arlene, have 3 daughters, 6 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.