Grace Church uses Godly Play, a Montessori-based program of Christian education for children. It uses an imaginative, respectful approach to present Scripture stories and liturgical concepts.
We believe children already have an experience of God, so the aim of Godly Play is to give them language to help them relate that experience of God to the rest of their lives.
The Godly Play class is a wonderful place to be on Sunday mornings.
The class begins at 10:30 - the same time the worship service begins in the big church. Please drop your children off between 10:25 and 10:30.
What Happens In a Godly Play Class?
At the Threshold: A greeter waits by the door to the Godly Play classroom, warmly welcoming each child individually as he or she arrives.
Building the Circle: Children sit in a circle around the storyteller. She/he talks quietly with the children, building a community where each participant is recognized and welcomed.
Presenting the Lesson: When everyone is ready, the storyteller brings the story materials to the circle. The story teller unfolds the story in an unhurried manner, methodically moving and arranging the story props to help the children focus on entering the story.
At the conclusion of the story, the storyteller asks some open-ended questions to encourage the children to reflect on the story. "I wonder what part of the story you liked best?" "I wonder what is the most important part of this story?" "I wonder what part of this story might be about you?" Sometimes the children have a lot to say, and sometimes they are thinking it through inside.
Response: After the story materials are put away, the storyteller invites each child to choose the 'work' they would like to do in response to the lesson. Some children choose to work with story materials, perhaps recreating a story they've heard before; others like to work with art supplies, and older children may wish to find more information about the story in the Bible.
Saying Goodbye: We have a closing prayer ritual and then each child receives a blessing from the storyteller, and the doorkeeper and storyteller accompany the children back to the big church in time to rejoin their families for communion.
Here is some information for parents and volunteers:
To the caretakers of our youngest members:
- Relax! God put the wiggles in children; don’t feel you have to suppress it here.
- Feel free to sit towards the front where it’s easier for little ones to see and hear.
- Sing the hymns, pray and respond. Children learn liturgical behavior from you.
- If you need to leave Mass with your child, feel free to do so, but please come back.
- Remember! The way we welcome children in church directly affects the way they responds to Church, to God, and to Christ. Let them know that they are at home in this Liturgical gathering.
- Please let us know how we can become more welcoming to your children.