Children's Formation at St. John's Lafayette
Godly Play was developed by Rev. Jerome Berryman within the Montessori tradition of religious education for children. Our Godly Play classrooms are for ages 3 years old through 5th grade.
Our Godly Play classrooms are on the Upper Level (above the commons). Godly Play starts promptly at 9:15 a.m. Parents are urged to help their children arrive a few minutes early in order to have “settling-in” time. Classes end at 10:00 a.m. to give everyone 15 minutes to find their families and their seats before the worship service begins.
The goal of Godly Play is to teach children the art of using the language of the Christian tradition to encounter God and find direction for their lives. Many education models teach biblical facts as if they will magically make people believe in God. This misses what is most exciting about religious education: God’s self in the midst of the words playing hide and seek with us. God invites us into – and pursues us in the midst of – scripture. The Godly Play method has been created to help children learn how to listen well, to hear what God is saying to them and then to make an authentic and creative response.
Godly Play, Jerome Berryman’s interpretation of Montessori religious education, is an imaginative approach to working with children. This approach supports, challenges, nourishes and helps guide their spiritual quest. Godly Play is different from many other approaches to children's work with scripture. One popular approach is having fun with scripture... Having superficial fun with scripture is fine, but children also need deeply respectful experiences with scripture if they are to fully enter into its power. If we leave out the heart of the matter, we risk trivializing the Christian way of life. We also miss the profound fun of existential discovery, a kind of "fun" that keeps us truly alive! Godly Play assumes that Children have some experience of the mystery of the presence of God in their lives, but that they lack the language, the permission and the understanding to express and enjoy that spiritual experience in our secular culture. In Godly Play, we enter into our parables, sacred stories, silence and liturgy in order to discover God, ourselves, one another and the world around us.
Children at St. John’s have the opportunity for faith formation within the worship service by experiencing the full liturgy as well as opportunity for service as ushers, lectors, choristers, and acolytes in the regular schedule.
For more information about Godly Play or to register, contact Hilary Cooke.
The nursery is located on the upper level of the church (above the commons). Nursery care for children 5 years-old and younger available from 9 a.m. to noon on Sundays during the school year and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. during the summer months. Children are always welcome to join their family in worship.
Vacation Bible School
For more information about this year's HOLY MOLY! Vacation Bible School, CLICK HERE. Check back for more information.
Children in Worship
For more information, please contact St. John's Episcopal Church by EMAIL or at 765.742.4079.