10 April 2011

Faces of Easter (Lent 5)

Today we had the plaque about Jesus' work as a teacher and friend/healer, and the plaque about the Last Supper. I did what I had proposed after last time, and invited members of the circle to bring things twice, once after each story. We are supposed to say that you don't have to bring anything, and I do. But the honest truth is that while I mean it when I say that that's ok, I'm even more pleased when they do bring something. I love the participation of it, and the unexpectedness of seeing what they will choose.

Today for the first time, everyone brought something! Some people declined in one round or the other, but in the end everyone had brought up at least one thing to help to tell more of this story. Here is what we made together:

Clockwise from top right, we have the image of the Risen Christ, our holding (prayer) cross, the Advent materials, the Palm Sunday materials ("Jesus the King"), the control card for the story of the Presentation in the Temple (Candlemas), and a parable box. (In the very top right of the picture is the control card for putting away the Faces of Easter materials.)

Telling these two stories together made it easy to change where one ended and the next began. The first of today's stories, by the script, is very short, and the second is very long. Instead of sticking to that, I extended the first plaque's story right up through Jesus teaching in the temple on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week (on the grounds that it tied in thematically with his work as a teller of parables). And then the second plaque was devoted to the events of Maundy Thursday. I left out altogether the tale of the widow's mite, since I needed to keep things a bit shorter for my young audience (something which Berryman himself recommends).

This hints at a very long post which I keep intending to write about how true to the text Godly Play stories are supposed to be. Already in my head it's growing into a whole series of posts. I'm daunted both by how much I want to say, and how adamant some people seem to get about it. I guess we can consider this a preface, or maybe a taster.


  1. Hi Storyteller, I'd love to see close-up pictures of your materials for Palm Sunday and the control card for Candlemas. Also, looking forward to the series of posts coming! I'm interested in hearing your perspective on that subject.: )

  2. Thanks for those suggestions, Sheila. And I haven't forgotten that I've promised you a post about our World Communion materials (still unfinished, both the materials and the post).

    To tide you over, though, there happens to be a larger shot of that control card in the March post, "Faces of Easter (Lent 2)", and a description in the Feb post, "Candlemas". And there's a shot of some of the PS materials in the March post for "Advent - the fifth candle".

  3. I think being prescriptive about the text is unhelpful.

    Jesus was incarnated to be ONE OF US and he always spoke to people in the way that met them (whether it was to the Samaritan women, to the disciples or to the Pharisees) ... so in my book the story is there to be told as faithfully as you can but in a way that your audience can respond most easily.

    ... but of course I'm a teacher and not schooled in Godly play methods :)

    all this to say if by being adamant about the text means no variation .. no recogniition of the needs and abilities of the group ... then there's a real danger of missing the point of it all.

  4. Thanks, stf. I do intend to write some more posts about this but for now I'll say that I think Berryman does clearly recommend adapting the text to the abilities of the group.


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