15 December 2013

Third Advent

(I'm posting this from Stockholm Arlanda airport, and having a little trouble with editing. One photo is missing and the font keeps changing. I probably won't manage to fix those things before Tuesday!)

Today I was in Madrid, on my way back from a conference in Andalucia to Finland. Vandriver found me a hotel right around the corner from St George's Anglican Church. Although I had not found time to let anyone know I'd be coming, I recognized a fellow ordinand and he asked on my behalf if I could sit in and observe the Godly Play circle. While he was off asking, I watched a liitle boy supervise the priest's preparations for the service.

The GP team graciously allowed me to join them, even though it was an awkward Sunday. Understandably but disappointingly, their usual Godly Play room had been taken over with preparations for the Christmas Bazaar. Fortunately, they have a second, much smaller room, which they tend to use for older children. It contains a second Holy Family, and materials for enrichment lessons. So we crowded into there. We were at least 15, three adults and a dozen children. [Godly Play strongly advise against having more than two adults in the room, so I tried to minimize the adult-ness of my presence by sitting on the floor (even though I was offered a low chair), and keeping quiet.]

Their Storyteller presented the Holy Family, and then the children worked on a couple of crafts. It was simply too difficult to manage a feast, but they closed by singing and signing "Go now in peace".

Imagine a photo of a crowded room here.
(I admit I did stand up for that second picture, but by then everyone was absorbed in their work.)

There were some potentially frustrating moments. (We all have those!) The story got interrupted several times, and it was hard to maintain an atmosphere of listening with wonder. When Storyteller invited all the children to help put the figures back where they belonged, even though she did this in an orderly fashion, working around the circle, one by one, these figures got knocked over when three boys at once tried to help put Mary away. 

There were also some sweet moments. When the Storyteller introduced Mary, the mother, one child clapped quietly. 

There's a line in the script about many nativity sets being too fragile for children to be allowed to play with, but reassuring children that this one is for their use. The Storyteller said that line towards the end of her telling, shortly before the Wondering. Almost right away, a child asked to hold the Risen Christ figure. 

Thank you very much, St George's!

1 comment:

  1. I've just read this post and had no idea you had been in Spain. Too bad that Godly Play at St George's was not quite 'normal' at the time of your visit!


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