30 August 2013

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away" (Mark 13:31)

Today I want to share with you a poem by the poet José María Rodríguez Olaizola, SJ. I came across it because it was used in one of the daily prayer podcasts by Rezandovoy, a sister initiative to Pray as You GoAs I listened to it today, I thought of the way the Godly Play scripts draw from the eternal word of God, that well which will never run dry. 

You can read the original here. This is my translation into English:

Your word will not pass away

The days and the years go by.
History unfolds and is filled
with names, with faces, with little gestures.
Joys and sorrows come and go.
Faces and hands become wrinkled,
and hair turns to snow.
Some wounds finally heal.
Words are spoken and forgotten.
Songs die. Poems fall silent.
Life goes by. One life.

But your word endures.
There remains love's powerful force.
There remains every caress
which makes the world humane,
every act of forgiveness,
and every feast from which no one is excluded.
There remains blessedness as a way of life.
And one's neighbour.
And the embracing of the prodigal son.
Your word will not pass away. Ever.

22 August 2013

Godly Play in a home

We made a brief visit back to Finland during the summer. Sadly, our pastor has been unable to continue offering weekly services, so our congregation now meets only twice a month. The Sunday we were there was one of the Sundays when there was no service. So I organised a sort of "house church" Godly Play session with one of the families whose children used to come to Junior Church.

I made a focal shelf in their living room. 

Ahead of time, I had asked the children each to request a set of story materials they'd like me to bring. I used these, as well as some of the family's own possessions (like a storybook about Jonah), to surround us with stories the way a Godly Play classroom does.

I presented the Circle of the Church Year and we had crayons to use during Response Time. During our feast we listened to the passage from Ecclesiastes about there being a right time for everything, and we had a short time of prayer. I asked the parents what hymns they would like us to sing together, and we used those to open and close our service.

The children had lost some of their sense of how we used to do things, and found it a little difficult to settle down in the space they usually use for play and watching tv, but one thing I really notice from the photos is the way the children moved closer and closer to the story materials as I presented the lesson. They were literally drawn in!

17 August 2013

sheep stole

Today I start my third year of part-time ministry training. I hope to be ordained at the end of the (academic) year as a deacon in the Church of England, and then the following year as priest. A few months ago I took a deep breath and ordered my first stole (to be worn once I am ordained).

Why this design? When Bishop David interviewed me he asked what "my" Gospel was, what the Good News was from my point of view. I answered, steeped as I was in Godly Play at the time, "The Good News is that there is a Good Shepherd, and he knows all the sheep by name and he cares for them."

stole by Juliet Hemingray

13 August 2013

playing and praying thematically

Recently I was interested to see another church's Play and Pray area, where items were stored thematically. 

Can you read the labels? They include "The Lost Sheep", "Nativity", "Noah's Ark", and "Church". 

(Please click here to read my other posts about Pray and Play areas.)

01 August 2013

sometimes we need something other than words

Sometimes, words just can't say what we feel. Sometimes we need to speak differently... through art... or silence...

a quote from this video: