“For every beginning there is an ending, and for every ending, there is a beginning”… these words from The Circle of the Church Year story were spoken on Sunday by my storyteller daughter on the East coast, by me on the West coast, and by hundreds in-between and all around the world. In their great simplicity, we are reminded of something huge. Something that makes all the difference.
Godly Play at Trinity Cathedral is different this year. We now have rooms for single ages/grades. Godly Play must be adapted in certain ways to “work” in the settings in which it is offered… and it gets tweaked in all sorts of ways. I can imagine that Godly Play is like a wheel…. something that could be changed in certain ways – made a bit larger or smaller or by replacing the rim – and still have all that is necessary to be a good functioning wheel for a larger purpose. Spikes added to the rim would change it in a different way; removing some spokes could cause it to bend and collapse. So, as Godly Play practitioners go about making changes that will make Godly Play work better in their own unique settings, care must be taken that all we need for Godly Play “to be” is still there! Godly Play was designed (like Montessori) to have children aged 3-6 together and as programs grow, ages 6-9 and 9-12. I’ve experienced several years (in a smaller parish church in CA) watching three year olds evolve into the very capable and thriving mentors for a small group of incoming three year olds the following fall, and the fall following. This was something very beautiful. Trinity Cathedral is large, and Godly Play began here with combining just two ages together, and we’ve still experienced older ones mentoring the younger (although there were proportionately fewer older mentors!)
Back to the wheel. A big wheel – i.e., many children at Trinity, is absolutely wonderful! It was now time to rematch what would be attached. Establishing (and staffing!) additional Godly Play rooms was not possible. Changing our three existing rooms to be for one age each, was. It is different! But it is not different in a way that we can not do Godly Play… and for us, for now, we feel we will be able to practice even better Godly Play. And so we have begun, again.
ALL new beginnings are different, because they are new!
Welcome, families of children in Trinity’s GP Room for Four Year Olds, aka the Godly Play Preschool Room. I hope this will help you feel connected with what your children are experiencing while they are with us.