Holy Cross implemented the Godly Play curriculum for children’s faith formation in December of 2014. This Montessori-like approach is different from traditional models in which the teacher tells children what they need to know. Godly Play teaches children the art of using sacred story, silence and liturgical action to support their awareness of the mystery and comfort of God’s presence in their lives.
In the Godly Play community, children learn about God, Holy Scripture and the Church by discovering for themselves, with the careful guidance of a mentor. Each lesson is told using specific language, and aided by artistic representation. The sacred language learned becomes a means to know a loving God and to make meaning of life. Wooden and fabric figures make the learning experience a tactile and sensory one. Each gathering includes a story, a time of work (reading or artistic), and the sharing of a simple snack that has parallels with Holy Communion.
Now that the children and teachers have established Godly Play at Holy Cross, it is not unusual for children to invite others to hear the stories of Godly Play. As young as five years old, the children are comfortable taking the lessons from their boxes, placing the figures on the floor, and telling familiar stories such as the Parable of the Mustard Seed. The hearer might think he or she is hearing them for the first time, as taught by a child.
In May of 2016, we dedicated the Godly Play Room in honor of the late Craig Burr, calling it Craig’s Room. We are grateful to Elizabeth Burr for dedicating her husband’s memorial fund to support the purchase of supplies and future training of teachers. What a fitting tribute for a wonderful, loving gentleman, and what a gift to the present and future children of Holy Cross.
Godly Play is held through the school year, excepting Christmas and Easter, when our children take part in intergenerational liturgical celebrations. We offer an alternative program for children during the summer.
For more information, contact a member of the teaching team: Sue Baas, Judy Cater or Sue Sebastian. Woodworkers are Ron Neuman and John Wickman, and fabric designer is Sue Sebastian.