Frequently Asked Questions about Godly Play

  • What is Godly Play?

    Godly Play is a Montessori‐based religious education program used to educate our children about stories from the Bible and various liturgical actions.

    Godly Play was developed by Jerome Berryman. It has its roots in the educational approach started by Maria Montessori. There are several ways to volunteer with the program: as a teacher, for which training is provided, or a doorkeeper, who works as a greeter and helps with the juice and cookie feast.

  • Why Godly Play?

    Our Godly Play program at Christ Church was founded in 2001. Many Episcopal Churches as well as other denominations use the curriculum as a way to meet the children where they are and to honor their innate sense of spirituality. Rather than focus on a body of knowledge to be imparted to the children, lessons about the Sacraments and Bible stories are told visually as well as with words, listening for the kids’ own experience.

    The “work” time in Godly Play is a time for the kids to explore what they have heard in the story.

  • Who teaches Godly Play?

    The adults in the classroom consist of a Storyteller and a Doorkeeper who are volunteers from Christ Church and are often parents of children in the church. Storytellers receive formal training through the Godly Play Foundation before teaching in the classroom. Doorkeepers receive less formal training from the current volunteers to ensure they understand and can complete their role, and they are welcome and encouraged to attend Godly Play Foundation trainings as well.
  • What is the drop-off and pick‐up procedure for Godly Play?

    Class begins promptly at 9:45 am, 15 minute before Mass begins. Please say goodbye to your child in the hallway outside. They will then enter the classroom and circle with the help of the Doorkeeper and Storyteller. At the end of the lesson, the children will be escorted upstairs in time for the community to share the Eucharist together.

    If the door to the classroom is closed when you arrive, it means that class has already begun. To avoid interrupts and distractions to the ongoing class, please take your child to church with you.

  • Can I stay with my child in the children’s programs?

    Parents may stay with their children in the toddler room and in fact should plan to stay with infants or younger toddlers who may require more attention. But the Godly Play and the 4-6th grade classrooms are designed to be led by the two adults in the room. If you find that your child is not ready to separate and join in the classroom, we recommend that they attend mass with you and then try again the following week. By frequently visiting the classroom, before the weekly program begins, children may become more accustomed to separating from parents. Parents may also volunteer to become a Doorkeeper to join in the program with their children.
  • What will my child learn about the Bible?

    Many of our lessons are based on well-known Bible stories such as Noah and the Ark, the disciples at Pentecost, and the parables of Jesus. Recognizing that these stories were passed odwn orally through many generations and written down by humans, we don’t read them literally. Instead, we believe they contain something wonderful, mysterious, and true about God. With this in mind, we share Godly Play stories in a way that allows for the children to connect with and wonder about them through quiet contemplation and play.
  • How can I learn more?

    Teaching Godly Play by Jerome Berryman is a great introduction to the program. You can also find Godly Play online at www.godlyplayfoundation.org and on FaceBook.

    Storytellers are also happy to share their experiences and show you around the classrooms.

  • How can I help out?

    Any member of the church is welcome to become either a Storyteller or Doorkeeper. As our parish grows, so does our children’s ministries and the more volunteers we have, the easier it will be to accommodate these needs. Please contact Erin Jensen if you are interested in volunteering or training to become a Storyteller. The Godly Play Foundation offers a variety of workshops throughout the year, including the CORE Training, which our Storytellers have attended. You are welcome to find out more about Godly Play training at www.godlyplayfoundation.org.