Godly Play training planned for April
By Gisele McKnight
Some might call Godly Play a Christian education program for Sunday school, but Archdeacon Cathy Laskey, an accredited storyteller and trainer, calls it so much more.
"It began for children but it's broadened to all ages," said Cathy. "It's a faith-formation opportunity that involves storytelling, prayer, wonder, silence and liturgy."
The Godly Play Canada website uses words like creative and innovative, and says it's based on the recognition that children have an innate sense of the presence of God. Godly Play is not exclusively Anglican, and it's practiced in many countries, including Australia, Finland, Germany, the UK and the United States, and being introduced in many more.
In Shediac, Cathy Borthwick uses Godly Play every Thursday at the church daycare, and the children there love it.
"They have a chance to allow their minds to think — introspection — that quiet time to ponder and make it their own story," she said. "It's more of an experience than the mug-and-jug theory of teaching."
They have a story and then the children have their work time. They can hear a story over and over and never tire of it, never say ‘we did that one already,' she said.
"It's fascinating. It's like seeing the world though new eyes," she said.
She will be in attendance at next month's Godly Play training at Sackville United Church April 8-10. She did module B last year, so she will pick up A and C on that weekend, she said.
"I'm looking forward to it, with a sense of wonder," she said.
Cathy Laskey is the Godly Play Maritimes representative on the Godly Play Canada board.
"Godly Play Canada is growing," she said.
The training in Sackville, when all three modules are completed, will result in becoming an accredited storyteller, said Cathy Laskey.
"To understand Godly Play and how to offer it, one must take this training," she said. "Just like with layreaders, we need to train our people to be Godly Play practitioners."
She encourages anyone with an interest to register, or in the meantime, experience a sample of Godly Play.
"If you or your parish would like an introduction to Godly Play, Godly Play Maritimes offers ‘tasters.' These could be one to two-and-a-half hours in length."
The Rev. Greg Frazer sat in on a ‘taster' and was immediately hooked.
"I've seen it done. I saw Cathy in action with Godly Play and thought it was a great way to tell the stories of the gospel," said Greg.
Greg is the priest-in-charge in the Parish of Westmorland and a prison chaplain at Dorchester Penitentiary.
"Kids have always been a part of my life — my own children and grandchildren — and Godly Play is going to offer me some more ideas on how to tell Bible stories," he said.
"I'm drawn to that creative side and have wanted to take the program."
He plans to take all three modules at the April offering in Sackville.
For those contemplating the same thing, contact Cathy for details (506-459-1801, ext. 224), or visit godlyplaymaritimes.com .