The Congregation at Duke University Chapel


photo of Phyllis

In June, my husband and Congregation Godly Play volunteer, Mel Snyder and I attended the North American Godly Play conference in Denver, CO. Former Congregation Godly Play volunteer Ebony Grissom, who currently lives in Rhode Island, was also there. We enjoyed catching up with each other, as well as meeting new Godly Players not only from the United States and Canada, but also from Uruguay, the United Kingdom, and Tanzania.

At the conference, I was excited to learn about a new publication that introduces an expansion of the Godly Play method. It has long been realized that Godly Play is for children of ALL ages, as confirmed by The Rev. Lois Howard’s work with Alzheimer’s patients . Graceful Nurture: Using Godly Play with Adults goes even further by addressing the why and how of using this method with adults. The author, Rebecca L. McClain, states: “As adults, we may know the words of the Christian tradition, but all too often, we lack the context and frame of the language of the scriptural narrative. Stories provide the context so that we are able to make meaning of the words in our own lives.” This reminded me of what The Rev. Joshua Lazard said in the July 2 Duke Chapel sermon regarding scripture: “Without ‘context’, the ‘text’ does not exist.” Can Godly Play take adults deeper into scripture through story? McClain provides the background, and the lesson plans, for how this might be achieved.

As I prepare for another year of Godly Play for the Congregation’s children, beginning in September, I am grateful for the ways this method has touched so many people. I look forward to putting into practice what I have learned, and continue to learn, about Godly Play.