At St. Paul's, children in Preschool through 4th grade, (ages almost 3 through 10) are invited to participate in the world-renowned Episcopal program of "Godly Play."
Godly Play Schedules:
8:45 to 11:30 - Nursery available for children 5 and under.
10:15 - All Children gather in the Sports Hall for free play & games.
10:30 - Preschool thru Kindergarten Godly Play, Room B15
10:30 - 1st and 2nd Grade Godly Play, Room B16
10:30 - 3rd and 4th Grade Godly Play, Room B17
For 5th Grade and up, please see our youth page: http://www.stpaulsbellingham.org/youth
What is Godly Play?
Godly Play teaches classic Christian ideas and stories. It will give your child "the basics" to enhance their natural experience of God's unqualified love, and how God works in our lives.
Children have a natural and innate sense of God. They instantly "get it" when you tell them the stories, explain the symbols, and share the language of God's love. It allows them to identify and express what they already know deep down inside.
The Godly Play program is offered every Sunday in the lower level of the church (down the stairs and to the left down the hall). There is no charge for attending, and you do not have to be a member of St. Paul's to enroll your children in Godly Play.
We tell the traditional bible stories, but in very creative ways. We take the time to let children wonder how each story and biblical character connects with their experience and relationship with God.
We demonstrate the deep meaning in these stories using the traditional symbols and language of Christianity while encouraging and engaging your child's natural creativity and thoughtfulness.
Here's a short video introduction to the Godly Play program:
It's not your old-fashioned Sunday School! Godly Play uses established, tried-and-true methods, but in a new way.
We all love stories, and Bible stories have layers of deep meaning. They are an important part of our culture, our heritage, and our moral codes. These stories have been passed down for centuries because they show us how to live our lives. Shouldn't your kids know these things?
We help you teach your children the fundamentals of the Christian "language" and culture. Knowing the parables, sacred stories, prayers, and traditions helps children to be aware of God’s love and presence.
This program can literally set the stage for a full and rewarding life. It can show children how to live and to grow in faith.
Godly Play is different from a traditional class, where the teacher spends an hour telling the children what they need to know. And for the kids, it's not about rote learning, memorizing, or being constantly entertained. Godly Play is a creative, imaginative approach to Christian teachings.
Part of our Godly Play time is “wondering”. We wonder who how and why a story happened, how it connects to us in our lives, what is the most important, if anything is left out, and more.
One Sunday, one of our amazing storytellers told the story of “Jesus and Zacchaeus” and then “wondered” with the children.
"I wonder what it feels like to be so short you can’t see what you want to see."
A few children answered “scared” and talked about being lost in a crowd and separated from their parents.
"I wonder how Zacchaeus felt when Jesus called him by name."
"O" indicates with 2 thumbs up. "A" says Zacchaeus would feel happy but confused. "O" changes his gesture to one thumb up and one thumb down.
"D" says, “Yah, he’s like really, REALLY happy, like the happiest but he’s like, “what? me? even though I did those bad things?”.
"I wonder how Zacchaeus felt when he was right with God and right with people."
Again "O" puts his arms straight out and his 2 thumbs up. We end up with a circle of extended thumbs up because everyone else agrees, too.
Our storyteller says “I am constantly amazed and humbled by these children. They are a blessing and constantly remind me how much God loves us.”
In the summer we do Sunday School all together upstairs in the gym. It’s called “Lego my Bible.” The children hear a story and then react to it with Lego building.