Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Godly Play weekend in Valencia
I'm writing this post in Madrid, in between Godly Play presentations last weekend in Valencia and a residential training event on working with children this coming weekend here in the Spanish capital. So, here's my report on the first of those two activities.
Last Saturday (22 May), I was invited to lead a Godly Play introductory day in Valencia, organised by the First Baptist Church of Valencia and the 'Bona Nova' Evangelical Church, in partnership with Unión Bíblica (Scripture Union Spain). The event was attended by a group of 21 educators, both professional school teachers as well as volunteer Sunday school staff. They represented 3 local churches in Valencia city and another church in the nearby town of Xátiva.
Some of the participants had experienced Godly Play in the past at other training events, but for others it was totally new. In general, the feedback was really positive and a core group of participants expressed interest in attending workshops in Godly Play to learn the nuts and bolts of this method. A date has been reserved later this year for the first of this series of workshops: Saturday, 13 November. The staff at the First Baptist Church have also revealed their plans for transforming one of their classrooms into a permanent space in which to offer Godly Play to the children of their congregation.
The following day was Pentecost Sunday. At the First Baptist Church, two Godly Play classes were organised, the first for young children and the second for the older age group. Both groups responded very well to the wondering questions related to their respective stories: The Parable of the Good Shepherd, in the case of the younger children, and The Mystery of Pentecost, in that of the older group.
In the first session, there were many young children crowded into a rather limited space, and a number of adult observers also attended - which is not to be recommended in a normal Godly Play class. Even so, the children responded very well to the story during the response time, choosing a variety of art and craft media, as well as the materials of the parable itself. We also enjoyed sharing the feast together. In the same way, the older children responded creatively to the Tower of Babel and Pentecost stories although, unfortunately, there was not enough time that Sunday morning to celebrate the feast with them.
Some of the aldult observers were staff workers at the Valencia City Mission, who were inquiring about how Godly Play might be used with the children who have contact with the mission. So, it seems there may well be many other trips back to Valencia over the next couple of years!
Click on the following links to see more pictures of the Godly Play introduction and the children's classes.