Godly Play meets every Sunday morning from 9:15 – 10:05 during the program year (September – May) and is for children ages 3 through 5th grade.
Based on the premise that all humans are spiritual beings, an experience of Godly Play begins in a circle with other children, adult leaders, and with God. Biblical stories from the Hebrew and Christian scriptures are literally placed at the center of that circle. A storyteller tells each story slowly and simply with a number of visual and tactile components. The combination of silence, focus, and wonder connects the hearers with the holy center of the story and themselves. There is time for creative response, revisiting other biblical stories, and fellowship. Along with biblical stories, the children are guided in the practice of prayer, silence, and naming God's presence and love in their own lives.
The Episcopal tradition values the rhythm of church seasons as a way of "telling time.” As the church year rolls from Advent through Christmas, moves into Epiphany, enters Lent on the path to Easter and opens to Pentecost, the children at Trinity are aware of these changes. From the vestment changes in the sanctuary to their moving the felt hand on the "clock" when they gather, they begins to notice and form different seasons of the soul - times of celebration and quiet, times of waiting and action, times of death and new life. These seasons become the bigger God Story in which all other stories from the Bible and their own lives are lived.
Season Family Gathering
Four times per year, at the start of each season of the church, Godly Play families gather on a Sunday to mark that season’s beginning. The gathering begins with a simple lunch following the 10:15 service as a time for fellowship and hearing about the focus and plans for the next season. It is also a time when each family constructs materials to take home that are intended to assist in worship and nurture during the week.
Gigantic Project and Children's Art Show
The wonder, creativity, and deepening of the Godly Play experience occurs as Trinity’s children participate together in a large, complex art project spanned out over the entire program year (September – May).
The 2014-15 program year saw the filling of a 2x5x5 foot wooden, 3-dimensional model of Noah's Ark. During the program year, older children built beds, troughs, corrals, sewed mattresses, and food sacks. The younger children created the water and dry land that surrounded the Arc. Each child selected a pair of animals to create out of foam board and fabric. Words for God's promises to the people covered the ribs forming the boat. The main project served as the centerpiece for Trinity’s Children's Art Show. In addition to the Arc, displayed art included items from the children’s creative work in Godly Play throughout the year.
Episcopal Creative Art Day Camp
This is a summer week of fun, art, play, music and making new friends sponsored by Episcopal churches in the Twin Cities metro area. The camp is open to children ages 4 through rising 6th graders at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Minneapolis. There is a small registration fee with scholarships available. Click for more information about the camp.
Serving in this ministry is a committed team of adults who are intentional about their own faith journey, delight in being with children, are endowed and trained in the necessary skills. Many are parents with children currently living with them while others' children are off on their own. Youth often provide leadership as well, making the children's circle span three generations of wisdom and love.