Sunday, June 8, 2014

Frohes Pfingstfest / Happy Pentecost!

Happy Pentecost Sunday! 

Our church celebrated Pentecost together with a brunch and children's church. And today was the first time that I can remember in several years when I was not in our Godly Play time telling a story. The reason is because we have added another young woman, Jessica, to our teaching team! I am absolutely thrilled that she is beginning her own Godly Play journey.

We only get to use our red liturgical mat once a year, so that makes it extra special for the children, who immediately notice what day it is!

Jessica told the Godly Play story, Paul's Discovery, today. Similar in format to the the Faces of Easter and Advent, pictures of the life of Paul are laid out on a red underlay. 

Today's story, Paul's Discovery.
Jessica and Melinda told me a little about the interesting Wondering time afterwards. The children seemed to agree that the most important part of the story was Paul's dramatic encounter with Jesus in the bright light and his resulting blindness. Without that incident, "he wouldn't have written all those letters to the churches" that we have in the New Testament. 

When asked if there was a part of the story that made them think of something in their own lives, one child answered that something reminded them of Jessica and Melinda's lives.  The part where Paul leaves his parents and goes to live somewhere else made this child think of how it must have been when Jessica and Melinda moved out of the homes they grew up in and began to live separately from their parents. 

At the same time, the children were also troubled that there was no more mention of Paul's parents in the story. Truthfully, history does not tell us what happened to them after Paul went to study with Gamaliel. 

During Response Time, the children drew pictures. A couple of little girls were into drawing native Americans. In the Godly Play classroom, we welcome everything the children create, whether it has something to do with the story that have just heard or not. We want them to learn that they can share all of their lives with God, and that God is indeed interested in the things that interest them.

Because we celebrate the worldwide church's birthday on Pentecost, the children also decorated cupcakes during Response Time. They ate some of them during their feast and then presented the adults in the church with the rest. One of the children led the adults in singing a round of "Happy Birthday" to the church. (Even though we are a German-speaking church, everyone knows this song and many people in Berlin also sing it at birthdays.)

Here in Germany, Pentecost Monday is a national holiday, so I plan to sleep in tomorrow and enjoy the sunshine. Have a wonderful week!

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