God is doing a new thing, can you perceive it? —Isaiah 43
As we prepare for the fall, Children’s Chapel will be undergoing some exciting changes. Have you heard? We will be introducing Godly Play in our younger children’s chapel, which means we will be making a few tweaks to our program. Here are responses to some of the frequently asked questions.
Q: What is changing about chapel?
A: There are two main changes. First, the locations will switch—younger children will be upstairs on the third floor in the Malott Chapel while older children will be on the first floor in the Schmidt Chapel. Second, for the younger children only, they will be invited to hear a biblical story using the storytelling method called Godly Play (see below).
Q: What is not changing about chapel?
A: Besides the location change, everything about the older children’s chapel will remain the same. For the younger children, while the location and storytelling method will change, the emphasis on singing and the traditional chapel prayers will remain unchanged.
Q: What is Godly Play?
A: Godly Play is a style of storytelling. Children will hear a biblical story told in plain language. Each story is accompanied by visual props that help the children step into the story. Then children will have a chance to reflect on that story using simple questions like, “I wonder what part of that story was your favorite?” Or, “I wonder where God is in this?” The storyteller will intentionally welcome children to answer the questions without expecting a ‘correct’ answer, but instead allowing each child to wonder about and discover where God might be in the story.
Q: Who will participate in Godly Play?
A: For now, this storytelling technique will be used in our younger children’s chapel only.
Q: Where will students meet for Chapel?
A: Younger children (ages 3 to 7) will meet in the Malott Chapel on the third floor. Older children (3rd through 6th graders) will meet in the Schmidt Chapel on the first floor. If you are a longtime member, you will notice that we have switched the location for older and younger chapels to accommodate our new storytelling style for the younger children.
Q: Are the educational goals of chapel changing?
A: No. The goal of chapel remains the same. Chapel sets the stage for children to delight in God’s presence, pray to God, hear God’s story and talk about God with confidence. This new storytelling method will strengthen the goals of chapel.
Q: How does Godly Play impact the Sunday School classroom?
A: The Children’s Ministry team seeks to provide a simple, meaningful Sunday School classroom experience that can be well led by our dedicated Sunday School teachers. For our younger grades, this year we will introduce some new elements into the classroom that will streamline the role of the teacher, as well as develop some healthy spiritual practices for our children. Some of these are inspired by the Godly Play method, but some of them have come to us through other exploration. We are excited to watch with you as these changes make an impact on the faith lives of our children and families.