You will hear more about Kids Friendly which is the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand 's response to AC Neilson research "Attracting New Zealanders to spiritual life". It recognizes the vital contribution children and families make to healthy congregations; and it seeks to assist churches intentionally minister to children (0-12 years) and families by providing resources, advice, encouragement, training and coaching.
Kids friendly family devotios and reflections for Lent
READY: Read Matthew 4:1-11. Jesus is tempted.
STEADY: Jesus lived on earth just like us, so he knew what it’s like to be tempted to do the wrong thing. Often we are tempted. Sometimes we choose wrong over right. Jesus reminds us “Worship the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart.”
GO: What are some things you could do and say this week to show you love God and others?
READY: Read John 4:7-10 Jesus the living water.
STEADY: In this story Jesus shocks his disciples because he asks a Samaritan woman for a drink. (Jews didn’t talk to Samaritans in those days. Remember the story of the Good Samaritan?) Jesus shows us that everyone is worthy of God’s love and therefore our love.
GO: Are there any people you find hard to love? Remember God loves all of us equally and wants us to love each other in the same way.
READY: Read John 9: 9-12. Jesus heals a blind man.
STEADY: Jesus performed many wonderful miracles while he lived on earth. In today’s story he cures a man of his blindness and reminds him that he (Jesus) is the light of the world. When we love others they can see Jesus’ light in us.
GO: How will you reach out in love this week so others can see and feel Jesus’ light in you?
Submitted by Susan Connell, and taken from ‘Reflections for Lent 2014’, by Partnership of Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Presbyterian Support
What is GODLY PLAY?
Godly Play teaches children the art of using Christian language-parable, sacred story, parables, silence and liturgical action-helping them become more fully aware of the mystery of God’s presence in their lives. When Christian language is learned by the Godly Play approach, it is learned as a means to know God and to make meaning of our lives. This approach is quite different from the traditional model in which the teacher tells the children what they need to know. It is about locating each lesson in the whole system of Christian language (story told with figurines-table puppeting) and involving the creative process (“I wonder” questions to draw out child’s thoughts into larger dimensions of belief followed by meaningful artistic expression) to discover the depths of meaning in them. It is about understanding how each of the stories of God’s people connects with the child’s own experience and relationship with God. Godly Play respects the innate spirituality of children and encourages curiosity and imagination in experiencing the mystery and joy of God.
The goal of Godly Play is to show, non-coercively, how to be open to the Holy Spirit, The Creator, and the Redeemer all at once and all the time in every place. To achieve this goal is to help children (also all ages, diverse settings)become deeply rooted as Christians and yet at the same time use this powerful language and community to be open, creative and connected with their personal experiences.
The educational theory of Godly Play is rooted in the use of ritual story, and the creative process. The use of the Montessori’s approach to education has been adapted to Godly Play in order to stimulate children’s active participation in story and ritual and to awaken their creativity for learning and spiritual growth.