RE News: Meaghan Younger
Religious Education Curriculum
"Godly play" is a term coined by Jerome Berryman to describe an approach to children's spiritual formation that is based on creating a sacred space in which to present the stories of our faith, wonder about them together, and then allow the children open-ended opportunities, to engage with the story on their own terms.
The stories are told very simply, with simple props, and without interpretation or moral instruction. After a story is presented, the children and the storyteller wonder together about aspects of the story that draw their interest. For instance, with the parable of the Good Shepherd, they might wonder together how the sheep felt as they followed the shepherd, or whether the sheep have names, or how it might feel to be inside the sheepfold.
After a time of exploring the story with wondering, the story is put away, the children choose the art supplies they would like to work with, and they spend some time creating whatever they choose, in response to what they feel is most important in the story, or most interesting.
This is play. It is Godly. It is meeting God along with children, rather than teaching them what we think they ought to know. Our faith stories are very powerful and offer plenty to think about. Godly play is often deeply satisfying for the adults who engage the stories along with the children. https://ceob.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/EncounteringtheWordthroughGodlyPlay.pdf
Currently in Kindergarten and Years 3 & 4 students are exploring the parable of the Good Samaritan. Here is a version of this story for children to engage with: https://ceob.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/TheGoodSamaritan.pdf Students in Years 1 & 2 are learning about Noah and the Great Flood. Here is a version of this for them: https://ceob.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/NoahandtheFlood.pdf
Students in Years 5 & 6 are learning about the Holy Spirit this term. Whilst you may have previously considered the Holy Spirit a topic for Year 6 students as they prepared for Confirmation, in current Religious Education it is a concept explored over and again at each year level, deepening students’ understanding as they grow and mature. At the moment the students in 5/6 are learning about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Here is a great presentation on the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit: https://watch.formed.org/ydisciple-confirmation-2/videos/the-gifts-fruits-of-the-holy-spirit-with-gina-bauer I encourage you to watch this one with your children and have a talk about it.
Religious Life of St Michael’s School Community
Lectio Divina – praying with Scripture
The St Michael’s School community is familiar with a variety of forms of prayer, including Lectio Divina. Lectio divina is an ancient method of praying with sacred texts (particularly Scripture but other sacred writings can be used). This form of prayer allows you to spend time listening deeply and intently to what God might have to say to you through the text. I invite you to spend time together in prayer with daily Scripture using this ancient prayer form. Here is an article outlining the process:
Don’t forget there is always daily mass online available at https://www.catholicvoice.org.au/mass-online/. Our own Father Loi is celebrating Mass each Saturday evening and that is being streamed live on the Our Lady of Perpetual Help –North Belconnen Facebook site.