All Saints and All Souls

This Holy Family is for You

As we celebrate All Saints and All Souls, I find myself reflecting on the community of holy people whose handiwork brought Godly Play to the parishes of which I have belonged. My previous parish is a small, rural Episcopal church who brought Godly Play to their community some twenty or more years ago. If collective memory is correct, a cohort of lay and ordained traveled to be trained by Jerome Berryman himself as they began the enterprise to share the stories in Young Children and Worship with the children of the parish. Creating the Godly Play space was truly a community effort.

I find myself recalling the woman who created and painted the ceramic nativity set that the children still use. Roberta died several years ago, but her presence and faith lives on in the art that she created for the children. “This Holy Family is for you,” says the Godly Play script.

I recall her husband, whom we remember among the faithfully departed for the first time this All Souls. Dick built many of the wooden objects used in the Godly Play room – the shelves, the parable boxes made from a recycled entertainment center, and Noah’s ark twice! In a lull in Godly Play at the parish, the church women sold his original Noah’s ark at the annual bazaar. So, he gladly rebuilt it a couple of years ago – for his great-grandsons, and my daughters, and all the children who have been and will be formed by the story of God’s fidelity. (The second ark is pictured below.)

handcrafted Noah's Ark for Godly Play room

Ark handcrafted by parishioner for Godly Play

I recall, too, the great number of holy people still living, who have contributed a variety of gifts to our Godly Play programs and who continue the ongoing process of telling the Christian story in this particular way. This All Saints and All Souls, I wonder whom you will remember?

-Alyssa Pasternak Post, November Monthly Contributor, USA