Curriculum Updates and Revisions in the Expanded 2nd Edition of Volume 3

Our curriculum updates, grammar and illustration revisions, and new stories continue with the revised and expanded second edition of The Complete Guide to Godly Play, Volume 3!


For a quick guide to the 2017 curriculum updates in Volume 3, please see our one-page handout noting the changes you will find detailed in the revised and expanded second edition. We suggest that every Godly Play teacher receive a copy and that you leave a copy in each of your Godly Play rooms.

2017 Curriculum Updates – Volume 3


Be sure to order the new revised and expanded edition to discover the details of these updates for yourself!

Beyond the new practice, the new story, and the new words for the stories you already love, the new edition of Volume 3 includes significant grammar and illustration revisions to better support your program.

Order the book in print

Order the individual stories in digital form

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The revised and expanded Volume 3 of The Complete Guide to Godly Play is now available! Like Volume 2, this volume was first published fifteen years ago. It has the well-loved Advent series, Baptism, and the Parables.

The Process

As with the Volume 2 revision, Jerome Berryman invited both Rosemary Beales and Cheryl Minor to work with him to consider revisions and additions for Volume 3. Every lesson in this volume has been edited—some in small ways and some in very significant ways. There are also some new and improved illustrations. Be sure to check out the new diagrams for the Baptism lesson and the Parable of the Great Pearl. Finally, we have added two new stories for you to use in your Godly Play practice.

Significant Revisions in Volume 3

“EPIPHANY” – Lesson 7

This lesson needed some re-writing. We wanted to make sure we wrote it in a way that made it clear that Christmas was over, and we were on to the next thing. The focus is on the Magi and their gifts.


“Parable of the Good Samaritan” – Lesson 10

The original introduction to this parable was, frankly, awkward. You go back and forth talking about the person asking a question, the person answering, and so forth. As Dr. Berryman worked on it, he got frustrated and decided we should just go ahead and say it is Jesus who is talking.

Is this a big deal? Yes. We have consistently taught that we do not name Jesus in the parables. We want children to discover that it is Jesus who told the parables. However, this parable is different from others. Instead of helping us wonder about the Kingdom of Heaven or about who the Good Shepherd could really be, Jesus told this parable in response to a direct question. This difference makes the discovery of the parable-maker less important when playing with the parable.


The Parable of the Leaven has been rewritten to say: “the Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven, that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour.” (The original says that “the Kingdom of Heaven is like a woman . . .” which is not quite right!) The material for this lesson has also been revised. The woman used to be physically attached to the table. Now the woman and table are separate figures which can be moved individually. You can purchase just the figures from Godly Play Resources.

“Side-by-Side Parables” – Lesson 15

The revised Volume 3 includes an example of a Side-by-Side Parables. Side-by-side lessons are a wonderful way to challenge experienced Godly Players to think more deeply about a familiar story. For those who have never seen a side-by-side lesson and want to try telling one, we thought it might be helpful to have a written script available to follow. Once you understand the concept, there are endless possibilities! You may want to decide ahead of time which two stories to lay beside each other, or if you are an experienced storyteller, you may want to decide in the moment—or let the circle decide. Sometimes side-by-side lessons develop organically when someone in the circle makes a parallel which becomes an invitation to consider a second story in conjunction with the first.

“Parable Synthesis I + II” – Lessons 18 + 19

In practice people sometimes told the original three lessons called “The Parable Synthesis” all at once (or not at all). Sometimes the second lesson, which includes the context cards for the “I Am” statements, was left out. In light of that, we have turned the three lessons into two. Additionally, we fixed all of the biblical errors throughout the lessons.

“Making Silence” – Lesson 20

Finally, Jerome has written a new lesson on contemplative silence. He would often do something like this when he was the Canon Educator in Houston, and it is described in many different places. However, now we have it written out as a lesson!

Thank you!

Thank you to all the Godly Play practitioners around the globe who have sent us suggestions and questions over the last fifteen years. We listened carefully and hope you will see that reflected in the revisions.

We look forward to many more years of working collaboratively with the greater circle! And keep the feedback coming—we are listening!

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