Godly Play® News
An Interview with W. Lee Dickson, Executive Director of the Godly Play Foundation
by Jeannie Babb
“I wonder if God has everything planned?” Asked to recall favorite wondering thoughts from children, this is the first one that comes to mind for W. Lee Dickson. It could also be a thematic question for Dickson’s own journey with Godly Play.
As of the new year, Dickson signed on to the role of Executive Director of the Godly Play Foundation — a turn in her story that she could not have anticipated the first time she walked into a Godly Play room about nineteen years ago.
“We were at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Cohasset, Massachusetts,” she recalls. ” A story was told to a group of adults nineteen years ago, at a fall orientation for parents of children in Godly Play.” Sally Thomas was the story teller, and she was telling the Great Family. Continue reading
The children’s eyes are fixed on the bucket, left in the desert like the scattered bits of golden thread.
“I wonder how we wonder?” the storyteller says.
One little boy answers, “It takes a very long time.” Continue reading
Greenbelt is a Christian community in the United Kingdom committed to arts, faith, and culture. As they say on their website: Greenbelt is ‘engaged with culture, inspired by the arts, sustained by faith and aspires to be an open generous community re-imagining the Christian narrative for the present moment’. This mission is primarily lived out each year on the August Bank Holiday weekend when they host a festival that includes a programme of music, visual and performing arts, spirituality, comedy, talks, and discussion. How fitting then that Godly Play United Kingdom chose to be an integral part of this rich experience by being present at the Greenbelt festival.
Each morning there were full Godly Play sessions indoors, throughout the day pop-up sessions were held outdoors, and each evening Deep Talk sessions were held. Over twenty volunteers ran these sessions under the able leadership of Jeremy and Louise Clines and Kathryn Lord. I was privileged to be present for a day and to witness many children and adults experiencing Godly Play for the first time. This was an inspired project that combined ministry and promotion. Those who took part in the sessions were able to experience the wonder of Godly Play, and they are sure to go home and share the good news in ways that will lead to the growth of Godly Play in the UK.
Through this project, Godly Play UK has reminded us all of the importance of seeking out opportunities to promote this gift that is Godly Play. One of the commendable things about Godly Play is how it has grown based on reputation, results, and relationships as opposed to a coordinated and manufactured marketing plan. Nonetheless, to the extent we believe that Godly Play is good news for the people of the world, then to that extent we may need to be more proactive and intentional in seeking out opportunities to share this good news. Events like Greenbelt take place all over the world all of the time, and I encourage national and regional circles of Godly Play to imagine the ways in which they can be present at these events. Thank you Godly Play UK for your example.
Godly Play Advocate for International Development
Doug Watts and Ryan Campbell recently presented a workshop at the 15th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CHILDREN’S SPIRITUALITY, convened by the International Association for Children’s Spirituality, at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln, UK.
The theme of this year’s conference, SPIRITUALITY AND THE WHOLE CHILD: INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES, matches closely the focus of the work Watts and Campbell do at Children’s Medical Center – Dallas. Continue reading