Mission and Ministry
Relationships are at the heart. The community values everyone and each person can be themselves.
The stories are presented so that we can connect our life experiences with Christian stories.
Creative activities give opportunities for personal response, expression and play. The present moment matters.
A way of sharing and exploring faith as Christian communities
Stories for the Soul uses the Godly Play method which offers an alternative and innovative way of mission and ministry for older people. Godly Play can also be used for all ages and needs in many different types of gatherings: inter generational worship, adults' groups, young people's groups, schools, ‘Sunday school’, chaplaincy, prisons, hospitals, retreats and fresh expressions of church.
is a creative and imaginative approach to Christian formation and spiritual guidance
is based on long established, tried and tested approaches
models the worship life, stories, symbols and rituals of Christian faith communities
values process, openness, discovery, community and relationships
allows people to make make relevant and personal theological meaning
nurtures participants to larger dimensions of belief and faith through wondering and play
A familiar pattern is used for every session:
Creating a space where everyone feels comfortable to be themselves.
Telling the story using beautiful and simple materials.
Listening to each other as we find meaning in the story.
Choosing how we would like to respond and express ourselves through creative activities.
Celebrating and enjoying being together.
This is when breaking of bread may take place.
Contribution to Ministry
The ‘wondering’ and ‘responding’ to the Bible’s stories is, in fact, a contemporary expression of the ancient spiritual practice of lectio divina. Instead of meditating abstractly on Christian scriptures, there is opportunity for play (in the true sense of the word) in a creative (perhaps artistic) and kinaesthetic way. The creative process is a means for people to explore—verbally and non-verbally—questions that include: existential meaning, spiritual identity, how to belong to the church, life-skills and acquisition of language that helps relate the religious and secular aspects of a person's identity.
how is this inclusive for people living with dementia?
The method affirms and honours elements in our Christian tradition which have been less evident in recent centuries: non-verbal communications, quietness, receptivity, awe and wonder. The practice models kindness and mutuality by how it organises space, materials, and the community of people, and seeks to embody the biblical ethic of how the people of God are to live together.
Where does Stories for the Soul come from?
Stories for the Soul is based on Godly Play, which has a Montessori foundation with 40+ years of research and practice. It is a creative and imaginative approach to Christian spiritual life developed by Rev. Dr. Jerome Berryman.