“I want to walk as a child of the light.” This simple song we sing every Sunday as the children of St. John’s process to Godly Play grounds us and reminds us of Isaiah’s vision of the peaceful kingdom, which states, “and a little child shall lead them.” As we have entered the Season of Creation, our prayers and confession have changed to focus our attention again on our call to be stewards of God’s Creation. Our children in Godly Play have been learning about some of the foundational stories of the Bible. Beginning with Creation, they explore the story of Noah and the Exodus, to name a few. This past Sunday at PRAYground we discussed the multiplication of the loaves and fish and pondered how we can respond to a world in need.
In our group, some of our children talked about the problems of litter and how we can organize and give of our time to address this issue. They also mentioned that no one should go without food or water in our world. It warms my heart to hear the deep connection children have to the mission of God. They do walk as children of the light, and they lead us. Over the summer, our children have returned to Godly Play each Sunday, worshiped on both Sunday morning and once a month with PRAYground, played on the playground together, established new friendships, and worked with their hands to help feed the needy through the Farm to Fork gardening events. Looking forward, we hope to have more opportunities for children and families. In October, we will have our annual Trunk or Treat. In Advent, we look forward to the feast of St. Nicholas and another chance to give back to our community. In addition, we are working on a program geared toward our 4th and 5th graders to help them learn more about our church, the Bible, and our Episcopal identity. These offerings are only possible with the dedication of the many parishioners who volunteer and the willingness of our parents to engage.
Sometimes it can be easy to get wrapped up in planning and see these ministries as things we are doing for our children. However, it is important to see that it is not that programs, Godly Play, or events are things we do for them; instead, these are ways we open the door to the guiding light of the young people of our community. The light they shine in their prayers, learning, sharing, and giving is a beacon for us to follow and enriches our faith community. This way, we can all ask for God’s light to “shine in my heart Lord Jesus.”