“Needed: A Theology of Children”

At our church, the church, the main parish hall, and parish office are on one level. The nursery and Sunday School classrooms through 12th grade are on the basement level. We have three services each Sunday in our church, and as our town is known as a retirement area, we have a large number of retired folks. A new vestry member who was specifically asked to come see the classrooms on a Sunday morning was flabbergasted at the hustle and bustle and exclaimed, “It’s a whole ‘nother world down here!”

Sigh. On any given Sunday there are 30-40 children of all ages attending Sunday School, and many people are not even aware of this.

The Episcopal Church recently announced its intention to cut the national budget for children and youth by 90%. (On the local level, our parish continues to support children and youth.)

Jerome Berryman created the methodology and shared the stories that make up the “curriculum” that is Godly Play. In response to the national budget cut, he wrote “Needed: A Theology of Children.” He shares a simple way that ANYONE can minister to children – and change their parish – without spending a penny!

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3 Responses to “Needed: A Theology of Children”

  1. Fran says:

    I really liked that cartoon that you showed me…where the child is saying ‘We are not the future–we are the present.’ With the decline in church membership, I don’t understand cutting the children and youth budget. Many people are looking for a church because they have children and want their children to have a church family. We don’t need shoes to walk with Jesus, but Sunday School teachers and Youth leaders do need teaching materials, and you get what you pay for.

  2. browniesmoke says:


    I agree wholeheartedly – and I am thankful our church has a paid staff person for children/youth/family ministries as well as a good budget. However, most of the major denominations are reporting decreasing numbers. Why do they think cutting funds for the youngest members will help?

    I’ll make a new post with the cartoon, so that others may use it. Good idea!

  3. Pingback: “We are very much the ‘present’!” | What Can We Leave Out…

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