“Blowing Up” Pentecost

It is our parish tradition to hold “Sunday School Recognition” on the last day of Sunday School in May (we resume – or begin a new “year” the first Sunday after Labor Day in September in the US).

We encourage the entire parish to come, but realistically we just get children, youth, parents, and perhaps a few grandparents.*

If possible, we like to have a very short presentation as we gather together. One struggle we have is to gather adults into the circle – coffee and fellowship is a bigger draw than anything we might offer.

This year we had the idea to “blow up” the Mystery of Pentecost story from The Complete Guide to Godly Play, Volume 4.

To prepare the materials, I cut four long strips of brown felt (we decided that having many strips would bump those unfamiliar with Godly Play out of the story). We found 12″ boxes from packaging store for the blocks (shown here with the small blocks from the story).

I actually scanned the tiny shields from the original materials from Godly Play Resources.

And, oh! the frustration ensued. Once enlarged, the shields were far too pixellated to be useful.

I tried scanning, photography, studied my camera’s instruction manual for macro settings, sent frantic e-mails to friends, and ultimately decided that what I could leave out was this drive for perfection for a one time event for a large group.  A friend suggested using a black marker to outline and define the pixellated prints (on card stock from my printer). This took just a few minutes and did the job perfectly – even a few teachers commented on how nice the shields looked!

We began with a prayer and then explained we were doing the Pentecost story a week early (on May 20, 2012 this year). I began showing the red box of the Mystery of Pentecost story and said, ”

Next Sunday, May 27, is one of the three great times in the Circle of the Church Year. It’s Pentecost – and ow! It’s hot! But why?

This story is the Mystery of Pentecost. This is the version we use in our classrooms downstairs, but this one is too small for all of us today. So today we have a big version! And Anne and Belinda are going to help me tell the story.

Since we don’t have a big red box to peek into, the only thing we can do is just begin!

I acted as narrator, reading aloud the script for the story while two of our Godly Play teachers manipulated our larger props.

During Sunday School Recognition we call each class to the front, introduce the children that are present and their teachers, and allow them to say or do something if the Spirit moves them (usually it doesn’t, but we do leave that option in). Each teacher and child present is given a small token. The Youth Director does the same for the middle and high school youth. (Usually their “token” is candy – a privilege of their advanced years!) This year we presented the same gift to all those involved with Godly Play: a Good Shepherd medal pinned to a simple card we made.

We offered ribbon (collected from many past projects) for anyone who chose to make a necklace or bracelet for the medal.

We ended with cake and punch, and sometime egg salad finger sandwiches. (We have a loyal supporter of children who makes the most delicious egg salad sandwiches that anyone has ever tasted. You can’t imagine how much everyone looks forward to her egg salad sandwiches!)

Of course, I have no pictures of the actual event. However, I hope these few pictures may help someone who wants to try a similar “blown up” version of the story. It was a fairly simple thing to pull together quickly (if you don’t get bogged down in reproducing the shields perfectly as I did!).

*This year our vestry member who serves as liaison to children and youth campaigned and had 7 out of 9 vestry members present for the entire presentation. What a boost to our ministry! The children were proud, and we felt uplifted to have our ministry acknowledged! Thank you, Billie!

This entry was posted in Feasts, Godly Play, Godly Play Story Materials, Parish Traditions, Pentecost, Seasons of the Church Year and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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