Rector's Message for September

Fr. Seth picture

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I write this article, I can hear the clap of thunder, see flashes of lightning, and hear the rain relentlessly pounding away on the metal church roof. Because of the wet weather, it is no wonder I am thinking of Noah and his ark today. One of my favorite childhood toys was a handcrafted wooden ark. My toy ark was a double decker boat that looked more like a ferry you'd find in Cameron or lower Algiers.

Although slightly antichronistic, I loved my wooden ark. It came with a full set of colored wooden animals and a wooden cut out of Noah and his family. You could load them all onto the ark and just wait for the rising water. As you can see, I still have that toy ark. The giraffe is missing a leg. The pig is missing its counterpart and half the original animal pairs have gone to toy land heaven but because I was told the story of the great flood and allowed time to use my imagination and reinterpret that story as I played, I know Noah's flood account (Genesis 6-8) about as well as any other scripture I academically dissected in seminary.

The idea that children can learn the bible by using their playful imaginations is the concept behind our new children's formation program called Godly Play. The Godly Play foundation describes their curriculum: "Children have an innate sense of the presence of God. The Godly Play approach helps them to explore their faith through story, to gain religious language and to enhance their spiritual experience though wonder and play. Based on Montessori principles and developed using a spiral curriculum, the Godly Play method serves children through early, middle and late childhood and beyond. Fr. Seth's Ark
 

Instilling a sense of God's presence in our lives in a playful, imaginative way sounds like something we would all enjoy! We will begin using Godly Play with our young people here at St. Michael's this fall. I offer a big thank you to Kay Vanchiere, Amy Donald, and Deanna Chamberlain who will be helping with the program. Thank you for supporting initiatives like Godly Play through your generous stewardship. Programs like Godly Play aren't the cheapest or the easiest ways to deliver content, but we aren't about simply delivering content. If Christianity was about content delivery, we could download our Christianity off the internet and be done. Our faith is a way, a path, a discipline and a life journey. As our mission states, at St. Michael's, we are called to make disciples "through love, worship, prayer, and Christian service."

God bless you as you love, worship, pray and serve.

 In the Risen life-giving Christ,

Fr. Seth+