Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Creation Table: Part Two

We finished our Creation Table on Sunday. It was a lovely experience for all three of us. The most challenging day was day four, the creation of the sun and the moon and the stars, "our way of keeping track of time," in the language of Godly Play. We had some great conversations about that day. We talked about how a day is the earth's spinning so that we face the sun, turn away, and then turn back again. I told them that a month is about the amount of time that it takes for the moon to travel once around the earth, and a year is the amount of time it takes for the earth to travel once around the sun. Alessia noted how different people use different calendars, not all of them based on the sun, so we talked about the difference between a solar year and a lunar year. At bedtime, the conversation shifted, and I told them that the day is for playing and learning and working and the nighttime for sleeping and dreaming. This is something I've told them many times before, but I think it took on new meaning that night.

After day five (the creatures of the water and the air) and day six (the creatures that go on land, including people), I asked them about the order of the days. This is a "wondering question" in Godly Play. Could God have created the creatures of the land, before God created water or plants? The question highlights how interconnected we all are.

On the seventh day we talked about God resting and giving us the gift of a day to rest and give thanks to God for all the gifts of Creation. We talked about how we all have our own special places where we feel called to give thanks, and how different people mark the seventh day in different ways - a cross, a star, and a crescent moon.

For each day of the week, I told the story of Creation as it is told in Godly Play, our church school program. We also read Let There Be Light by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. If you would like to make a creation table at home, and you don't happen to have access to the Godly Play version of the Creation Story, I would highly recommend this book. One of my favorite aspects of sharing the Creation Story with my children is it brings together our conversations about faith with our conversations about science, and I look forward to these conversations continuing and deepending as my children get older.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Creation Table: Part 1

We are working on a Creation-themed devotional table this week. In Godly Play, our church school program, Creation is presented as a series of great gifts from God. Each morning this week, my girls and I have sat down together and I have told them another day's part of the story, then we find things in the house that remind us of that day's gifts and add them to the table. During the day, when we are out and about we try to talk about where we see that day's gifts. Sometimes I initiate this. Sometime's the kids do. At the very end of the day, we regroup at the table to talk about the gifts and pray.
Day 1 - The gift of light.
Day 2 - The gifts of water and air.
Day 3 - The gifts of dry land and green and growing things.
For me, there are two very important aspects of the Creation story and our devotional table. First, it is helping us to see God's creation all around us. Olivia in particular has decided that when it comes time to find things for the table the first place to look is their "small things drawer," aka their junk drawer. At first this bothered me, as I had visions of "nicer" objects being chosen, but then I realized that her approach was a good one. To see God's creation in even the most mundane objects is eye-opening and awe-inspiring. Second, the Creation story for me is one of interconnectedness. While we haven't gotten to the creation of humans yet, we've talked about how we need water and our bodies are made up of so much water. We've talked about all the wonderful things that the green and growing things give us - food, oxygen, paper, wood, beauty. I believe that seeing ourselves as one part of God's Creation is key to our learning to respect and care for all of God's Creation.