Stop. Listen. Something incredible is about to happen . . .
This is the Nativity story as told by Melinda Wenner Bradley, who serves PYM as the Youth Religious Life Coordinator. She is an accredited Godly Play Trainer and storyteller and a co-author of Faith & Play: Quaker Stories for Friends Trained in the Godly Play Method.
The story shown in this video is based on the series of “Advent” stories found in The Complete Guide to Godly Play: Volume 3, and is told in the manner of Godly Play® and Faith & Play™ stories. Watching it is a Christmas gift to Friends everywhere. Friends can use it as a way to settle on Christmas eve, or relax into it during a period of worship over the Christmas holidays.
Melinda adapted the Godly Play version of the Advent stories for Friends, simplifying both the materials and the language to better represent a Quaker sensibility.
Friends traditionally did not “keep days” and celebrate holidays like Christmas, but this has been less true in modern times. When she was parenting very young children, Melinda found that the practice of sharing the story as it unfolded in the Advent telling over the weeks before Christmas helped to ground her family’s experience of the holiday in wonder and Spirit. She wrote a reflection on Quaker parenting during Christmas time, and how it led to this story’s development.
There are many trained and gifted Godly Play/Faith & Play storytellers in our PYM community! These stories are told most often for a circle of children as a consistent part of a meeting’s religious education program. We have also experienced stories together at our Sessions during all-ages worship.
Friends interested in learning more about Godly Play and Faith & Play can visit the Faith & Play Stories website and reach out to Melinda directly.
In the meantime, please carry this message in your heart over Christmas:
Anywhere you go, the Light is within you and everyone you meet. And the mystery of Christmas, the baby king born in a barn who grew to be a teacher, the Prince of Peace, and a Light for the whole World, is with us always.