For Us All

The Lord, however, in all His conflicts brought about by temptations, never fought out of self-love, that is, for Himself, but for all throughout the universe. He did not fight therefore to become the greatest in heaven, for that is contrary to Divine love. He scarcely did so to become the least. He fought solely so that all others might become something and be saved, as He Himself also declares in Mark,

‘The two sons of Zebedee said, Grant us to sit in Your glory, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left. Jesus said, Whoever would be great among you must be your minister, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man also came not to be ministered to but to minister, and to give His life as the price of redemption for many.’ Mark 10:37, 43-45.

Wishing you a Blessed Easter, from all of us at New Christian Woman.

Godly Play: An Invitation to Wonder

Two years ago I was the Children’s Ministries Coordinator at New Church Westville, and in April of 2016 we began to run a Godly Play program as our Sunday School. The programs continued on after I left, and now seeds of Godly Play seem to be sprouting in Bryn Athyn. I initially wrote the bulk of this piece two years ago before the launch at New Church Westville, and going over it again has renewed me with a sense of awe and wonder for this beautiful process for nurturing children’s spiritual development. I’m currently a student in the Masters of Arts in Religious Studies program at Bryn Athyn College and my focus is on children’s spirituality. I’d love to share with you a bit about Godly Play and why I’m so passionate about it.

Godly Play is two things: a philosophy of children’s spiritual development and a program designed to nurture that growth and development. It was developed by pastor, author and teacher Rev. Dr. Jerome W. Berryman over decades of training, research and practice. It is Montessori-based and invites children to learn to “do for themselves” with regards to their spiritual life, providing children with the space, language and tools to develop their relationships with God and theological learning in a way that is internally driven rather than externally directed.
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“We have no portion in David, and we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse; every man to his tents, O Israel!” – 2 Samuel 20:1

This quote comes from the mouth of a troublemaker speaking in a troubled time thousands of years ago. Sheba, a Benjamite, questions King David’s authority as the united tribes of Israel are splintering into factions. It was a time of confusion and grief, anger and betrayal.

“Every man to his own tent!” The call sounds familiar to my modern ears. I read this part of 2 Samuel again recently, because the story felt applicable to the state of the world today.

Many felt grief and confusion this month. The shooting in a Florida high school has affected many hearts. We air our theories, mourn, rage. It seems easiest to pull away, to splinter into comfortable factions–everyone to his or her own tent.
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Grateful musings on 50 and even 10

Genesis 18:20-33

“And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

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