GODLY PLAY AND PATHFINDERS
Sara Bigger: Sara Bigger has been doorperson and storyteller in the PreK/K Godly Play class since 2011, and loves interacting with the 3-5 year old children in this youngest Godly Play classroom. From storytelling to wondering to talking while sharing the feast, the GP curriculum offers opportunities for both children and teacher to learn more about God, faith, neighbors, and the interactions between them, and Sara has learned a lot. Her most memorable experience this fall was listening to the conversation that followed one 3 year old child exclaiming, “I don't know what would happen if my parents died!” Among the responses: “I know! Who would make the pasta?” This spring she looks forward to telling the stories about the mystery of Easter, and hearing the children tell her about what’s awesome in springtime.
Cynthia Bagrowski: I am very excited to return to the PreK/Kindergarten room as Storyteller and Door Person for Fall 2017. My children, Edith (7) and Oliver (5), love to dash to their respective lines before being welcomed into the rooms, and their enthusiasm is catching! This will be my second year serving on the GP team, and I am looking forward to telling the Old Testament stories and the wonder that follows. I truly enjoy the sensory experience the comes with storytelling, and appreciate the earnest (and sometimes silly) responses we receive from the children. I am happy to be a member of the team!
Padma Vundi: I have always enjoyed working with kids in different church settings with different curricula. When I first started sending my daughter to Godly-play I figured out that the curriculum, teaching methods have been very different than what I have been exposed to. Since these new methods were a challenge to my daughter, I was curious to know the difference. My curiosity was coupled with a new motivation in me when I worked with the kids at VBC during the summer. I enjoyed my time with kids in VBC. So, I am excited to learn and work with our kids at SPR through this new method.
George Arceneaux: My name is George Arceneaux and I've taught Godly Play for two years, primarily working with the first and second graders. To quote Miss Frizzle of Magic School Bus Fame, I hope to "take chances, make mistakes, and get messy" when working with the kids. I hope to explore the stories of Godly Play and engage with how kids wonder about these stories in relation to their own lives. I hope to learn from them as I continue in my work as a hospice chaplain and continue in the ordination process within the Episcopal Church.
Lindsey Strieter: Lindsey Strieter: This is my second year with the Godly Play team for 1st and 2nd graders. I was a doorperson last year, but I am now excited to also be a storyteller this year. Listening to the children's responses during the "wondering" time is my favorite part. They are so creative! I'm looking forward to another great year, as are my children Layla (age 6) and Mattias (age 3).
Sara Kennedy: This will be my first year helping with Godly Play. My daughter, Vivienne (4), has only started going to godly play. Telling stories and being thoughtful is such an important part of childhood, and I hope she holds onto those qualities as she grows. I'm glad to be able to help with the children as they help us thrive as a community.
Miranda Mejia: My name is Miranda Mejia and I am a senior at the Lab school. I’m very excited to be both a story teller and door person for the first and second grade room. This is my first year of teaching Godly play, but I loved Godly play when I participated in it years ago. Vacation Bible Camp has been my favorite week of the summer for some time, so this year I am excited to explore, question, and wonder with the kids of SPR every week.
Amanda Ruch: This is my third year teaching Godly Play in the 3rd-5th grade room. My oldest children, Ann (6) and Elias (4), are in the PreK/K and Grades 1-2 rooms. Whether it's with my own children at home or third-fifth graders on Sundays, I'm inspired by their curiosity, energy, and unpredictable wonderings. I am an elementary school teacher, and currently work on math curriculum and support math teachers in Chicago. I look forward to another year with Godly Play.
Monte Tugwete: My name is Monte, and I am both a storyteller and doorperson for all the Godly Play Rooms. As Director of Children’s Formation at SPR I have a philosophy that children are ‘little human beings’ and therefore they are capable of having theological thought process in matters of faith just as adults. Godly Play’s Montessori philosophy is just the right program that aligns with this philosophy and as I enter my third season with Godly Play at SPR I am excited by the potential of the Fall Series and the potential in each and every child who comes to Godly Play.
Megan Cather: I am excited to join the Godly Play team this year in the 3rd-5th grade room! I began as a door person for the 3rd-5th grade room this spring, and was immediately drawn to the way the children were treated and respected during Godly Play. I can tell that Godly Play is a wonderful outlet for children to reflect on the stories they hear and to do meaningful work while processing their thoughts. I have been an educator in the Chicago Public Schools for ten years, and am now a 4th grade teacher at Urban Prairie Waldorf School. My four-year-old son Thomas also loves to attend Godly Play in the Pre-K room.
Jason Cather: I've been interested in Godly Play ever since my four year-old son Thomas sat me down at his table and told me his own version of a Godly Play story, finishing with, "What do you wonder about this story, Dad?" I have just finished a PhD in the philosophy of religion, where I get to think about big questions in abstract ways. But I've come to realize that humans use storytelling to understand and learn, because it nurtures our fundamental need for wonder. This is true for preschoolers as well as grad-students. I am excited to be joining the team this year!
Also joining the team this season are Brianna Lambrecht, George Chlipala, and Andrew Heintz.
RETIRING TEAM MEMBERS
We express our sincere gratitudes to team members who have served earnestly this last season and beyond. They are taking a rest due to various commitments that will not allow them to serve Godly Play fully and these are Nate Bakkum, Kenji Kuramitsu, Marcy Phillips and Teagan Bigger. We wish them all the best, good speed that is Godsped in all the various endeavors that they will be undertaking this season.