The current pandemic has caused many Godly Play practitioners to consider how best to protect children and their families from infection. There are suggestions on the Godly Play Australia Facebook Page and also the Godly Play UK and Godly Play Canada Pages for alternative ways to share greetings and the feast to avoid touching. Please use your creativity to decide how best to work in your situations.
The Godly Play Foundation through Dr Andrew Sheldon has communicated the following protocols for consideration:
First of all my deep hope and prayer is that email finds you and your circles safe and healthy. And if the coronavirus has affected you or yours do know that you are in my prayers.
I also want to encourage you to consider postponing Godly Play events that bring people together in close proximity. This could involve Core Trainings or other sanctioned events. The Godly Play Foundation took this stance this week in postponing a Training of Trainers and other events. And given our respect for the child I believe we must be even more careful to ensure our practices do not put them or their families at any risk.
I do trust your better judgment, and I know that situations are diverse according to context, and so I simply alert you to actions you may wish or need to take.
On the other hand I also know that the Godly Play method can be an agent of calm, reassurance, and compassion during times of uncertainty, and so you may find ways that the practice of Godly Play can provide comfort to children and others during this difficult time. In our Exile and Return story we say the words “Slowly, God’s people began to understand that God was in this place, too”. The world is in a strange place. We may be feeling afraid, or alone, or confused; exiled from the life we were living just a short while ago. But perhaps we can also be those who remind ourselves and others that God is in this place too.
Lenten blessings, Andrew
Godly Play Advocate for International Development