06 September 2013

Developing the Creation Story

I have been working quite a bit lately on creating the objects and script for the first story in our PlayFull Faith series: the story of creation. The series can be used in many settings, including children’s ministry, but the idea originally came to me out of a desire to create content that could be used in intergenerational small groups—that is, PlayFull Faith is intended to capture the imagination of children and adults alike.

I’ve had the idea to develop this series for many months now, but what prompted my recent burst of work on it was, quite frankly, a deadline. I have to test out the first story this week with a group of upper elementary age children at our church. Over the next three weeks, I hope to test it out with two other groups of children before (possibly) using the materials for a PlayDate with adults I’ll be facilitating in Denver come October.

Working on this project has not been easy. I have an idea and start to move forward with it, only to be confronted with certain “obstacles”. The flow of creativity will stop, or I will be at a loss as to how to tie certain aspects together. So, I’ve had to trust the wisdom of rest when my artistic self feels tired. Resting, I’ve discovered, invariably unlocks small bursts of inspiration. So, the whole experience has been…well, the word that comes to mind is…“captivating”.

As I finalize the first edition of the script this weekend, I thought I’d share with you some of the ideas that inform this particular telling of this primal story:

1. The story is rhythmic. Looking at the biblical text closely, we discover the story of creation comes to us in three sets of three cadences. Like so…


It has the feel of music, with “seven” as a grand finale.

2.  “God dances. Before the world was made, God was dancing.”

3.  The creation story continues.

4. Men and women are royal; they are different and the same. Humans display God’s glory, especially when we “hold hands”. When we divide, it is harder for us to see God’s glory.

5. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all involved in creating.

6. “God created light in color and there is color because of light. Without light, we would have no color; and without color there would be no light.”

7. Some of the objects are painted; some are made of chalkboard—we add the color to them.

8. “We do not rest one day in order to work six days; we work six days so we can rest One Day.”

9. adam means “from the ground”.

10. The story is related through a balance of word, silence, gesture, and participative action. Multiple methods of communication will enable different kinds of people to enter into the story.

11. Certain visual patterns are repeated in this telling of the story so as to help those viewing the story make links we don’t usually make when simply reading the biblical text.

12.  Everything that has been created is in God.

There is much more to write, but this gives you a flavor for what’s in store—and the above thoughts are still “rough drafts”.  There will be more polishing to come! That said, I am convinced there is something in this story for everyone, whether young or old. And I am convinced it will help us live into the play of God. I’m absolutely thrilled to unveil it this weekend.

Feel free to write me if you are interested to find out more. As I develop the materials, I am making them in such a way that I can duplicate them so others can have the stories, too.


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