• Jennifer Wheeler

The Church at Play: Using the Pearls


[The Pearls of Life] opens up a possibility for equal encounter with children.

"It's not the children who lack the courage to encounter God in a creative manner. Do we have the courage to give them enough time and freedom to face their own spirituality? Do we give them enough support when playing with God? Parish children's work begins with the adults. Start with praying for yourself. You are a partaker, not an instructor. [The Pearls of Life] opens up a possibility for equal encounter with children. Children are allowed to be children and learning is considered as a mutual process between the child and the adult.

The term playful meditation refers to the concrete use of [the Pearls of Life] with a group of children.

The term playful meditation refers to the concrete use of [the Pearls of Life] with a group of children. Play is one form of meditation. A child wants to be something – and all of a sudden she becomes that. The child becomes one with her play. This is why children by nature are masters of meditation. Playful meditation is deeply connected to dreaming. The thing that separates meditation from everyday daydreaming is the use of [the Pearls of Life]. The talent of dreaming is directed to talking with God. It's a way of getting to know the secrets of Christianity." [from "Church at Play – A Finnish Approach to Christian Upbringing and Spirituality"]

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