This semester, due to COVID-19 safety precautions, we are unable to hold St. Mark's Montessori School weekly Chapel Time in person. Instead, we are pre-recording a series of Chapel Lessons for SMMS children and families to enjoy whenever they wish. We will offer one suggested Chapel Time Lesson for each week of the semester, for a total of 16 lessons.
Children will be able to choose to visit the "Chapel Table" in their classroom throughout the week, where they can watch a video of chapel time, explore the featured story of the week, and interact with a variety of "getting ready" objects.
In addition, families are encouraged to set aside time (15-30 minutes) each week to participate in Chapel Time together as a family at home. Chapel Time offers families a special opportunity to connect each week by sharing a calm, connected activity together, and discussing how the spiritual values and practices we explore in Chapel intersect with your own family's spiritual values and practices. Sunday evenings are one excellent time for parents and children to share "Chapel Time" together as part of their weekly ritual of preparing for the upcoming school/work week.
The Structure of Virtual Chapel Time Our Virtual Chapel Time videos vary in length, from 15-25 minutes (depending on the number and length of the stories included in the lesson.) Stories for the Fall Semester focus on the themes of creation, nature, friendship, waiting, and birth. Each lesson includes the following components
God's gifts of love and peace are always surrounding us, but we have to learn to slow down, pay attention, and get ready to receive these gifts. A variety of objects and practices are available to help us get ready. Songs and silence can help us get ready. Candles and icons can help us get ready. Rocks and bells can help us get ready. Colors and deep breaths and fragrances can help us get ready. You are encouraged to create a "home altar" for your own family, with a variety of objects that help you and your child slow down and get ready to receive the gifts of love and peace.
In the church we have a big golden Gospel book filled with stories about the life of Jesus. But God doesn't only speak to us in stories from one book--God can speak to us through every story....we just need to learn how to listen! The majority of our stories this semester will come from storybooks. This semester we will also share four stories from the Christian Scriptures and tradition, in a Godly Play (Montessori storytelling) format.
God speaks to us AND God listens to us. A prayer is anything that we decide to share or offer from our heart...a worry, a hope, a "thank you", an "I'm sorry", or a question. Sometimes we share prayers with words, but we can also share prayers in song, in movement, in art, in silence, and in action.
We come to Chapel so that God can fill us up with love and peace, and then we can share that love and peace with each other, and with the whole world. We conclude Chapel Time with a final blessing song, sending love and peace to each other and to the ends of the earth.
The Songs We Sing Four songs frame our Chapel Time each week. The lyrics and simple recordings are below, to help you learn and sing these songs along with your child.
God welcomes all, strangers and friends, God's love is strong and it never ends!
Shalom my friends, shalom my friends, shalom, shalom! Shalom to X, Shalom to Y, shalom, shalom!
God creates life. Life beholds beauty. Beauty begets love. Love is the life of God.
Go now in peace, go now in peace, may the love of God surround you everywhere, everywhere you may go!
Weekly Chapel Time Videos
Videos for the following November lessons coming soon... Godly Play Story of Creation Godly Play Parable of the Mustard Seed Godly Play Parable of the Sower Godly Play Story of the Holy Family