GenOn's bimonthly newsletter featuring insights, ideas, events, resources and announcements.
May/June 2016
A gym teacher's thoughts on Godly play
Drew Talbott, First United Methodist Church, Midland, Michigan
After three years as a stay-at-home dad, I enrolled our youngest son, Adam, in Kindergarten. One day at school, I saw a man in a three-piece suit teaching Adam's gym class. I sensed that he didn't feel called to teach a gym class by the way he was interacting with the kids.
 Long story short, I completed the proper paperwork and background checks and transitioned from stay-at-home dad to grade school gym teacher.
Many times the lesson plans stated to divide the class into teams. Several kids always raised their hand and asked to be captain so they could pick a team. Taking a play out of the LOGOS play book, I knew this approach didn't treat each student as a Child of God. No one wants to be picked last!  
LOGOS also taught me that we can treat everyone like a Child of God whether we're in church, in a public school classroom or a gym. We must model this behavior and focus on the relationships at all times. We also must ensure that the activity ends in a way that makes everyone feel good about the outcome.
In our gym, a sign above the exit door reads, "If you had fun, You Won!"  
The kids I saw at LOGOS each week are the same kids I had in gym class. The relationship building is much stronger when you send the same positive message - no matter what building you're in.
What's your "LOGOS recreation success story?" 
Please share it with us via the LOGOS Ideas group on Facebook or GenOn's website.
Play like a kid to grow  relationships
Liz Perraud, Executive Director, GenOn Ministries
My favorite movie clip about adults losing their sense of play is from "Big." Josh Baskin, played by Tom Hanks, is a 12-year-old in a grown up's body.
He invites Susan, a co-worker at the toy company where he now works, to jump on his trampoline. She struggles to have fun, giving perfunctory little bounces. Josh encourages her again and again and finally demonstrates how to jump - really jump!
A breakthrough! Susan and Josh have great fun, and their relationship grows. 
Too often as adults, we stand on the sidelines and watch the kids play. We're there to watch or for "crowd control." We miss out on the fun - and the deeper relationships. Playing can be one of the most challenging parts of LOGOS for adults. 
I visited Highlands United Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Florida, recently. During LOGOS, they held a water balloon volleyball game, which eventually became a free-for-all! I enjoyed watching from the sidelines (I hadn't dressed for water games). But jumping into the fun made all the difference for me - and for others as well, I hope.
When we let our guard down and risk feeling vulnerable, trust deepens and relationships grow. For some children this comes naturally. But for the quieter, more introverted ones it doesn't. The purpose of LOGOS Recreation is to have great fun at the expense of no one else. So leaders' challenge is to figure out what that "great fun" is for everyone. And then encouraging some people to jump a little higher! People of all ages. And then watch the relationships grow. 

In Christ,
Liz Perraud
Executive Director
GenOn Ministries
cell: 443-255-8492
Toll-free: 877-937-2572
Parents Corner: Families that play together stay together
Shirley Carlson, La Crescenta Presbyterian Church, California
Recreation is a pillar of GenOn's midweek LOGOS ministry. Likewise, playing together as a family is extremely valuable. It helps build special bonds that say, "You're important to me."
Studies show the value of learning as a result of play. Besides good sportsmanship, we learn valuable people skills, e.g., sharing, taking turns, praising others and playing fairly. Parents can model good communication skills to help children and youth express themselves better.
I was blessed to grow up in a family that played together. One of my fondest childhood memories is the game we played with a rubber band. The rubber band was large enough  to fit around each person's head and rest on our noses. The object was to slip the rubber band off the nose using only facial muscles. No hands allowed! Our facial expressions were hilarious. We took photos that still make us laugh today!
Ideas for family recreation and games are endless. Be sure to balance indoor and outdoor activities, as well as spontaneous and planned play. Focus on the fun and avoid competition or a focus on winning. Most importantly, ensure that family fun is a priority in your busy family life.
More ideas to consider:

In this issue
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One Great Link to
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Estes Park, Colorado

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GenOn Ministries | P.O. Box 4 | Springdale | PA | 15144