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Building a Children’s Chapel – One Story at a Time

Church Publishing, New York
RRP $39.95

Bill Gordh, an accomplished story teller, educator and musician has a wealth of ideas and techniques to share with parents and those who work with children in schools and churches.

As Gordh teaches, he entertains and allows children to be who they are before God.

He shows his readers how to use their own creativity to: create the chapel, hone techniques for retelling stories using songs and artwork, include parents, and use a collection of songs to support story themes.

As a Director of Expressive Arts at an Episcopal School and Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Theology at a seminary in New York Gordh has mastered his subject through practical application (mainly with Grades three and four).

Building a Children’s Chapel is divided into eight parts, the first of which explains setting up. Parts two to six move through Stories of Self; Stories of Family and Friends; Stories of Faith, New Life and Celebration; Stories of the Value of all Living Things; and Stories of Giving and Forgiving.

Part seven features what he calls “non-bible” stories for special occasions and includes chapters on Saint Francis and Hanukkah.

Part eight has more than a dozen of Bill’s original songs.

Familiar bible stories are re-told with a refreshing touch and matched with songs.

There are “story skeletons” at the end of each chapter.

Children’s artwork is an integral part of chapel. The theme for the next chapel is shared with one class which gives expression to the story through art, some of which is chosen as part of the story-telling. Parents are encouraged to participate.

For any parent, minister or teacher, Building a Children’s Chapel gives 257 pages of exciting possibilities. The book cover is appealing!

Reviewed by Rev Barbara Bailey