Hawaiian Values & Godly Play

Nanette (left) with her granddaughter on the Sea of Galilee

Nanette (left) with her granddaughter on the Sea of Galilee

For our 2012 Stewardship campaign parishioners have been given the opportunity to read Archbishop Desmond Tutu's book, Made for Goodness. In this article one of our Godly Play teachers connects the book to various Hawaiian values taught to our children during our summer formation program for children and youth.

The book Made for Goodness and Why This Makes All the Difference reminds us that we all have goodness inside of us --  we just need to tap into it. Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who grew up during the South African apartheid and helped to clean up some of its criminal consequences, is joined by his daughter Mpho Tutu, an Episcopal priest in Washington D.C., in writing this book. One of the major themes in the book is goodness, and the importance of living out our destiny. Desmond Tutu calls for goodness and finding meaning and happiness in our lives. He challenges us to strive for hope, joy, wholeness, and for the goodness that we are made for.

In our Godly Play Program at St. Mark's a number of discussions have taken place with the children on Hawaiian values. Lokahi is a Hawaiian value that means living in harmony with one another, with God (Ke Akua), and with all of nature (including the land oraina). In the Hawaiian way of thinking, all three elements are interconnected and necessary in order to achieve lokahi or balance. In practice, Hawaiians would pule (pray) before they did any important activity each day. In this way, aloha Akua (love of God) also means aloha aina (love of the land) and aloha or love for humankind.

During Godly Play, we learn to be thankful to God for all that we have each day. During the time that we spend together, we practice lokahi by caring for, and being mindful and respectful of each other and our surroundings. The children learn to share, take turns, and play with each other. They learn how to care for theaina by cleaning up after themselves and putting the rubbish away. They learn that the world includes others beyond their parents and siblings and that they model their caregivers and others that they trust. They also learn to strive for peace and to bring unity and goodness in the world, therefore making the world a better place to live.

Nanette Judd