Legos have become a teaching tool for the Rev. Luke Fodor, rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown.
Fodor, who is also the father of two young boys, is no stranger to Legos. He enjoys helping his children build things with them and even participated in a Lego-themed story time with them at the local public library. As he watched the children play and work together on projects based on the stories they heard that day, it occurred to him that Legos would be the perfect type of setting to introduce children to the stories of the Bible and encourage discussion about them as well.
Fodor was already familiar with “The Brick Bible for Kids,” by Brendan Powell Smith, a picture book of Lego illustrated Bible stories. The book would become the central piece of St. Luke’s ‘Bricks of Faith’ ministry, an after-school program open to elementary aged children in the Jamestown area. The program is held from 4-5 p.m. Tuesdays in the church’s undercroft, 410 N. Main St., Jamestown. It is led by Fodor, who is assisted by Corinne Frederickson, St. Luke’s director of children and youth ministries.
“We call the program Bricks of Faith because we are slowly building our children’s faith” Fodor said. “It is a safe place where it is okay to express our uncertainties, doubts and ignorances as we grow in wonder and grace. It has become both an entry point for children who have not yet spent much time in Sunday school or other children’s bible themed programs and for those who know the stories well to share in further engaging the sacred stories.”
The children gather for free play with the Lego bricks for the first half hour and then listen to a story from the Brick Bible. After story time and a short snack they round out the afternoon by building things as they talk about the story that they just heard. Somewhere amidst the silly jokes and noise that is created by the often rambunctious boys the meaning gets through.
“Talking about God with children is never easy and I appreciate the ability to connect with them.” Fodor said. “Not only to talk about God and faith, but to literally play with God and faith. More than knowing the stories, the children put the stories into action and apply the learning to their lives.”
One of his favorite stories about the program came in the form of an email that Fodor received one evening from a parent. She had overheard a comment made by one of the boys as she waited for her own son during that day’s program. ‘Quote of the Day’ the title of her note read. The body of the message continued. “I never knew about God before now,” said one of the boys about the Lego lesson. The mother then summed it all up by saying, “It makes the wriggly, laughing, zombie chatting, boy-behavior disappearNice work!”
St Luke’s Bricks of Faith Ministry is open to all elementary school-aged children regardless of their church affiliation. For more information call the church office at 483-6405.