Western Friend logo

Games for You, Perhaps

Jennifer Kavinaugh
On Puzzles (April 2019)

Dear Friends: A few years ago, a friend of mine came to his first-ever Quaker Meeting. Salim is an Indian actor, a Sufi, a Reiki master. I was nervous in case the ministry didn’t speak to him. But he came out of that meeting having loved the silence and feeling that the ministry had flowed organically from it. “But,” he said, “you’re all so incredibly serious. What you need is a Quaker mirthquake.”

Spiritual life doesn’t need to be solemn. Laughter can build community and open up the heart space. And games don’t have to be frivolous, violent, or self-seeking. Somewhere in the middle are entertaining games of serious intent.

I have created two such games. The first, a board game called Journey Home, came from writing a book of the same name, exploring all aspects of home – from shelter to inner peace, from family to community and the planet. As players build up a character and make decisions about random life events, there’s plenty of mirth – as when I witnessed a vicar pick up the card,
“I am religious.”

My other game is a card game called The Prayer Game. The aim is to end up with four cards that speak to you of prayer. This leads to some deep sharing among the players, but also to surprises, as when one player
throws away “Discipline” and another says, “That’s just what I want,” and the shock when someone throws away “Love.”   What?!

Find out more at: www.journeyhomegame.com and www.theprayergame.com

– Jennifer Kavanagh, Britain Yearly Meeting

Games Community Building small group discussion Religious education

Return to "On Puzzles" issue