“The goal of Christian Education is not the communication of correct views about what the various works and words of Jesus might mean; rather it is the stocking of the imagination with the icons of those works and words themselves. It is most successfully accomplished, therefore, not by catechisms that purport to produce understanding, but by stories that hang the icons, understood or not, on the walls of the mind.”
- Parables of Grace, by Robert Farrar Capon
What is Beulah Land?
First developed for use in her own ministries by Christian Educator Gretchen Wolff Pritchard, Beulah Land is a felt board teaching resource that offers the stories of the Christian faith to children in a richly imaginative manner, enabling children to develop a visual vocabulary of faith.
Beulah Land can be used for storytelling and for free play, and can be used in Sunday Schools, All-Age Worship, baptism and confirmation preparation, assemblies, holiday clubs, and more.
Beulah Land is made in the UK, from UK-manufactured cloth.
What do I get when I order?
Each Beulah Land kit includes the following:
The feltboard is not included, as different churches may have different needs. We recommend purchasing a board at least 600mm x 900mm, in Oxford Blue, with a wooden frame to prevent warping. These are available from office supply stores for approximately £35.
We would also recommend purchasing 1 or 2 metres of plain blue felt, so you can tell stories on the floor, or easily carry Beulah Land between several churches in a Benefice, or between church and school. You can then tack the felt onto a display board on the wall, or clip it to an easel, for storytelling. Much easier to transport than a big board!
Why feltboard storytelling?
The storytelling technique is old....so old that it is new. It has been called felt storytelling, flannel board, fuzzy felt, felt board and probably several other names. Experts say that we retain 25% of what we hear, 45% of what we see and 65% of what we hear and see. As a teaching technique the Beulah Land felt story telling fosters learning through the eyes and the ears (of both the mind and heart!).
What are the main messages of Beulah Land?
There are several faith themes repeated throughout the Beulah Land flannel board scripts: “God has never stopped loving us”, “God’s love is always enough and more than enough.” and “Hear the story and let it change you.” Children hear these themes repeated, in the context of the foundational stories of the faith: Creation, Adam & Eve, Noah, Abraham, the Exodus, the fall of Jerusalem and the Exile, the prophecies relating to Jesus, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and teachings and, finally, the church and our own story as part of the unfolding story of the faith.
What are the symbolic images?
The felt story telling images are rich with the symbolism of our faith. The persons of the Trinity are represented by two hands and a red heart, the figure of Jesus and the white dove. There is a rainbow, a tomb and a burst of light; sun and stars, hills and water, laying the groundwork for building rich and suggestive landscapes. The Old Testament people are small, reflecting an appreciation of the role of landscape in the Old Testament (desert, city, Holy Mountain), as well as the distance from present day. The larger size of the New Testament and Modern Day people reflects their nearness to us and the more personal relationship that we have with Jesus.
Why are the images so powerful?
One user, a photographer, told us that the story tableaus are "visually arresting". The combination of colour, simple images and excellent story scripts draws and keeps the attention of even young children. The very lack of superfluous detail helps the children attend to the images and the story.
Why multiple sets?
We are aware that many churches are on a budget, or want to try out Beulah Land before buying a complete set. Therefore, Beulah Land is split up into five sets to enable you to buy all at once, or one at a time as you become able to.
We recommend purchasing the first two sets together to give you the core stories you will need to tell the Story of Salvation from “In the beginning” to “happily ever after”. Sets three to five – The Old Testament Heroes, New Testament Acts and Adventures, and Miracles and Parables fill in other stories that make more evident the theological themes of Beulah Land.
The stories are sold in this order to enable you to move from basic storytelling of the key stories to more detailed ones as you grow in confidence. Once you have several packs, we suggest telling stories in the order they occur in the Bible, putting in the stories from later packs where they fit in the overall narrative.