@CHURCH is a quick drafting game centered around the theme of lifelong Christian formation. The 36-card deck is divided into five colors that represent five life stages: (childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, adulthood and older adulthood). Each life stage consists of seven cards: six cards with symbols representing different Christian practices and one Partner card (with an animal) representing one of the five Partner Associations connected to the ministry of the Office of Christian Formation at the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
@CHURCH plays on a basic level (just as a game) and an advanced play level (that uses the practice symbols). Additionally, the game also includes a card with discussion questions that can be used to generate conversation about the church.
During the game, each player assembles a hand of six cards though five rounds (in which players keep and pass cards). From their final hands, cards are presented in “groups” in order to score points in three categories: Christian practices (symbols), life stages (colors), and unique cards (non-matching). The player with the highest total from all three categories wins!
This is the second in a series of quick card games designed to encourage multiple generations to engage in intergenerational interaction. It contains no in-game text to accommodate and include younger generations.
The game concept was developed by the participants of the 2018 Theology of Play Conference (TOPCON): the Rev. Aric Clark, the Rev. Doug Hagler, Dr. Stacy Jacob, the Rev. Michelle Thomas-Bush, and Presbyterian Mission Agency staff members Brian Frick and the Rev. Dr. Jason Brian Santos. It was designed and produced by the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Office of Christian Formation and published in partnership with the Office of Financial Aid for Service.
Both basic and advanced play rules are included in each deck of @CHURCH, but you may also download them in a larger font size here. For rules clarification and our FAQ about the game, please scroll down.
@CHURCH was intentionally designed without the use of words or numbers. This design accommodates a wider range of ages to encourage intergenerational play, but it also provides a creative opportunity to explore game design. We encourage players to develop alternative rules or entirely different games using the @CHURCH cards. Two decks can be combined for even more play options. As fan adaptations surface, we’ll post them on this page.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q. I really dig this game. How can I get several copies of @CHURCH?
A. At this time, you can only get the game at Presbyterian Youth Triennium. Starting in late summer/early fall, the Office of Christian Formation will make extra games available for non-Triennium attendees.
Q. How did you choose the animals for the game?
A. Each Partner Association that we work with had the opportunity to choose their own mascot for the game. The Association of Presbyterian Church Educators was a little slow in responding, so we just chose the panda for them because, let’s be honest, that guy is rockin’.
Q. Why are the life stages the colors they are?
A. The colors were chosen for the life stage category by using the ROYGBIV spectrum. We only needed five colors, though, so we omitted orange and indigo in order to use the fullest range possible. We used red for the childhood card group so that we could create a subtle way of ordering them. The colors continue with each life stage, ending in older adulthood being purple.
Q. I noticed that the website listed for the Presbyterian Youth Workers Association uses a different acronym than the actual site. What’s going on there?
A. As with all projects, sometimes things are missed. Given the 6-point type in yellow, it was easy to miss. Nonetheless, we’re embarrassed that we missed that. PYWA’s actual address is pywa.org.