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Thursday, January 31, 2013

An Invitation to Gentle Worship

In my ministry with AWBA, I am always looking for resources where people we serve may be directed for additional support.   This can be in the form of written materials, individuals with a specialized service, or churches and agencies offering a ministry that directly serves this population.  The word “competition” is not in AWBA’s vocabulary, and we are eager to learn all we can and partner with others to get the word out where support may be found.

I recently visited a very special worship service in the Central Ohio area.  It was such a powerful experience that I wanted to share it with you.   If you have found that chronic disease or your role as a caregiver has made it difficult for you to attend church, this may be something for you to consider if you live in the Central Ohio area.  

Gender Road Christian Church in Canal Winchester, Ohio offers a monthly “Gentle Worship” service through their Special Needs Ministries.  Held on the fourth Sunday of each month at 1 p.m., the 30-minute service offers prayers, a short message, communion, quiet music, and singing together.  The service invites attendees to move about as necessary for their individual comfort, and indicates in their materials that “no shushing is allowed.”  The sanctuary and restrooms are ADA accessible.  Through this ministry, Gender Road offers a welcoming environment for those who find it challenging to attend traditional worship services.  They encourage those with autism, developmental disabilities, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s as well as those with visual or hearing impairments (the service is interpreted for the Deaf), or those who may have recently undergone medical treatments that have left them with limited mobility by using a wheelchair or walker to be part of this gentle worship experience.  All are welcome.  No one is singled out in any way, and it was apparent in my visit that worship leaders  adjust to the needs of those in the congregation as they move through the service.  

Stop by the Gentle Worship link for more information.    The Special Needs Minister and the Pastor both have blogs that you can link to through this web page.  Be sure to check those out also!

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