by Virginia Piper
February 24, 2020
It was a day when winter was trying to be pushed out by the warmer weather of an early Spring. We had arrived at church in time to get settled in our usual seats. The music of praise and worship swelled, boasting voices singing to an audience of One. Each carrying parts of their wounded or joyous hearts to present to God as a sacrifice of praise. Sitting in church surrounded by those whom God has sent to this body, all of a sudden tears welled up in my eyes and spilled onto my blouse. I was overwhelmed with the goodness of God and the miraculous work he was doing at Christ First Church which had started years before prior to its even being planted.
My church caters to those whom other churches don’t want. In their eyes, the throw aways. The weak. The unlovely and at times those difficult to love. Those who bring odd noises and obscessive movements. Those whose dress is unexpected or mismatched. Those who may not understand “proper etiquette” at church. Those who talk loudly or who rock back and forth for seemingly no reason.
My son is among the congregation. He has Down syndrome. Others have autism. There are some with sensory issues who struggle to participate. Some have difficulty focusing. Still others have seizure disorders. Some are in wheelchairs. There are others who struggle with mental health issues.
It is these voices that are raised in song. It is these souls that are embraced and loved well. It is these who worship together sprinkled among the whole congregation.
It was an ordinary Sunday.
We know that this description of Virginia’s church is far from the ordinary Sunday at many churches. If you need help explaining the need for special needs ministry to your church or providing training for church staff, contact us for more information.