What is Disability Ministry at St. John’s?
Over the past year this page in The Vine has featured articles on different kinds of disabilities. As you have read these articles have you been wondering, “So…what is Disability Ministry at St. John’s?” Is it a program? a project? a committee? a task force? a class? a group or huddle?
The best answer for that question is found in Romans 12:13: “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Take a few minutes to consider what that is asking of us.
First of all, our eyes and ears should be attuned to recognize peoples’ needs. These can be physical, emotional, economic, social, and for all of us—spiritual needs. Then we are called to do something about these needs. We are to share with others and practice hospitality.
Hospitality takes on many forms. It can be radical, such as opening your home to overnight or long term guests, or as simple as a genuine smile and a handshake. It is inviting, welcoming, being friendly, caring, supporting, and encouraging.
Offering hospitality to people with disabilities involves the same kind of genuine care you would offer to any person. When greeting them, take time to learn something about them beyond your standard question of “How are you”. Be willing to get to know them and share things of interest together. Be aware if you can assist by opening a door for someone, or sharing a hymnal or bulletin if it is challenging for them. If something is blocking their participation in the life of the congregation, then consider how that barrier can be removed and help it to be accomplished. If they have a particular need that you are able to meet, then do it! Recognize and appreciate the special talents and abilities that they have and encourage them to share these gifts with the congregation. Remember friends who are no longer able to attend church or Bible study group because of health or strength limitations by visiting them, giving them a phone call, or sending a greeting card to encourage them. Be ready to share the love of Jesus.
Disability ministry at St. John’s involves every person, not just the Pastors and the Disability Ministry Task Force members. We are all called to be expressions of God’s love and care for one another. What a special joy and privilege we have been given to serve our Lord by serving and caring for others!
HELP TO BUILD AN INCLUSIVE WORLD, ONE RELATIONSHIP AT A TIME