University believes God calls us to participate and belong in his Kingdom. We join in this call by welcoming and celebrating the meaningful contributions of people with all abilities throughout our community and sharing in genuine friendship and fellowship.
Something that is loved and welcomed about University among families impacted by special needs is the available resources and accessibility offered so that their loved one with a disability and their family belong. Belonging is a human need that includes being: welcomed, known, invited, present, loved, needed, cared for, supported, accepted, and befriended. One family stated this met needs by saying, “After a week of advocating with school, therapies and social activities, what a relief it is to not have to advocate on a Sunday and have a place where our entire family feels at home.”
The special needs community encompasses all ages, races, abilities, social statuses, and affiliations. Everyone is welcome at Bingo on Thursday nights, adult Sunday School classes and Believer’s Garden Service (at 12:15pm on Sundays), Friends and Family Lunch every 3rd Sunday (sign up your Sunday School collectively to participate in one this Fall). Also, it includes teaming up with the Kids and Student Ministries to adapt curriculum and settings ensuring an "All Belong" posture is present throughout Sunday School hour, Wednesday Night Kids, and youth activities.
This month we want to celebrate the various programs and communities serving all abilities within our church walls and in our community. We will be sharing ways you are invited to engage in this ministry throughout the month of September in Sunday Services and throughout the churchwide correspondence, and we will host Special Needs Ministry Fair on September 25th. We desire to enthuse a more “All Belong” posture, spirit and energy throughout the community of University as a whole, enabling you to go forth confidently and spread the good news to your neighbor, friend, coworker, family member!
“Be catalysts for change in the ministries and communities you are part of. Spur them toward practices and postures that deepen their commitment, widen their welcome, and strengthen their embrace of those impacted by disability. So that all really do belong.”
- Eric Carter, Changing Landscape of Disability and Ministry in the Church.
Also, we want to thank Heather Klekar who has coordinated the Special Needs Ministry caregivers for many years. We extend our gratitude for the time, energy, and commitment she has given through her service. She will be devoting more of her time to Helping Hands, a day habilitation program for adults with disability that is located here on campus. Thank you, Heather!