Our church has a tremendous burden for those who have been overlooked by others, "the least of these" as Jesus described them. In our church, community and throughout the world, one specific group that can often be unnoticed and under-served are those who have special needs. In a world that attempts to normalize and sterilize humanity, Jesus is brightly reflected on the faces of those who might struggle with a physical, emotional, or mental challenge.
Many find themselves paralyzed by the intensity of the situation and lack the understanding of how to best meet the unique needs of this specific segment of our community. Jesus’ love compels us to not allow our ignorance or discomfort to sideline us from reaching out to all people. We must offer love, assistance, and support to these individuals and their families.
In 2012, we are attempting to invest 50,000 hours of volunteer service in ministering to those in our church, community and world with special needs. We are currently remodeling space in our facility for our Special Needs Ministry, which will create accessibility and programming space for ministering to these individuals. We are also in the process of establishing a partnership with Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, who has a strong ministry to individuals with special needs in their region of Haiti.
There are numerous ways you can respond with concern and care to minister to those with special needs in our church, community, and world. Here are several specific ways. Prayerfully consider how God is leading you to invest your heart and hands to be a conduit of God's love!
Ten Ways to Serve in the Special Needs Ministry at WRCC:
For more information on any of these volunteer opportunities or to express your interest in volunteering, please contact Tammy Kalstad at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317)773-2233 ext 113.
BUDDY AT CAMP ALLENDALE:
This year, we have the amazing opportunity to take 12 of our kids from the Special Needs Ministry as well as 12 adult volunteer counselors to Camp Allendale, July 29-August 3. If you are a parent of a child in the Special Needs Ministry and are interested in sending your child to camp, are interested in being a volunteer counselor , or are interested in providing respite care for a special needs family, there is an informational meeting Sunday, February 26th at 9 AM in the Special Needs room. Contact Keeley Karns, email@example.com for more information.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS SWIMMING VOLUNTEERS
Hamilton Co. Special Olympics Swimming is looking for people of all ages who would like to volunteer their time and talents to assist Special Olympic athletes in the water to be their friend and swimming companion. Practices are held on Monday evenings from 7:15 pm to 8:30 pm and Saturday mornings from 11:00 am to 12:15pm and begin on April 14th at the Noblesville High School Natatorium. We are in need of volunteers to help with the swimmers. Please contact Steve Cauthon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-774-9588. Visit http://sites.google.com/site/sohcaquatics/ for more information.
NORTH WILLOW THURSDAY WORSHIP SERVICES
A special needs worship service of music, drama, study, and prayer is offered at North Willow Center on 86th street across from St. Vincent) 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 7PM. This is the only church service many of these individuals are able to attend, so it is a highlight for many of the residents. We welcome people to come help with whatever time you can give. Please contact Theresa Thompson; 317-670-1198; email: email@example.com for more information.
SPECIAL CONNECTIONS – Special Needs Adults and Friend Small Group
A small group has just started for special needs adults and friends. The group meets 2nd/4th Wednesday each month at Steve and Mary Cauthon’s residence, 17278 Crescent Moon Drive, Noblesville, IN. In addition we will be planning fellowship outings together. Please contact Theresa Thompson; 317-670-1198; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Steve and Mary Cauthon; 317-774-9588; email: email@example.com. We would love you to come join us!!
We have created a thermometer in the church lobby to celebrate each investment of love in ministering to those in our church, community, and world with special needs. Each time you serve, we would invite you to place one heart into the thermometer indicating one hour of service.