Hi, friends! I was without internet last week as we moved, but I am thankful to be in our new home and to be back in this bloggy home.
I'm even more grateful, though, for the privilege I have to serve in special needs ministry at my church each week. It's a full week: reaching out to a family who was reported to CPS because someone didn't understand their child's autistic behaviors, connecting another family to community ministries that they might find housing, praying with a family whose sons are ill with test results providing no answers yet, checking in on a family whose son had surgery a couple weeks ago, and preparing for our next respite night (June 16!).
I don't deserve the honor of serving these families, and I am glad God's grace and providence allows me to do so.
A Prayer for Trusting Jesus in Transition and Change This wasn't written for families affected by disability, but it applies in so many ways.
Your Ministry is Not Your Identity "Being a pastor [or, you could add, a minister of any kind, including a parent] was my calling, not my identity. Child of the Most High God was my cross-purchased identity. Member of the body of Christ was my identity. Man in the middle of his own sanctification was my identity. Sinner, and still in need of rescuing, transforming, empowering, and delivering grace was my identity."
Pastor finds his niche with unique ministry, Hidden Blessings Don't you love stories about churches engaging in disability ministry? They never get old for me, though I look forward to the day when they are so common that they are no longer newsworthy.
Going to church with my family This is a basic example of a social story. Social stories are a research-backed way of describing "a situation, skill, or concept in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses in a specifically defined style and format." (source) In other words, they help those with social disabilities navigate contexts that they don't innately understand. As another example, I'll be posting our respite night social story later this week.
Churches and the Disabled I haven't been able to watch the video yet, but the transcript includes several leaders in disability ministry with valuable perspectives.
John Knight blogged about this today, and I'm thankful he included the full video, which I had not yet seen. (Tissue warning! Though, to be honest - as the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and the granddaughter of two WWII veterans with many other deep military connections - I need tissues for any service member's homecoming.)
I'm sure I missed some links in the past week while I was without internet. Which ones would you recommend for me and others passionate about special needs ministry?