If you are working on your Charge Conference reports, you have noticed that I have added a new form this year to be filled out by your Board of Trustees. The Accessibility Audit is a tool to make us aware of the need for our church facilities to be available to all people, including those with all kinds of handicapping conditions.
I became more aware of this issue when Scott had his accident. I have always encouraged the congregations I have served to be mindful of accessibility issues but the issues became more real for me when I have experienced first-hand as I have watched Scott struggle to go up and down steps. It has also made me more aware of other needs that our congregants might have like hearing assistance, large print hymnals and bulletins, quiet places for autistic children, and learning opportunities for all ages who have developmental disabilities.
Our churches need to be places where all people can come and be supported by a caring community. All people need to be able to worship God and be disciple. Are there things in your facility and program that are making it hard for some people to participate?
October 9 is Disability Awareness Sunday for the LaGrange District. My hope is that you will stop and take stock of those things that limit full participation in the life of your church and begin to strategize on how to address these issues. It may be as simple as purchasing some large print Bibles and hymnals or as large a reconfiguring your ramp so that it is not too steep.
Megan Coggins is our district disability awareness coordinator and she has much information about how we can better minister to all people. If you need resources or would like to have her come and talk with your congregation, you may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the District Office.
Thanks for all that you do! I am blessed to work with you!