Trinity is very excited to launch our ministry of inclusion this fall! Our goal is to ensure that everyone, regardless of cognitive or physical ability, is able to participate in any of Trinity’s ministries. This is true for all of our ministries, across all age groups.
The sad reality is that for many families who have a loved one with special needs, participating in worship can be an extra stressor that just becomes too difficult to navigate. Studies have shown that somewhere between 85 to 95% of families who have someone with special needs quit participating in congregational faith life completely.
We want to help these families navigate their faith life together. And we want individuals who have a special need to know that there is a place for them here, and that they belong; that every one of our ministries is available to them.
To make this happen, we are launching our Ministry of Inclusion. This ministry will train and equip individuals to serve as “buddies.” Buddies will build relationships with individuals who have special needs and their families. They will accompany these people as they participate in our ministries, and they will work to ensure that the individual’s experiences are positive and faith-forming.
This video demonstrates the kind of ministry we’re talking about, as it is being lived out right now by a different congregation:
There can be no barriers.
Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14
Let nothing hinder any of God’s children from participating, regardless of age or ability. Our Ministry of Inclusion is going to open doors and make our ministry accessible to all.
We have brought Jessica Turnlund to our team to help facilitate this work. Jessica grew up at Trinity and graduated from Wartburg College with a degree in special education. She has a passion for helping young people become all that God intends for them to be. She brings a wealth of expertise and a natural curiosity that always is asking: “how can we do this better?” We are excited to welcome Jessica to our team.
This ministry is being made possible by a generous sustainability grant from the Trinity Foundation. We are grateful for their ongoing support.
You can get more information about this initiative at www.tlcowatonna.org/inclusion. Get ready! God’s Spirit is continuing to do powerful things in our midst!