Monday, April 16, 2012

Why I Do What I Do

Hi friends!

I'm starting something new today. I feel like I've said that a few times lately...hopefully that's a good thing! I've realized that I don't share much about my life outside of this blog, except maybe tidbits in 1LW. There is so much more to me! So, I'm bringing you....Mommy Mondays!
I'm hoping to use this as a place to share things I'm working on, projects I've done, and all sorts of things that don't seem to fit anywhere else.

Today, I wanted to share a little bit about my job. I work part-time as the Special Needs Coordinator for Good Shepherd Church. Never heard of something like that? It's OK. Not many churches have them, especially not on staff. But, things are changing, and more and more churches are jumping on board! I'm thrilled to be part of it!

Before I tell you more, watch this.

I want to help families carry their rocks!
So what do I do? I work with families at Good Shepherd to make sure their needs are being met, at least as many needs as we can help with. I pair kids up with aides for our Sunday School program so that they can attend with the support they need. This also gives parents a chance to attend service without worrying.

We also host a respite program called Share The Care. Once a month we take care of kids with disabilities, as well as their siblings for 3 hours so that parents can go out and do...whatever they want! At least here in Illinois, respite time is hard to come by, so even this short amount of time can be a huge blessing to families.

Why is this important? The statistics are hard to find, but this is how I have heard things reported. I apologize for my lack of back up information...If you have any, I would love to see it!

I know what the community that I have had at church means the world to me, and has gotten me through in rough times. I can't even imagine trying to live life with a child with a disability without my faith community around me. I wish I could say that all of those families just choose not to go to church, but that's not the case. My heart breaks every time I hear of a family being told that they are a "distraction" during worship, or that a teacher doesn't know how to "deal with" their child. These stories are NOT in the majority, but they are there, and they are painful.
We at Good Shepherd have decided to stand up and say 
"You won't hear that here. You are welcome. You are loved. Come."
Want to get the inside scoop on our ministry, FUSION? Go check out our facebook page

Special Needs Ministry has become a passion that I never expected to have. I call my job the dream job I never knew I dreamed about. It is, hands down, the best job I have ever had, and what I want to do for the rest of my life. I am thrilled to have the chance to attend the Orange Conference in just about a week.
 Orange is a company that writes phenomenal Christian Education curriculum. We use it at Good Shepherd, and love it! Every year they hold an annual conference. When my supervisor went a few years ago, they had one Special Needs breakout for the whole 3 days. This year they have EIGHT! Not only will I have the chance to learn from the best, but I get to meet someone I consider to be a mentor and inspiration, Amy Fenton Lee, of The Inclusive Church. I might have a total fan-girl moment, just sayin'.
Want to join in on the fun? Not only will I be blogging from the conference, but I will be Tweeting updates all week. Follow me: @its_alongstory. It's getting harder and harder for me to stay calm about next week. There is some serious happy dancing in my future!

Be blessed!


1 comment:

  1. You are such a blessing. Love this post and love what you're doing!



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