Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Disability ministry done better...beyond Sunday morning and onto Wednesday dinner.

I am blessed to overhear plenty of conversation on how churches can do disability ministry better. It's pretty good conversation! Tonight I was again reminded how much the small but PRACTICAL things matter. We have Wednesday evening dinner and small groups at Immanuel church of the Nazarene, or Lanznaz. Over the past few years we have typically come tearing in at the last possible  moment to grab dinner (try to hide your surprise). In our defense, I doubt others had to get two additional grown people ready/bundled and loaded in the van after homework and showers...I'm grateful for our home health aid or we'd never even attemp it.  For the first few years we slunk in trying to find openings to squeeze in at already full tables. Of course we can't just all split up and fill in tables since the girls need assistance so it caused all sorts of rearranging....let me remind you that families with special needs grow weary of causing so much disturbances. Many families simply stop coming. 

Today was a long day spent getting my mother admitted to the hospital. It's been a long frigid week in the northeast. I'm just not in the mood to jump any more hurdles. I got home in time to get to church with the family. We walked in and sat down at our table. OUR table. You see, earlier this year we spoke up and said, "hey, we can't find a spot that works for us tonight, can someone set up another table?"
They did. And not just any table....a rectangular table. All the other tables are round, but this one works well for us to pull in two wheelchairs. After verifying that it made us happy, someone decided to make it their project and reserved us a table each week.

                                                       

At first it felt a little weird, but not anymore! It is a HUGE relief to just pull right in and get down to the business of dinner!  Tonight I looked at that sign and thought " I am so grateful!" This, for us, was disability ministry done better. It moved beyond Sunday mornings and made us welcome around the table later in the work week. It says "we want you here....we expect you here."
Kudos to our church family....thanks for making room for us at the banquet table.

Luke 14:15-24

New Living Translation (NLT)

Parable of the Great Feast

15 Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet[a]in the Kingdom of God!”

16 Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. 17 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ 18 But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’20 Another said, ‘I now have a wife, so I can’t come.’

21 “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22 After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ 23 So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. 24 For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’”

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