Day 3 and everything is becoming a blurrrrrr. Synod is crazy busy and unfortunately today the Pride Parade in Cleveland was rained out; what an exciting and memorial event that would have been!
Besides the marriage equality happenings and my excitement for the discussions tomorrow on Mass Incarceration, one thing that has really stood out to me is the disabilities ministry. I think it was yesterday, or it could have been in this morning’s plenary; two courageous woman stood up and spoke about disabilities. One woman was middle aged and mentioned sight being an area where she needs assistance. She went on to tell us many things we can do to help those with disabilities including:
1) Ask if someone needs assistance, don’t just assume
2) Provide rides to church
3) Have a hearing system in your church
4) Make large print bulletins 22pt font and they don’t have to look exactly like the regular bulletins, just make it so people can read them and the hymns!
5) Wheel chair accessibility
6) Don’t judge
7) Accessible bathrooms that you don’t have to go outside to obtain access to
8) Invite participation of those with disabilities in worship and leadership within the church
9) Learn how to include those with intellectual disabilities
The other woman who was a little older, with hair as white as snow spoke with a little difficulty as her body shook ever so slightly. She shared with us her experience of serving the host at communion. Onetime when she was serving the host, it jumped right off the plate onto the floor. She was shocked and terrified, what would the congregation think…she had just dropped Jesus on the floor! Would she go to hell for this offense? By the grace of God she went over to the communion table and took another piece of the host and continued serving the community. After the service not a single person mentioned or “scolded” her for what had happened. The Grace and Love of God and Christ was ever present.
This woman and her story was so moving, I wanted to be served communion by her. For me she has embodied Christ and as she stated “we are all made in God’s image.” No matter our physical or mental abilities, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, we are all made in God’s image.