Our monthly Rejoicing Spirits Service has doubled in size. When we began in November there were 25 of us, mostly helpers and current Grace members. Today there were over 50 of us, mostly residents of local group homes and their caregivers!
This ministry continues to bless us all; more than we could have ever imagined!
What a wonderful day of rejoicing!
5 of our Rejoicing Spirits worshippers joined our morning service for the Procession of Palms and our Palm Sunday Service. One of them volunteered to carry a palm cross, and her friend helped carry our banner.
What a fabulous blending of the two groups of worshippers!
We are finally picking up momentum! Our service was advertised in the Uniondale Beacon and in Newsday’s faith calendar!!!
We have also reached some of the group homes in our community. Yesterday we had visitors from 3 local homes attend our service. Not that we are counting (well maybe just a little:) but, our service had almost 30 attendees: staff, morning worshippers who came back, caregivers and those with learning disabilities.
We tried an activity for the first time. Upon entering our building people were asked to make a pretzel with some bread dough. During the service they were baked by our staff and we enjoyed them after service. Our theme for the day was prayer. We talked about different ways to pray. We folded our arms like a pretzel and learned about the monk who made pretzels to remind people to pray. It was well received lesson and the aroma of the baking bread added an additional sensory element.
As we said in our service: God is good all the time! All the time, God is good!!!
What a blessing this ministry has been to our congregation. It was hard to imagine the impact that reaching out to the special needs community would have here in Uniondale.
Since our first month we have been growing, slowly, but growing.
Our last service, on Super Bowl Sunday, was one that I approached with a bit of trepidation. Four of our regular worshippers had told me they would not be able to attend. A third, one of our congregation members, indicated she and her son would leave early since she was hosting a party at her house. A fourth only came with one of the people that was not coming. That potentially would leave us with one woman who is also a congregation member. It was looking like the service would be full of those who had already attended the morning service and stuck around to see what this new service was about. My spirits sank as I feared they would think this ministry was a bust and wonder why we raved about it. We prepared as usual, despite my fear that things would be dismal.
Well, shame on me for my doubt. In the door walked residents from two different group homes in the area. They had been invited for months and finally were able to come. They had been sent by the homes to check it out.
What a worship service! We had the 5 new visitors added to 8 members of Grace, (ranging in age from 6 to 93) added to our staff of 7. It’s not about the numbers to be sure, but this was our largest attendance. And that was without 8 of our regular folks.
Our visitors were excited to be with us, I pray they will return next month. Our members remarked on what a wonderful ministry this was! We made some new friends and God was praised with Word and song and prayers.
It was one of those days that reminded me how much I love what I am blessed to do each day! Can’t wait until next month.