Bright Threads Ministries…weaving people of all abilities into the fabric of congregations
Are there people with disabilities in our congregations? If we have two families with children with disabilities there are at least twenty more nearby without a church home. If there is one adult with a disability in worship on Sunday there are at least forty more in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Through the discovery of the wonderful people on the margins of our communities, God has led me to develop a new nonprofit: Bright Threads Ministries. Each person is a Bright Thread created in God’s Image. We hope to support families and churches by drawing people from the margins into the beautiful, surprising pattern that God is weaving with all of us.
Respite programs, Sunday School buddies, or once-a-month fellowship events are the starting points for some congregations. But many churches may be put off by the prospect of a new program. Bright Threads Ministries starts with helping church leaders identify an entry point for families or individuals with disabilities. What do we already do well? Learning, Worship, Service, or Fellowship? If the church has a food bank ministry, current volunteers could be trained to include the residents of a nearby group home. It’s an entry point for the transformation of relationships and practices.
A few things I’ve learned along the way:
- We’re more alike than we are different.
- Preparation and training are essential, but the Holy Spirit has a way of showing up in surprising ways.
- Music is a window to beautiful expressions of uninhibited joy!
I’d love to help you discover the new pattern that emerges when Bright Threads are woven into your congregation. Here’s a brochure that communicates the proposed ministry that I plan to offer. McMullen Bright Threads Flyer
Let me know if any of your friends with intellectual disabilities would like to try a Lord’s Prayer learning & worship series that is in development. Also, here is a recent blog post that I wrote on the stages of attitudes towards those with disabilities.
Evelyn McMullen, DEdMin
www.brightthreadsministries.org (website under construction)
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