Every Sunday, Grace Lutheran Church holds an adaptive worship service specifically designed for individuals with disabilities and special needs. . About Adaptive Worship Service . Our Adaptive Worship Service was inspired by the story told in Mark 2:1-12. To get a man who was paralyzed to Jesus, his four friends dig a hole through the roof above Jesus and lower their paralyzed friend to him. Jesus then forgives and heals the man, based on the faith of his four friends! These four companions removed barriers keeping their friend from Jesus. So Adaptive Worship looks at the worship experience with this question in mind: “How can we make every part of worship more accessible for people living with special needs?” We are constantly learning as we go along. Here are some ways we have adapted the service so far. . .
The smaller bulletin is printed in 14pt Times New Roman font.
We also produce a large print version of the bulletin.
A bulletin in Braille is also prepared for every service, and more can be printed as needed.
We upgraded our sound system and the acoustics of our worship space to produce a clear and clean sound at any volume.
We installed a “hearing assist” system with headphones for additional sound enhancement.
Ear protectors are available for those who are especially sensitive to sounds.
We will soon add sign language interpretation.
We offer flexible seating including places at tables, and spaces for wheelchairs.
We do not require standing during the service, but people are completely free to stand and move around as desired.
Holy Communion is brought directly to everyone where they are seated.
Greeters are stationed outside to help those who might need extra assistance in entering the building.
The service starts at 11:15 a.m. to make it easier to get to it, and it’s only thirty minutes long to make it easier to get through it.
We have a trained caregiver who staffs a “Respite Room/Nursery” for those who need an extra break. The caregiver is also available to help with the needs of those of every age, as they arise.
Communion is served every week, using grape juice and gluten-free bread.
Our Scripture readings use the Good News Translation to make them easier to understand.
The sermon is short and to the point.
The service is liturgical, meaning the congregation has set worship responses. These responses can be learned through repetition and programmed into communication devices.
The service is Lutheran, which means it is based on the Biblical teaching that we don’t earn God’s love by living the right way, but instead, God always loves us first. The greatest sign of that love for us is the death and resurrection of Jesus. In grateful response to that gift, we try to live our lives with kindness, peace, and compassion.