Thursday, September 15, 2011

Christ Episcopal Church welcomes people with disabilities

From Connecticut-

People with Disabilities are welcome at Christ Episcopal Church, Avon, which has added a communion service adapted for people with disabilities. The service will be held the first Sunday of every month at 11:30 a.m., beginning Sunday, Oct. 2. The communion service is known as Rhythms of Grace, and has several sites around Connecticut. Rhythms of Grace is a creative hour that includes a lesson from the Bible, therapeutic arts and crafts and a time of Holy Communion. Rhythms of Grace provides a way for all families to participate in a community of faith in an informal and inclusive setting.

Co-founder Linda Snyder, a Christian Formation consultant with over 30 years of experience notes, “Rhythms of Grace brings all sorts of God’s people together for a time of formation and fellowship. We share our challenges and our blessings.” Rhythms of Grace is a “perfect fit” for individuals on the Autism Spectrum and those with sensory, intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities, but all are welcome. There is no age limit. Parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, caregivers and people without disabilities are invited to participate. People do not have to be Episcopalians to participate. All faith traditions, and those who do not yet have a faith tradition, are welcome.

The Rev. Dr. Audrey Scanlan, an Episcopal priest, acts as the Celebrant of the service. “Rhythms of Grace is a place where families can relax and feel at ease in church,” Scanlan says. “The typical ‘acting out’ behavior that causes stress for families in typical worship settings is not a problem for us. It is just another way that some of our members communicate. God hears our many voices.”

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