“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16 ESV).
Occasionally parents and grandparents bring their special needs children to worship and special services, hoping that the lights are not too bright, the music too loud, and that these precious ones may learn about Jesus and not be over stimulated. Parents brace themselves for an outburst or inappropriate behavior and many feel hurt and defensive when they get “the look.”
Special education teachers from St. Michael, Wayne and interested members began to meet and come up with ways to minister to this group of God’s children. Some went to seminars and visited churches with larger and smaller ministries.
The results have been a wonderful blessing: a worship service designed for families and individuals with special needs. On the first Sunday of each month, the children meet in a classroom for a Christian craft related to the lesson (like making Alleluia banners to be used at Easter). Afterwards, they gather for a time of worship.
Every child gets a turn helping as a greeter, an acolyte, or a song sign language assistant. They also assist as musical instrument collectors, the Apostle’s Creed or Lord’s Prayer leaders, or offering collectors. Loving special educators keep outbursts under control and Pastor Drew Gruenhagen is the teacher. A lesson is taught and prayer requests are taken. Requests have included intercession for those who are ill, family members, the whole world, spaghetti, popcorn, and even a fuzzy moustache.
Everyone is welcome to visit on the first Sunday of each month at 12:15 p.m. St. Michael’s is located at 3003 Hannan Rd; Wayne, Mich. For more information, please call 734.728.1950.