Special Needs Ministry Kick Off: Playground and S’mores
Saturday, September 10, 2022 @ 6:30pm
Incarnation’s Fire pit (Behind Church Offices)
The Special Needs Ministry is kicking off the year by making S’mores, socializing and fun on the playground. S’mores ingredients and fun will be provided. RSVP’s are NOT required but are appreciated: email@example.com
The Incarnation Special Needs Program is a community outreach program. Any individual with special needs in the community and their families are invited to join us. Know someone with special needs? Please help us grow our ministry by inviting them to our events!
Questions? Please contact our Special Needs Coordinator, Megan Sparks at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the office at (937) 433-1188 and leave a message. Megan will call you back!
Passion & Purpose by Megan Sparks, Incarnation Special Needs Coordinator
Many times, we do not see what God is doing in our lives until we look back on everything that has happened to us. When I graduated from the Ohio State University, I did not know why I decided to volunteer for Special Olympics, there were so many different things that a young, single, recent college graduate could do with her time, but I spent my time coaching various sports.
While volunteering I met my soon to be husband, and we were married two years later. It wasn’t long before we welcomed our first child, Zachariah, into our little family. I had so many plans for Zac; he was going to be my assistant Coach for all the sports that I was coaching, and then he would go off to be a Buckeye and some day run the world. You can imagine my shock and disbelief when the doctor told us that he had Autism when he was 19 months old… our whole world changed that day.
I did not even realize that God had been preparing me for the reality of Zac’s autism. Because of my work with Special Olympics, I already had a support system and mentors who would help guide me. Families with special needs children often feel completely alone and do not know where to turn. What is even sadder is that many people feel that they can no longer attend Church.
I am happy to say that Incarnation is trying to reach out to these families to show them that they are not alone, and that they have a home here. We are currently offering a Sensory Room during the 10 a.m. Sunday Mass. The Mass is being live-streamed into the brides’ room. This allows those who may need a break during Mass to still participate. The last three pews closest to the brides’ room are reserved for special needs families so they can come and go easily.
In September we are kicking off our Special Needs Ministry! Once a month we will be offering special needs families a family activity night where they can spend quality time together in a safe environment. We are also offering respite care once a month to help parents have a night to themselves. It is so hard to find a babysitter for special needs children, and all parents need a break.
We are a new ministry, and we need help. First, welcome these families when you see them at Mass. If their child is moving or making noise, don’t stare, but if you find yourself looking, offer a smile. These parents are doing their best, and they want to instill the faith in their child.
If you are available the fourth Saturday of the month, volunteer to help with respite care. Come meet these great individuals and get to know them. We are looking for middle school, high school, and adult volunteers to make a difference and make this program a success. During an interview Jim Tressel quoted Edward Everett Hale by saying: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
I hope you pray about joining us.