Hello lovely friends,
Since the lockdown I have been busy trying to fulfil a 3 year long ambition to put accessible worship and Bible teaching online. There are too many older teens and adults with learning differences who cannot get to church and even when they are there, cannot access the teaching. I’ve said time and time again, we cannot solely rely on talking…we can use so many other ways of communicating.
At the Good News Group we have learned that if we use a variety of communication techniques then everyone in the group can find most of the service accessible and learn something from it. We use visuals for those who cannot read, and sensory activities for those who cannot see or who are sensory learners. We use simple key-word based signing (Makaton) for those who understand that and it helps us all learn to slow down our verbal language and think about what the key words are. We also use puppets (who command attention much better than we do!) and lots of practical interaction. We sing with signing and shaking our instruments – it’s a joyful sound!
So I have spent a week learning how to edit and arrange videos on iMovie, I’ve learned some new signs and videoed them with music played by Elaine and Tim. Gill has done a puppet sketch and some of our members, Stefan and Colin, have written prayers.
Here is the link to the service. It is 40 minutes long but being on YouTube you can watch it in smaller chunks if you like. My prayer is that it reaches adults with learning disabilities at home or in care homes who miss church, but also those who have never got to church. Let me know (on You Tube or by commenting on here) what you think as I will be trying another one before this lockdown is done. And if you have any suggestions for improvements or song requests – you can send those too.
There’ a booklet to download and colour in. If you want to search some craft activities to go with this story you could do that easily online.
I will be doing some simple signing songs to add to the includedbygrace youtube channel so watch out for those. I have to say, the time to pray more and do this work that I’ve longed to do has come about because of the lockdown. I am so aware of the pain and worry of many families who care for adults with disabilities. Some of them are unable to see their loved ones as care homes are in lockdown. I want to assure you I am praying and doing what I can locally to find help where people need it. I can only hope that the peace and hope we have in Christ makes this time bearable…and maybe fruitful in all our lives. God Bless