Issue 9 - New Ministry!
- Megan VanGoor -
Inclusion ministry coordinator
In ministry, change is something that is always happening. Our needs change, the curriculum changes, our numbers go up and down. As ministry leaders we try and stay aware of the changes that need to be made.
Sometimes, changes are big, and hard to address with so many other pieces to take care of. When that happens it is amazing to see how God works in other people's hearts. God can create a passion in someone to move ahead with something because they feel so strong about it. I am happy to introduce one of those changes to you in this newsletter!
Megan VanGoor has been a daughter of this church her whole life. She has seen Providence go through many changes, She was baptized here and made public profession of faith here. She was married in this church and she and her husband Jim had their two sons baptized here.
Megan has a heart for this church and it's congregation. She also has a heart for the children. She has served in Sunday School, G.E.M.S, Children's Worship and now coordinates a two year old ministry that meets during the Sunday morning service. She is also on the Children's Discipleship team.
This fall, just before attending the KidMin conference Megan approached me and said "Jen, I am interested in attending the sessions that are focused on how the church can help families with children that have disabilities."
She had begun to see a need in our church that was not being met in ways she was researching.
When I asked her what group of children this ministry could reach, she defined it this way, "Someone with a physical or mental disability that impedes their ability to participate in a typical class or activity. This also covers behavioral. This can include anything from a child on the Autism spectrum, ADHD, physical disabilities, food allergies, etc. "
Megan also would like to be a resource to their families. She has been seeking out ways to reach out to them and show them we care by working with them to provide an environment that can work for their child.
The mission field just outside your door among U.S. children and teens…
- 22% identified with at least one mental disorder
- 11% have been prescribed ADHD medication
- 8-12% of teens experience anxiety disorders
- 13% identified with developmental disorders
- One in 68 are diagnosed with autism – the majority of average/superior intelligence!
- Approximately 20% of the population (roughly 57 million people) have been diagnosed with some sort of disability
- 90% of families of people with disabilities don't go to church (Often because going to church is too hard, or because people in churches have been cruel or unwelcoming)
Megan leans on these Bible verses as her nudge from God on leading this ministry:
"On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable... If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored , every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it." 1 Corinthians 12: 22, 26-27
"Go out quickly into the streets and alleys and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame." Luke 14:21
Each verse represents a piece of what she hopes to do with the ministry:
1) work toward making the kids with disabilities included, valued, and seen as equals.
2) be a place the disability community sees as welcoming and inclusive, showing them Christ's love.
I am anxious to see where God leads Megan in this ministry. Her heart is full and her desire to love others through this ministry is very Spirit filled. I have no doubt that as God leads her he will use this ministry for His glory.
Ways to Pray:
- Pray for Megan as she leads.
- Pray for the people that God will lead to this ministry to have open hearts and find love and acceptance.
- Pray for those that Megan will reach out to in the future as she puts together an Inclusion Ministry team.