A February story from the Episcopal Digital Network detailed a parish that includes the disabled among its acolyte ministry. This story is really quite inspiring, and I encourage you to read it.
I’ve personally seen, too, just how dedicated an acolyte with a disability can be. The same can be said for any number of ministries lay people perform. When a person is able to perform a ministry well, in spite of limitations, it can really inspire the rest of us.
The following is a just a small sampling of some ways in which many Episcopal churches have reached out to the handicapped:
- Acolyte groups that include kids (or adults) with disabilities
- Offering Braille editions of the Book of Common Prayer
- Having sign language interpretation available. In fact, there is one Episcopal church in New York City specifically founded for the deaf.
- Instructing Eucharistic Ministers in bringing communion to members unable to come to the altar rail for communion.
These are just a few examples of the forms of outreach to the disabled, as commonly practiced by one denomination. Please feel free to share your experiences about how your church (any denomination) tries to help disabled members.