In October, Sligo’s Disability Action Team (DAT) began our new church year singing a capella, ”We Have This Hope!!” It’s true; if you’d been walking through the atrium that evening you would have heard a small but hearty band singing (albeit slightly off key) our denominational theme song! So why is the DAT singing about hope? Let me explain.
Co-chair Ken Flemmer gave a brief devotional as our meeting began and talked about fact that the DAT actually exists for one reason: to sell hope to people with disabilities and their families who come to Sligo on a weekly basis. Think about it: Scripture is replete with examples of Jesus reaching out to people with disabilities! As Ken’s talk drew to a close, we spontaneously burst into song!
So how is the DAT going to begin “selling hope” to persons with disabilities at Sligo Church? We have several project ideas as follows:
• We plan to contact other SDA churches in the Washington D.C. area to see what they are doing to welcome people with disabilities into their congregations. (This may evolve into a conference or Sabbath afternoon workshop of some sort.)
• DAT is hoping to engage Sligo youth to give them some sensitivity to the needs of persons who have disabilities. This may lead to some of our youth helping people with various needs and abilities at our church.
• We’re also planning to examine move Sligo’s emergency plans to assure that they are disability inclusive.
• DAT also plans to meet with the Facilities Committee to request that any additional renovations done to the Greenwood Avenue entrance consider the needs of persons with mobility impairments.
Finally, we are looking for you! Yes, you! If you have a disability, we need to hear from you. Maybe you’re a care-giver to an elderly parent and just want to come and talk. You may be a WAU student who’s seriously thinking about special education. But I don’t have a disability, I’m not a care-giver, and I don’t even really know anyone with a disability. You must have an interest because you read this far! But my schedule is so busy—I really don’t have time. Well, come just once and give us your ideas. (Who knows—you just might like us!)
The next DAT meeting will take place on Thursday, November 29th at 6:30. Hope to see you there!!
By Cathy Johnson