“Come to the Well” is a brief 30 minute worship service designed for families with children who make noise, have a hard time sitting still, and have a short attention span. The design of this worship service is give parents a chance to drink from the spiritual well in the Christian tradition, as well as, give children who have unique needs an opportunity to take in spiritual nurture.
Often times parents with children who have autism, cognitive delays, or psychiatric disorders find it difficult to participate in worship settings for fear of the disruption their child may create for those present, for fear of the negative responses from those around them, or for fear of judgment of themselves or their children.
The design of the worship service is not just a spiritual drink, but also to create community for children and for parents. It can be isolating when a child may not develop like other children. It can be frustrating to parents when relatives don’t understand the circumstance of one’s child. It can be even more difficult when one is out in public and one gets “looks” from others.
For parents and children there are not enough places in this world where acceptance and encouragement are present. The Church is one place where it can be found. This worship service is such a place.
There will be appropriate toys for children to sooth themselves with and spaces where children can lay on the floor, walk around, or sit on a bean bag. We have been in consultation with the autism society to ascertain what would be comforting toys to have present in the room. We are grateful for their insights and recommendations.
In place of a bulletin or program a schedule of events for this worship service will be attached to the walls in the form of stick figure pictures with words as to the action of worship that will take place. The intent is to use things that will help all who are present to more fully engage in worship.
One need not be Methodist to attend this worship service. It is designed for persons from any church or no church at all.
Reverend Layloni Drake, Pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church is the parent of three grown children who each were challenged with ADHD. One of those children has autism and another one has an anxiety disorder. Reverend Drake has a passion for people who need a drink from the well.
For more details see www.TrinityUMCRoswell.org Pastor Layloni can be contacted for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-622-0119.