Our son Logan has started attending a church in the city where his group home is. I have mentioned this before and we are thankful.
I care as a father but I can also see this from the perspective of a pastor. I know from experience that it is not always easy to integrate people with disabilities. We sometimes romanticize integration but the truth is it takes hard work.
Our son, who has autism, can make noise. Once we were at church with him and he exclaimed “Just kill me now!” in the middle of the service. We laugh at it now but at the time we were horrified.
This week I had the opportunity to talk to Logan’s pastor, Josh Mutter of Westheights Community Church. This conversation was not initiated by Josh as a complaint about noise. Rather we as parents wanted to communicate with him to make sure this is a good experience for everyone.
As I talked to Josh on the phone, I came to one conclusion: This guy gets it. I don’t mean that he has all the answers when it comes to disability ministry. I do mean that he has bought into the importance of church being a place where all people are welcome. That is all that I need to hear.
I understand that it can be distracting when someone makes an unexpected sound in church. I experience the same thing. But it is a reasonable place to make it a church where everyone is welcome.
I’m thankful that Josh gets it and that he cares for his congregation and for our son.
If you are interested in this topic, check out my post When church gets loud: Insights from a pastor.
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