07/06/2015
We know that God sees and loves all people equally, but the church and society don’t have the best track record when it comes to embracing and loving people who seem different. Historically there has been a mistaken belief that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities do not have the capacity to experience, express or explore their faith lives. This is simply not true. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities have both the right and the ability to lead deeply spiritual lives, just like you or me.
07/06/2015
We’re pleased to announce that Rejoicing Spirits has received a three-year grant from the Deaconess Community of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to help fund the work of Rejoicing Spirits. This money will specifically be used to help us seek out, train and equip congregations to launch new Rejoicing Spirits sites.
07/06/2015
Do you have a great idea for a Rejoicing Spirits newsletter article or blog post? We’re looking for host site leaders and volunteers to share their experience with the rest of our communities. If you are interested in writing about a topic that you think your Rejoicing Spirits host site can share, please email carrie.gubsch@mosaicinfo.org or call 402.896.3884.
05/15/2015
There are many reasons why agencies or institutions who serve people with disabilities may be wary of working with churches who want to provide religious services for people with disabilities. Some agencies may be nervous about strict government guidelines regarding religious institutions and funding, others may have had a bad experience with church groups wanting to work with people they support or even a bad personal experience with faith.
05/01/2015
Mark Twain said: “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you discover why.” Jesus said: “You are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to your God in heaven.”
05/01/2015
Our last newsletter gave a quick update of our plans for the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering, but we wanted to share a little bit more about where you can find us and what you can expect when you come to our learning space. Here’s a breakdown of what we have planned. Do You See Me or My Disability? Building a Diverse Church We know that God sees and loves all people equally, but the church and society don’t have the best track record when it comes to embracing and loving people who seem different.
04/15/2015

Americans with Disabilities Act 25th AnniversaryThis July marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.

03/01/2015
Written by Terry Chaney, member at First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Mich. On Aug. 3 our Rejoicing Spirits team tried the experiment using the Rejoicing Spirits service as our Sunday morning worship service. Tracing the ripples has been both more interesting and thought provoking than I had initially anticipated. We did the service, including an older skit, at both of our services. The first, our 8:30 a.m. service, is attended mostly by older members but it also includes some of the strongest backers of Rejoicing Spirits. Although I personally was a bit concerned at how they would react, I greatly underestimated their collective imagination and willingness to embrace something different.
03/01/2015
One of our goals this month is to start scheduling short phone conferences between host sites and the Rejoicing Spirits support team. We hope these 45-60 minutecalls will give host site leaders the opportunity to gather together, share ideas, struggles and victories and much more. Host site leaders, please watch your email for invitations to set up phone conferences. Congregations who are unable to participate in phone conferences will be required to fill out the annual survey. Please email carrie.gubsch@mosaicinfo.org with questions.
02/24/2015
In 1913, the American philosopher Josiah Royce wrote, “My life means nothing, either theoretically or practically, unless I am a member of a community.” Royce observed that, besides the actual communities we experience on a daily basis, there was also an ideal “beloved community” made up of all those who would be dedicated fully to the cause of loyalty, truth and reality itself. Royce founded the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a movement that was later joined by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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