Thank you so much for visiting the Geneva Presbyterian Church Disability Ministry site! Together we strive to create meaningful opportunities for people with disabilities of all kinds. We hope and pray that together we are building an accessible community, where children are welcomed with open arms, caregivers are empowered to worship and find respite, and we are all connected in God’s love.

 

  • We celebrate and support people with disabilities and strive to be an ever evolving community. Geneva’s Disability Ministry holds regular playdates throughout the year for individuals with disabilities and neurodiversity – as well as for those individuals’ caregivers and siblings. Outdoor playground playdates are held at the Geneva Day School playground located behind the church. The playground equipment is accessible, and the entire play area is fenced. During the colder months, indoor playdates are held at We Rock The Spectrum, a sensory safe and inclusive play space located in Gaithersburg.

 

  • It is always a pleasure to meet new families, and we hope to see new faces at each and every gathering. If you know anyone who may want to have fun and meet new friends at a future playdate, please extend the invitation and put them in touch with Allyson through email at asmcelwaine@gmail.com. Playdates are held the first Saturday of each month – please view the church calendar for times and locations.

 

Past Initiatives:

  • We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish thus far. We have made the childcare space an inviting environment for kiddos of all abilities and a space that is equipped for sensory needs. In addition, each Sunday during worship we aim to have at least one individual on staff with clinical special needs training in the child carespace.

  • In the Spring of 2021 we were able to raise $7,000.00 as a congregation which was donated to the Ivymount School. These funds were used for the express purpose of purchasing 12 AAC devices equipped with software for those students who need them.

  • Our first accessibility walk through of the church building and sanctuary space took place on 3/6/22. This was our first step in a continuing series of efforts to proactively make Geneva Presbyterian Church as accessible as possible.  We are working diligently to make changes on both a small and large scale so that we are inclusive and available to all.

 

Future Initiatives:

  • Quarterly film viewing and panel discussion open to the community – in an effort to spread awareness about disability and the need for inclusion.

  • Annual resource fair open to the community with an opportunity for people to learn and understand resources that are available to them right here in our own backyard.

 

Our Mission Statement

Here at Geneva Presbyterian Church, we assume competence and know that even those without audible voices have plenty to tell us! Some ways that hope to treat people with utmost dignity and respect:

 

We are human, flawed, and always learning. If there is a better way for us to phrase something we have said, or correct the way in which we are explaining something – we welcome education and the opportunity to become more aware.

 

A Prayer of St. Francis for Autism by Tim Tucker

 

Lord, let thy peace fill me up until I overflow;

that where people cannot speak, I may be their advocate;

that where anyone is rejected, I may extend my arms in welcome;

that where parents are heavy burdened, I may offer a word of comfort;

that where our children struggle, I may lift them up and cheer;

that where some see disability, I may reveal to them extraordinary gifts;

that where others judge, I may share with them my deep gladness;

and that where any are overlooked, I may help the lights of all to shine.

 

O Giver of These Gifts,

grant that I may not so much seek to be reassured as to reassure;

to be praised, as to praise;

to be accepted, as to accept;

for it is in all our uncertainty that we are inspired to hope;

it is in great challenges that we discover our greatest joys,

and it is in our community of wanderers that we find the way home.

 

Amen.

 

Tim Tucker

Both Hands and a Flashlight

Parenting, Autism, and the Pursuit of Being Awesome

http://www.bothhandsandaflashlight.com