On Saturday I attended an office bearers’ conference in Burlington, just next door to Hamilton. Rev. D. Agema spoke on “the inclusion of special needs members in the life of the congregation.” It was excellent and I learned a lot. Since he had a detailed handout, I didn’t take any notes to share with you. However, he gave me permission to post the handout. There are a lot of helpful pointers and suggestions.
One thing that was striking was the fact that things have changed so much in the last 20-30 years. Today institutionalization and segregation are avoided at all costs, whereas a couple of decades ago they were the norm. Today we’ve moved more towards inclusion, and this is surely a good thing. No more “out of sight, out of mind.”
Another noteworthy point was raised by Rev. P. Aasman during the discussion period. He noted that lodging homes for people with special needs are places where there is much openness to the gospel. He suggested that local churches have a look at what’s in their community and develop relationships with the people in these homes. An excellent idea!