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What is Rejoicing Spirits?
- Rejoicing Spirits is a Shush-Free Worship! It includes music and joyous singing. There is a short, meaningful message. Worshippers are invited to come as they are and are encouraged to be themselves without fear of being “shushed”. All worshippers are given opportunities to serve, lead, learn, and participate.
- It is a proven and successful model that uses “creative worship, intentional community partnerships, fellowship, education and inclusion to provide people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the opportunity to explore and experience faith.”
- It includes:
- A shush-free worship environment
- Regular fellowship and service opportunities for people of all abilities
- Education and sensitivity training for congregations
- Building partnerships between people with disabilities, social services, families, and church
Rejoicing Spirits was founded on the belief that all people should have the opportunity to explore faith and spirituality. Most churches have made physical accommodations to their buildings for accessibility, but unseen barriers often prevent people with disabilities from becoming active members in their faith communities. All people, especially people with disabilities, should be able to explore and express their faith in an inclusive worship community.
- The Rejoicing Spirits worship service can meet people’s needs in a variety of ways:
- Serves as a stepping stone for those wanting to take the first step into a faith community
- Offers complementary worship and fellowship opportunities for those who already belong to a faith community
- Provides an inclusive faith community that may fully meet their current needs and desires
- Congregations have found that when they first host a Rejoicing Spirits worship service, 75% of the community is people with disabilities and the ones who love them, with 25% being congregation members. After a while the number reverses as relationships are built, community is formed, and Worship is more prevalent in the church. This is a worship service for all, where all belong.
- RMS Congregations: Bethany, Holy Cross, Well of Hope, Holy Shepherd, Holy Trinity, Centennial, Holy Spirit, Lord of the Hills, All Saints (Albuquerque)