Worship Where all of God's Children are Safe, Welcome, and Loved
At Southern Heights, we have begun to introduc several ways we can make our worship services more welcoming and friendly for people with differing needs.
This has stemmed from a desire to provide a place to worship where people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families can feel welcome, safe and supported.
Starting in March, 2018, our worship bulletins have visual cues to indicate what is happening during the service.
This visual element is particularly helpful to pre and early readers and people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but can also be helpful for others, including people unfamiliar with our order of service, English Language Learners, and people living with dementia.
With a focus on making services welcoming for folks with ASD, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), ADD/ADHD, etc , we will also be making lap weights and (probably) weighted vests available during services, as well as a visual schedule for following along with the service. These are being developed and created and made available as they are completed.
Sample Bulletin - .pdf
(portions of liturgy adapted from the PC(USA) Book of Common Worship (WJKPress, ©1993), and Call to Worship, a publication of the PC(USA) Office of Theology and Worship, ©2017.
Please contact SHPC if you're interested in a source file with icons , including ones for communion, baptism, and others.
About Autism Spectrum Disorder
As we have learned, they call it a "spectrum" for a reason. So, if you've met one person with Autism, you've met one person with Autism. For that reason, we encourage you to engage with the following resources if you're interested in learning more about Autism or implementing some of these strategies in your service.