I'm just sitting here staring at this blank page. Not sure what to say. Nothing major has happened, no news to report, just writers block I guess.
Last week we had our second meeting of the Northwest Disability Network. It began as a support group for people who lead special needs ministries within their churches. Some are still in the planning stages, one lady officially started a ministry at her church 3 months ago. We planned to meet once a quarter and there were about 8 of us that met to talk about our ministries, what works, what doesn't, ask questions and just support one another.
Last weeks meeting however, included representatives from large organizations. There were probably 25 of us there. One of the reps was from Joni and Friends. The guy who originally started the NWDN, 'B' said he's been in contact with Joni and Friends and they want us to become a Volunteer Base or something like that. We would appoint a president, treasurer and secretary, then host two community events each year. He and the other reps were SO on board about this new venture and he excitedly asked everyone who was interested to raise their hands! Only he and the other reps did. Us 'small potatoes' began to ask questions, "How often would we be meeting?" The officers would meet more often but we could still meet once a quarter if that's what everyone decides. "Will Joni and Friends support us financially?" Well, no, Joni and Friends won't support financially, we'll have to do fundraising. Oh. I know we were all thinking the same thing, 'how much time is this going to take out of my already busy life?'
There was a large contingent from one church - the woman who had it on her heart to start a special needs ministry, their children's pastor, some youth volunteers and a mom who has a child with special needs. The woman asked the group, if you had to start your church ministry again, what would you do differently and why? Everyone was quiet for a minute then someone pointed to me, "You're the only one right now who has a ministry to kids with special needs." I looked over to say something and the reps all began talking at once, "You should volunteer at *this* camp." "You need to help with *that* organization. "You should volunteer at *that* school." No one really answered her question, they just plugged their organizations. (After the meeting was over, I did go over to her and we got a chance to talk about our ministries.)
B finally decided we shouldn't vote on becoming connected with Joni and Friends just yet. "Go home, pray about it and email me." I think he could tell we weren't all on board. I just don't have time to promote Joni and Friends - as great as an organization as they are, I know they've helped a lot of people all over the world. But right now I'm trying to promote and grow the special needs ministry God has put on my heart for my own church.
I think I will go to one more meeting of the NWDN but it seems to be going a different direction than what I first thought. And that's too bad. I've considered contacting the other church leaders and asking them if they want to continue to meet. I really like the idea of a support group for people who are leading special needs ministries within their churches. I know I would go to those meetings.