Bachelor of Theology graduate Von Dubbeld, a mother of 4 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder talks about how she combined her passion for worship with the need to provide a safe environment and to develop a multi-sensory worship experience.
“It’s Sunday morning again. I take a quick glance over everyone – they look relaxed enough, but what will happen when I announce it’s time to get ready for church? Will there be tantrums over having to sit still again? Will they become distressed, remembering what that rude lady said to them the other week? And once – no, if – we get there, can we avoid a meltdown…at least until we get home?
SERIOUSLY, CHURCH SHOULD NOT BE THIS HARD!
This was my cry as a mum of 4 kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder. And there are many others with this cry because they or a loved one have a diffability* that effectively excludes them from church life, particularly corporate worship.
But worship can take a multi-sensory form, so that those who struggle with verbal, literate and stationary forms can engage by using their other senses. A message can be constructed rather than spoken, a prayer can be demonstrated, a song can be danced…
This is the heart of In Touch: using all our senses to connect with God. Worship designed for all ages, all abilities and all our senses.
Because church should not be this hard.”
*My preferred term to ‘disability’