St. Paul's, Simcoe, Ontario, is now the home of a ministry to seventeen adults with a developmental disability. We meet twice a month for worship, including some vibrant singing, Bible story and open prayer; a craft or activity time; and of course, coffee. From time to time we also go to "Friendship" conferences and special outings, but the important part of our times together is just being friends. Some of those "meeting for coffee" times between regular meetings may be the most significant.
This ministry grew out of a dream shared by three congregations. Two years ago the Anglican, Presbyterian, and Christian Reformed Churches in Simcoe committed to serving the community in this special way, and leaders come from all three of the congregations. Each year, we attend each sponsoring church once and lead in worship. Probably the highlight is the Christmas Pageant which we present at St. Paul's Presbyterian.
"Friendship in Faith" is good news because: (1) we are worshipping God together; (2) we are meeting one of the needs of our community which has a large number of group homes; (3) church members are serving and being blessed; (4) a number of vulnerable people have found a church home through this ministry; (5) we are working ecumenically; (6) we are all learning much about the work of the Holy Spirit through the lives of people who know God in a way most of us will never know because we are too self-sufficient; and, (6) the gatherings are just plain fun
Coordinator, "Friendship in Faith", Simcoe, Ontario