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Steps Care is inspiring Special Needs Ministry

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Steps Care is inspiring Special Needs Ministry

    S2.E4: Importance of Building a Team

    S2.E4: Importance of Building a Team

    Welcome to Season 2's Episode 4 as we talk about the importance of building a team.  I think the best teams are the diverse teams. Getting others involved no matter the age, or ability. We are seeing beautiful things in the special needs ministry that we have at our church in Rogers, AR. 

    Student volunteer, Chariti was a huge support yesterday. The students love her. She is their favorite person. We have students that like to play pretend dress up with her. Some students like to steal her breakfast bars. She is just a gift to serve with on Sundays. I love that we can count on her and more importantly the students can too. 

    We have older and wiser volunteers like Vicki who is my constant. She is always available to help out when needed. The student love her and look up to her.  Older volunteers tend to bring the peace to the storm when needed. I love that about them. 

    We have mom volunteers who show up who have students in our ministry and they too have so much to offer. They often are the most comfortable around our students. The live everyday with special needs. They often worry about getting involved because they know that they need a break. But what they find in serving is just what they need. 

    We also have volunteers that have little to no experience in serving in serving those with special needs. They too bring so much to the table. I think they tend to learn the most while serving. The experience and community is a unique and special gift. They are blessed by the excitement of the students when they see them. It's really incredible. 

    There is so much going on in our ministry that goes beyond what I can say here on the podcast. It's so beautiful. The community and the sense of belonging that is felt by all (students included) is worth the leap to start this ministry in your own faith community.  

    For question about this weeks podcast email us at talk@stepscare.org or set up a time to talk with us over the phone. 

    We can be heard on 9 different platforms: Anchor, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcast, Radio Public, and Stitcher

    To donate or get involved with what we are doing here at Steps Care Please check out our website at https://www.stepscare.org

    We look forward to hearing from you soon. Join us back here next Monday! We hope you have been inspired!

    • 23 Min.
    S3.S2: MLK DAY

    S3.S2: MLK DAY

    Welcome every one. Happy Martin Luther King Day. What an inspiring man Martin Luther King was. Here are a few of my Favorite quotes from Martin Luther for you in honor of today.

    “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character that is the goal of education.”

    “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”

    “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

    “I have a dream... that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

    “Life’s most persistent and urgent question: What are you doing for others?”

    “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools”

    These are great quotes to remind us of the great Dr Martin Luther King. I know that changing perception has been a challenge since the days on MLK. I see this in Special needs ministry. While I’m thankful that things are changing, perceptions are still not what we would hope they would be.

    A story that I read this morning about a young boy with autism went to see Santa. The boy was enjoying the lights and the snow man as he waited to see Santa. He was excited and flapping his hands and vocalizing when people started noticing the young boy. As they progressed in the line, the young boy took a seat on a bench off to the side of the line.

    A young girl who was curious about the young boy came and sat by the boy and said hello to him. The mother of the boy could feel the mother of the girl zoning in. The mother of the girl came and got her and told her not to sit there. The mother of the boy was heart broken.

    It is wonderful to see children without special needs engaging with those that do. I have had students venture into my class where we serve students with special needs and parents have can in and told them that they had to leave. That this was not their class. Many of them the peer age of those that were in the class. As we have events throughout the year, my hope for our faith community is less of “us versus them” and more us supporting one another.

    To learn more about what we do here at Steps Care Please check out our website at Stepscare.org

    We are a 501 c 3 nonprofit that runs on the financial support our listeners and those that we serve. If you are interested in getting involved with what we do or want to give financially feel free to shoot us an email at talk@stepcare.org. Donations can be made over at the website or you may send a check to PO BOX 1134 Bentonville, AR 72712. We look forward to hearing from you. See you next Monday.

    • 21 Min.
    Episode 2: Refrigerator What?!!

    Episode 2: Refrigerator What?!!

    Welcome to Steps Talk. This is our second podcast of the second season.  Today is my first day back to school for the second semester. The first week of one of my classes is covering the history of autism. I'm not sure why I didn't already know this. I guess I didn't feel the need to know the history. I have been living in the here and now since day one of my son and daughter's diagnosis. 

     In the 1950's they would call the mothers of children with autism "refrigerator moms." Because it had to be their fault that their children didn't make eye contact, or had speech delays because their moms didn't talk to them enough. They believed that these were mothers who were cold and not good mothers. 

    It is interesting to me that there were people that treated me like they believed that this was me, a cold mother. It was weird to me that I was treated this way since I had always been involved with teaching and working with young students. Now that I had my own children I was all of a sudden a bad mother?? It didn't make sense to me until this past week. Maybe some of that ideology is floating around in the judgement being pushed off on families. The history surrounding disability is just not pretty and maybe it should be left in the history.  It has no place in special needs ministry. 

    This week we talk about how we need to set aside our assumptions about what a mom or dad should do and just love them. Celebrate every accomplishment no matter how big or small. This is a ministry for celebrations and excitement. This should be a place to support and encourage and even elevate when possible. I'm including a link to a short clip of Temple Grandin talking about some of the history of autism. https://youtu.be/DHTlcABmyCw  Hopefully your ministry plans can include taking care of these sweet parents. Make life a little bit easier for them. 

    To find more information about all that we do at Steps Care Please go to stepscare.org and to talk to someone about getting involved in what we do around here please shoot us an email at talk@stepscare.org  

    Thank you for joining us this week. We hope you've been inspired! 

    • 21 Min.
    Season 2, Episode 1: Happy New Year

    Season 2, Episode 1: Happy New Year

    Thank you for joining us for our first episode in 2020. This is our second season of Steps Talk. We look forward to the great conversations we will have during this season. 

    Today we catch up with our listeners. We have added new board members to our team at Steps Care. We can't wait for you all to meet John and CarolAnne Farr and Miranda Wallace. We hope to have them on the show soon. Life is so busy during the holiday season. Scheduling them to be on the show has been a bit challenging. We will catch them soon I'm sure of it. 

    I shared the words of a song that spoke to my soul this past week. We have some sweet friends that are going through some major illnesses and they have been on my heart and I've felt the heaviness of their stories and even our own family challenges over the holidays. I just wanted to share with you all because I know that you go through this tough stuff too. Maybe this song will speak to you like it did me. 

    Link to the song by Chris Brown. https://youtu.be/0B_lnQIITxU

    Check out Team Thatcher D on Facebook and to support this family go to https://gofundme.com/f/help-thatcher-beat-cancer 

    Thatcher is a 4 -year-old superhero, who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma. 

    Also Check out Amarissa story and feel free to share support at https://www.gofundme.com/f/amarissa 

    These were the families we shared in the podcast today. We are sending them love and prayers. Love you all! 

    To send us your ministry goals for 2020 email us at talk@stepscare.org 

    To find out more about Steps Care and to get involved in this ministry check out Stepscare.org 

    Let's Inspire Disability Ministry Together!!

    • 28 Min.
    Episode 30: Urshan with Professor Nancy Norris

    Episode 30: Urshan with Professor Nancy Norris

    Professor Nancy Norris is someone everyone should meet. Her laughter lights up the room. This year she approached the President of Urshan Bible College about starting a class that she has titled, "Ministering to Children with Special Needs." She created the curriculum for the course from scratch. Professor Norris has invited ministry leaders to come speak to her class and last week Steps Care was invited to talk to her class. We were eager to speak with these future ministry leaders. We asked about their perspectives concerning disability ministry. Episode 30 is a peak into the conversation we had with this incredible class of future ministry leaders.
    Stay Tuned! I think you'll be inspired! 

    • 32 Min.
    Episode 29: Eva Quigley

    Episode 29: Eva Quigley

    Welcome to Episode 29. On today's podcast we can't wait for you to hear this mother's story of adoption that has brought her to the beginnings of a disability ministry in her faith community in Northern California. Eva called us after reading Steps, Forming Disability Ministry by Shelli Allen and Dr. Linda Barboa with questions about what a "disability ministry structure" was.  If you've read the book you know that I refer to forming supports and accommodations as a "flexible structure." 

    As we started talking she started sharing her story and I knew almost immediately that you all needed to meet this new friend of ours.  She grew up in Arkansas and moved to Northern California to take a job teaching in a Christian school with students with special needs. Well, You will have to listen to the rest of her story here. Her story touched my heart and brought me to tears. She is now starting an ABLE ministry (Disability Ministry) in her church, Christian Life Center in Stockton,  California. 

    Stay tuned you all! I think you'll be inspired! 

    To learn more about what we do at Steps Care please Check out the ministry resources at StepsCare.org. We would love to visit with you. Maybe you have a story like Eva or have ministry questions please email us at talk@stepscare.org  

    • 35 Min.

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