So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. - 1 Corinthians 12:25
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In Appreciation of Caregivers

Rev. Dave deFreese

Within our efforts to serve, we talk of direct support professionals (DSPs) as the “heart of Mosaic.” As the people who provide direct care in the lives of the people we support, they bring our mission of service and advocacy to life. 

Day after day, they are consistent companions with those living with disabilities. They serve many needs. They listen, offer friendship, nurture community, instruct and guide. They often help with a person’s most intimate necessities. They give of themselves so that others might have a better, fuller life. 

And yet, too often our society fails to hold their work with the high honor it deserves. They are not given large salaries or often recognized for the important role they play. Rarely do they hear words of praise for the difference they make. Far too often, they are simply taken for granted. 

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Come, Make Noise, Rejoice in the Lord

Campus Lutheran in Kearney, Neb. has now held Rejoicing Spirits services since February. Here is something the Rev. John Gosswein, pastor wrote about the experience to share with others. 

It was a perfect worship service. Loud and boisterous as everyone entered, with enthusiastic welcomes and greetings. Some were singing words to the songs, but others were just clapping with glee. The usual greeting at the beginning of the service turned into a parade of welcoming “in the name of Jesus.” 

When the pastor asked for assistants to lead various responses and verses, six individuals jostled their way forward. Lively “amens” punctuated the liturgy, accompanied by applause. Even when the excitement boiled over and the sanctuary became a little noisy, no one said “shh.”
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Responding to People Who Have Been Sexually Abused

Guest Post by Karen Fry, Board Certified Behavior Analyst 

Many of you may have listened to the NPR series “Abused and Betrayed” earlier this year, which reported on sexual abuse of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Here is information on how this affects people’s behavior and what care providers and church families can do. 

When someone with I/DD is assaulted, their behavior changes. Often it looks like the person is being uncooperative or aggressive. Care providers are not likely to know that a traumatic event has occurred, especially when the victim has communication difficulties. 

With this in mind, care providers must address the undesirable behavior in a manner that presumes it is a reaction to a traumatic event, either past or current. Typical behavioral changes that might occur after sexual assault may include: incontinence, refusals to go into certain areas, refusals to be with certain people, difficulty sleeping, crying, yelling, fearfulness, hypervigilant, nightmares, physical aggression, property destruction and self-injurious behavior; although the behavior change could be anything. 

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Thank You to St. Stephen Lutheran Church 

Thank you to St. Stephen Lutheran Church in New Kingstown, Penn., for sharing the Rejoicing Spirits ministry since 2010. Here’s what Rose Hlavec, RS Coordinator, has to say: “We have experienced God’s love first hand as we heard the prayers of the RS congregation and rejoiced with the smiles and dancing to the music. We watched individuals grasp, many for the first time, the love of God. We have rejoiced as we watched individuals learn new skills and make new friends through Rejoicing Spirits’ interactive services and opportunities for leadership.” 

Congratulations on 10 Years!

Congratulations to Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit in Emmaus, Penn., which is celebrating 10 years of Rejoicing Spirits! The anniversary was celebrated in March with Pastor Mage Dean as guest preacher, Rejoicers and the Rejoicing Ringers Bell Choir, followed by lunch and fellowship.

Welcome to Rejoicing Spirits 

Welcome Campus Lutheran in Kearney, Neb., as a Rejoicing Spirits site! We are glad you have joined our team. Thank you for your hard work and dedication beginning this ministry. 

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