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Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! - Psalm 98:4
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Rejoicing Spirits
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"If any would follow after me ..." 

Rev. Jim Fruehling, Ph.D.These are familiar words, words that we read in all three of the Synoptic Gospels, each instance occurring immediately after Jesus teaches the disciples that He, the Son of Man, must suffer many things: 

“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34, NRSV). 

It all sounds so familiar, but what does self-denial look like, for us? 

At intervals in church history, self-denial was taken to the point of self-injury; people would undertake severe, almost life-threatening fasts, or engage in behaviors that caused injury, in order to subdue and deny themselves bodily. 

But the word that is translated as “deny” yourself can also be translated as “disregard” yourself, or, as my mother said on occasion to me, “Oh, get over yourself!” 

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We are grateful for you!

Rejoicing Spirits is now active in 52 churches, and we are in the coaching phase with 11 prospective churches. What a blessing it is to work with each and every one of you. The difference you are making in the lives of many is amazing and you should be very excited! Thank you for what you do! 

Welcome to the following new Rejoicing Spirits churches: 

Resurrection Lutheran Church
Madison, Indiana 

Hanover Presbyterian Church
Hanover, Indiana 

Trinity Lutheran Church
Warrenville, Illinois 

Alpine Lutheran Church
Rockford, Illinois 

15 Years Rejoicing!

This month, the original Rejoicing Spirits ministry at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Exton, Pennsylvania celebrates its 15th anniversary. The church held its first all-inclusive worship service on October 5, 2003. Fifteen years later, the ministry continues to provide meaningful spiritual opportunities for people with and without disabilities. We are so grateful for the ministry St. Paul’s began that now flourishes throughout the nation. 

Sensory Awareness in Faith Communities

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and other related disorders, as we all know, have a significant impact on the normal activities of healthy living. When we think about those activities, what comes to mind? For children, we might think of eating, dressing, personal hygiene, succeeding in the classroom, playing, and making friends. For adults, we can expand that into succeeding in the workplace, having healthy romantic and sexual relationships, managing household tasks, and raising children of their own. 

However, religious institutions across the country, including Denver’s Bethany Lutheran Church, are pointing out that participation in religious services can also be an important element of healthy living for many people. 

Yet most congregations simply don’t know how to start when it comes to creating services that are inclusive toward people who are neurodiverse and/or have developmental disabilities. 

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How do many of the adults who attend Rejoicing Spirits worship receive support? 

For many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Medicaid becomes the primary funder of their care at some point in their life. Sometimes this happens when they are transitioning out of high school, other times it happens when a parent or other guardian is no longer able to provide the bulk of their care. 

Part of caring for our neighbors with intellectual and developmental disabilities includes making sure all of their needs are met—not just their spiritual needs. 

To help you understand how service providers are funded, we’ve answered a few commonly asked questions about Medicaid. 

Medicaid FAQs

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