Sunday, July 31, 2005

Deaf Ministry Getting Started!

A few days ago, I e-mailed the secretary about putting a message in our church bulletin and newsletter about the American Sign Language (ASL) class I'm going to be teaching starting this September. Fortunately, I contacted her in time to make it in the newsletter for August, which was in mailboxes at church today.

Again, if any of you are anywhere near Wichita on Wednesday evenings and are interested in learning ASL, you're welcome to join my class! If there's enough interest, I'll see about offering a second class on a different day of the week.

This is what I had in today's church bulletin:

DID YOU KNOW that more than 90 percent of the deaf population in the U.S. remains unchurched? In an effort to try to reach out to these and the hard-of-hearing community, Erica will be offering a beginning American Sign Language (ASL) class during Midweek starting this September. Included in the lessons will be religious sign laugage, which is not taught in public schools or universities. Those interested are asked to list their names on a sign-up sheet outside the office so Erica will know how many books to request...
In the message for the newsletter, most of the same information was given. I only added that those interested in the class don't necessarily have to be interested in serving in Deaf Ministry to join, and that I'm especially encouraging those who are hard-of-hearing, losing their hearing or know someone who is to join.

If you're not near enough to join my class, I would encourage you to find a class and learn sign language so you can communicate with the Deaf, as well. This is a very worthy ministry, and so very important. So many churches teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to those of the Spanish-speaking community, and forget that there are countless people out there who already know the English language but can't and never have heard the Word of God.

We need to spread the Word to the Deaf just as much as we do those in countries where the Word is kept from people. These people are here in our own country! In our own towns! We don't have to travel to find them! Help them to become part of God's family by sharing God's Word with them!

I know I'm getting a little preachy here, but can you blame me? This ministry means a lot to me. I can't exactly explain why, but maybe this is what I'm supposed to be doing with my life.

6 comments:

Rachel said...

This reminds me that I was thinking of you on my trip down south. They have a sign language translator at my cousins' church in Minneapolis. I meant to tell you about it but forgot until reading your post!

Mrs. T. Swede said...

That is wonderful news! What kind of church is it? Have you considered learning ASL, yourself?

Rachel said...

The church is Living Hope Lutheran which is a daughter church of Bloomington Lutheran (both WELS). I actually was very interested in learning ASL at one point, don't know why I didn't pursue it. Perhaps I should!

Elle said...

Rach, I was looking at the University of Alaska Anchorage's language offerings and they do have ASL classes. :D

Mrs. T. Swede said...

See! There ya go! No reason not to sign up for the class and learn ASL! OR, you could move down to Wichita and take the class I'm teaching at our church for free! =D

Steven said...

Praise be to the Triune God! It is good to hear about the furthering of the Good News of Jesus Christ to the Deaf community. I have been working with the Deaf since I started seminary. So many Deaf churches are suffering as many LC-MS districts continue cutting funding and not taking as much interest. I applaud your work to teach ASL and to further Deaf awareness in our communities. +SDG+