Forum 5.1 - Modifications and Accommodations
Modifications and Accommodations
In our church there are 2 things that has been done to modify access and participation in the church.
1.) Access was to the building/ sanctuary when the flooring was replaced a couple of years ago. Front porch decking was elevated to meet the level of the threshold into the building so that persons that use walkers or wheel chairs; or even starting to have difficulty in walking, could enter without difficulty. Prior to the pews being placed back into the church they were shortened by a few inches so as to make a wider isle for all to enter, and the front pew on each side was shortened by ½ so that there is now room for walkers, wheel chairs, or other mobility assist equipment to be used when needed.
2.) The second thing is that recently a black board has been added to the sanctuary so that scriptures can be written in large lettering so that all can see it and know what scriptures are going to be read, if they want to look it up and read along with the bible in the pew.
What we still need to do, or hope to do will depend on what the church identifies as needs they feel that they have, and what they identify as things they are willing and able to do. We do not have a health ministry team, we are a very small congregation, and to this date things only change when something impacts key people within the church. Our conference has recently started a health ministry team that I participate in. I bring information to the congregation, and plant “seeds” of information to see if anything takes. I am also taking a Health Minister Certification class and plant more seeds when I must do certain assessments as assignments. I enlist the help of people within the church that are seen as leaders by others to help them identify needs and changes that might be considered.
I really like that blackboard idea! Maybe something like that would work well in our sanctuary once it's been re-opened.
Nice to be prompted by ideas that do not involve huge construction changes! Thanks!
I understand what you mean about congregation size mattering and decisions being made as needed. One of the points on the charge I serve is located in a wildlife preserve, and for a long time, the native population has been moved away. Without a regular congregation, the church is largely supported by a big annual homecoming event and by small monthly vespers chapels. While the building and the bathrooms, though old-fashioned, are accessible, the space is rustic, antique and cramped. The grounds are rough and hard to navigate by walker, cane or wheelchair. If the building were re-purposed and we tried to sustain a regular congregation, modifications, especially outdoors, would be needed. However, as the building is only used on a limited basis, and expense is an issue, the building hasn't been updated yet. Accessibility has an intrinsic value, and ideally Mt. Zion would be easily accessible to everyone. At the moment, the few people who make these decisions (including me) are guided maybe by the more pragmatic question of Mt. Zion's future viability and existence as a church. Once this was determined, we would figure out how to build a sidewalk.
I like the idea of skid strips. We have both cement and wooden ramps.Both of these can be slick when wet.
We do need to add large print Bibles and should consider projection screens in the sanctuary.