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Special Needs Boy Removed From Church Service

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by ilovepaydays, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. ilovepaydays

    ilovepaydays Well-Known Member

    I thought about putting in the PI forum, and it may need to go there.

    Special Needs Boy Removed From Church Service

    I have wondered how often & willing churches would send children out for being too rowdy during a church service, but I never thought they should consider it for a disabled child.

    There were a number of things about this story that disturbed me, and not just from the standpoint of this family with the disabled child.

    1) Why does the front of the church look like a Target store? Oh, yeah, it is your typical megachurch.

    2) There is a story in the New Testament about a paralyzed man being lowered down from the roof by his friends while Jesus was preaching (Mark 2:1-12). Did Jesus send him away because he was a distraction? No, he healed him.

    3) So the mother offered to start a ministry at the church for the disabled and the church's answer was no and "The church focuses on worship, not ministry." Well, there is your main problem right there.

    4) "It is our goal at Elevation to offer a distraction-free environment for all our guests." People going to church are guests. Seriously?

    5) And what else would be a distraction? Singing off-key? Well, I guess I am not welcomed there, either.

    6) I think the mother gave up too quickly by being satisfied by being told that staff was going to receive training. I still would have gotten them the ADA complaint that I'm sure the staff training was a preemptive move against.

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  2. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    :( very sad.

    And I think ministry IS worship.
  3. Yehudi

    Yehudi Snarks about Volchkova with love

    Don't they have Crying rooms where the parents can here the sermon while making sure their kids aren't heard?
  4. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    Not in mega churches. In my previous evangelical life experience, children were expected to always be sent to children's activities or a nursery during services. And obviously, nothing was available for the disabled child.

    It's a fine line between keeping distractions down and not excluding children and families.

    The people who feed their children breakfast (cereal with milk) and read them stories out loud (not even whispering) at our masses, for example, need to be removed. My suggestion to them would be that they could feed the children and read the stories at home and then come to ten o'clock mass when it is all done instead of feeding them and reading stories in the pew at eight o'clock mass.
  5. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    The church needs an "attitude adjustment".
    They might start by reading that passage.
  6. taf2002

    taf2002 zexy demon

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  7. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    I find this attitude really disturbing, to call parishioners at a church "guests". They are not visitors to a hotel or a restaurant or a store, who are paying to purchase a product or a service. They are part of the church.
  8. RockTheTassel

    RockTheTassel Well-Known Member

    I think a lot of church members consider themselves to be "guests in God's house" or something of that sort.
  9. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    I agree with that perspective, but I still don't like the way the original statement is phrased. It doesn't sound like welcoming all guests to God's house, but more like a commercial customer service policy that is written to give the business an excuse to eject people from the premises.
  10. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Many "Mega-Churches" have adopted the trappings of "commercial establishments" to attract members.
  11. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

    Such a sad story. I continue to be dismayed at people treating the handicapped as a nuisance to be silenced, rather than someone that needs help and understanding.

    He's not a 'distraction', he's a 12 year old boy with cerebral palsy. :(
    milanessa and (deleted member) like this.
  12. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Many evangelical churches, mega- and otherwise, do have crying rooms now. My parents' church does. And both my church and my parents' church have special-needs ministries. I've never been to Elevation and don't know anything about them, so I don't know what they have available, but a lot of churches are stepping up to the plate in this area.
  13. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

    Isn't removing a child from church the exact opposite of abuse? (I still feel pain from those wooden benches...)

  14. Jayar

    Jayar Well-Known Member

    Well, I am one who thinks it's not fair to everyone else who is sitting there wanting to be part of the service. If a rowdy person-handicapped or not- interrupts my theater experience, I would ask to have them removed.
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  15. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    It seems to me a church experience and a theatre experience are very different things.
  16. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member


    Not all mega churches are like that. Mine has an area in front of the sanctuary where a crying baby could definitely be taken. There are TVs there, so the parent would be able to watch the services from there. We do have nursery and children's ministry as well.

    I think it's horrible that this church removed this child from the services. I know at my church we have several special needs children and adults. There are chairs marked off for them, because it would be easier to move a wheelchair in those areas. We also have Sunday school classes for special needs adults and children.
  17. Satellitegirl

    Satellitegirl New Member

    I consider this good for the kid. Save yourself while you can! :rofl:
    rfisher and (deleted member) like this.
  18. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

    I really hate when parents of infants and small children continue to sit there while their kids scream their heads off during the sermon. HOWEVER, we are talking about a 12-year old special needs child who really wasn't making that much noise. And even if this church has a crying room, should this young man be banished to the crying room indefinitely? Shame on this church for not stepping to the plate to help a 12-year-old boy get the experience that its other parishioners get!
    Heh.... Betcha a lot of their focus goes on those little plates that get passed around the sanctuary! :rolleyes: Sorry, not a fan of many of these megachurches.....
  19. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    Not with some mega-churches. Some of their services are very much like attending a performance of some sort. It's really not my cup of tea, but somehow it attracts thousands of people.

    Feeling sorry for this kid and his family and grateful to be in a very kid-friendly church that's sensible about kid noise--not too much, not too little. Parents usually "get it" when their kids are being too rowdy. From my experience with a CP kid very much like the one in the video, I think I'd be able to live with that distraction. Sometimes it's not about hearing every single word up there in the pulpit--sometimes it's about being a loving presence to those around you or being there for something new. It sounds to me like this might be a church that's for Sunday worship only (ie, no other ministries)??
  20. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Thank you!
    It's very important that the child and his parents feel "included"/accepted in their church,
    Not being able to "participate" in corporate worship with the congregation sends the opposite message.
  21. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

    First, let me say I don't attend church regularly, but always enjoy the experience when I do -- regardless of the type of service or religion.

    I was raised Catholic, though definitely not strict, as my family did not attend church regularly. Our church had a crying room. Like LilJen's description, most parents/families knew when to take the child to the crying room. This church was NOT a mega-church, by any means.

    Tolerance is a good lesson.

    That means tolerance for children, special needs children and adults, the handicapped, and anyone and anything else, including so-called Mega-churches that choose to practice religion in a way that others may not agree with.

    I hope this family finds a parish that accepts their child and where they feel welcome.

  22. Allen

    Allen Glad to be back!

    You know, this makes me incredibly sad. You would think that this would be the one place where the kid would be embraced. Is the message of Christ not to love and embrace everyone? This is a special needs child and he gets thrown out of church for making noise...wow, no wonder so many people do not want to go to church these days.

    When I was in middle school and high school, there was a girl with cerebral palsy in the choir with us. She came on the stage for every performance and while some people might think she detracted for the singing, it never occurred to me to say she shouldn't be there.
  23. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    My former pastor used to say in his eyes, the primary focus of ministry had to be children. So when he did church planting, he always started by offering Sunday school instead of traditional worship services. Down the road he would add in worship, and he would tell adults they were welcome to attend as long as they didn't distract the children :saint:.
  24. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

    I think rowdy at a theater is a bit different than someone born handicapped at Easter mass.

    :) I'll bet those memories are highlights for her and her family. My sister's favorite hs times were spent with her special ed classmates. I've posted a few times before that my sister is mentally handicapped. I grew up watching people mock her to her face and be mean to her - adults were just as bad as students. For her high school graduation, a group of parents decided they didn't want 'the stupid retards' up on stage with their precious 'normal' children. I'll never forget my dad's reaction when he heard that one.

    So, my skin is a little thinner than other people's when it comes to stories like this. Knowing this child was removed from a church service is just appalling to me. And we can call it what we want, ask that people be removed from our perfect world, or edit our posts with a 'nevermind', but in the end, I guess Elevation needs to practice what they should be preaching?
  25. Jayar

    Jayar Well-Known Member

    Naw. It's all about make believe. Same thing in my eyes. :p
  26. Rafter

    Rafter Well-Known Member


    It's all very bizarre. Then again, I find religion bizarre.

    As for mega-churches, I think a lot of them are scams.
  27. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member


    Aren't both based on works of fiction? :yikes: :scream:
  28. taf2002

    taf2002 zexy demon

    Since I was the one who put "nevermind" I will respond to you. I edited my post because I was pretty sure that the PR police would deliberately misunderstand my post. It's the same reason why I don't post in PI.

    Let me preface by saying that I used to be a caseworker with Child Welfare & my entire caseload was children with either Down's Syndrome or CP or other physical &/or mental limitations. These are children whose families rejected them because they weren't perfect. But these children were not clones of each other. Each child was different. Some could have sat in a church service & have gotten something out of it. Others were too severly retarded mentally to even understand where they were or why they needed to be quiet.

    None of us know anything about this child or how disruptive he was being or how cognitive he is. Several people have made the assumption that "he wasn't being that loud". How do you know? Maybe he was having a screaming fit. The article only gives the mother's side of the story. What makes anyone think that church leaders would just without sufficient reason eject the child? People have even speculated that they were just in it for the money, which is pretty insulting to a church none of us know anything about.

    I have been in church where a baby cried for awhile & the parents just sat there & a deacon would come along & ask the mother to take the child out. Why is that ok if a child is "normal" but not ok if the child has special needs? Maybe they were treating him like they would have treated any other child.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  29. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    Taf, what do you think about the church refusing to allow the mother to organize a separate ministry for the disabled?

    I'm also curious why you think if the child were severely cognitively disabled, he necessarily wouldn't get anything out of it. Isn't the feeling, however vague it may be, of being in the midst of fellowship enough? Just because one may or may not understand the words sung or spoken doesn't mean one may not enjoy simply being part of a larger body, no? So many people I know don't sing along and tune out during the sermon, but somehow the service is still meaningful for them.
  30. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    If this church can't deal with interruptions and disruptions, then they really can't deal with God, because life with God is full of both IME.