Families with children that have learning challenges and behavioral issues are not only "welcome" at St. Gabriel's, they are one in the body of Christ; this is an cherished component of our identity of inclusion.
Children with special needs attend Sunday School for their lifelong Christian formation and are invited to participate in the liturgical ministries of the congregation including greeting, reading, and serving at the altar as acolytes. Everyone at St. Gabriel's is encouraged and invited to learn, grow, and serve the needs of other people through our congregational outreach and service.
When a person with learning disabilities has a "moment" during one of our worship services, the members of St. Gabriel's will NOT look over their shoulder and glare at them; on the contrary, we strive to embrace, love, and support that person and their family members.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! iCAN BIKE CAMP - June 26-30, 2017, Tuscarora High school
The Arc of Loudoun and Paxton Campus in Leesburg, VA are offering a bicycle camp for 75 minutes/day on the week of June 26th. This camp is for children with disabilities and Paxton seeks volunteers (ages 16 to adults) to help bring joy to a new friend!
Dates/times available for volunteers:
Monday 6/25 - 8:30 - 9:45 a.m.
Tuesday 6/26 - 10:05 - 11:20 a.m.
Wednesday 6/27 - 11:40 - 12:55 a.m.
Thursday 6/28 - 2:00 - 3:15 p.m.
Friday 6/29 - 3:35 - 4:50 p.m.
Join Fr. Daniel help a child learn to ride a two-wheel bicycle independently. Participants will work with volunteers for about 75 minutes every day for 5 days on a specialized bicycle designed to teach balance. Contact Tammy Goddard for more information and to register to volunteer. email@example.com.
The volunteer orientation will take place on Sunday, June 25 at Tuscarora High School in Leesburg. No prior experience working with persons with disabilities is necessary.
Saint Gabriel´s in the news: Parishioner helped provide permanent housing for two people with disabilities.
Saint Gabrielite, Parker Gallagher, identified and coordinated mobile home move to Leesburg for Linda Huffman and her son Phillip Coe, both with disabilities. They will now be able to live independently and stay together. Read the Loudoun Now news article here.
Worshipers with Disabilities Search for Acceptance
Few are the churches that would say you are not welcome as God made you, but how do the members of that church put those words into practice? We aim to be the church that integrates the child and families and that provides a safe, comfortable environment even if a child on the autism spectrum has a moment during the sermon or other part of our service. At St. Gabriel's we continue to develop our culture of inclusivity and acceptance; yes, developing because a culture is not statically developed, it takes time, love, patience, compassion, consistency, persistence, tenacity...it is spiritual work. Please read this article from the perspective of a worshiper with disabilities and please help St. Gabriel's develop it's culture of inclusivity.