Because God …
Does God have anything to say to people on the Autism Spectrum?
Is God relevant to all of creation? Are there some people who are excluded from the body of Christ?
Is worship for some or all?
These are the questions that have inspired Rev. Seli, Rev. Dioniso and Dr. Rubinoff to create a service for people on the Autism Spectrum and their friends. God has something to say, something to offer all people, and we hope that we have created a service that engages the needs and gifts of those on the Autism Spectrum.
In the service, we eliminate distraction and disruption; loud noises and dramatic surprises. The space is open and small clusters are created with tables, allowing people to be together and yet assured of personal space. We use hand-held tactile props for storytelling, inviting the participants to engage in the story personally as they chose to be involved.
Throughout the service, we use aspects of “Godly Play” in story-telling and engagement as well as eurhythmics for physical response and processing. We take breaks as required by the participants and allow people to react and process as they choose. There is no “aberrant” behaviour.
The format is simple: we have an opening song that gathers us in; a story from scripture is shared; we respond with music and movement, some using their whole body, others moving from their seats; we pray together and offer a second song related to the day’s theme; and conclude. What would likely be 20 minutes of content in a typical Sunday Morning service at Jubilee takes 40 minutes as we provide time to break and process, respond and engage. Sometimes, gifts of music or dance are offered by the participants and the service can last closer to an hour, but we work hard at maintaining the routine of 50 minutes.
We share this service once a month and would be very happy to include you and your friends in worship.
If you would like more information, please do NOT hesitate to speak with:
Rev. Anne Dioniso (firstname.lastname@example.org) (416)447-6846 x104
Rev. Norm Seli (email@example.com) (416)447-6846 x103