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Posts Tagged ‘Bethesda’

Note to Northland

Here is a note, I sent to the Northland staff this morning regarding my upcoming transition. God has used Northland and it’s people to shape me over the years…today, I am excited about the next steps in my life!
The last several months here at Northland have been eventful for many of us. When the ELT and elders began to talk about the up coming changes at Northland, I began personally began to ask God, where do I fit into the plan here at Northland. Access Ministries has a foundation, but there is so much more to be accomplished to serve those with disabilities. I began to realize my call to ministry was not to Northland like many of you, but rather to a people group, those living disability. My desire began to grow to reach beyond the doors of Northland.

So In October when the news came, Northland no longer needed me as Access Minister, I was not surprised God had already been working in my heart about reaching other churches. Like many people was concerned about how I would pay the bills. My desire for along time was to consult with other churches and help them to figure out how to serve one person or family with disability at a time, but the Question was, how would I get paid doing what I felt God was calling me toward. Would I get serious about developing Table Ministries, a business I set up to do consulting a few years earlier but I had no peace about moving in that direction.

God was way ahead of me, of course. Over the years, I have connected with many people and organizations throughout the United States doing faith and disability work, including Bethesda Lutheran Communities. Bethesda’s mission is to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They work with adults primarily, which is my first love in this community. I have been hired as a Ministry Consultant. It is in many ways the perfect position in that over the past it has been Bethesda philosophy to take care of the spiritual needs of the people they are serving, taking the responsibility of off the local church. They are shifting toward a model that I fully embrace, that of people truly being enfolded into the life of a local congregation. My position will consult with congregations and help people with disabilities become part of the congregation and to equip staff who support these individuals in their group homes to feed folks spiritually. God has created a passion in me for both of these areas and as I write, I am excited about what is next…

Next, is a move to the suburbs of Chicago…where this position will allow me to pour into 160 residents, living in group homes in the suburbs and Springfield and to work with a many new churches. Leaving Central Florida and Northland seems difficult. Northland has embraced, loved and supported me in many different ways in the past fifteen years. I walked through though the doors a very disconnected person, with no desire to be connected to anyone, found connection by accident in Singles Ministry, found purpose through Global Outreach, especially as a Missionary Living in England, where I realized the people group I am called to are those with disabilities. Wherever I go, a huge piece of Northland and her people will go with me….and I know now what it is to feel connected. Thank you to each of you who played such an important part of this journey…you helped me to grow into a person who is passionate about God and his people…words will never express my gratitude.

As we all embark on this new season, I will be praying for each of you!
Merry Christmas!
Laura Lee

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