Navigating the Storms

Thriving in the Midst of Invisible Disabilities

Churches Help

Geese , colorsChurches help people. That’s part of their mission. The church is commanded to love. One way to show love is to help people in need. Through the years, churches can and have assisted people with ongoing physical challenges. They have been like the geese, making it easier for the hurt geese to keep flying.

We list here some actions that churches have already taken.

This page is one that will grow only if you will participate by letting me know through the contact form about churches that have helped in this area.

Fragrance Free Zones

For those invisibly disabled by severe allergies to fragrances

What’s below was copied from a flyer I saw at a Church I visited:

FRAGRANCE FREE ZONE

Calvary Chapel Eastside, Bellevue WA

Calvary Chapel Eastside, Bellevue WA

Calvary Chapel Eastside [Bellevue, WA] is excited to announce the opening of our Fragrance Free Zone on Sunday, November 1st [2015]! The Fragrance Free Zone is designed for those suffering from chemical sensitivities and/or other related health conditions such as asthma, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Parkinson’s, allergies, Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.

The furniture and items in the Fragrance Free Zone have been allowed to off-gas for approximately 6 months to 1 full year.

Please review the guidelines on the reverse and invite your chemically sensitive friends to join us for services.

In order to make the Fragrance Free Zone a safe environment for all in attendance, we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Please refrain from using perfume and cologne
  • Please refrain from using scented hairspray, lotion, deodorant, and other personal care products
  • Please refrain from using scented laundry products including scented laundry detergent, scented dryer sheets, etc.
  • Please wear clothing that doesn't have any cigarette smoke or mold residue on it.

Thank you so much and we look forward to having you join us!

Smaller Church Version: Fragrance Free

Spotted on the bulletin of Calvary Community Church, Camas, WA:Calvary Community Church, Camas, WA

“As a courtesy to others,, please refrain from wearing perfume to church.”

Housework for Pastor's Wife

The Ladies Help Out

Ione Baptist Churches invisible disabilties

Ione Baptist Church, Ione, WA

For a few years while we were living in Ione, and Joe was pastor at Ione Baptist Church, WA, I was able to do very little housework. The Church felt their pastor needed to be able to use his time in ministering more than in cleaning house, so they organized some annual cleaning projects. A group of women came over and did all those ”spring cleaning” jobs: shampooing rugs, cleaning cabinets, washing walls. The list goes on and on. Joe and I were very grateful.On an ongoing basis, several of the ladies regularly came and cleaned for me. You did a good job on the spider webs, Cathy!

PS This project could apply to any family needing help.

Help Build A Bridge

Fruitful Today’s Build a Bridge project is about walking over the bridge with a grieving person, rather than standing back while they try to get over it alone. Ruth interviews chronically ill people about their participation in and feelings about their local churches. The interviews are worth a read just to understand how invisibly disabled people relate—or don’t—to churches. You’ll gain more understanding of their lives. And maybe you can encourage someone in your church.

Church Disability Survey

Did you realize attitudes are as important

     as architectural features to disabled people?

Are - or would they - feel welcomed to worship with you?

     You might be surprised at the answers.

     Hopefully, it will be a pleasant surprise.

Rest Ministries provides a downloadable pdf survey for you

     to review and evaluate your church’s accessibility

We know that churches have limited resources, both time and money. So, we applaud your church in helping in whatever it does - even it’s not with the invisibly disabled.