Care and Support Ministry Brings Bible Study, Worship to People with Disabilities
Pohl, Laura Zahn, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Laura Zahn Pohl Daily Herald Correspondent
At area homes for people with developmental disabilities, residents may not have access to church worship activities or a staff chaplain.
That's a void now filled by a local ministry called Voice of Care, which brings in pastoral and musical support for spiritual care, worship and Bible study.
The West Chicago-based organization was formally launched in 2003, but has been a ministry of the Northern Illinois District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod since 1976.
"There's such a need for this ministry," said the Rev. Mark Bussert, director of development. "And it's not about coercion - we hold the services in a common room where people can attend voluntarily."
The weekly visits to nine sites reach anywhere from 300 to 500 people, the size of a church congregation, Bussert added.
Residents of the homes enjoy the guitar music of the Rev. Don Kretzschmar, the organization's founder, and flute music by Deaconess Jana Knight.
The weekly programs usually include puppets, visuals and simple Bible studies. The organization is always in need of more volunteers, Bussert said, and training is available to church workers who would be willing to serve in those settings.
The ministry visits secular residential facilities, including the Ray Graham Association in Villa Park and Addison, Marklund Children's Home in Bloomingdale and the Marklund Center in Geneva. …