God's Presence is Undeniable

By Shannon Pugh
In eLetter, IBC Stories
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 Hi, I'm SHANNON PUGH, the Director of Arise Special Needs Ministry. Christian comedian Tim Hawkins has proposed that there are a variety of hand & arm positions that you’ll see during worship services across the country on a Sunday morning.

I won’t go through them all, but they include “Carry the TV", “Fish Was This Big”, and “Release the Doves.” For me, I tend to feel a little uncomfortable raising my hands while Jason, Crystal, and the choir usher us to Jesus each Sunday.

The Holy Spirit may move me to take on a physical posture of praise, but sometimes I ignore that prompt because I’m too self-conscious.

What if the people behind me think I’m being overzealous or showing off? What if I stand out?

That self-conscious, insecure constraint is not an issue for a group that meets at IBC each Thursday night. In fact, if you come within about 500 feet of West C on a Thursday night between 6:45-7 p.m., you will hear what can only be described as a joyful noise. That’s because our Arise Bible Study for Adults with Special Needs starts off each gathering with boisterous and unfettered worship! There is dancing, clapping, cheering, and even some howling. Some may see that as irreverent, but you can’t deny the presence of God in that room. It is tangible, and I believe that all of heaven is dancing and cheering right along with us!

Recently, we had an Arise Ministry special worship night. This was the first time we’d had an event like this, and a local music therapist led a group of teens and adults with special needs through songs, stories, and interactive activities centered around water representing the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. It doesn't take a special skill or calling to experience the love in the room on nights like these. It just requires a heart to serve God's Kingdom. Consider serving with Arise, we have weekly serving opportunities like serving at Bible study and once a month opportunities like serving at special events such as Respite or Victory Flows.

Victory Flows Fun & Freedom Event Volunteers needed September 28
The Fun & Freedom event is a special day of fun and rest for individuals with special needs, their caregivers, and siblings. However, this unique event can't happen without volunteers. It is a great opportunity to serve for you, your family, or your group.


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