Members from several churches across Gulf States Conference came together on November 2, 2019, in Meridian, Miss., for the first- ever Possibilities Ministry Sabbath. The event was sponsored by the Conference, and hosted at the Meridian Community Church. Larry Evans, assistant to the General Conference president for special needs, was the keynote presenter, and noted that this was one of the first events of this type in the North American Division. Evans, along with George Hamilton, Gulf States disability ministries coordinator, and Rosemary Graham, South Atlantic disabilities director, presented on various aspects of disabilities and how they can be accommodated. Challenges such as hearing or mobility impairment could be better addressed in many local churches, allowing more people to participate in church services.
During his opening presentation, Evans shared a world mission report where individuals were able to baptize thousands by merely presenting their messages in sign language to those with hearing impairment. Offering ways to transport or visit those who are shut in has also been quite successful in world mission. Evans shared that these success stories don’t need to be limited to world mission; they could lead to success locally as well.
Following the worship service and provided lunch, Reid Soria, vocalist for Autism Sings, presented a spiritual concert. Soria sang numerous songs to background tracks, speaking between each song to present the next one. Soria’s mother, Jo Ann Soria, shared about the challenges of raising a child on the autism spectrum, but also the joy she experiences in the numerous ways that Soria has overcome all odds. Soria’s father, “Chief,” also travels with them on their performance tours.
The overall message of the event is that despite there being challenges, they can be overcome, and the Adventist Church is a great place to make that happen. Learn more about this event and the possibilities that disabilities provide at www.gscsda.org/possibility.
Gulf States | January 2020