"The Bridge - Connecting Families to the Church"
What is The Bridge? The Bridge is the Special Needs Ministry at Grace Fellowship UMC for children, teens, and young adults. Participants in The Bridge learn about God in a nurturing and safe environment.
Currently over 65 individuals ages 2 through 31 years of age are served through this special needs ministry.
Sunday Morning: Our Sunday morning program provides care during the 8:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. morning services. Each of our participants are partnered with a Bridge Buddy that shadows them during the service. The Bridge classes are held in the Children's Education Building and the Epicentre Building.
Respite Nights: In addition to Sunday morning, regular respite nights are offered for our members and regular attenders.
Family Support: In addition to caring for the special needs individual, we support families through two small groups for parents raising children/teens/young adults with special needs.
- Bridge Dads meet in the evening from 5 - 7 every Sunday
- Bridge Moms meet in the morning on the first and third Thursdays of each month
Our Intake Process: Prior to attending Sunday morning, we ask that parents contact the Children's Pastor, Christina Davis, to receive an intake packet and other information about our ministry. These documents help us gather important information about your loved one so that we can better understand their needs and find the right Bridge Buddy for them. All intake forms must be completed and turned in prior to attending on Sunday morning. Part of our intake paperwork includes a Medical Release form which must be notarized. On occasion, there may be a short waiting period involved before you can attend on a Sunday morning depending on whether or not a Bridge Buddy is available. Contact with the Children's Pastor for a tour of The Bridge prior to attending is highly encouraged.
Bridge Eligibility: In order to provide the best environment for each individual to grow in their faith, every prospective Bridge participant must meet the following criteria. With this in mind, a case by case decision will be made based on a participant’s medical, emotional, and behavioral needs.
The criteria is as follows:
- Able to function with a one-on-one Bridge Buddy volunteer
- Does not require isolation from the rest of population at The Bridge
- Must not be aggressive or pose a threat to themselves, or others; or have such severe medical/emotional needs which require specialized care. (*)