Today my church celebrated our monthly Super Saturday. It's a ministry for special needs adults that we've been privileged to host at Trinity on the Hill for over 30 years. Our friends love this event because they have so few social opportunities. We've grown old together over the years. In our safe space we see old friends & make new friends. We sing, we dance, we make a LOT of noise, and there is always a LOT of movement. But it's all good because we are family and understand we are who we are, and everyone is accepted in our fun couple of hours. The crew loves dances, is excited to have Elvis visit a couple of times a year, and there is nothing better than eating a great lunch provided by a church Sunday School class or choir.
We'd fallen into a comfortable routine of offering certain programs over the years & thought we had it down to a science. You know, not everyone can sing or do magic in a room of 225 special needs adults! So, we'd filtered through those who could and those who couldn't play such a venue. A few months back I noticed one of the caregivers had set her purse down so she could load up her Super Saturday friends in their van. Many of our crowd are in wheelchairs, or use some help to walk, so quite a few of the groups have vans or minibuses that are especially equipped. It isn't a quick process to load up & it's easy to get distracted if you're transporting 5-6 people. As I got her purse back to her she was bragging on us for doing this ministry, and we were bragging on her and everyone in the group that we think of as family. Then something in the conversation led me to ask her what other activities we might do that no one else offers. She though for a moment and got us into conversation that these sorts of friends NEVER get to go to a public movie theater. They make too much noise, move around a lot, need to use the bathroom a few times during a movie, need something to drink, etc, etc.
Why hadn't we thought of that!
So, today we set up the laptop, got out the projector, and set up the big screen and tied into the speaker system in our fellowship hall dining room. Some of the challenge was to find a great movie that would fit into a 1 hour or 90 minute time slot. Don't forget we've got to eat, and it takes almost 30 minutes to get this large group with some needs their food and to their seats. Our faithful leader, Jim & his wife Candy, determined the newer Alvin and the Chipmunks movie would be a great first attempt. And they were right!
We had a wonderful time today. The applause was as if we'd staged a premiere movie. The gratitude was heartfelt & with these friends becomes a handshake, many hugs and high fives.
What a joy to meet simple needs, listen and learn, and hang out with folk who are often overlooked yet have so much to offer.