When the world seems messed up, you may feel we need a superhero to make things better. And ‘superheroes’ are exactly what ALWS representative Julie Krause found when she visited the Anglican Church of the Holy Redeemer at Ingle Farm in suburban Adelaide.
Each month the church holds an ecumenical service – known as Shout for Joy – created for people living with intellectual disability or integration difficulty. Each service provides fun, food and joy while teaching about God, praying for the needs of others, and singing at full volume! And each year the church community helps others through ALWS Gifts of Grace – with members raising $220 this time.
When COVID restrictions cancelled the Shout for Joy Christmas program late last year, Shout for Joy coordinator Bev Corner invited ALWS to share about Gifts of Grace at a future service. Congregation members especially like giving animals through Gifts of Grace, so Julie had lots of animal stories to share – and toy stuffed animals to hold – including 2020’s Gifts of Grace Super-Pig!
Of course, people want to know how a Gifts of Grace pig can be a Super-Pig … and the answer is a long tale – or rather, what comes out from under a pig’s tail! That is, manure … which makes organic fertiliser … which makes vegetable plants produce more, better-quality vegies … which makes children healthier … and makes more money at the market, which supports children at school. Manure can also be converted into methane gas to power home stoves and lights!
To match these Super-Pig superpowers, Julie took along a superhero outfit. This gave her the chance to explain that you don’t have to have superpowers to change someone’s life – you simply have to care and be kind. And when you do, you really are a superhero!
Besides ALWS Gifts of Grace, there are other Lutheran connections with Shout for Joy. A Lutheran couple, Colin and Yvonne Zschech, were foundation members when Shout for Joy started nearly 30 years ago. Shout for Joy services have been held at Strathalbyn Lutheran Church. And some of the current congregation benefit from the support of Lutheran Disability Services.
Julie Krause wanted to shout for joy after meeting this special community and showing them what a blessing they were for others: ‘Our ALWS work in countries like Nepal, Burundi and South Sudan has a special focus on people living with a disability – people at risk of being forgotten and shut out from the community.
‘So, it was wonderful to be at Shout for Joy and see barriers being pulled down so people could worship in a way meaningful to them. This is a gift of grace in more ways than one!’
Jonathan Krause is ALWS Community Action Manager.
Why not give your loved ones Gifts of Grace and bring love to life for people the world has forgotten? Order them online at www.alws.org.au/gifts-of-grace or by phone on 1300 763 407.
For more information about Shout for Joy, email firstname.lastname@example.org