By Sharon Mager

Sylvia “Sib” Charles, Pennsylvania area director for church relations for Joni and Friends will provide “Buddy Training” as a follow up to the church’s Special Needs Awareness Sunday.

PASADENA, Md.—Grace Baptist Church of Sunset Beach in Pasadena will host a “Special Needs Awareness Sunday” on Feb. 12. The morning worship service will be dedicated to raising awareness among the church family and guests about special needs and how to more effectively minister to those impacted by disabilities.

“Unless someone has a family member or close friend who has a disability, he or she is likely unaware of the many challenges faced by these families in simply finding a church that is ready and willing to accept them. Observing who God has been sending our way, I believe that we already have this ministry, and need to embrace and grow into it,” Pastor Gordon Fox said.

The worship time will include participation by individuals with disabilities, targeted preaching and testimonies regarding the challenges faced by family members of those with special needs.

“We need more experience and training in handling special needs, and this is the first step. My vision is that Grace Baptist Church will be known as a safe-haven for folks who have special needs,” Fox said.

The church will follow up with “Buddy” training from 10 am to noon on February 25. “Buddies” are people trained to assist members and guests with special needs during church activities,” Fox explained.

Sylvia “Sib” Charles, Pennsylvania area director for church relations for Joni and Friends will provide the training.

Churches that would like to participate in the training may call the church office for more information, 410-255-5616.