FRIENDSHIP UNLIMITED MINISTRIES:
A ministry for, to and by the Able-Disabled
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10
Our mission is to love and train our friends with disabilities in the truth of the Gospel and to equip them for ministry. We desire to instill sound teaching and godly competence so that they might share God’s love and power with each other, the body of Christ and the lost.
As missionaries to the disability community, we seek to serve these individuals and their families by sharing God’s love and encouragement in an effort to lift them out of spiritual poverty.
Hear Cathy tell her testimony of how the Friendship Unlimited Ministry helped change her life:
In 1995, Laura Knapp, who has cerebral palsy, and is wheelchair bound, cried out to God, “What about me? Why can’t I do ministry like others in the church?” Dave Morsch, whose heart was touched, heard her plea. So, in 1997, Dave, along with Roberta Lowenthal, founded the Friendship Unlimited Ministry.
Building upon the existing special education Sunday school program since 1989, the ministry has expanded to encompass many areas: Sunday School, Group Home Outreach, Special Touch Ministry, Opened Doors of Opportunity, and Special Events
We’re looking out for you:
- Wheelchair accessibility
- Family bathroom
- Large-print song sheets and bulletin
Adult Special Education Sunday School
Classes meet from 11:00-12:30pm.
We teach biblically based values and life application principles.
- Adult class
- Mainstreaming option available
Group Home Outreach (LIFE groups)
The Friendship Unlimited Ministry for special needs adults is a unique part of Island Christian Church’s LIFE Group Program. A LIFE group is an extension of church. It consists of a small group of like-minded people meeting in group homes once a month on an ongoing basis. These meetings provide an intimate setting for the following activities:
- Worship music (we bring a CD player and Christian CD’s)
- Refreshments (we appreciate a small snack with beverage)
- Bible instruction/life application (we teach biblical values for daily living)
- Fellowshipping (we foster close friendships)
- Sharing time (we learn about each other)
- Prayer time (praying for one another)
In this setting, we seek to grow in relationship with one another and God.
Special Touch Ministry
A visitation ministry to hospitals, nursing homes and shut-ins.
Opened Doors Of Opportunity
Through its years of ministry to the disability community, Friendship Unlimited has looked to God’s leading. He has provided many opened doors of opportunity, and we are eager to participate in all God has to offer. God’s opened doors has given Friendship Unlimited the opportunity to operate by doing ministry
- to the Lord (prayer and worship)
- to one another (the Body of Christ)
- to the world (outreach)
so we can train, equip and minister to our special friends in meaningful and affirming ways. This includes a weekly special ed. Sunday school class, weekly small group meetings (in group homes) and at occasional large “Operation HUG” social events. These “HUG” events have introduced us to many new special friends and typical volunteers. We are believing God’s opened door of opportunity is here saying “press on, here is a new and exciting doorway to enter.” This ministry has the potential to accommodate as many participants and volunteers as God would have us welcome. This ministry is a Friendship Unlimited clubhouse named “SIDE-by-SIDE.” It brings together small groups of like-minded people; both special needs participants and typical volunteers, once a month in selected locations, to give glory to God.
Disability Awareness Weekend
An annual event seeking to give people a greater awareness and understanding of those living with disabling conditions.
Operation HUG (His Unlimited Grace)
A fun-filled Saturday socialization and recreation event through the arts, including music, art, games, and more! This is a unique opportunity for people with special needs, ages 16 and up. We also welcome parents, siblings, caregivers, and friends.
For more information on this ministry or on our other Friendship Unlimited offerings, please call the church office at (631) 822-3000 between 9 a.m. -5 p.m., Tuesday-Friday.
Disability BeatitudesBlessed are you who take the time to listen to difficult speech,
for you help me to know that if I persevere, I can be understood.
Blessed are you who never bid me to hurry up, or do my tasks for me,
for often I need time rather than help.
Blessed are you who stand beside me as I enter new and untried ventures,
for my failures will be outweighed by the times I surprise you and myself.
Blessed are you who ask for my help,
for my greatest need is to be needed.
Blessed are you who understand that it is difficult for me to put my thoughts into words.
Blessed are you who encourage me with a smile to try once more.
Blessed are you who never remind me that I have asked the same question twice.
Blessed are you who respect me and love me just as I am, and not as you wish I were.
– Joni Eareckson Tada