The show mentioned below ("One Step Back") was last night. It was BEAUTIFUL to watch all that uninhibited passion and excitement both for the youth/young adults performing and the adults and siblings and others in the audience. Some of these parents have never had the "normal" experience of watching their child on stage, waving at them in the middle of a song or shouting out during a break in song - - and we celebrated the 20th birthday of one of the performers during the show. It must have been a long wait for many of these families to experience this. It was a fantastic event.
I was SO PROUD of how many from our congregation turned out for the musical. I'd guess that we were easily 1/3 of the audience, and we have just one family with a youth with a disability who was performing. A couple of congregation members have volunteered in this organization in the past, but for the most part our partnership has just been in space sharing. I think I hear God calling us to more, and I hope we will move toward discerning that in the future. Last night may have been a first step. It was wonderful to see so many experiencing this musical.
Sometimes we able-bodied grown-ups and families are intimidated by people in wheelchairs, or those who talk different, or move different, or express themselves loudly, or look different, or are silent, or who just have developed the same way we have. Seeing this performance was a great non-threatening way to be introduced to the community. I can't wait for more!