Facilitating relationships and connections between individuals and faith communities in Western Massachusetts.
“Full acceptance of persons with disabilities within the life, witness and service of [faith communities] is a requirement for the wholeness of the family of God” – GACC, 1979
Interfaith Connections is a group of concerned clergy, self-advocates, and individuals who are committed to the integration of persons with developmental disabilities in local faith communities.
There are many people living in Western Massachusetts who now enjoy being a part of various congregations. However, because of difficult life circumstances, some individuals have few meaningful relationships and may not experience fellowship with others in their community.
Like all of us, these individuals share a common need for acceptance, belonging and faith sharing, and would love to have the opportunity to join a congregation. Belonging to a faith community is an excellent way to establish connections and friendships.
How does one get introduced and connected with a place of worship when unfamiliar with anyone in the congregation?
How does one overcome the awkwardness we all have when jumping into new situations?
Interfaith Connections has committed to assisting any individual interested in attending a faith community of their choice.
We are also committed to supporting any local religious group that would like to reach out and invite a person with developmental disabilities into their community.
Interfaith Connections’ members are available to meet with congregations for a formal presentation or just to discuss various ways faith communities can facilitate connections with individuals with developmental disabilities.
Interfaith Connections can assist human service agencies with particular issues around making connections with faith communities. This can include a general discussion of how staff can support individuals who would like to join a congregation; some staff “how to’s;” and technical support around specific individuals who are looking for or could benefit from membership in a faith community.