Grace Tucker, Pastoral Leader at Ruardean Hill Baptist Church in the Forest of Dean, followed our feature about work with people with Learning Disabilities with this lovely Christmas story:
We are a small rural fellowship with just seven members but have a big heart to know and make known the love of Jesus in our community. During this year we have developed relationship with two local residential disability homes. One of the church members has been visiting the homes and conversation developed around the possibility of their coming to the chapel for a special Christmas celebration.
In September we started a JAM club for 9 – 13 year olds and so we asked if they would like to help. They would! Their task was to help simply tell the nativity story, dress up, help with the singing and hand round the mince pies afterwards – this they did admirably!
Musical instruments were handed around, everyone was relaxed and joined in the fun.
Just before we served the mince pies we ran an impromptu nativity story that we had shared earlier in the week with our Toddler Group – guests were given a sheep, a camel, baby Jesus, the three gifts etc., to bring to the front and place by the crib at the required time. This time the story was interspersed with Mary had a baby, twinkle twinkle little star and bar bar black sheep. There was much fun and laughter and everyone wanted their picture taken!!
Some of the more able residents learnt that we were holding our Christingle service on Sunday and a ‘make your own Christmas Wreath’ the following Thursday – they’ve asked if they can come back!
I am sure we’ve started on a journey with these most beautiful of people – we are asking God that he will continue to use us, small as we are, to touch their lives and the lives of their carers.