The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Open doors

People with disabilities find community at congregations that reach out to them

The tables decked out in checkered cloths are set. The candles are lit. As coffee brews, people hug each other in greeting, like long-lost cousins. A makeshift stage sports a large paper heart, and musicians perform Puff the Magic Dragon.

No, it's not a '60s love-in revival. It's the monthly Coffee House at Good Shepherd Lutheran, Raleigh, N.C., an evening-out for church and community members, including residents of a nearby Lutheran group home and other developmentally delayed adults.

"It's like a party, a party for God," says parishioner Nicole Barefoot, one of the group-home regulars.

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February issue


Embracing diversity