Holy Spirit, Come to Us

Worshippers praise at a Rejoicing Spirits worship service in Michigan.

It is a moment of transcendence, punctuated with word and song, as one after another, people volunteer a prayer. Some are profoundly personal, perhaps highlighting an individual struggle or loss. Others show an awareness of the larger world and an understanding that humanity needs God’s help.

At this time set apart for intercessions during the Rejoicing Spirits worship at First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Michigan, anyone in the congregation can voice a prayer. Two ministers move quickly around the space with microphones so people can be heard, their prayer followed with a sung, “Holy Spirit, come to us.”

Active participation is an important part of Rejoicing Spirits worship, a ministry offered by Mosaic. Rejoicing Spirits provides a worship and fellowship model in which people with disabilities are encouraged to participate in every way they can. The primary rule is ‘no shush’; no one is told to be quiet or sit still – people can simply be themselves with spontaneity and ease.

The congregation at First Presbyterian has been offering Rejoicing Spirits services for more than a decade. It is clear people with disabilities have a welcome home in this church and the church embraces and celebrates them. 

At First Presbyterian, the service includes many activities in which people with disabilities can participate. There is a procession, reading of the word, a drama to teach the lesson, intercessions, singing (and more singing). The worship has a feel of organized chaos, permeated by joy, orchestrated by pastors and ministers whose passion for this ministry is evident.

Rejoicing Spirits changes churches for the good, according to the Rev. David deFreese, Mosaic’s Vice President of Church Relations. It can bring healing and growth, bringing new life to the congregation.  Rev. deFreese coaches and advises congregations interested in adding Rejoicing Spirits as a part of their worship schedule.

It might be the right thing for your church. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Mosaic at info@rejoicingspirits.org.

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