2018 Newsmakers: Andrea Roseman
When Andrea Roseman began substitute teaching for a Sunday school class for people with special needs at Lynwood Baptist Church five and a half years ago, she never dreamed she would found Access Ministry, a ministry that provides community and Bible teaching to people with disabilities.
But one step at a time, Roseman says God has built the ministry. It has grown to include 17 members ranging in age from 16 to 39 and also connects their families, caregivers and the other members of the church with each other and with resources in the region.
“It’s a family,” Roseman says.
Access Ministry is a response to Roseman’s concern that families with children who have disabilities sometimes quit going to church when their children reach adulthood, or that the young adults themselves quit attending church because there are no ministries for them. Access Ministry ensures this doesn’t happen.
Each Sunday, the group worships with the church for a half an hour before going to their own class. Classes include fellowship, prayer, singing and memorizing Scripture, as well as developmentally appropriate teaching about a story from the Bible, using visual aids and hands-on application. Each month the group also celebrates birthdays, does a craft or hears from a speaker who has been on a mission trip.
Outside of Sunday worship and class, the ministry hosts multiple events such as family breakfasts, bowling parties and movie days. This summer marked Access Ministry’s first day camp complete with drama, singing and dancing. Roseman, with the help of other volunteers, also created and hosts a quarterly event of games and crafts for people with disabilities, their families and caregivers, which she credits as a catalyst for getting the word out to new people.
Roseman says Access Ministry is the only program like it in the area, and cites a volunteer shortage at many churches as the reason why there aren’t more programs like Access. She says the members of Lynwood have embraced the ministry, and many people of all ages volunteer at the classes and outside events.
“Everyone has a place,” Roseman says. “Every person that was born was created with a purpose. At every event I say, ‘When you leave here today, we want you to know you have a purpose, God loves you and this church loves you.’ That’s the ‘why.’”