SOURCE: Pathways.org

Pathways.org

May 08, 2013 13:39 ET

Pathways.org Provides Updated, User-Friendly "Inclusion in Worship" Website

Offers Free, Easy-to-Access Resources to Help Include Worshippers of All Abilities in Their House of Faith

CHICAGO, IL --(Marketwired - May 08, 2013) - Pathways.org, a national non-profit organization, announces the relaunch of its Inclusion In Worship website. The new site is designed so users can navigate it easily and gain quick access to free resources for parents, educators and clergy to build inclusion of individuals of all abilities in worship activities.

Since 1996, the Pathways.org Inclusion In Worship ministry has worked with houses of worship to make worship, fellowship, religious education and facilities more accessible, inviting and inclusive for members of all abilities. The ministry provides educational materials, events, and cash grants so congregations of different faiths can create welcoming environments for individuals with physical, mental, and/or emotional differences. The Inclusion In Worship ministry is guided by the Inclusion In Worship Round Table -- an interfaith group of clergy and lay advisers.

"I hope that parents find the Inclusion In Worship materials as helpful as I did when I was requesting inclusion for my son at my house of faith," said Joanne Meyer, Inclusion In Worship program manager.

"I think website visitors will find the updated materials on the new website easy to use."

For parents, the Inclusion In Worship site provides resources to help build their children's involvement in their congregation. These include videos to inspire worshipping communities to address access and inclusion issues, materials geared toward planning a congregation's Inclusion Awareness Day, and information about the Pathways.org Open Hearts Awards to help a congregation fund access and inclusion projects. The site also shares a first-hand testimonial by a mother who struggles then triumphs to promote inclusion for her three sons in her family's house of worship.

For clergy, educators, and volunteers who work as Inclusion Representatives with their pastors to help all worshippers participate fully in religious life, the site has updated resources. These include how to start an Inclusion to Worship Ministry, a photo gallery of accessible liturgical furnishings from Open Hearts Award-winning congregations, training materials for volunteers, ushers and lay leaders, and religious education lesson plans.

Many congregations have embraced the Inclusion In Worship ministry, effectively using resources to make their houses of worship accessible and inviting. In many cases, Joanne said, children lead the way by inspiring parents, clergy and educators to carry out an Inclusion in Worship ministry:

"Children want everyone to be included in their houses of worship. They don't really see differences. They want everyone to be part of the community. Children lead the way in so many things." 

About Pathways.org

Since 1985, Pathways.org has used evidence-based practice and multimedia to promote each child's fullest inclusion. Pathways.org strives to empower health professionals and parents with knowledge of the benefit of early detection and intervention for children's sensory, motor, and communication development. Information and resources are free to download at www.Pathways.org. The Pathways.org infant milestones brochure has been recognized and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners as a definitive resource concerning early development. Pathways.org also has an outpatient clinic that offers best practice pediatric occupational, physical, and speech therapy, and provides postgraduate training to health professionals. Pathways to Inclusion suggests methods to welcome individuals of all abilities and their families into communities, sports, schools, and houses of faith. For more information, call the Pathways.org toll-free parent answered hotline at 1.800.955.CHILD (2445) or email friends@pathways.org. Pathways.org is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public foundation. 

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