By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Twenty-four-year-old Maddie Wright yearned to participate in a Bible study for adults with special needs, like herself, but she couldn’t find one. Maddie’s longing led her to fulfill a dream: starting a monthly Bible Study at her parish, Our Lady of Victory.
She collaborated with two other parishioners, Karen Kilburg and Lynn Olds, to create the DREAM TEAM Bible Study for adults with special needs. The Bible study group will meet the third Monday of each month, beginning this Monday, Sept. 18, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the parish center. Individuals ages 16 and older are invited to participate.
The acronym DREAM TEAM stands for: “Disciples Receptive to God’s teachings. Everyone is included because All abilities Matter! Together we Explore and Accept More.” Maddie loves the Christian song, “Dream Small,” by Josh Wilson, which inspired the Bible study’s name. “One of the lines of the short song speaks to her: “… Or dancing on a Friday with your friend with special needs. These simple moments change the world.”
Maddie said she had the idea for a Bible study and “went to my friend, Abbey Heinrichs of Youth Ministry and she thought it was a great idea.” Abbey spoke with Father Andrew Rauenbuehler, the parish’s parochial vicar, who also thought it was a good idea. “So we found two great people (Karen and Lynn) who can be in charge with me,” Maddie said. “It took a year for it to work out.”
Karen and Lynn have been involved for years in the Renewal Day for persons with special needs that the parish offers each winter. Kilburg recruited Lynn to co-lead with her. “I
really enjoy doing the adults with disabilities retreat,” said Lynn, who also participates in Bible studies. She will handle the teaching responsibilities and Karen will handle the activities, such as learning worship action songs and making crafts. The parish will serve a light snack, too. “Maddie said she didn’t want to sit for the whole 1-1/2 hours,” Karen said.
The first Bible study session will focus on “what is the Bible and how to look up chapters and verses and where we find passages for specific feelings,” according to the planning guide. On Oct. 15, the Bible study session explores the meaning of holy water, the sign of the cross and genuflecting and what the Bible says about each one. The theme for the Nov. 20 session is Blessings and Gratitude and the Dec. 18 session explores the meaning of the Nativity.
RSVP to Lynn Olds at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text (563) 349-1512. Walk-ins are also welcome. Caregivers should accompany participants who need extra assistance to participate.