Wayzata Church Service Empowers Those with Special Needs

Updated: 05/19/2013 6:46 PM KSTP.com By: Katherine Johnson

The Parables service at Wayzata Community Church is designed specifically for those with special needs, giving families a place to worship without worrying about keeping quiet during prayer or sitting still during a sermon.

No one is expected or required to sit silently in the pews at Wayzata Community Church because the people in the pews, on the floor and on top of laps are loud, proud and leading the service themselves.

"It gives them an opportunity to stand in front of 70, 80, 90 people at a microphone and build the confidence and raise the gifts that god gave them," said Rev. Leslie Neugent.

Sam Pederson lives with Cerebral Palsy and has a hard time communicating.

"He prefers to sit in the front pew so we would sit in the front pew and he would want to express himself and ironically I would have to hold him back and say no that's not appropriate," said Sam's mother, Suzanne.

But not at WCC. This is a place where Sam is always understood, even without words.

"We don't have to be quiet," said Pederson. "We don't have to follow the rules. You can belt out when you want to belt out!"

"It is truly amazing," said Sam.

"This has given him, I think, the confidence to find his voice," said Neugent.

WCC's Parables service isn't a place of acceptance, it's a place of encouragement and empowerment.  A personal sanctuary where Sam doesn't need to put his feelings into words. He can show you by singing as loud as he wants and showing off his infectious smile.

"I inspire people," he said. "Words cannot express how much that makes me feel."

The Parables service meets every Sunday morning at 10:10am at Wayzata Community Church.