Spiritual Connections was created in 1988 by a group of people who believed that, with assistance, individuals with developmental disabilities could attend the church, synagogue or other faith community of their choice. Today, Spiritual Connections is a valuable program supported by an advisory board, local religious groups and individuals.
People of all abilities share a common need for acceptance, meaningful relationships, and spirituality. However, individuals with developmental disabilities are often socially isolated because of a lack of the supports needed to assist them in taking part in community activities.
The services provided by Spiritual Connections include addressing the pastoral and spiritual needs of participants, helping them develop relationships with other members of their faith community, matching individuals with Faith Companions, and offering training for clergy, congregations and service providers.
What is a Faith Companion?
A Faith Companion is a person who agrees with the premise that all persons should have the opportunity to be part of a faith community, and is willing to act on that belief. The Faith Companion may choose to provide transportation to worship services or meet the individual there to assist them in attending services and social functions.
Would I have to commit to every week?
No. Some Faith Companions assist people only twice a month. Some alternate with other Faith Companions.
Do I need to have experience to do this?
No experience is necessary. An orientation will be arranged for you, and the network coordinator provides support in all aspects of the “match."
How do I find out more about becoming a Faith Companion?
The network coordinator will be happy to explain more about this opportunity.
Spiritual Connections is available to give presentations to any group that is interested in knowing more about the program. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Churches, synagogues, and congregations
- Groups such as men’s and women’s organizations, youth groups and religious education groups
Spiritual Connections organizes an annual conference geared toward providing information on issues that are important to the spiritual and mental health of persons with disabilities.