St. Paul's is just now beginning its journey with deaf ministry! Through prayer, consideration of members, and working with our fellow church Word of God Lutheran in Cedar Rapids, we have decided to take this necessary step in openness to and understanding of deaf culture. With the guidance of our current signer Sheila Williams, along with Rev. Tim Eckert (pastor at Word of God as well as key leader for Lutheran Deaf Mission Society), we have taken our first step of forming a core group of people who are willing to learn sign language. We began to learn sign language and understand deaf culture together through a low-cost, three-day seminar hosted by Rev. Eckert (and other knowledgeable leaders) called Deaf LITES. This seminar occurred the weekend of Mar. 3-5.
We are currently getting in touch with mainstream schools in the area who incorporate deaf and interpretive services into their curriculum. St. Paul's will be continuing its training in sign language through follow-up ASL classes with Sheila Williams, and will be able to provide interpretive services at our Summer Vacation Bible School July 23-27.
Basic ASL classes are currently being held every Monday from 5:30-7pm. If you are interested in classes, being a part of this core group for St. Paul's Deaf Ministry, making use of our interpretive services or deaf ministry, or have any further questions or comments, please contact DCE Emma Auger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further updates to come on the progress we are making as a congregation in this new adventure, and in our continued understanding of deaf culture.