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Worship service designed for kids with unique needs

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“Come to the Well” will be a 30-minute worship service at Trinity United Methodist Church designed for families with children who make noise, have a hard time sitting still and have a short attention span.

Reverend Layloni Drake, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church, is the parent of three grown children who each were challenged with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), according to a press release from the church.

One of those children has autism and another one has an anxiety disorder. Drake has a passion for people who need “a drink from the well,” the press release states.

The new service will begin on April 21 at 10 a.m., and will continue on Sundays at 10 a.m. thereafter.

The worship service is designed to give parents a chance to drink from the spiritual well in the Christian tradition, and give children who have unique needs an opportunity to participate, according to the press release.

Often parents with children who have autism, cognitive delays or psychiatric disorders find it difficult to participate in worship settings for fear of the disruption their child may create, or for fear of the negative responses from those around them — or for fear of judgment.

The worship service is meant to create community for children and for parents.

“It can be isolating when a child may not develop like other children,” the press release states. “It can be frustrating to parents when relatives don’t understand the circumstance of one’s child. It can be even more difficult when one is out in public and one gets ‘looks’ from others.

“For parents and children there are not enough places in this world where acceptance and encouragement are present. The church is one place where it can be found. This worship service is such a place.”

There will be appropriate toys for children and spaces where children can lie on the floor, walk around or sit on a bean bag.

The church, according to the press release, has “been in consultation with the autism society to ascertain what would be comforting toys to have present in the room.”

One need not be Methodist to attend the worship service. It is designed for persons from any church or no church at all.

For more information, see www.TrinityUMCRoswell.org. Drake can be contacted for more information at eleduck@gmail.com or 505-622-0119.