Director of Family Ministries: Menita Mercuri
The mission of DUMC’s Special Blessing Ministry is to support children, youth, and young adults with exceptional needs and their families within the life of the church. We offer a variety of programs and events for children and adults with special needs, providing opportunities to socialize with peers, improve self-esteem, learn new social skills, and increase independence.
Our goals are...
1. To continuously find ways to educate the congregation about all types of
exceptional needs in order to nurture a loving, caring, and accepting environment for families who have children with exceptional needs.
2. To support (the) children by providing buddies/mentors for them during children and youth programming.
3. To support (the) parents by sponsoring support group and parent night out
For more information, contact Menita Mercuri.
Have a child, teen, or young adult with exceptional needs?
We invite you to be a part of Special Blessings here at DUMC! Please complete our online parent questionnaire, below. Once submitted, you will be contacted about having an interview with two members of our Special Blessings Ministry Team. During this interview, we will explore how we can be in ministry together.
A 2014 Confirmation class was offered for teens with exceptional needs.
The class met for six sessions on Sundays at 10:45 a.m., with Confirmation Sunday held in May. Three youth in Grades 8-12 attended and plan to join the church! (Confirmands may join with the group during the worship service or privately.) Buddies who wish to go through Confirmation were also welcome to attend class.
The Special Blessings Ministry Team is currently exploring options for young adults with exceptional needs. If this is an area of interest to you and/or your family, please contact Menita Mercuri.
Special Blessings Buddy Teams
Youth and Adults Volunteers serve as buddies for our children and youth with exceptional needs. Teams are formed upon request and availability. Contact Menita Mercuri if you would like to serve as a buddy or request a team during a child/youth program or class.
RESources our families find helpful
- In Christ Supporting Ministries: http://inchristsupportingministries.org/connections/the-well/
- Angels in Need: www.angelsinneed.org
- Little Smiles: http://www.littlesmiles.org/
- Autism Society of NC: http://www.autismsociety-nc.org/
- Ignite (a community center in Davidson for young adults with high functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome): http://www.autismsociety-nc.org/index.php/ignitedavidson
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: http://jdrf.org/
- Support for Individuals with Developmental or Intellectual Disabilities: http://www.arcnc.org/
- Cornelius Parks and Recreation: http://www.cornelius.org/index.aspx?NID=124
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: http://www.nami.org/
- Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center: http://www.ecac-parentcenter.org
- Easter Seals: http://www.easterseals.com
- UMAR: http://www.umarinfo.com/
2017 speCial times of awareness
In an attempt to keep families who have children/teens/adults with special needs at the forefront, will be highlighting special awareness days of the diagnoses we know about within our DUMC family. We will highlight those of which we are aware.
February 23 through March 1: National Eating Disorder Awareness Week
February 7-14: Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week
February 6-10: Feeding Tube Awareness Week
February 15: International Angel Man Day
February 28: Rare Disease Day
April 2: World Autism Awareness Day
May: Prader Willi Awareness Month
May 4: National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day
May 6-13: Cleft Awareness Week
September 3-9: Global Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week
October: ADHD Awareness
October: Down Syndrome Awareness Month
November 22: Emanuel Syndrome Day