Do you know anybody in your church or community who is elderly or sight-impaired? An aging population is a reality in almost every church and town in the United States. Church leaders face increasing challenges regarding how to share the Gospel with individuals who may be visually impaired.
Helping Christians with Vision Impairment
Many churches offer hearing assistance technology on their websites or in the pews. Very few churches advertise support for people who struggle with their vision, even though there are approximately 300 million people in the world who are moderately or severely visually impaired, 95 percent of whom are unchurched.
While there are many resources available within urban areas, rural communities can struggle to serve individuals who are losing their vision. This is especially true within rural areas with large numbers of senior living communities. It is in these small towns that Lutheran Braille Workers (LBW) can provide a significant amount of free assistance and outreach support.
What does LBW offer for free?
LBW offers free specialized large print, braille, and audio materials for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, including the Bible, Lutheran Service Book, Small Catechism, devotionals, and other Christian materials. Churches and other organizations are invited to order these materials for free! These materials can be a great benefit to members of a church who are getting older, losing their vision, home-bound, or otherwise not able to enjoy the same connection with the Word that they used to. Pastors can use these resources to make house calls or hospital visits. Members of rural communities can use these materials during inclement weather when getting to church may not be a possibility.
LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission will host the free webinar, “Outreach through Lutheran Braille Workers,” on Thursday, May 23, 2019 (1–2 p.m. Central). Register at lcms.org/rstm. For more information on Blind Ministries in Michigan, contact Barbara Hoffmeier, Michigan Mission Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find a complete listing of LBW’s free resources at lbwinc.org.
Article contributed through the LCMS Rural & Small Town Mission monthly newsletter.
Photo: Rev. Roy Axel Coats, pastor at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Baltimore, helps lead blind worshipers from the sanctuary following service at St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Baltimore, on Saturday, March 24, 2018. LCMS Communications/Erik M. Lunsford