Accessing Joy

“Ms. Becca, will you announce me again?  I LOVE walking the red carpet!” As Joy Prom 2018 was winding down, Randy pulled me to one of the red carpet entrances and made this simple request.

At that same moment, Samara and Jess were lighting up the dance floor—not stopping until the last song ended.

Rusty and Rhonda smiled for pictures like local celebrities and greeted everyone that came their way.

Randy, Samara, Jess, Rusty, and Rhonda aren’t just random guests to this year’s Joy Prom, but are members of our ACCESS ministry here at Grace. Each Sunday morning, this group meets – along with a few of their friends – in Room 402. During their time together, they get updates on everyone’s week, hear Scripture and discuss it, spend time in prayer for one another, and ultimately, just enjoy being in community with one another. If you walk down the North hallway during 1stservice, you can’t miss the laughter and joy coming from Room 402. Their door is always open, and they LOVE having visitors.

I was lucky enough to spend the day with them last Sunday – two days after Joy Prom. We talked about Joy Prom, and here are some of the things they had to say:

  • Samara’s favorite part: “My favorite part was the dancing. I loved being on the dance floor with all my friends.”
  • John’s favorite part of Joy Prom: “ROCKY TOP!”. Our DJ got this special request from our ACCESS class, and he did not disappoint!
  • What Jess likes about the red carpet: “Hearing people scream my name… it made me feel like I’m exciting and loved.”
  • Samara’s red carpet experience: “I feel beautiful. I feel like a superstar, and I feel like I’m in Hollywood when I’m at Joy Prom.”
  • ALL of our ACCESS members loved the balloons coming from the ceiling!
  • And everyone agreed with Rhonda when she said this: “I hope we do it next year!!”

As we talk about all the things we love so much about Joy Prom, the same thing kept coming up—it was being together that made it special. Joy Prom isn’t about just one person having fun by themselves. Joy Prom allows people from all walks of life the chance to come together and have an incredible time.

Volunteers from our high school ministry were mixed in a conga line with our guests, and everyone was having a blast. Small groups waited tables together and got the chance to sit down and chat with guests.  Our guests got to dance with friends they hadn’t seen since last year’s prom. Joy Prom brings people together, and as a church body we come together and say that while each of us is uniquely and wonderfully made in the image of God, we are so much better when we do life – and Joy Prom – together. It is our hope that each guest walks in realizing how important they are to us and to God.

If you loved getting to serve at Joy Prom, the fun can continue each week. Stop in one Sunday and visit our ACCESS crew in Room 402, or contact Jennifer Daniel  for more information. I guarantee you will leave with a smile and a better understanding of community.

Becca F.

Access is GFC’s ministry to individuals with special needs and their families. In Access, individuals with special needs meet new friends, experience worship and teaching, serve alongside other GFCers, and learn about Christ’s love for them through new and creative ways. Access operates on the “buddy system” and is offered at each service time. Access also offers an adult group during the 9:15 a.m service. Click here to learn more and plan your visit!