In early March Access Ministry and their outreach programs, Community Art Connection (CAC) and Teen Connect, were excited to start the spring semester filled with fine arts, performing arts, field trips, Bible Study Classes, worship nights, and more. All of these classes and gatherings are a lifeline to build community, develop creative expression, and have meaningful connections throughout the week. However, our world quickly changed as the COVID-19 pandemic swept through our world.
Access Ministry and Missions pivoted and developed online programs. Community Art Connection started "Paint Outside the Lines,” Access started “Fun for All,” and all their weekly gatherings moved to online. While the artists, teens, families, and our friends, were physically isolated in their houses, they could still find friendship, development skills, and build relationships through an online connection. Daily gatherings include fine arts, performing arts, culture study, leadership skill development, games, Bible studies, and more. Since March, CAC has hosted over 300 Zoom gatherings!
One CAC class that developed through this online platform is a songwriting class. This class has written three songs in three months, they’re currently working on their fourth. They meet once a week and brainstorm song concepts, lyrics, rhymes, melodies, form, rhythms, and a feel for the song. Each artist speaks into the song and writes different pieces of the lyrics and melody. It is truly a collaboration -- a harmony of voices working as one.
Community Art Connection’s artists also have developed their own news broadcast called “CAC News: The Regulars” that airs on their YouTube channel. This class is full of collaboration, brainstorming, and developing your voice in this world. We hope you will be as inspired as you hear these collaborative pieces, and that as we listen and watch, we will all remember that disability does not limit or define us.
Teen Connect has been filled with online camps and gatherings throughout spring and summer. They have been enjoying games, laughter, at-home experiments, dance-offs, and more! A few of their summer camp themes were Wacky Science, Time Travers, and World Games. The teens have continued their Teen Connect Club on Tuesdays where they hang out together on Zoom, share what has been going on in their weeks, pray together, and of course, play games!
Access Ministries started Fun For All as they moved online. Each month looks a little different but you can count on daily group activities at 4 p.m. that includes sing-a-longs, game shows, worship, and more! They have also had a blast hosting multiple drive through parties where everyone is welcome to come by, see a familiar face or two, and get free stuff! Always a good time. Tune in every weekday at 4 p.m. on Access Ministries’ Facebook page.
While all our worlds significantly changed in March of 2020, Access has been so thankful for all the ways we can stay connected, get creative, and fight isolation and loneliness with the light of community and the good news of the gospel!