IS CHURCH FOR EVERYONE

Why not hold church in a tree house? It would be interesting, different. You could hear the birds singing with the choir. Of course the congregation would be small, but everyone would be strong, healthy, and young. No one else could climb the rope.

Although you won't find many churches in trees, you will find churches with impairments for people in wheelchairs or with walking aids. Some people see every stairstep or every polished floor as an unwelcome mat.

Since one in every ten persons has a physical disability, how do we make our buildings say "Welcome!"? The following checklist is a good beginning;

• Build ramps wherever there are steps. Twelve inches of ramp for every inch of rise is recommended.

• Leave the church doors open or assign someone to open them as worshipers arrive. Heavy doors are next to impossible for some.

• Settle for nonskid floors. Beautiful, waxed floors are frightening to those on crutches.

• Make sure restrooms are accessible. Wheelchairs require thirty-six-inch ...

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