The Challenge Liturgy

“The Challenge Program is a liturgy-centered program that invites disabled individuals, and their families, to participate in a monthly Divine Liturgy that is conducted in a supportive and accepting environment and in a manner that is appropriate to their needs. A Challenge Liturgy is held on the third Saturday of every month. . . .

It is a dynamic, growing program presently serving about fifty families, many coming from neighboring Queens/Long Island parishes. Participation by members of other parishes, including other Orthodox jurisdictions, is encouraged and transportation is provided, when needed. . . . “

Read more at the website of the Long Island, NY Greek Orthodox Parish, Archangel Michael Church which hosts the Liturgy: http://archangelmichaelchurch.org/challenge.htm

And, to access “A Divine Liturgy for Physically & Mentally Challenged
Orthodox Christians,” the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s profile of the ministry, click here: http://www.goarch.org/en/archdiocese/departments/outreach/min-challengeliturgy.asp

I have also found a photo from an online 2004 Orthodox Observer of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America with the folks involved in the Challenge Liturgy at the Archangel Michael Church in Roslyn, NY. After having celebrated the Divine Liturgy on the Saturday of Lazarus, which inaugurates the Orthodox Paschal Holy Week, he joined the group for their monthly Challenge Liturgy fellowship.

One of the parishioners remarked that day, “although these parishioners do not have perfect minds and bodies, they are perfect in spirit and love and have immeasurable value.”

The picture of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios with the Challenge Liturgy parishioners and the caption describing the day can be found at http://www.goarch.org/en/news/observer/pdf/2004/04-05-MAY-JUNE.pdf – at the bottom of Page 4.

For a more ind-depth profile of the ministry, go to http://www.goarch.org/en/resources/conferences/clergylaity/2004/pdf/20040726ParishMinistries.pdf

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