Special Needs

We believe that all of humanity is created in the image of God. Therefore, none are seen as less than, second class or unworthy of love and community. We are people of sacred worth. At Central, we strive to embrace ALL people, and that includes our friends with varying abilities and special needs. We have a history of welcoming people with disabilities, along with their caregivers, for four decades. This special group of people are not just objects of our ministry, but rather they serve in ministry with the congregation. There are variety of ways these friends are involved in the life of our church community:

Beta Class

The Beta Class at Central United Methodist Church has been welcoming people with disabilities and their caregivers to membership in the body of Christ for four decades. We invite you to join us for worship, fellowship, and service.

The class meets Sunday mornings at 9:30 on the ground floor of the church, then attends worship with the rest of the congregation in the sanctuary. Caregivers of all descriptions are welcome — every member of Beta Class is a caregiver.

Class members participate in the service, act as greeters, host the welcoming table, and help with the children’s time on occasion. The class has raised funds for Heifer International and is planning an active role in the church’s For All Generations building campaign.

Beta Class expects to:

• follow the teachings and example of Jesus in all things, so that we may know the Kingdom is in our midst
• encourage the spiritual growth of our members and all who come in contact with us
• promote and support including our members in the activities and concerns of our congregation
• reach into the community for all who can benefit from our class, our church, and our faith
• build fellowship and enjoy the Beloved Community that is ever our goal

Children and Youth

Families with special needs children just like all families at Central need to be able to worship and grow in an environment where they know their children are safe and cared for. We at Central want to provide the best environment for your child to learn and grow in their faith. We embrace your entire family as they seek to grow in their faith and worship with us.

We offer a variety of options tailored to fit the individual needs of your child. We know your entire family will be able to worship and grow at Central. Every child is special, but we understand that sometimes a child needs some extra attention. We look forward to serving your family. Buddies – one of the ways we connect with our children with disabilities is our buddies program. Each week, we have a person work one on one with a child with disabilities, if they desire.

Partnerships

Each year Central partners with Open Doors Tennessee each spring to put on an Easter Egg Hunt for our special needs community. The day is started off with a Bunny Breakfast and then followed by an egg hunt for our friends with disabilities.

With our partnership with Fulton, we provide lunch for the peer tutors at Fulton each semester. A peer tutor is a student who is paired with a student with disabilities and helps him or her with school work and provide support throughout the year. The lunch is another way we connect with Fulton High School.