East Fairfield United Methodist Church
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Guardian Angels

Support Group
The Guardian Angels Support Group is a Christ-based and Parent-to-Parent Support Group for parents, caregivers and loved ones of children with special needs. We accept anyone who wants to come and we accept any type of special need from MR/DD, Chronic Illness, Medically Fragile Children, Learning Disabilities, ADD/ADHD, Birth Defects, Terminal Children and much, much more. We also have many biological, foster and adoptive parents and children as well as legal guardians in our group.
In our support group meetings, we support each other through prayer, sharing life learned experiences and resources found by our parents, volunteers and staff. We work very hard to make our group a safe haven, because everything said in our meetings is to stay in our meetings. We want everyone to feel comfortable sharing their deepest concerns, fears and cares.
GUARDIAN ANGELS MEETINGS:  the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month
1st Tuesdays are our breakfast group. This group meets for breakfast at 9 A.M. where we share a relaxing meal and discuss things that are going on in the lives of our families and their children. Determined places can be obtained by calling Kelli Harding @ 330-692-1427. Children are welcome to come and eat with us, but there will be no childcare at this breakfast.
3rd Tuesdays are our evening support group meeting. This meeting takes place at the East Fairfield United Methodist Church and begins approximately at 6 P.M. This is a family-friendly meeting, and dinner is served. Childcare will be provided.
We spend as much time as possible in our meetings encouraging and helping each other to be successful in our adventures as parents and loved ones of children with special needs. Teaching and empowerment are necessary in being a successful parent or loved one.  We spend a lot of time helping our members to help themselves instead of simply doing everything for them. That way, we are always learning to be the very best that we can be instead of feeling like a failure while someone else is fixing all of our problems for us.
Once a month, on the third Friday, from 6:00-8:30 P.M. we hold our monthly Family Fun Night. This is a happy, fun, and high energy night devoted to our children and their families.  We simply give our children a place and a time where they are accepted as they are.  We give them the opportunity to do things that they aren’t usually able to do. The thing that we found out when we began working with our families is that once a special needs child comes into the picture, generally social functions all but stop because of the unacceptance and misunderstanding attitude of the public. We work very hard to give our families one night a month to get out and enjoy themselves together as a family, where there are volunteers who love their children as Christ would love them … completely and as they are!
We begin our Family Fun Night with prayer and dinner. Then we move onto games, fun, puppet shows, and children’s moments. We spend the rest of the night simply having fun and playing together. 
We also use a lot of our Family Fun Nights during the summer as outings where we can take our families out as a safe “community” and enjoy activities such as swimming at Guilford Lake, hiking and feeding fish and ducks at Beaver Creek, and running through Corn Mazes and petting zoo’s.  It is a great way for families to feel safe and connect as a group!
At Christmas time, our Church graciously “adopts” our angel children for Christmas.  Each child receives an Angel slip and it is placed on the tree with gender, age, disability, sizes, likes, and a number (NO NAME!).  Each child is adopted and the gifts are distributed at the December Jesus Party.  Parents receive the unwrapped gifts and may give them as they wish (or from whomever they wish!) 
Nobody wants to see a child without gifts for Christmas, so the members of the East Fairfield United Methodist Church reach out their hearts and show amazing love to our children each year!
Our goals with this ministry are to help our parents to be the very best that they can be, and to help them and their children be a successful family. We simply want to embrace them all with as much love and acceptance as possible! We also want our children to grow up to be productive members of society and to have a healthy self esteem. They need to know, without a doubt, that they are loved by God and they are special to us!
1 Corinthians 13:8 promises us that “Love never fails!”  That is the foundation of our ministry.  We simply love our families and our children just as Christ does.
Please come and join us on this wonderful adventure! 
For more information, please call the church at 330-457-2465
or Kelli Harding at 330-692-1427 or at mkhangeldrummer@comcast.net
The Guardian Angels Support Group and Special Needs Ministry is an outreach ministry provided by
the East Fairfield United Methodist Church where we strive to love others using the life and love lessons of Jesus Christ. 
Please Pray for Our Troops and Missionaries Around the World.


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