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Story Henson Valley Christian Church will walk with you to the Table

Henson Valley Christian Church will walk with you to the Table

“If there are people who don’t think they are welcome at the Table, sometimes you have to go where they are and walk with them to the Table,” says Martha Brown, associate minister of Henson Valley Christian Church, located in Fort Washington, Md.

Brown, who serves as the pastoral presence for the congregation, describes their outreach as a ministry to the differently-abled and their families.

Henson Valley Christian Church, Fort Washington, Md.Differently-abled is a term that focuses on the abilities rather than the disabilities of individuals.

“Henson Valley got involved with serving the differently-abled several years ago through the invitation to participate in a grant-funded program sponsored by the University of Maryland’s Special Education Department,” says Brown, who is an ordained minister and a former mathematics educator with a background in counseling. “The grant encouraged communities of faith to be more welcoming to the differently-abled,” she says.

Brown notes that there was a time in the congregation’s history that there were several differently-abled people attending the church.

With a small congregation of 20 and no permanent pastor, Henson Valley Christian Church is currently going through Hope Partnership’s Journey service.

“I knew this small congregation could be so much more,” says Brown. “Sometimes it takes encouragement from the outside to help leaders acknowledge and reach their potential. The Journey has set a flame under our leaders and the congregation has even discovered a few new leaders with great potential,” says Brown.

Though the congregation isn’t currently able to employ a pastor, Brown made a commitment to serve in the pastoral role until the congregation arrives at a point when they can call a pastor.

Martha Brown, associate minister of Henson Valley Christian ChurchWith help from the Journey process, Henson Valley Christian Church is making great strides.

“Our inward focus is turning outward and reaching the community,” says Brown. “We are serving those who may have had a negative experience with the church. The differently-abled sometimes experience not only architectural barriers but attitudinal barriers as well. Through our worship, and the services and programs offered, we will be intentional about reaching out to the community and letting them know that there is a congregation that has a welcoming attitude” she says. “We want you, we love you and if you want a place to worship, you are welcome here.”