A special ministry in Sioux City is helping to get the message to a group of people who have a big hurdle to overcome when they attend traditional church services.
"Our Father, who art in heaven..."
They pray the Lord's Prayer, but there is no sound.
They profess their faith in song, but they cannot hear the music. Once a month, these Siouxlanders meet for a church service tailor made for them. Their common thread: they are all deaf.
Rev. Larry Larsen, Lutheran Pastor said, "I think it's vitally important for deaf people to have their own service."
Some churches offer sign language for the hearing impaired. This service takes it a step further.
"If they can have a service in their own language and sort of on their own wave length, I think they can get a lot more out of it."
"Even the socializing, you know, they can be together, where otherwise, you can just sort of get lost in a crowd," said Larsen.
Statistics say as many as 95% of deaf people don't go to church because services that cater to their needs just aren't readily available.
"It would be for us like going into a service where we didn't understand the language, but even worse because they have no sound, they have no music, they can't hear any of that," Larsen said.
Ann Foster has been deaf her whole life. She's attended her own church since she was a child, but when she started attending this service five years ago, it was a game-changer.
"All my life, my mom has been trying to interpret the mass service for me, but to get all of the church's sermon and prayers, songs, but here, I'm hearing everything: the songs, the sermon, the prayers. So, it's wonderful," she said.
The service is held at Redeemer Lutheran Church, but many of these folks are members of other Christian congregations. They say the chance to worship together like this makes a big difference and helps them grow in their faith.
The deaf ministry services are held at 1:30 in the afternoon on the 3rd Sunday of each month at Redeemer Lutheran Church on South Lakeport.
The services are ecumenical and anyone is welcome to attend.
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