On Saturdays at three o’clock in the afternoon, a special no-shush service takes place at Calvary Lutheran, Solana Beach. It’s Rejoicing Spirits, a service created specifically for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families.
As the service begins, celebrants process down the center aisle. Volunteers proudly carry flags of the Rejoicing Spirits community, following the crucifer. Upon entering the sanctuary, everyone picks out tambourines, bells, triangles, sticks, or a mini, hand-held drum for clapping, celebrating, and especially, noise-making. After introductions and a brief explanation of how the service will flow, participants start singing and moving to toe-tapping music with lyrics and dance motions projected on the walls.
No one sits still, and no one is shushed, as they praise God. Participants from the congregation read scripture and participate in all aspects of the liturgy. Everyone is equal, accepted and included.
The service takes place every second Saturday of the month, and is a unique resource to the community. At Calvary, the rejoicers weren’t shy; they exhibited no inhibitions with their celebrating. During the prayer responses, all the musical instruments shook proudly in the air! Every cell phone and camera happily snapped photos. Rejoicers were fully engrossed, expressing themselves just as the birds sing – freely. The worship was enthusiastic, and every person there knew that he or she was a beloved child of God. +