August, 2013 marked the one-year anniversary of the Friends of Bartimaeus Christian Outreach Center for the Blind, hosted by Calvary Lutheran Church, Charleston, SC. This photo was taken at the center’s very first meeting in 2012, as our Secretary/Treasurer Laurel Jean at the piano accompanied our then Vice President, Taylor Jones Stebbins, an amazing Lowcountry blind youth with a beautiful tenor voice. Pastor Ed of Calvary Lutheran couldn’t help but join in the praise with his guitar and our friend and sighted volunteer Kevan-Ann Spangler brought her hand-clapping, toe-tapping percussion to this impromptu music ensemble.
The Friends of Bartimaeus Christian Outreach Center offers a monthly gathering for the blindness community to enjoy food, fun, fellowship and worship in an accessible, inclusive, non-threatening environment. After being served a delicious hot meal, guests participate openly in songs, prayers and times of sharing, including devotional time led by Pastor Ed. At the end of the meeting, people are given more time to socialize. Groceries are offered to attendees who have need of them, and mail-reading services are also available.
Congratulations to the people of Calvary Lutheran for all of their efforts which have made the Friends of Bartimaeus Christian Outreach such a tremendous success and a blessing to the community. Dixie Land was honored to be invited to join with many from the Lowcountry’s blindness community, to assist in the beginning of this center. In cooperation with Lutheran Braille Workers, responsible for 60-plus outreach centers like this one across the United States, Dixie Land Guide Dog Users, Inc. and Music By Laurel Jean, every blind individual attending the Friends of Bartimaeus has also received a talking Bible of his/her very own. God’s Light keeps shining!
Be sure to watch for more posts like this one to learn more about how Dixie Land Guide Dog Users, Inc. continues to reach out to our community!