As a part of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Penny had a chance to share some thoughts in front of our congregation on Sunday. She talked about what she appreciates about our congregation, how she is able to serve others, and her own experience as a person with Down syndrome. What a gift to be a part of a community that recognizes how each member is one who both gives and receives.
You can watch a video clip of her presentation here. And below is the entirety of what Penny shared:
Hi I’m Penny Becker,
Pastor Linda wanted me talk today because I have Down Syndrome and this month is DSA Month. Which means Down Syndrome Awareness month.
I like to express God’s love by praying for others in need. I also like to express God’s love by celebrating people. I like to throw parties. For example, a friend is moving so I am throwing a surprise Goodbye party to show that I care for this person. Another way I express God’s love is by giving friends and others encouraging notes. With some people, I like to give hugs which is another way I express God’s love.
Some things I do to serve at church include helping with Acts of Love (for example Making the tortillas for lunch a few weeks ago) and Going to Soul talk and Pizza every other Saturday to fully express the meaning of God. Another way that I serve at church is by inviting friends to Soul Talk and Pizza and going to Hangout Haven. Recently we started a bible study with my good friend Rachel. When she visited Connecticut we prayed at every meal. She started asking questions about becoming a Christian. She noticed that one way to become a Christian is by praying at meals. So at her home, she has started praying more often. Since we started the bible study we have been meeting every Thursday. We are using the Jesus Storybook Bible and it’’s been really helpful.
I appreciate that our Church family welcomes me into their lives and cares about me. When I walk into the Sanctuary at Church I appreciate that I get to sit with the Quists or Deb and Peter Houldin. I also appreciate the way we worship God by singing. I appreciate it when the whole Church comes together to have a special lunch.
I am a proud 16-year-old and I can do things that other people can’t do. I have Down Syndrome which means that I was born with an extra Chromosome. Some people are flexible with plans changing, but I on the other hand have a hard time when plans are changed. Down Syndrome is not what everyone has. In school sometimes I need to have work modified to what I can understand. But mostly I am proud of who I am and I will be the best person I can be. I personally enjoy spending time with family, being on the cheer team at school, having friends who care about me, and going to camp PALS. (Camp PALS is my second home.)
Thank you for letting me share my experience today. I hope you are all blessed like I am.
More with Amy Julia:
- Book—A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny
- Free Resource: Missing Out on Beautiful: Growing Up With a Child With Down Syndrome