“After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “EPHPHATHA!” (which means, “Be opened”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak plainly. – Mark 7:33-35 (NIV)
The Deaf Action Ministry Ephphatha exists to facilitate communication between the deaf, hard of hearing and hearing communities. We seek to provide equitable and equal accessibility utilizing American Sign Language. We the Signers and Interpreters of the Deaf Action ministry are here to serve as we all in some way have a passion for sharing the word of God with members of the Deaf Community. We are NOT performers, but rather provide a service to the deaf and hard of hearing members so that they too can experience worship services in the same way as the hearing members.
Our annual event is in September (Deaf Awareness Month) where we host events that benefit the deaf community. We culminate our weekend of events with Deaf Awareness Sunday where we invite the church at large to participate in celebrating members in the deaf community.
OUR MOTTO - We are committed to bridging the gap between the hearing world and the non-hearing (deaf community), giving everyone the opportunity to experience God's word.
How to Join the Ministry 1. Unite as a member of Friendship-West through the completion of New Member’s Orientation. 2. Possess a receptive attitude towards the Deaf Community and have a passion and calling towards supporting the needs of the Deaf Community. 3. While certain level of skill or prior knowledge in sign language is NOT necessary to join the ministry, we do as that you have the desire and dedication to learning the language. For those who are interested in joining the Deaf Action Ministry: Ephphatha meets every 2nd Saturday at 10am (currently through Zoom). During this time, we discuss ministry business, collect dues, and practice signing Sunday Services. Ministry dues are $5 per month or $60 for the year. There are different levels in the ministry and a place for everyone to serve. Once your preparedness is established, you may be interested in signing on Sundays, serving as a communicator with the deaf members who show up for services, or serve as an interpreter during ministry meetings and New Member Orientation. We also attend deaf community events where we can minister/witness to those in the greater community who are deaf or hearing impaired. For those who are interested in joining the Inspiring Hands Choir: (Currently on hiatus). Once you have prayed about it and still feel lead to this ministry, you can let us know in which way you want to serve by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Also send the following information to add to our records: Name: Address: Home Phone: Cell Phone: Birthday: Where you want to serve: Additional Information: For those who are only interested in learning sign language: ASL Classes are offered here at the church and also offered at various community colleges at various times throughout the year.