2020 Winter Newsletter


You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.   Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)


New Team Member!

Connection Ministries welcomes Deb Magnuson as our newest team member. She will come alongside Linda Boden, who has been our part-time administrative assistant as a volunteer.

Deb lives with her husband Eric, daughter Haley and dog Kasey. Their eldest daughter, Olivia, is a sophomore at Purdue University. Deb is a member of Spirit of Joy Church, where she also works part time. She enjoys cooking, singing, reading, gardening and CrossFit.

Linda managed the administrative needs for our camping and Friendship ministries going back to 1994, and we are grateful she was willing to continue as a volunteer. We are ecstatic to have Deb join us to help the churches in our network manage the administrative needs for their Summer Friendship Gatherings (SFG) and weekly Friendship groups.


        New Video!           

Since the inception of Connection Ministries in 2015, we have wanted a video to help tell our story. Merchandise Warehouse has made this possible through a generous gift and connecting us with Digital Stories Media Group.

We spent two evenings capturing video from two Friendship groups and interviewing more than 20 friends with disabilities, family members and volunteers. Digital Stories distilled about six hours of raw video into a powerful film of just three and a half minutes. We are grateful for everyone’s participation!

We ask that you help us spread the word! Share this film with friends, relatives, pastors and anyone else in your circle of influence. Use your social media platforms, email or save the link and show it every chance you get. It is our prayer that God will use this film to introduce us to new families and friends with disabilities, volunteers and churches! 

“Discover Connection Ministries’ Friendship Groups” Video; be sure to watch this powerful film on our website’s home page; https://connection-ministries.org/



New Summer Friendship Gathering

Video Training Format!

Training congregational teams who host SFGs has been a challenge. Last year we hosted four separate training sessions before the start of the SFG season. These sessions were too early for churches hosting SFG events later in the summer.

This year, SFG training will be available through video training episodes; one for each volunteer role. This new format allows us to train more intentionally on the use of the SFG curriculum, while providing important information through additional episodes covering facility setup or food service.

We will encourage each SFG leadership team to have congregational-based training times for their group. However, the same videos will be available on our website for volunteers who are unable to join their SFG volunteer team for the training. Be on the lookout for these SFG training episodes!



New Video Training Series!

This series is not yet available, but it is a primary initiative for 2020. This video training series called “Indispensable” is inspired by the Bible passage in 1 Corinthians 12:22; “On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.”

These videos will be available to churches in the Connection Ministries Network, as well as any church wanting to train a team for ministry with adults with intellectual disabilities. There will be no cost to use the video library.

“Indispensable” will be loaded with new material which will  be a good refresher for established Friendship groups. The series will allow newer volunteers an opportunity for training. Beyond central Indiana, Connection Ministries is not able to personally walk with churches starting ministries. The new video series solves this dilemma by providing online training.

The “Indispensable” series will contain chapters that will be divided into individual episodes around 5-10 minutes in length. There are currently 15 episodes written, and we hope to release the first episodes before April.


New 2020 Summer Friendship

Gathering Dates!

The 2020 SFG theme is; “Holy Spirit- The Flame Within Me.” Enjoy fellowship and special time for worship while we study the role of the Holy Spirit in building the Church, and giving the early Christians the courage to witness about Jesus.

Register today with our online application; https://connection-ministries.org/applications/participant-and-volunteer-application/

2020 Summer Friendship Gathering Dates

Living Hope Christian Church                Tuesday – Thursday, June 2-4

Open Session                                               Monday – Wednesday, June 15-17

Trinity Lutheran Church                          Tuesday – Thursday, June 16-18

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church      Monday – Wednesday, June 22-24

King of Glory Lutheran Church              Tuesday – Thursday, June 23-25

Grace Presbyterian Church                     Monday – Wednesday, July 6-8
w/ Second Reformed Presbyterian Church

Outlook Christian Church                        Tuesday – Thursday, July 7-9
w/ Brandywine Community Church

Cross of Grace Lutheran Church            Monday, July 13;  Wed.– Thurs., July 15-16     

Messiah Lutheran Church                        Tuesday – Thursday, July 14-16
w/ St. Andrews Lutheran Church

Spirit of Joy Church                                     Monday – Wednesday, July 27-29

Cornerstone Lutheran Church                Tuesday – Thursday, July 28-30
w/ College Park Church


Nellie’s Common Scents

I have been part of this ministry for a full year and I like new things; especially my new friends. I brought my humans to most of your Friendship groups and to the Summer Friendship Gatherings last year. My ears have been scratched by so many good friends!

These friendships are very important to me, especially with my human roommates. But, I also want closer relationships with some of my friends with disabilities. Why don’t you join me for a new year’s resolution? Let’s make a commitment to go deeper in our relationship with just one or two of our friends with a disability. Maybe we can share a meal together, go to church, or roll in the snow—I really like that last one!  Nellie


Thrivent continues to be a blessing to Connection Ministries. In 2019, supporters directed $1,808 of their Thrivent Choice Dollars to advance our ministry. Members become eligible for Thrivent Choice based on insurance premiums, contract values and Thrivent volunteer leadership.

If you have not yet directed your 2019 Thrivent Choice Dollars, please do so by March 31st. Members can login to their Thrivent account at https://www.thrivent.com/


New Office!

Spirit of Joy has been providing Connection Ministries with office space. This is the same congregation where Deb Magnuson also serves as their administrative assistant. This is good for both ministries and great for Deb.

The new office allows us to move the Connection Ministries office out of our home and hire Deb. Please note there is no change to our mailing address. We will continue to use our Post Office box. Our email and office phone number also remain the same.

Connection Ministries      P.O. Box 29495      Indianapolis, IN 46229 

317-646-5067      connect@connection-ministries.org






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