A Treasure Coast church for the deaf

May 3, 2012

Paul Janensch (2012-01-09) TREASURE COAST (wqcs) - Intro: A church in our area reaches out to the deaf and hard of hearing, as Paul Janensch tells us in this Treasure Coast Essay.
At one Sunday religious service on the Treasure Coast, members of the congregation hold blown-up balloons close to their bodies so they can feel the vibrations of the recorded choir music. When the pastor preaches, an interpreter translates what he is saying into American Sign Language. Welcome to the Treasure Coast Deaf Church, which meets every week in a room at First United Methodist Church in Port St. Lucie. It is the only church on the Treasure Coast that is specifically for the deaf and hard of hearing. Pastor Hugh Curran and his wife Karen, who have four daughters and seven grandchildren, can hear. They founded the church in 2003 after they got to know people who could not hear but wanted to be part of religious observances. Pastor Curran told me that usually 20 people attend a Sunday service. Most are deaf or hard of hearing, but a few who can hear come to lend their support. He said a favorite passage of his is from Saint Matthew. After the Resurrection, Jesus says: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations." Curran said "all nations" includes those who cannot hear. Curran does not emphasize passages in which Jesus heals the deaf. He said the deaf in his congregation don't think they need fixing. They just want to worship. For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.
Outro: Treasure Coast essayist Paul Janensch was a newspaper editor and taught journalism at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.
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