For the first time, church services were presented first for a deaf audience and then for a hearing audience at Ferndale (Wash.) Church on April 28. This was a historic event as deaf and hearing gathered together in the same church service for Big Deaf Day, drawing many people from various areas in Canada, Washington and Oregon.
In preparation for Big Deaf Day, Ferndale members spent five weeks learning American Sign Language (ASL) from volunteer deaf teachers to be able to welcome those visiting for the unique day of worship.
David Trexler, deaf speaker and director for Three Angels Deaf Ministries, delivered a message about holding on to one’s faith and not giving up. Francisca Trexler, Three Angels Deaf Ministries co-director, taught Sabbath School and presented the afternoon message.
Nohelani Jarnes, Washington Conference deaf ministry coordinator, and Rose Davis, team interpreter, interpreted Trexler’s message for those in the congregation who did not know ASL.
Washington Conference deaf ministry has plans to coordinate future church services in western Washington that will include both the hearing and the deaf together.