We recently caught up with many churches, concert halls, and other buildings in Great Britain and Europe — we are now an even more accessible and welcoming community than we were last Sunday. Thanks to the research and generosity of members here in St. Mark’s along with a local audiologist, we now have what is called a Hearing Loop.“ See the American Hearing Loop web site for details.
Induction loop systems transmit magnetic energy directly to hearing aids fitted with telecoils, T-coils.” It is technology which also enables those who have cochlear implant with those settings to hear what comes through our sound system with amazing clarity. It isn’t about volume, though that is important – it’s about clarity.
An individual from the Hearing Loss Association of North Carolina has already notified us that we are listed on their website, that we are a welcoming location and up and running. We are also listed on a website which helps people locate churches and venues with hearing assistance. Social media does work well sometimes!
The commitment to install something like a Hearing Loop reflects who we are as a community of faith on our very best days. Because it is an outward, and sort of visible, sign that we care about one another whatever our physical abilities. Because it reflects what we mean when we say, “Our purpose is to help each other experience and worship God, openly share the Good News of Jesus Christ, and respond in love to the needs of our neighbor.”
A phrase kept coming to mind this week during the installation process: “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation…everything has become new,” which comes from the Second Letter to the Church in Corinth. That reading and the other ones today are about loving one another and loving God – about reconciliation – about we as human beings finding our way to or back to a good and healthy relationship with God. The readings are about our human frailty and, at a deeper level, about our desire to know and be known by God.
—From a Sermon, March 10, 2013, Lorraine Ljunggren