Moving up in the Methodist church
By ALLAN TINKER
The mobility access improvement was the result of the administration board of the United Methodist Church of McClusky. With 80 percent of church members within the retirement age or older bracket, the new chair lift was more than a convenience for a few. Pastor Warren Rhodes adds that "More may happen. We are looking at adding handicap accessible restrooms nearer the church entrance as they are now located in the basement. When we are done, we hope to be more friendly to those with mobility issues."
Rhodes noted that personal experience with a brief inability to use his mobility freely was an eye-opener. With more and more people in rural areas becoming firsthand familiar with knee and hip issues, stroke recoveries, or simply needing help in balance or reach things formerly easy to do, this improvement is one many older churches will need to make in order to continue to serve the" boomer" portion of their congregation, along with those who become mobility impaired earlier in life.
The lift, installed by Sanford Health Equipment, cost $5,000 and is viewed as money well spent in the simplicity with which it allows smooth and comfortable access to the main floor of the church. Rhodes explained that many churches built their sanctuary high in order to have a big basement with light from windows.