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ABLE Ministries partners with existing ministries at Emmanuel Community Church to include those with special needs. Our goal is to provide support and to nurture a growing knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for anyone with special needs.


We provide support for individuals who have special needs in the form of:

  • Assistance during the weekend and midweek programming
  • Assistance for those with special needs for any church-sponsored activity
  • Respite care resources
  • Social events

If you have a family member with a special need interested in visiting Emmanuel, we would love to meet you.

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Caregiver Support

We also want to support the caregivers as well. We host a support group for the caregivers of those with special needs as well as adoption/foster parents.

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Spiritual Care

We want to help you on your journey to disciple your child or family member with special needs. It takes true intentionality. We ask ABLE caregivers to fill out and Individualized Spiritual Plan (ISP) each year to help us to better meet each individual’s spiritual goals.

Fill Out ISP
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ABLE Around the World

We have been so blessed to partner with UB Global in Thailand to help develop a special needs program in a local school. Parents and teachers of Baan Thang Luang School have been eager to learn how to support and educate Thai children with special needs. Prior to this school starting a program, many of the children were being left home alone with their dogs to care for them so their parents could work outside the home. Now the families and children are happy and thriving and we are so happy these children have been given an opportunity to have a better life.


Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs, ages 14 and older. On one night, hundreds of churches of different denominations from all over the world will come together to celebrate people with special needs! It warms our hearts each year to watch our church body surround and love on our friends with special needs!

ECC was proud to be an official host church for the 2024 Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. This year's prom was held on February 9th. Watch the video to see the highlights of a spectacular evening. 
Special Needs and Adoptive Parenting Support Group

We understand God has chosen us for a noble path that isn't always easy, but we want you to know that you are not alone and you are loved. This group meets once a month on the 4th Monday of each month in the Acts Classroom.

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You Are Not Alone

Parenting is hard, and parenting a child with special needs can be even harder. We want you to know you are not alone. Pastor Karena is available to give you individualized support whenever needed. Reach out with your needs as new programming is developing all the time.

"Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible to you."

Matthew 17:20

Karena Schroeder

Pastor of ABLE Ministries

Meet Pastor Karena

I knew from the time I was 14 years old that I wanted to be a physical therapist to help those with physical needs. I began getting jobs in therapy clinics in high school and worked to achieve a doctorate degree in physical therapy, where I specialized in chronic pain and managed an outpatient clinic. My career in therapy spanned more than 25 years in all, but God had a different plan for me. My youngest child was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at age 3, and so I began to become an advocate for children with special needs. I have published three children’s books on my son with autism and felt God was calling me to help other families just like mine. ABLE ministries is the perfect fit, and I feel blessed every day to continue to advocate for those with special needs within the walls of ECC and in the community. My goal is to help every family and individual feel loved, supported, and welcomed by the community of Christ.

You can contact Karena by emailing her at [email protected].

Thanks to Emmanuel Community Church and their ABLE ministry, Paul and I dropped off our 10 kids at their Friends' Club event and got to have a date night! Friends' Club is a themed evening with trained staff and volunteers for kids with special needs and their siblings. Everyone had a blast! The kids that needed help with crafts and games all had helpers, and one of our daughters was even provided her own retired nurse helper. It's a pretty amazing ministry for a family like ours! Thank you, Karena, for all you do! And to all the staff and volunteers that were there- THANK YOU!! 💓

Ashley Kellogg