Children’s Special Needs

Lighthouse LogoThe Lighthouse Program is a ministry of Christ Church Cathedral providing Christian Education to children with special needs. The goal of the Lighthouse Program is to meet the individual needs of children and allow them to experience the love of Christ in their own way.

Each Sunday we provide mentors for children who need assistance in our two year old through 5th grade Sunday School classrooms, and provide the Lighthouse Classroom as a safe place for young people with special needs that prevent the transition to a traditional classroom or worship setting. We also provide the Rhythms of Grace Service the first Sunday of each month at 1:00 p.m. This is an ecumenical service and playtime for special needs children and their families

The Lighthouse Vision

  • To welcome all children and families to the Cathedral and provide a safe, loving environment for Christian Education
  • To support volunteer Sunday school teachers and Nursery staff so that they are comfortable and capable working with all of the children in their care
  • To identify and welcome volunteers who are interested in working with special needs children and develop a training program so that they may be confident in this ministry
  • To assess and provide the necessary requirements of a self-contained classroom for children with severe disabilities

What we can do for you:

Choose the option that meets the needs of your family.

1. Mentor Assistance

10 a.m. Sunday mornings

Mentors are available for children who need assistance transitioning in our 2-year-old through 5th grade Sunday School classrooms. If you need assistance, contact Lisa Puccio, Minister for Children and Families, lisap@christchurchcathedral.org, or 713-590-3323.

2. The Lighthouse Classroom

8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Jones Building basement

The Lighthouse Classroom is a safe and welcoming place for children with special needs that prevent the transition to a traditional classroom or worship setting. The Lighthouse Classroom is located in the basement of the Jones Building. Please contact us to schedule a visit on any Sunday morning between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Registration and enrollment in the Lighthouse Classroom is arranged after consultation with the Special Needs Program Coordinator Martha Lewis, lighthouse@christchurchcathedral.org or 713-220-8455.

3. Rhythms of Grace Service

1 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month in the Jones Building basement

Rhythms of Grace is an ecumenical service and playtime for special needs children and their families. The program started so parents could have a place where they could worship with their children without worrying about verbal disruptions, distracting movements or gestures. Learn more »

Why we care

  • There are families within our own church body and in the neighborhood around us who are the primary caretakers of a family member in need of special assistance.
  • Divorce rates are much higher for families that care for children or adults with disabilities due to the added demands on the family.
  • 90% of families that care for a child, teen, or adult with a disability find it difficult to attend Sunday services or other church events on a regular basis.
  • Without intervention, many of these families risk physical and spiritual isolation, living their lives disconnected from their local church, community, and God.

Did you know?

  • Over 54 million people with disabilities live in the United States (nearly 20.6% of the population).
  • 4 million are children under the age of 18 years old.
  • The special needs community spans all age groups.

Martha LewisMartha Lewis, Special Needs Program Coordinator

Martha is the former Children’s Minister of Trinity Episcopal Church, The Woodlands, Texas, where she began Trinity’s Special Needs Ministry program. She has a masters in theology and a masters in expressive arts therapy/counseling, which she continues to practice on a local and national level. Her passion for special needs awareness is practiced as she currently serves as a director on the board for Special Life Network, an organization based in The Woodlands that facilitates the integration of individuals with disabilities into the broader community. She also represents the Cathedral serving as a director on the national Rhythms of Grace Board, and is a member of the National Association of Episcopal Christian Education Directors. She has two grown children and five grandchildren.