Welcome to Just Juniors

In September of 2008, my 7th daughter Samara was born 9 weeks early. 4 weeks later, she was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. My self-therapy in learning to fully embrace her diagnosis involved designing t-shirts that portrayed Down Syndrome in a positive light. It is from this that my business, designing disability awareness products, has grown.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wow. That's all I can say. Wow. I am speechless.

I just received this email from our church:

Hi there Carolyn

How are you all! I understand you have had a busy month or so with moving and travel etc. I hope you have all been keeping well with the number of viruses doing the rounds also. 

I just wanted to update you briefly on some changes in Nexus Kids should you be planning to come back to visit Nexus again soon. 

In response to our increased general attendance on a Sunday in Kids Church, and therefore needing to respond to the ministry growth with more leaders and team, we have had to review our policy for the children with additional needs who attend on a Sunday. We have a number of families already who this applies to. I wanted to let you know of our change in policy as it does effect Samara's attendance in Nexus Kids. 

Under these new arrangements the family of the child (with additional needs) will be required to provide a 1 on 1 carer / assistant to be present (for the entire service) with the child attending Nexus Kids. A child deemed to fall into this category is one who: 
  • Has additional needs (behavioural, physical, social, health, developmental etc) that require 1 on 1 supervision for their entire time in our program;
  • Has needs (behavioural, physical, social, health, developmental etc) that require special care, management skills, training, knowledge and capability outside of those skills and capability that our volunteer team are equipped with.      
The carer to be supplied by the family has to be either a:
  • Parent of the child 
  • Full time carer of the child 
  • Blue Carded adult (supplied by the family)  
The carer would attend to their child only, and work with the Nexus Kids Team to ensure their child is included in the larger groups teaching and activities.   

We want to ensure every child that attends Nexus Kids has a fun and safe experience and we recognise that a supervision strategy and additional needs policy needs to be in place to ensure that can happen. 

I am very happy to chat about it if you would like. 

Kind regards


I can't even begin to respond to this. I guess God only wants volunteers to be there for those who have an easy life. 


  1. I am sorry this happened to you. They have a lot of nerve to even put stipulations on "who" the carer can be, that makes it even harder on families since you cant simply round up a teen volunteer.

  2. Holy crap! I don't even know what to say! I am heart broken for you, for Samara, for a church that refuses to serve the least of these, for all of us! No wonder so many of us walk away!

  3. We left a church that we dearly loved (still love the people there) because of a similar message. Only in our situation we were told that even if we provided a one on one caregiver for our daughter, she would not be allowed in the children's ministry because she was too distracting and a liability (she has autism). We were told that we needed to keep in mind that decisions were made based on the bigger win and that the bigger win could not happen with our daughter present. I am so sorry that you are experiencing this kind of rejection! I know that I know that I know that this IS NOT God's heart for His children and this is not Christ' design for His Church. Jesus was pretty clear about how we treat "the least of these". God, please let The Church open her eyes!!

  4. I'm so sorry. This breaks my heart. We've been asked to leave 2 other churches before we were welcomed without conditions at our new church. Had I been a new follower of Christ, this would of been enough to discourage my faith and walk away. I'm just disgusted, for lack of a better word. So sorry. :(

  5. wow. I am with you. Speechless.

    I am so sorry. God give you the grace to respond in such a way to correct this as is possible. EVery child deserves the best.

  6. Unfortunately, this attitude is much more common than it should be. Our (former) pastor had suggested we visit other churches that have "better resources" for our kids with down syndrome. He even went so far as to suggest specific churches that we should visit. Well, God provided us with a terrific church that wasn't on his list of suggestions. It's a shame when churches won't extend itself for families with special children.

  7. I am so sorry your church is taking this position. Jesus RAN to those with special needs - He stopped whatever he was doing to be with them. You are brave for staying at a church that clearly can't get there. In our church, we have a large disability ministry. As it grows and the need for more volunteers grow - they call on the CHURCH to step in - they don't ask the needy to step away.

    My response might include asking the question - "is this how Jesus would have you respond? To burden families already marginalized in so many places? To walk away instead of into the messy of someone's life? To leave aside the blessings these children may be to the church?

    This makes my blood boil - no wonder Jesus is getting a bad name...Praying for His grace to invade this situation

  8. I just....I.just.can't.fathom...

  9. I am so, so sorry you and your child are being treated this way! An absolute failure on the part of those in leadership. I believe Jesus' heart breaks over this letter.

  10. I am so sorry. I can't believe this. I don't think it's biblical at all!

  11. I guess it's a good thing none of those folks Jesus helped had special needs. Oh, wait ...

  12. If any of you who commented above get this, please also express your views here. https://www.facebook.com/NexusChurchAU?sk=reviews