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Ministry taps Sarah Palin to help spread P.U.R.E. message
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P.U.R.E. Celebration
Where: The Arena at Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
How much: $25-$65
Tickets: or

A Northeast Georgia ministry wants to help local churches reach out to community members with disabilities, and ministry members hope former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin can help.

Palin, along with NASCAR driver David Ragan and several Christian music artists, will talk about the importance of serving and ministering to special needs people in the community.

“We found when we use the traditional words to talk to anybody about this ministry — like special needs or disability — people don’t want to hear that, and it causes fear,” said David Glover, president of Zachariah’s Way, which is sponsoring the event. “We had to develop a new term to reach people because we want them to listen before they are fearful.”

Zachariah’s Way — created in 2003 and named for Glover’s grandson who was born with special needs — sparked the P.U.R.E. Ministry Project, which caters to disabled individuals and trains local churches on how to start their own ministry.

“P.U.R.E.” is the term the group uses for a person with disabilities, which means: Perfectly created by a loving sovereign God, Unique in his or her own gifts, Receptive and responsive to our communication and Eternal because there are no disabled souls.

“We think it’s a better term instead of using the negative connotation,” Glover said. “All they ever hear is something is wrong with them, and it’s ingrained in our culture. We may not understand it, but God created everyone the way he wants them to be for his purposes.”

Tuesday’s P.U.R.E. Celebration is the first in a plan to go nationwide with outreach. The goals of the P.U.R.E. project include changing the language used to describe disabled people, broadening the way culture thinks about disabled people, and encouraging churches to befriend and be comfortable with disabled people in their community.

“Talk to someone at the grocery store and treat them normally,” Glover said. “You have no idea how the interaction encourages the family.”

When planning next week’s event, Glover called Palin’s sister on the phone “out of the blue” to arrange an appearance for the event.

“It all happened from there. It’s divine and supernatural,” he said. “She and her people have been asking me to send her talking points, which is revealing and humbling that she cares what we want her to talk about. She’s the real deal.”

Palin will discuss the issues that special needs families encounter and will encourage audience members to get involved.

“We want people to be aware and go back to their churches and think about starting a ministry that reaches out to the community,” Glover said.

Zachariah’s Way, based in Sautee Nacoochee, will host several training seminars in the fall, including a nearby one at Blackshear Place Baptist Church in Flowery Branch on Sept. 11.

Although few Hall County Republican Party members had heard about the event by Wednesday, they say they’re now excited to hear what Palin will say.

“I’ll post something up on our website and e-mail our members,” said Al Marks, vice chairman for communications.

“I certainly would like to go see her,” chairman Jim Pilgrim said. “She’s a terrific woman who supports our Republican and tea party friends, and that sounds like an excellent event that we need to support.”