Resource, Newsletter or Periodical

A group of dedicated volunteers in Canada (along with some staff support) produce this newsletter for Church and Regional Disability Advocates across Canada. 

November 9, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Presentation

Veterans find understanding and encouragement from other vets. Because they have a shared experience, they can offer unique support in the face of adjustment problems. 

November 9, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Webinar Recording

In this interactive webinar, four panelists give their Top 5 Lists, from four different perspectives, for becoming more hospitable and loving in a diverse world.

November 5, 2015 1 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires all organizations that serve the public to adopt a Customer Service Policy. Here's a sample policy for churches to consider. 

November 5, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Website

Free resources (e.g. factsheets, videos, slideshows) are available to help support people living with spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and burn injury. 

November 4, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Video

Churches usually have a welcome sign outside their building. Watch video from this conference encouraging the welcome that is experienced INSIDE the church.

November 2, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Type Not Listed

These questions are a resource for people who want to question U.S. candidates for federal, state, and local office about their positions on issues that affect people with disabilities. 

October 30, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

장애 옹호인들을 위한 자원

October 27, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Newsletter or Periodical

This issue of Breaking Barriers describes some of the realities of growing up with disabilities that are not visible, such as mental health challenges, learning disabilities, dyslexia, and Asperger syndrome.

October 15, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Compassion for suffering, protection of vulnerable people, and celebration and affirmation of life are three reasons why I am pro-life and oppose assisted suicide.

October 13, 2015 2 5 comments
Resource, Image

These slides are suitable for projection during worship and highlight Disability Awareness.

October 9, 2015 0 2 comments
Resource, Bulletin, Insert or Cover

This bulletin insert, formatted for easy photocopying, gives a brief overview of the ministry of Christian Reformed Disability Concerns.

October 7, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Video

These one to three minute video interviews of people living with disabilities will work well for showing in a worship service, Sunday School class, or other settings. 

October 7, 2015 1 0 comments

Fear of the unknown and the grief that our child might not be “normal” gripped us. But through it all, we relied on God’s strength and grace to carry us through our fears and grief. 

October 6, 2015 2 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

Children with disabilities are part of God's family, but people don't always treat them that way. In this book you'll discover how to help kids and their leaders welcome and include kids with disabilities at church or school.

October 2, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

Un recurso para los que abogan por la discapacidad desde las oficinas de Asuntos de Discapacidad.

September 21, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Mandate

This mandate spells out purpose, general duties, accountability, membership, length of service, and meeting frequency for a disability committee. 

September 18, 2015 0 0 comments

One can be well and live with a serious mental illness or disability. But wellness does require community (such as a church). Therefore let's ask, "Is my church a place where people can be well?" 

September 15, 2015 3 3 comments
Resource, Video

These two brief videos featuring people with disabilities talking about their jobs and a journal article make the same point in very different ways: don't be afraid to hiring people who have disabilities. 

September 8, 2015 0 0 comments

Do you get a day off if you are unemployed? No, until you're hired, there's no taking off from unemployment. 

September 8, 2015 2 1 comments
Resource, Article

Speaking from the experience of the rise and fall of a Disabilities Support Group my wife and I initiated in 2011, I'll reflect on what went well and also the feedback on ways we could have improved.

September 1, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Bulletin, Insert or Cover

September 9 is International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day. Help alert your congregation to the risks of birth defects if alcohol is consumed during pregnancy.

August 31, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Lesson or Study

When life hits us with painful trials, our hearts plead that God tell us why. The Bible teaches there are many reasons God allows suffering. But, like Job, the person suffering might not know why...

August 10, 2015 1 0 comments
Resource, Article

Progress in creating accessible and inclusive spaces for people with disabilities can be slow. Yet, there are signs of hope. Check out this encouraging article about churches being proactive! 

August 6, 2015 1 0 comments
Resource, Sermon or Message

This message describes a continuum of disability attitudes and challenges listeners to move to a deeper, richer, and more loving attitude towards people with disabilities. 

August 5, 2015 0 0 comments



Well deserved, Mark!

Congrats Mark. Well deserved.

Congratulations Mark! Well deserved.

Congratulations Mark for your contributions and recognition for this much needed work!  Blessings as you continue to serve the kingdom!

So great to hear, congratulations Mark!!  God's peace and guidance be with you as you humbly obey God's call for your life and encourage all of us to love and include ALL God's children.  


Congratulations and keep up the great work. You are a strong and clear voice for many who would otherwise not be heard.

Such a valuable gift, to walk alongside, to listen with love, in acceptance rather than in judgment. Lord, help your people to be those who can walk alongside. Thanks for the article!


posted in: Just Walk with Me

Great story about Max - thanks for sharing.

I have had mild hearing loss in one ear ever since a bad infection over 20 years ago, and I find small group conversation challenging; I can only imagine how bad it could be for those with more severe impairments.  I definitely concur with the suggestions in the previous comment--first of all, evaluate the room.  High ceilings, hard furniture, tile floors can create a "live" environment that bounces the sound around and makes for too much noise competing for my "good" ear. This is particularly important in a large room with several groups meeting at different tables.  In that type of setting, something to absorb some of the extra sound (curtains, acoustical panels, carpets or area rugs) is needed.  Flexibility in seating may also be helpful.  If I can sit where the primary sound is on my right (the good side), I can manage better.  And limit "background" sound.  If music is used, keep it very soft and instrumental only, so it doesn't compete with conversation.  Do consider having some type of visual support.  If the setting isn't appropriate for a Power Point, maybe just a flip chart and markers to highlight main points being discussed will help people make sure they don't miss anything.  Hope these suggestions are helpful.  

Kory, what a wonderful conversation your church is having and your concern for inclusiveness is wonderful.

It may be possible to do small group conversations that include both the hearing and a wide range of cognitive abilities with just a few modifications.  

What room are you having the small group conversations in?  If it is exceptionally "live" acoustically a change in venue may be all that a hearing challenged person needs.  Also sitting in a circle may help so that the reading of lips is possible and the sound of the voice isn't muffled by people's backs.  

As for reaching the full range of cognitive abilities.  I'd encourage presenting the material using as many media as possible.  Can every topic be presented in two different ways?  Could a discussion on a scripture passage be set up by both reading from scripture and a storybook Bible or a thematically related picture book? Or use scripture and video?  Then in setting up the questions keep at least some of them very open ended.  "I wonder..." questions work well for adults as well as children or "What would you do if..." If there are no right/wrong answers then it is possible for everyone to feel comfortable participating.  

I don't know, maybe you've already tried these things and they didn't work in your context.  If you haven't tried them, it may be a place to start.

If you do decide to move forward with this let us know how it goes and what you learned because I think you are right that many churches are struggling with answering that same question. 

Actually, if you see my posting of yesterday you will notice that a senior CDC has blown the whistle that the link between MMR and autism was covered up.  The lead scientist of the infamous Danish study absconded with over a million dollars.  Danish study was found to be totally flawed.  Surely, especially Christians, shouldn't be believing CDC liars as well as crooks instead of a commendable scientist who is a pro-life Christian.

Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self-evident.  

This was the case with the link between smoking and lung-cancer and will be the case with vaccines, especially MMR, and autism.  Hopefully people wake up to the truth sooner rather than later.  Are they going to wait until 1 in 10 or even 1 in 5 has autism before they accept the reality of the link?

Contrary to the vaccine propaganda, the cases and deaths from vaccines had already plummeted to a great extent before vaccines were even introduced.  For the last three decades of the use of the small pox vaccine more children were being damaged and killed by the small pox vaccine than were dying from small pox.  In the past scarlet fever was a problem causing many deaths.  Have you heard of scarlet fever deaths recently?  BTW, there is not vaccine for scarlet fever!

As Christians we are told in Romans 12:2 not to confirm to the world.  Nowadays some Christians rationalize unbiblical practices such as using aborted babies to make vaccines.  Whether the babies were killed yesterday or decades ago, it doesn’t matter to Almighty God and Christians who don’t conform to the world.  It is still the shedding of innocent blood.  The end doesn’t justify the means.

In reality the vaccinated are more of a problem to the unvaccinated than the other way round.  The live vaccines, such as MMR, shed and can infect other people.  For example the medical advice given to those that are immune compromised, taking chemo etc., it to not have visitor(s) who have been recently vaccinated with a live virus.  They can shed for even a month or so.  Another issue is that unlike true immunity from getting the disease, the vaccine effect wanes and the vaccinated person gets the disease and can also infect others.  For example recently hockey players who were vaccinated for mumps still got mumps as an adult when it is more serious.   

It's nearly impossible for science, good science, to make a blanket statement about a condition as complex as autism. However, the article I cite says, "The American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC, the World Health Organization, and the Institute of Medicine all agree that there's probably no relationship between autism and vaccines." Considering the enormous, real, and documented risks posed to unvaccinated children, compared to the highly unlikely connection between autism and vaccines, I still feel the need to express my belief that the most responsible and loving choice a parent can make is to have his or her child vaccinated.

Regarding your final question, I'm strongly prolife. Your question is a difficult one, though you ask it in a misleading way. Your question makes it seem as if babies are continually aborted in order to create vaccines. In fact, some, not all vaccines, use stem cell lines from three babies that were aborted decades ago - two in the 1960's and one in the 1980's. Just because these abortions happened decades ago does not make the action of the abortions morally acceptable. However, as this article from Right to Life of Michigan  points out, "The further away the current act (using a vaccine) and intent (protecting a child from a disease) of an individual are from a previous immoral act (aborting a child), the less that individual is restricted by the immorality of the previous act. While the act of aborting the child was certainly immoral, all of the steps involved with the development and use of the vaccines thereafter did not cooperate with the abortion." This article goes on to cite a number of authorities who agree that using these vaccines is morally acceptable.

What we have here is a not-so-subtle attempt to "chill" scientific research in an area that the vaccination lobby doesn't like.

If you attempt to discredit Dr Deisher's work because of purported conflict of interest, consider the other conflicts of interest that exist , i.e. Vaccination advocate, Dr Paul Offit earns royalties from Merck for his vaccine; Julie Gerberding formerly positioned at the CDC moved to head Merck's Vaccine division.  Financial ties held by CDC and FDA to the Pharmaceutical companies they are making recommendations about.

This is a statement by a doctor:

As a physician for more than 35 years, something has certainly happened that has caused this epidemic of autism and autism spectrum related disorders. My concern is that why would we just not be more aggressive in trying to understand this disorder? It will adversely affect our society in a major way if 1 in 58 boys are continually afflicted. Dr Deisher should be commended in her efforts to evaluate this association of change points and changes in the vaccine schedule.

God is holy and from my reading of the Bible He hates hands that shed innocent blood. That is what happened when babies were aborted and their cells were harvested (live) to make the cell lines MRC 5 and WI 38. Both babies had their blood shed. The DNA of those children are injected into those that receive live virus vaccines like MMR.

We should understand God's wisdom is higher than man's wisdom. We should pray for His wisdom as well. I personally am concerned about these vaccines that have utilized cells in which innocent blood was shed. I am not so sure that good can come from evil. I am fairly convinced that Christians need to be careful in this regard. Biomedicine excludes the issues of the spiritual part of man and this can be dangerous premise. Spiritual illness can cause physical and mental problems.

Actually the real fraud has been committed by those covering up the link between autism and vaccines, especially MMR (from aborted unborn babies):

Statement by whistle blower Dr. William Thompson, Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 1998.

“I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that especially African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed. 

There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with receipt of those vaccines.”

Also the infamous Danish study purporting to deny link between vaccines and autism, has been found to be totally flawed by scientists.  Also the lead scientists of the Danish study i.e.: POUL THORSEN, 49, of Denmark, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud and money laundering based on orchestrating a scheme to steal over $1 million in CDC grant money earmarked for autism research.  

Those who are denying the link are actually ‘anti-science’, just like those who denied the link between smoking and lung cancer.

 I also believe that this supposed finding of a link between vaccinations and autism is baloney.  I subscribe to Scientific American Mind, and in one issue there was an article titled "Why We Cheat," in which the case of this fraud was discussed along with other scientists who were also found to have cheated with data while they were still Ph.D. students but apparently their supervisors failed to confront them at the time, and when they submitted an article with fraudulent data and were found out their budding careers were over.  Who wants to hire an individual known to cheat and lie?


My sister also believed that autism was linked to vaccines and was extremely reluctant to have her son vaccinated because of that fraud, but she resigned herself to have it done because he would not have been admitted at the school where she and her partner wanted to register him UNLESS he were vaccinated.  I have lent her the issue but I don't know if she's read it yet since she's a pretty busy woman.  However, since both she and my brother-in-law are engineers, there is very little likelihood of them being anti-science.


Interesting that this statement was made in the article you linked to:

Until scientists can prove exactly what causes autism, it's difficult to definitively disprove anything.”


Actually there are parallels between current denial of the obvious link between vaccines and autism, and the historical denial of the link between smoking and lung cancer.

- Lung cancer was once a very rare disease, so rare that doctors took special notice when confronted with a case, thinking it a once-in-a-lifetime oddity. 

 1987 - “Autistic disorder is rare, occurring in fewer than five children per ten thousand births, but with few exceptions (Lovaas).  Similarly when a doctor was confronted by a case decades ago, it was regarded as a once-in-a-lifetime oddity.


This is interesting history regarding smoking and lung cancer that is similar to current denial of link between vaccines and autism:

“Cigarettes were recognized as the cause of the (lung cancer) epidemic in the 1940s and 1950s, with the confluence of studies from epidemiology, animal experiments, cellular pathology and chemical analytics. Cigarette manufacturers disputed this evidence, as part of an orchestrated ploy to salvage cigarette sales. Propagandizing the public proved successful, judging from secret tobacco industry measurements of the impact of denialist propaganda. As late as 1960 only one-third of all US doctors believed that the case against cigarettes had been established.”


Dr. Theresa Deisher’s credentials seem far more credible that the blog that you linked to.  “Dr. Deisher has focused on discovering and developing new therapies for grievous human illness. Dr. Deisher obtained her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Physiology from Stanford University and has spent over 20 years in commercial biotechnology, working with companies such as Genentech, Repligen, ZymoGenetics, Immunex and Amgen, prior to founding AVM Biotechnology and Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (SCPI). AVM Biotechnology is the marquee pro-life biotech company worldwide, certifying that it does not use morally illicit material in any process.”


Are you pro-life?  Do you think it’s OK to be injecting babies with vaccines made utilizing aborted unborn babies.



Fronse, it sounds like you find yourself with a dilemma. On the one hand, you simply want to be "just another child of God," and speaking up about your disability only causes people to focus on it all the more, resulting (often) in even more pity toward you. On the other hand, instead of pity, you would like people to appreciate that the disability has deepened your resolve and your creativity to overcome the barriers it creates. I read a fine article once (can't find it right now) by two women (one or both have disabilities) who examine the Luke 8 passage about the woman with a flow of blood. In her society, she would have been considered to have a disability. The authors of the article noted that in all the commentaries they read about the passage, no commentator said a word about the woman's courage, her resourcefulness, her determination to go on living in a society that considered her unmarriageable and perpetually unclean. Thanks for taking the risk to speak up here so that those of us who read your post can remember the resourcefulness and determination one needs to keep on keeping on when living with a disability. 

Thanks Mark for raising this important question. We all have views of "normal" that we learn or is imposed on us. Different is emphasized sometimes too often. Having a prosthesis I have learned that folks focus on it, not me. Too often first reactions lean toward pity which is spirit-killing for me. Yet overcoming living barriers (walking, standing, etc.) too often is overlooked, unless I speak up. Sharing my struggles leads to me being treated differently just because I spoke up. It makes me avoid situations and communications about "disabilities." I want greatly to be treated as just another child of God, a man, a father, husband, grandfather and friend. 




Many sources agree that the autism/vaccination link does not exist. It always worries me when someone will benefit financially if people believe a study that person publishes. Such is the case with Dr. Deischer, the author of the study you cite, according to this article in Patheos, and such was the case with Andrew Wakefield. We had our children vaccinated, and I firmly believe that God gave us minds to discover new ways of protecting ourselves from disease, whether vaccinations or antibiotics or other means. I feel sad for the children getting measles today because their parents refused to have them vaccinated. 

This is a summary of the scientific findings:

Second page lists all vaccines made using human fetal cells and alternative(s), if any.  Some vaccines don't have any alternatives.


Thank you!


Synod's brief statement still provides a nuanced response. The SCC decision opens up a Pandoras box.

The Canadian debate at the time of the abortion issue (read lack of!) comes to mind again with its disastrous results.



This is the link to the article, in the Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology mentioned (above):

Dr. Deisher (author) testifies on the connection between vaccines and rising rates of autism:





Actually recent scientific clearly demonstrates the link between autism and vaccines, specifically those made using human fetal cells.

This is an abstract that I split into paragraphs to improve readability of the article in Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology:

The aim of this study was to investigate a previously overlooked, universally introduced environmental factor, fetal and retroviral contaminants in childhood vaccines, absent prior to change points (CPs) in autistic disorder (AD) prevalence with subsequent dose-effect evidence and known pathologic mechanisms of action.

Worldwide population based cohort study was used for the design of this study. The United States, Western Australia, United Kingdom and Denmark settings were used.

All live born infants who later developed autistic disorder delivered after 1 January 1970, whose redacted vaccination and autistic disorder diagnosis information is publicly available in databases maintained by the US Federal Government, Western Australia, UK, and Denmark. 

The live births, grouped by father’s age, were from the US and Australia. The children vaccinated with MMRII, Varicella and Hepatitis A vaccines varied from 19 to 35 months of age at the time of vaccination. 

Autistic disorder birth year change points were identified as 1980.9, 1988.4 and 1996 for the US, 1987 for UK, 1990.4 for Western Australia, and 1987.5 for Denmark. 

Change points in these countries corresponded to introduction of or increased doses of human fetal cell line-manufactured vaccines, while no relationship was found between paternal age or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) revisions and autistic disorder diagnosis. 

Further, linear regression revealed that Varicella and Hepatitis A immunization coverage was significantly correlated to autistic disorder cases. R software was used to calculate change points. 

Autistic disorder change points years are coincident with introduction of vaccines manufactured using human fetal cell lines, containing fetal and retroviral contaminants, into childhood vaccine regimens. 

This pattern was repeated in the US, UK, Western Australia and Denmark. Thus, rising autistic disorder prevalence is directly related to vaccines manufactured utilizing human fetal cells. 

Increased paternal age and DSM revisions were not related to rising autistic disorder prevalence.

What I mean by pointing out that severely autistic individuals can be violent is that this is unacceptable if this is preventable by not using vaccines made from human fetal cells.  Isn't it outrageous that parents, not being informed what is actually in the vaccines, are unnecessarily burdened with an autistic child who can later (when older/bigger) be life threatening to his/her own parents?

I personally don't agree with vaccination, i.e. don't believe that Almighty God made a mistake in our design.

However, regarding what the church should do.  The church should at least be demanding that there is ALWAYS an alternative to vaccines made from human fetal cells, for Biblical/ethical and health/safety reasons.  Currently there is no alternative to the MMR vaccine containing human fetal cells.



Yes, this decision is frightening for everyone, and especially people who have disabilities, which is why we Christians need to respond. For more information, besides the excellent Cardus article, see Not Dead Yet, the ironically titled U.S. organization that opposes assisted suicide, and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, which just produced two excellent articles in response to this decision by the Supreme Court of Canada. 

Hi Joy,

Let's take these in opposite order. There are many theories regarding the increase in autism diagnoses. First and most important, the rise in autism diagnoses is NOT caused by the increase in vaccination rates. The theory of vaccinations causing autism has not only been shown to be false, but also a fraud perpetrated to line the pockets of certain people. The rise in diagnoses may not indicate that any more people today have autism than, say, 100 years ago. A diagnosis uses specific criteria, and as those criteria have changed over the years, rates of diagnoses have increased. Regarding the church's response, the important thing is not so much the diagnosis, but the welcome the church gives to people who bear the image of God. 

That brings me to your first comment. Yes, it's true that some people who have autism are violent. It's also true that some men are violent, and some white people are violent, and some . . . are violent. We in the church should never hold prejudice against a whole group of people because they happen to share some characteristic. Instead, the church needs to be the welcoming community it is called to be, welcoming people with autism, and men, and white people, and . . . And if some individual, whether that individual has autism, or is male, or is white, begins to engage in inappropriate behavior, the church must take steps to set boundaries, not deciding immediately that he doesn't belong, but deciding to work with him to help him learn appropriate behaviors. I've consulted with a number of congregations who have done exactly that; what a beautiful expression of the love of God for all of us! "Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." (Eph. 2:4,5)

The slippery slope continues, it started with murdering the unborn (abortion), now moving towards that other end of life.  How long will it be before people are killed against their will, such as is happening in countries that have already gone down this road?  Will doctors be expected to 'refer' to another doctor willing to do the dreadful deed, similar to abortions?  Thereby violating their freedom of conscience.



Unfortunately, some who are severely autistic can be violent, such as this article about a mother beaten up by her adult autistic son:

You mention that within a short time frame the number of cases of autism has shot up from 1 in 10 000 to 1 in 100?  Do you know why?



Hi Michele, click on "Visit Website." Mark

Could you provide a link to it or5 do I have to look it up myself?

 "The Christian tradition has always considered suicide a grievous sin"

But is suicide the "unforgivable sin?"

Suicide has a terrible copycat effect, writes Katelyn Beaty in Christianity Today, citing atheist Jennifer Hecht, and is therefore a threat to any community.

Was seppuku a threat to Japanese society?

Might not an outsider describe Jesus' death as "suicide by cop?"


posted in: My Life? My Choice?

Thanks Steve

Larry Van Essen

Thank you, Kelly, for sharing this here. ~Stanley

posted in: Trusting Papa

Thank you, for these helpful suggestions, Mark.  We can all participate better, when we are better informed!

Robin, thanks for this! Here are three ideas to get people started on a road toward fully engaging kids with disabilities at their church:

  • Treat him or her, as much as possible, like you treat the other children.
  • Don't assume what the child can or cannot do, but learn by interacting with him or her and by talking with the child's parents/guardians.
  • For more information, see the Resources for Church Education from Disability Concerns, and Church Services from CLC Network. 

Bill, indeed, many fetuses are spontaneously aborted, but to say that a soul enters a fetus when the fetus becomes viable outside the womb is arbitrary, and that point has been shifting downward as neonatal medicine has advanced. In fact, there will come a day when artificial wombs will be a reality, and fertilized eggs will be viable outside a human womb, though probably not in my lifetime.

The point of my article is to emphasize that couples need not give up hope about their child or their marriage if they have a child with a disability. People and marriages can flourish even when circumstances are very difficult! 

As far as I can determine, the CRC has no opinion as to the origin and/or timing of the human soul.  If we have an official opinion or discussion, I would very much like to read it. The topic is important to discussing this essay.


" . . .   Within the range of heathenism, creationism was the old Italian view. Contrary to what one might have expected, the ancient Latin Church abandoned it. . . ."

I confess this article is at or beyond my limit of understanding.  Considering present knowledge of DNA and that over half of all conceptions are spontaneously aborted . . . I have concluded that God creates the soul when the fetus is technically/medically able to live outside the womb.  Why would God create a soul that God knows that God would abort? What constitutes the "personality" of a collection of undifferentiated cells? if "only God knows" then arguing about birth control pills and such is silly. 


Another resource that's available on the topic of moral injury and "soul repair" is this webinar recording (which includes slides and a handout) called "Helping Veterans Suffering Moral Injury After War."

Thanks Michele. I found the article online too: Schizophrenia's Genetic Roots

Hi Michele, our newsletter, Breaking Barriers, follows themes, so it might be years again before we publish an edition featuring people's stories about mental health challenges; however, we have a page called Stories of Grace and Truth in which we have encouraged people to share their own stories, poems, and works of art. I'd really appreciate your sending us what you have written. The guidelines for submission are at the top of the Grace and Truth page

Interesting.  I'll watch the video later, but I wanted to say that I got my latest issue of Scientific American Mind in the mail today and there is an article about schizophrenia in it.  "Schizophrenia's Genetic Roots" in November/December 2014. p. 13.

I have some poems I wrote in the mid-1990s before and after I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, which was one of the most stressful periods of my life.  One of them is on this computer ; its title is "Mountains".  Unfortunately I can't get it in this window.  I don't know how to, but I could send it to Disability concerns to publish in your newsletter along with the others.


Right, their journey with mental health issues. Unfortunately, comments can't be edited so my error will have to stay. Thanks for the catch. 

@ Mark,

I will look into the resources you mentioned and share them with my pastor.  In one of the sentences you wrote about the poems and stories you mentioned a journal. Perhaps you meant a journey?  Thanks for these resources.  I'll get back to you.

Michele, I agree that you should follow where God is leading in terms of your time, attention, and energy. I thank God to hear that you are hoping to start a support group for people with mental health issues. I hope and pray that goes well. We have a couple resources that may be helpful. We produced a four-part Bible study a few years ago called Let's Talk! Breaking the Silence around Mental Illness in Our Communities of Faith. This includes a leader's guide and may be helpful to get your group started. Also, we invited people to share their stories and poems about their journal with mental health issues which we titled Stories of Grace and Truth; perhaps you or others would feel moved to contribute something for this page. Mental Health Ministries and Pathways to Promise also have a lot of good, free resources that are worth checking out; their Mental Health Ministry Toolkit for Congregations is hard to find but has some really good ideas and resources. Blessings, Mark

Hi Michele, We close captioned the brief videos we created that can be found on our homepage. I assume you are talking about the new children and youth ministry videos we just put on our website. Thanks for this suggestion. I hope that someday we will have the budget to pay for this in addition to the cost of producing the videos themselves. Mark

On another subject. I am somewhat hard of hearing and the loud speakers of my computer are weak.  Could you or would you make your videos close captioned in the future, so that I can hear what people are saying without straining and trying to boost the volume beyond the computer's capacity?  I already have an extra set of loud speakers and even with them I had such a hard time hearing the video that I gave up.  Thank you.

That is NOT a job I'd see myself doing, but I do forward your posts to people in my congregation whom I think might be interested because I know that their child or other relative has a disability. Yesterday we had a one-day retreat in which we discussed the future of our congregation and classis, and where we felt our church was in the life-cycle of a congregation, and at the check-out stage I presented my desire to set up a support group for people with mental health issues and their close relatives, while someone else said we should also set up a Friendship group.  I do NOT feel qualified or interested in doing both, but I would be interested in getting further training to become a peer counselor;  we already have a social worker in our congregation and the pastor is sensitive to the problem of mental illnesses because one of his daughters also suffers from schizophrenia.


It's a beautiful vision, Mark.  Keep up the good work!


Hi Michele, thanks for the comment. Yeah, it should be a given nowadays that some people need medications for their mental health issues just as some people need medication for high blood pressure. Sadly, some Christians still believe that mental illnesses are spiritual issues that should be handled by strictly spiritual means. Thanks for speaking up against this attitude which is not only out of touch with the realities of mental illnesses but also not loving. 

I'm not sure if I commented on this post already or not, but to me point 3 falls in the duh! category.  The medications exist because they were found to meet a need, and while I can see that some depressions could be managed without medication, nobody could do that with major mental illnesses like schizophrenia unless they're anti-psychiatry but that's another horse.  And even depressions nowadays are not what they used to be.  In a program I saw on TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin during Mental Health Week a few years ago, three psychiatrists were saying that depression in many cases had become a chronic illness, so even there it might be unrealistic to expect people to get over it on their own strength, so what's the big problem with church members taking meds for mental illnesses? Is it yet another preconceived idea based on an assumption that mental illnesses are moral failures on the part of those who suffer from these illnesses?  Welcome to the 21st Century. 

Man, I'm tired of seeing those old prejudices having to be re-addressed time and time again.  Can we move on to the next level in helping people with mental illnesses than repeating the same arguments?  In Hebrews, when the author wrote to the congregation about their maturity level, he said that although by that time they should have been teaching others they still needed to be taught the basics, and you know why? Because people who don't grow in the faith don't do their homework, and it's the same about ministering to people in the church that have special needs.  Some Christians should know better than to still be stuck at the level of changing their attitude toward other Christians with mental illnesses, but we're going around in circles because those who still need posts like the one above are not growing.  This should be a non-issue for followers of Christ Who never bothered to consider if people who were sick and needed His help were deserving of it.  Who in the Church of Christ is deluded enough to think they have the right to judge other believers because they're mentally ill?