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Disability Concerns Ministry Bookshelf

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Looking for some resources on the topic of disability within the Christian community? We reached out to our disability community to gather an extensive list of our favorite books. We hope you find this a valuable resource. If you have a book that has been helpful for your disability journey, please let us know! This is an ever-evolving list of must-reads for our ministry. 

Divine Nobodies by Jim Palmer
Everyday ordinary people, the very presence of Christ; The Mercy, and Grace of Christ blessing and caring for the people they encounter in their everyday lives, whatever their occupation..

Inclusion Handbook Editors: Mark Stephenson, Terry DeYoung, Keith Dow and Dan Vander Plaats
This easy-to-read book functions as a "go-to-guide" providing some basic step-by-step instructions for disability inclusion. It is very simple and practical in its approach and covers a variety of areas including ministry to people with physical impairments, developmental disabilities, aging stresses (for example Alzheimer's and dementia) and mental illness. Definitely a great resource for both church and para-church organizations, for pastors, professors, and lay people. (Also available in Korean: 통합 안내서, 장애 옹호인들을 위한 자원

A Compassionate Journey by John Cook

Helping Kids Include Kids with Disabilities by Barbara Newman
Special education teacher Barb Newman provides a much-needed how-to manual that equips teachers, church activity leaders, and kids with such gems as information for understanding children with special needs, guidelines for churches, and devotions for families. To access a free sample chapter, visit Helping Kids Include Kids….With Autism

Autism and the Church: Nurturing the Spiritual Growth of People with Autism Spectrum Disorder by Barbara Newman

Changing Attitudes about Disability by Dan Vander Plaats
Vander Plaats discusses different attitudes we may have about disability and provides multiple resources on how to move along the pendulum from ignorance, to pity, to caring, to friendship, and ultimately, to co-laboring, where we find ourselves in rich reciprocal relationships with disabled people that enables both of us to fulfill our God-given callings.

Disability and Inclusive Communities by Kevin Timpe
Kevin, a professor of philosophy at Calvin University, presents the case for inclusion, aided by the voices of people with disabilities. "In just over an hour (which is all the time it took me read "Disability and Inclusive Communities"), author Kevin Timpe introduced me to brothers and sisters in Christ who have every reason to reject the church, yet have not. Instead, their rejection has often come from the church itself. This ought not be the case. This is a must-read for any Christian who believes the church has figured out inclusion and disability. It will make you mad, ashamed, repentant, and hopeful. Reading it prompted me toward, as Timpe suggests, "radical and deliberate reorientation of our communities." I pray that God will use this lean but compelling manuscript to begin a redemptive reorientation of our churches and society." - Dan Vander Plaats, Director of Advancement at Elim Christian Services 

Same Lake, Different Boat by Steph Hubach

Disability and the Gospel by Michael Beates
A biblical, comprehensive yet condensed and very approachable, look at the theology of disability.

Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship by Barbara Newman
A fantastic, practical approach to making the 8 vertical habits of worship usable for individuals of all ages and abilities.

Special Needs Parenting: From Coping to Thriving by Lorna Bradley
A great small group study for those raising children with special needs of all ages. Great questions for discussion with a biblical perspective.

Building Community, Practical  Ways to Build Inclusive for People Who Are Vulnerable by Cara Milne www.mpoweredplanning.com
A great hands-on guide for anyone contemplating any kind of relationship with those who have disabilities. I love the flow of the chapters….from first conversation to lasting relationships!

Ministry with Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families Editors: Robert H. Albers, William H. Meller, Steven D. Thurber
The language of creation replaces, and transcends, the language of loss, just as it does in life. The pastoral care-giver's question is not, “What have you lost? But “What’s it like?” and “What’s happening?”

The Spiritual Art of Raising Children With Disabilities by Kathleen Deyer Bolduc 
Invites readers to join her on a spiritual journey that begins with the shattering pain of asking questions that cannot be answered and continues toward new creation and new community.

Mental Health: A Guide for Faith Leaders and its companion, Quick Reference on Mental Health for Faith LeadersThe Mental Health and Faith Community Partnership
This guide provides information to help faith leaders work with members of their congregations and their families who are facing mental health challenges.

A Day in the Life by Bev Roozeboom 
This book gives a glimpse into the chaos and hope of families with children living in the grip of chronic mental health disorders.

Turning Barriers into Bridges: The Inclusive Use of Information and Communication Technology for Churches in America, Britain, and Canada by Dr. John Jay Frank
Presents biblical, legal, and cultural reasons for making church communications accessible, and it provides specific guidelines to do so.

Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities by Erik W. Carter 
An excellent read based on solid research and practical application.

When Fraser Met Billy by Louise Booth  
A great story. Easy to read. 

Autism and the God Connection: Redefining the Autistic Experience Through Extraordinary Accounts of Spiritual Giftedness by William Stillman
A parents view of Autism from a faith perspective. 

Too Wise to Be Mistaken, Too Good to be Unkind by Cathy Steere
Christian parents and their perspective of Autism. 

Feathers from Heaven by Denise Briley
A parents view of disability from a faith perspective. 

Dancing with Max:A Mother and Son Who Broke Free by Emily Colson
A mother’s perspective of the gifts and struggles of disability from a faith perspective. 

No Ordinary Boy by Jennifer Johannesen
The story of a Canadian family and their son Owen. 

Adam, God’s Beloved by Henri J. Nouwen
In his final book, Nouwen shares the spiritual lessons he learned from a young man with disabilities. 

Immeasurably More: More Hope, More Joy: Embracing Life with Down Syndrome by Linda Aalderink
A book about embracing life with Down syndrome. 

Disability and Spirituality: Recovering Wholeness by William C. Gaventh 
An overview of the historical and contemporary developments within the area of spirituality and disability. 

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Thank you for putting this helpful list together!  I've already read some of these titles and look forward to reading more to educate myself as a disability advocate for our church.