The Reformed Church in America encourages churches to celebrate Disability Sunday on October 11 and the Christian Reformed Church on October 18. This year, our theme is Agility.
Terry DeYoung, Coordinator for Disability Concerns Ministry of the RCA writes,
In my efforts to do life everyday—working, driving, shopping, socializing, participating in church, etc.—the physical disabilities I’ve had since birth require that I figure out stuff all the time. I must anticipate, plan, be vulnerable, and negotiate. That’s why I may say things like: “Can you help me with this? . . . Are there any other options? . . . That’s why I requested this accommodation in advance. . . . No, I’ve got this, but thanks for offering to help.” I don’t delight in coming across as a high-maintenance person who needs to have things my way. Agility calls for my respectful negotiation with others in order to function in a world that wasn’t designed with me in mind.
Contrary to assumptions, people with disabilities tend to be highly agile, because they must navigate physical and social structures that are created by and for people who do not have disabilities. In this way, we can and often do “dis-able” people from participating in and joining our churches. Healthy church communities learn from people who have disabilities and provide opportunities for them to lead.
Ideas to celebrate disability week include these:
- Use the attached bulletin insert and slides for worship.
- Distribute one or both of our Disability Emphasis Week devotionals to the congregation.