Videos and Discussion Questions: Let's Talk About Disability

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These short video interviews of families, children, and people living with disabilities will work well for showing in a worship service, Sunday School class, or other settings.  Often we are changed in and by our relationships with people with disabilities and their families, and so, consider these videos a glimpse into their lives and an invitation to deepen relationships in your congregation and community.  Along with a brief description of each interview is a question or two to reflect on personally or as a group.  All videos have English captioning.

Morgan Schnyders

Listen to a mother share her experience of having a daughter with autism who is non-verbal with a heightened sensory system.  Morgan’s peers have stopped attending church but Morgan’s family shares how important church is to them, especially witnessing Morgan’s love of the music. “We are strengthened by so many who tell us they are praying for us, and for Morgan.”

  • When you hear that Morgan’s peers and their families have left church, what do you think is the church’s role in this?
  • How is your congregation being intentional about welcoming children with disabilities and their families? 
  • Name some fears you have and talk through some strategies / look for resources (assumptions, safety/health concerns, curriculum adaptations) etc.

Find Morgan’s video on Disability Concerns’ YouTube channel or below.

Michael Feir

Listen to Michael, who has been blind since birth, share how he participates and offers gifts to life in the community, including church.  He shares blessings that he “doesn’t know if [he] would have encountered” if he had lived with sight. 

  • What are some blessings in your lives that you have encountered because of who God created you to be?
  • How does your congregation, or how might your congregation, welcome the gifts of people with disabilities to serve God?

Find Michael’s video on Disability Concerns’ YouTube channel or below.

Francine Bell

Listen to Francine who shares how she has been judged base on appearance before people get to know her and what she offers.  Francine shares her desire to be seen from the “inside-out” as God sees her. 

  • Share a moment where you experienced people making harmful assumptions about you / your life / your skills.  How did you feel?  How did you work to change these assumptions?
  • Share a moment where you made assumptions about you / your life / your skills.  Where might have these assumptions come from?  How were these assumptions confirmed or transformed? 
  • What does it mean to you to be seen as God sees you?

Find Francine’s video on Disability Concerns’ YouTube channel or below.

The Pot Family

Listen to the Pot Family who shares how their community widened when their daughters Rachel and Janneke came into their lives.  “When disability comes into a family, it is way easier for that family to just walk away from the church … [but] community is essential for carrying us through life,” they share. 

  • Why do you think that it is easier for families with children with disabilities to walk away from the church?
  • How can the church, your congregation, model welcome, care, and formation for all of Christ’s disciples?
  • Have conversations with families in your congregation and in your wider community about their hopes and needs for being in a faith community.

Find the Pot Family’s video on Disability Concerns’ YouTube channel or below.

Roger Slagter & Acquired Disability

Listen to Roger, who lives with disabilities as a result of a stroke, as he thanks God for being with him throughout his recovery so he can continue to share his gifts in the church and in the world.  He stresses the importance of the congregation to make space for people with disabilities to serve in God’s ministry.

  • How is your congregation caring for those who acquire disabilities later in life and their families / caregivers?
  • How can you notice, make space, and celebrate the gifts of people who are sometimes discounted for what they have to offer?

Find Roger’s video on Disability Concerns’ YouTube channel or below.

Amie Spriensma

Listen to Amie, who lives with Cerebral Palsy, and is growing in her awareness and acceptance of both her disabilities and abilities.  She talks about physical and attitudinal barriers that limit relationships.  She shares her desire to help others, as well as the one who receives help.

  • How can you notice, make space, and celebrate the gifts of people who are sometimes discounted for what they have to offer?
  • What are the barriers that limit relationships in your congregation?  What are possible ways you can seek to transform those to build authentic community?

Find Amie’s video on Disability Concerns’ YouTube channel or below.

Talking about Disability: Morgan Schnyders

Talking about Disability: Michael Feir

Talking about Disability: Francine Bell

Talking about Disability: Pot Family

Talking about Disability: Roger Slagter & Acquired Disability

Talking about Disability: Amie Spriensma

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