Disability Concerns Ministry is a collaboration between the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America (RCA). We work together with the vision of creating spaces where “Everybody Belongs. Everybody Serves.”
This year, Terry DeYoung, coordinator of the Disability Concerns ministry for the RCA was honoured with a very important award: The Henri J.M. Nouwen Award. This award is given by the Religion and Spirituality Interest Network, a division of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. This award is given to an individual who “reflect[s] a ‘Nouwen style’ of compassion for, commitment and dedication to ministry and servanthood that values and esteems people with developmental disabilities.”
For all of us who have served alongside Terry over the years, this description is a perfect fit. We realize this is an honour he truly deserves. Terry works tirelessly to see that everyone has the space to contribute, that we work together to eliminate the ableist mentality that negates people from contributing in a way that God designed them to.
On behalf of our network of staff and volunteers that have worked alongside Terry, we want to congratulate him on such an honour. His gift for encouraging people, giving people a space to be heard and seen, for continually working towards a vision of a world where we can all work alongside one another, respecting the gifts God has given to each one of us, is an inspiration to all of us. Congratulations Terry!
To view a more in depth overview of Terry’s life and career within the disability community, you can view the article DeYoung Named 2020 Nouwen Award Recipient on the Religion and Spirituality Interest Network.
To learn all about Terry’s life and what drives him to move forward, from the award winner himself, you can view his online award presentation here: Video of Terry DeYoung receiving the Nouwen Award
Note: Previous recipients of the Nouwen award with ties to the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America include Ron Vredeveld (2006), Nella Uitvlugt (2014), Barbara Newman (2015), Benjamin Conner (2016), and Tom Hoeksema (2017).