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The Drawing of Jesus Hides a Big Stain

I’m more comfortable with answers than questions, authority than weakness, and qualification by academic degree than qualification by suffering. But I’m learning that effectiveness in chaplaincy requires me to walk into the circle of my discomfort.

ChaplaincyDisability Concerns
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Disability Doesn't Preclude Wellness

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?" 

Disability Concerns
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Living With Cerebral Palsy, Rejection, and Welcome

Susie Angel talks about the rejection and the welcome she experienced in churches as a person with cerebral palsy. She says, "God needed me for a purpose to be the way I am, that purpose was to teach able-bodied people that it was okay to be different."

Disability Concerns
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A Mother's Wish List

Here's a “wish list”, created by mothers of what they would find helpful for local churches to offer families who have children with special needs.

Disability Concerns
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Let's Have Some Awkward Conversations

As congregational members who do not have intellectual disabilities engage week in and week out with those who do, everyone learns and grows. People have to learn how to talk with others who are much different from them. That requires everyone to take risks, to reach out to one another, to have awkward conversations that will, over time, become less awkward.

Disability Concerns
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Danger and Healing in Telling Our Stories

I thank God for people who are willing to tell their stories, especially when those stories could be turned against them. This danger looms especially for people whose story includes mental illness. 

Disability Concerns
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Wanted: Companion

Many people loathe December and January. Holiday parties can bring pain along with joy. People renew old tensions, unbury hatchets, and pronounce judgments on others. Perhaps even worse, some people sit home alone, uninvited to gatherings with loneliness blowing cold like a winter draft.

Disability Concerns
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Times Are Changing for Vets

In the 1960s and early ’70s, U.S. military personnel were often treated shamefully upon returning to civilian life. I hope that your church will consider ministry with veterans as a significant way to serve men, women, and families who gave so much for their country.

Disability Concerns
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Have You Ever Really Listened When You Asked, "How are you?"

"We are all a part of God's story, and trusting Him through the twists and turns isn't easy.  At the heart of our stories is the essence of belonging - to each other and to Him.  And we need to know that we belong - even with our abnormalities and idiosyncrasies." - Sara Pot

Disability Concerns
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Divine Towels: A Novel about Healing

The novel, Divine Towels by Beau Jason McGlynn, describes a mother and son, Claire and Ethan, who are led by God to begin a healing ministry called Divine Towels. By washing the feet of those seeking to be healed God uses Claire and Ethan to effect healing. 

Disability Concerns
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Platitudes: Translated

We heard things like 'It's good Katherine went to Tom and Glenda. They'll be able to handle this.' Translation: Thank God it wasn't me! Alternative translation: Don't look to me for help! I'm wiping my hands here.

Disability Concerns
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Stroke Survivors Will be Focus of New Study

If you have experienced a stroke and are involved in a church community, Dr. Peggy Goetz and her student assistants would like to be in touch with you for a study Goetz is conducting. She would like to interview stroke survivors and attend worship and other church activities with them over the course of several weeks

Disability Concerns
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How to Work Well with Siblings when Caring for An Aging Parent

As issues started coming up, we had to make decisions together. When should mom stop driving? Is she using the stove safely? Is she taking her meds correctly? When do we need to consider moving mom into assisted living? Facing such decisions can bring out old tensions and even tear families apart. We did not want this to happen to us.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Get Ready: May is Mental Health Month

Mental health is not a particularly religious term. But the concern for wellness, for healing and recovery, and for the effects of illness and disease are part of spiritual care. It has never been easy for individuals suffering from brain disorders to find place among us.

Disability Concerns
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Mom's Last Little Light

Mom hasn’t been able to initiate conversation for several years, but only a few months ago yet, mom and I could have two sentence conversations. I would say a brief sentence, and she would usually give some appropriate response. Those appropriate responses are gone too. Except one.

Disability Concerns
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What's missing?

They both live in good group homes that are clean, caring, and provide various evening activities. Their group home brings them to church on Sundays. What is missing from this picture?

Disability Concerns
Blog
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My Closest Friend(s)

I still wonder sometimes if my friendships will last during a depression. Will they call? “How are you?” they ask. Do they want to know the painful truth? Sometimes it’s better to say “fine.”

Disability Concerns
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Disabilities and Deacons: Stories and Resources

Deacons who serve well work hard at connecting with members of the congregation, organizing ministry, and finding appropriate resources. This final installment on deacons and people with disabilities suggests ideas for ministry and provides some resources to implement those ideas.

DeaconsDisability Concerns

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