Thirty-three percent of families changed their place of worship because their child with a disability was not included or welcomed into the life of the congregation. Of these families who left, some of them not only left their congregation, but left their faith tradition!
On September 23 Alberta television stations featured a news item about a young lady who 'climbed' to the top of an 8000-foot mountain in Camrose, Alberta. What made Kuen Yang newsworthy is that she is a quadriplegic. Although she has enough movement in her hands to operate a joystick (to control e.g. a computer) and self-propel her wheelchair, she is totally dependent on others for personal care.
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?”
We are a community where people with special needs—along with those whose needs are not so obvious—work together in leading worship and Bible studies, providing pastoral care, etc. We never “dumb down,” but instead find concrete ways to bring the words of Christ alive and apply them to our various life situations.
What do you think churches should do to provide a safer environment for individuals with disabilities?
People with disabilities are often marginalized in our communities and our churches. Join Mark and myself over the next four weeks as we explore how what disabilities are, what they might look like in our midst, and how Deacons can be a catalyst for justice for people with disabilities.
Churches can and should support men and women who sacrificed themselves for our countries. Frequently mental health issues are one component in the lives of veterans with disabilities, but pastors and church leaders don't always know how best to minister to these men and women.
When faith communities show non-judgmental love to members affected by mental illness, parishioners feel safe to acknowledge their needs and overcome their fears of rejection. A faith community can establish that reputation with persons who have a mental illness and their families in a variety of ways.
The most common symbol for accessibility features an image of someone in a wheelchair—lifeless, helpless, passive. Temporarily able-bodied people tend to look at people who have disabilities that way, seeing need without recognizing capability and giftedness. A new icon pushes that stereotype aside.
Just as psychologists have established criteria for diagnosing mental illness, we need criteria to identify when someone has slid so far down the path of moral unhealth that he would be called morally ill and in need of treatment. This approach would look for insights from various disciplines including theology.
Through the frustration I wondered, "Can God understand me in this situation? Even more, can he understand Nicole in her severe limitation?" Can almighty God truly understand human limitations, even long-term limitations we call disabilities?
Often when a child with a disability comes into a family, whether by birth or by adoption, the parents are not ready for the emotional, spiritual, and practical changes they must make to care for their new child well.
Considering that 25 percent of us will experience a diagnosable mental illness in the course of our lifetimes, all pastors and church leaders will deal with mental illness themselves, in their families, and/or in their congregations. These five books will help in ministering with people affected by mental illnesses.
It’s easy to look at a check list and determine whether or not one has built a ramp, but how do you measure attitudes toward people with disabilities? Elim Christian Services has produced several videos about the journey of disability attitudes.
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.
An acquaintance walked up, punched me on the shoulder and jovially called out, “How’s it going, big guy?” In that moment I was reminded again that I am exceptional. I am six feet eight inches tall and weigh 325 pounds, so I am mostly known for my exceptional size.
Do people think that wheel chairs have only one wheel, and they can get through this? I was wishing on everyone that had not cleared their curb cuts or shoveled their sidewalks that they would have to spend one day in a wheelchair so they would get a better understanding on how hard it is to get around when you do not shovel.
Shortly after I started in July 2006 she initiated a meeting with me in which she told me who I needed to watch out for, who I could trust as a fellow advocate, and who and where I needed to “push.” I think that “push” was one of her favorite words. For me, pushing is going to be harder with Nella gone.