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Ministry, Disability, and Aging

Diekema has identified for church leaders yet another gift that people with disabilities bring to their churches. They can challenge congregations for underestimating anyone who lives with disability, and they can serve as mentors to the entire congregation...

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Mental Illness in the First Person

The stereotypes about mental illness that our society tells us are, mostly, lies. In poem, memoir, funeral sermon, eulogy, and painting, people narrate life with mental illness through Disability Concerns’ Stories of Grace and Truth.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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The Good Hand of Fellowship

Tom Hoeksema and his wife, both white, decided they needed to visit Grace when their adopted African American son asked during a communion service at their previous church, “Do black people ever get to serve communion here?” The first time the Hoeksemas visited Grace, a member who had an intellectual disability walked up to them, reached out his hand in welcome, and said, “Hi, I like you!”

Disability Concerns
Blog
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A Lecture on Being Human by a Man who Cannot Speak

Chris said that when his parents gave him his first voice synthesizer, he went from not speaking to talking in complete sentences in one day. I praise God for Christian leaders like Chris who can speak so articulately. He talks about disability, of course, but more importantly, he talks about what it means to be human.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Grace and Truth Instead of Fear

Can you imagine the firestorm of criticism if some media outlet speculated about the state of this soldier’s marriage as a reason for his violent behavior? A firestorm would be justified. Yet no firestorm erupts when pundits speculate about his mental state.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Should Infanticide be Legal?

In a recent article in the Journal of Medical Ethics, the authors, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, promote the idea that regions where abortion is legal should also allow the killing of newborn children. The Princeton University bioethicist Peter Singer put forth a similar argument a number of years ago.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Watch Out for Stereotypes

Jeremy Lin, a point guard with the New York Knicks, has been in the news. Thanks to his fine playing, people are taking notice of him, and with that extra attention some commentators have engaged in stereotyping resulting in racial jokes and slurs about Lin's Asian heritage.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Focus on People Not Labels

A controversy rages about the definition of autism. The American Psychiatric Association is considering a redefinition of the term for the newest edition of their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).

Disability Concerns
Blog
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I Would Like to Help

After 12 years of meeting my wife's ever more challenging mobility problems, I have found a lot of good solutions. People are available to help; I want to be one of those who will.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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A Small Step toward Greater Unity

Steps toward greater unity will honor the Savior who came, bled, died and rose again for all of his chosen ones regardless of denomination.The CRC and RCA have engaged in mutual work together in many areas including Disability Concerns. 

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Indispensable Parts

Though diversity brings richness to life, diversity should not be an end in itself. In fact, a very diverse groups can be unbearable. At their worst, diverse groups can break into factions that engage in gang warfare and “ethnic cleansing.” When churches consider creating diverse communities, they need to focus attention also on welcome, hospitality, and inclusion.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Not Just Surviving the Holidays

A simple, short guide won't make all the challenges go away, but it can help everyone enjoy the holidays a bit more. This guide, written by Barbara Newman, gives practical advice that can be of help to those who care about people who have a difficult time with all the changes that come with the holidays.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Good Intentions Gone Awry

Recently, Max Lucado published a book which included a devotion with reflections on disability and disease called "We Shall Be Like Him." Although he intends to encourage the reader, the language used and assumptions made in the devotional diminish people with disabilities.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Seated at the Table by Grace Alone

I am the mother of a special needs child with a cognitive impairment. This presents various blessings and challenges for our family. One of the things that we have wrestled with for years, is whether or not our child would ever partake in communion.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Celebrate Disability Week

Some people may wonder what it would mean to “celebrate” disability week, because they believe that disabilities are nothing to celebrate. However, we do have reason to celebrate the people in our congregations who live with disabilities.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Employment and Disability

James Soliday, a former employee of 7-Eleven who has 95 percent hearing loss, managed several stores effectively for many years, but was terminated, it seems, because a new supervisor was not willing to accommodate for his hearing loss as his supervisors had in the past.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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What Is a Worship Disruption?

Christianity Today reports, "In North Carolina, Elevation Church leaders removed a boy with cerebral palsy from church because he was disrupting the service. Then asks six prominent worship leaders to the question: “Should churches try to minimize disruptions in services?”

Disability Concerns

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