It must have been a decision made out of desperation – as desperate as the new mother who leaves her child in a basket on the steps of a social service agency. In this case, the “child” left to another’s care is 21-years-old.
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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.
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?”
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!
In 1985, I received a spinal cord injury. Now I can control my body only from the neck up. At the time of the injury, computers were mainly used in large offices. Few homes had them, and they were not linked together outside of an organization. Technology has greatly changed since that time, especially in what is now common, the Internet.
After finishing his Ph.D. cum laude, Herb Greenberg applied for 600 jobs, was offered 85 interviews, but when prospective employers found out he was blind, that number was reduced to three.
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.
Deacons are catalysts for change and it's only natural that that would include working for justice in our churches for people with disabilities. Join us for Part 3 of our 4 part series exploring the connectedness between Disability Concerns and Deacons.
To minister well with people who have disabilities, we need to understand the wide range of disability and the ways in which all of us can unintentionally exclude people with disabilities from the life and ministry of our churches.
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.
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...
Lest we forget, out of 2.3 million American veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, 633,000 (25% of the total) have a service-connected disability. Overall, about 3 million (14%) of the total number of living US veterans have a service-connected disability. We owe an extra debt of gratitude to the disabled vets . . .
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!”
Don't get me wrong. I love our dog Marley. But I do not plan to see Marley again when Christ reappears and the heavens and earth are renewed. When he dies, he'll be gone except for our memories and our pictures.
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.