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Michele, I'm so grateful for your leadership within Disability Concerns. Your honesty and truth telling are a gift to us. I appreciate your naming what doesn't feel like a good fit about the Regional Advocate role. It's helped us think more broadly about how we can help match people's gifting and passions with the needs of the ministry. We shouldn't expect a one size fits all approach. I'm excited you'll be helping us with editing in the future!

Hilda, 

oh, I am so sorry. That is so hurtful when your son is made in God's image and deserves a space in any church! Unfortunately I do hear this often from families connected to our ministry. However, I also here stories of how some churches do understand that everybody belongs! We are in the middle of a series for the month of October. Our first session was this past Thursday and the conversation on belonging came up and our guest speaker, Cara, told a wonderful story of inclusion in her church. Her story might give you a bit of hope on your journey to find a space where your son is valued for exactly how God made him. Here is the link to listen: https://youtu.be/4ygaeQi-WV8. Check back each week for another session. I hope they encourage you. 

Hi Emily, a good place to start is to go to 211ontario.ca, then enter your search term - Asperger - and location - Toronto, and it will give you a long list of suggested resources and organizations.

Hi Deb. Thanks for reaching out.

To clarify, to register for the series in October, there will be a $20 fee, which includes the book as part of the cost of the event.

If you are interested in purchasing the book separately from the event, the cost is $8 here: https://www.faithaliveresources.org/Products/810516/everybody-belongs-serving-together.aspx

(If you are a church or regional advocate, there is a promo code for the event that was sent out earlier. Happy to resend!)

Please feel free to reach out to me for further support anytime: [email protected]

Christina, yes, this is another aspect of universal design. Captioning videos benefits everyone. Thanks! 

Syd, Thanks for these wise words. Marriages of pastor and spouse also face severe stress when the pastor experiences a mental health crisis. Unlike a physical illness, this form of illness often brings fear, stigma, and a potential for severe misunderstanding not only between spouses, but with the entire congregation. Disability Concerns created a resource to assist pastors, their families, and congregations in this difficult situation: Guide for Clergy Leave of Absence for Mental Health Reasons. We hope and pray it will be helpful for clergy marriages as well as for their congregations. 

Thanks Ken. Yes, like Barb Newman likes to say, we're all like green and pink puzzle pieces. Every one of us has things we're good at and things we are not good at, and those things differ with each of us. So we all need each other. 

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