The award-winning quarterly newsletter Breaking Barriers published by The Christian Reformed Church in North America shares first-person stories of people with disabilities that encourage us to include all people in all aspects of church life.
Age, gender, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, how we look at the world around us, whatever our ability … we’re all part of Christ’s plan.
In my efforts to do life everyday—working, driving, shopping, socializing, participating in church, etc.—the physical disabilities I’ve had since birth require that I figure out stuff all the time. I must anticipate, plan, be vulnerable, and negotiate. That’s why I may say things like: “Can you help me with this? . . . Are there any other options? . . . That’s why I requested this accommodation in advance. . . . No, I’ve got this, but thanks for offering to help.” I don’t delight in coming across as a high-maintenance person who needs to have things my way. Agility calls for my respectful negotiation with others in order to function in a world that wasn’t designed with me in mind. TERRY DEYOUNG, COORDINATOR DISABILITY CONCERNS, REFORMED CHURCH IN AMERICA
Take a Walk
Take a walk through your neighbourhood… look, listen, and learn what physical and social structures may have left out your neighbour who can’t see, hear, walk, speak…. Visit https://www2.crcna.org/disability for helpful disability resources that help to include all people in the life and ministry of the church.
… and Everyone Serves
At Water Street Church we trust in the Holy Spirit to equip us to carry on Jesus’ work of welcoming all people into fellowship and encouraging them to use their gifts in ministry. We look for ways to support AND include children and adults with disabilities, and that includes their families. Belonging is important… being accepted, noticed, known and acknowledged by one another.