Disability Concerns helps churches intentionally seek
• To end the isolation and disconnectedness of persons with disabilities and their families;
• To nurture the spiritual lives of people with disabilities so that they become professing and active members of their churches; and
• To encourage the gifts of people with disabilities so that they can serve God fully in their churches. (more about Disability Concerns)
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Disability Concerns Releases Five Videos for Training Children and Youth Ministry Leaders
This past summer, the Christian Reformed and Reformed Church in America synods approved recommendations encouraging churches and ministries to engage children and youth with disabilities fully in church programs and ministries. CRC and RCA Disability Concerns ministries responded by sponsoring a conference on this topic and producing videos that can be watched individually or in groups. Many of the videos come with accompanying handouts. Topics include Congregational Student Ministry and Church Experience of Parents of Children with Disabilities. Find links to all five videos on our Resources for Church Education page.
Webinar: “Why Don’t They Just Snap Out of It?”
Wednesday, November 12, 2014, Noon to 1:00 PM EST
Led by Disability Concerns Mental Health Task Force members June Zwier and Winnie Visser
Have you ever asked this question after visiting someone for what seems the 100th time with no change in sight? Mood disorders and anxiety disorders are on the rise. Everyone knows a family member, a neighbour, co-worker, someone in your congregation or in your Elder’s district, your Deacon’s list or on your caregiver schedule. This webinar will give resources to walk alongside those who experience mental illnesses in a way that is supportive. Register for this event.
Webinar: "Everybody Serves: The Picture Needs Each Piece"
December 3, 2014, Noon to 1:00 PM EST
Led by Hope Centre Director Shellie Power and Disability Concerns Director Mark Stephenson
When the apostle Paul describes the church as the body of Christ, he paints a picture of inclusion, belonging, acceptance, and participation. Much like the picture on a puzzle box, we need to work at creating this picture piece by piece in our churches. Though each piece needs and contributes to those around it, too often people with disabilities are viewed only as needing but not giving to others around them. This webinar will teach ways to recognize that every individual, including persons with disabilities, has been created with gifts that are needed by the body of Christ. Register for this event.
New videos from Disability Concerns: We have three new videos available for disability awareness worship services, discussion starters, or small groups.
- Disability and Vocation: Michael Feir
- Disability and Church Support: Pot Family
- Disability Discrimination: Francine Bell
- Disability Concerns at Synod/General Synod: CRC and RCA Disability Concerns ministries were featured at a combined meeting of the 2014 CRC Synod and RCA General Synod. An extended version of the recitation of Psalm 139, which concluded the presentation, was produced by Faith RCA in Dyer, Indiana.
- DC Director Mark Stephenson talked with David Schuringa, President of Crossroad Bible Institute, on a recent episode of Crossroad Connection: "How people with disabilities strengthen the church."
- Nella Uitvlugt receives Henri Houwen award posthumously. The Religion and Spirituality Division of the AAIDD presented their Henri Nouwen award posthumously to the late Friendship Ministries director Nella Uitvlugt. Nella's husband Eric Uitvlugt received the award on her behalf. Watch the award ceremony starting at 5:40 on this video.
- Inclusion Handbook: Everybody Belongs Everybody Serves. The second edition (June 2013) of our popular handbook includes articles by disability advocates from several Christian traditions. The handbook gives disability advocates (formal and informal) tools to welcome and engage people with disabilities in church life. Order from Faith Alive Christian Resources.