Recently, people with disabilities and their allies were invited to share their stories of living with disabilities in the United Church. Some stories were joyful; many were vulnerable, honest, and painful stories of exclusion.
Some people reflected on how they could not physically access a church. Some noted that their disability was the only thing others noticed or asked them about. Some shared that they could not participate fully in their community of faith. Some explained how difficult it is to read the Bible passages that talk about healing from disabilities. Many noted attitudes of exclusion, and that people with disabilities are not always welcome.
United Church staff and elected members are working to address the hard realities these stories express by offering new ideas about theologies of disabilities, sharing those widely in the United Church, and developing educational resources that will be soon be available to communities of faith. A group of people with disabilities, and their allies, has been following up on ideas through a United Church consultation on disabilities and developing new ones for the church. These are positive ways people with disabilities are changing the church, and they invite the whole church to be part of authoring a new, positive story.
Our gifts for Mission & Service make it possible to be part of the new accessibility story that is being written.
Please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith.