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Disability Ministries

What is Disability Ministries?

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Disability Ministries seeks to support and encourage the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the life and work of the Church. This ministry begins with a heart of compassion by providing creative solutions for inclusive participation in church programming.

Disabilities Ministries seeks to promote a greater understanding about the life challenges of those with disabilities and turn awareness into a relational ministry of care that mobilizes the church community to support families. This is done through prayer, meals and housework assistance, respite programs, and support groups for parents, caregivers, and siblings.

Disability Ministries can broaden horizons, increase family members’ awareness, enhance family cohesion, and deepen faith in Christ.


How can your church be involved?

Start prayerfully.  Start small.  The biggest barrier is often not seeing and understanding the need.  Devote time to prayer for transformation to take place and follow up with preaching. 

Get to know the families in need of support.  As we listen to the needs of those with disabilities and their families attentively and prayerfully, we learn the specific direction that God has in mind for the disability ministry in our congregation.

Form a Disability Ministries team.  There is a wealth of information available to help you get started.  Contact us at: disabilityministries@cmacan.org.

Be intentionally inclusive in your church community; include children with sprecial needs in Sunday School or offer special worship services for people who have difficulties in participating in the regular service. 

Reach out to other churches with experience in disability ministry for support and mutual encouragement so that we can learn from each other's mistakes and successes.


Why Does it Matter?

Disability Ministries is a needed discipleship tool. In caring for the “least” in God’s Kingdom, families encounter Christ (Matthew 25:35-40). It can be a powerful lesson in love and humility. Through sharing the joy and suffering of persons with disabilities and their families, Disability Ministries cultivate supportive, faith-building, and Christ-exalting relationships of love in the body of Christ (John 13:34-35).

RECOMMENDED READING

• More than a Ramp by Gladys Thompson (Spring 2014 cmAlliance.ca article)

• Receiving the Gift of Friendship: Profound Disability, Theological Anthropology, and Ethics by Hans Reinders

• Resurrecting the Person: Friendship and the Care of People with Mental Health Problems and Dementia: Living in the Memories of God by John Swinton

• Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality by Thomas E. Reynolds

 Including People With Disabilities in Faith Communities: A Guide For Service Providers, Families, And Congregations by Erik Carter.

• The Bible, Disability, and the Church: A New Vision of the People of God by Amos Yong

• Autism and Your Church: Nurturing the Spiritual Growth of People with Autism Spectrum Disorder by Barbara Newman




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