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Disability Concerns is a volunteer-led ministry. We are so grateful for volunteers who work towards accessibility and belonging at the local level as church advocates and regional advocates. We also have volunteers who help support and guide the staff in our work. This team is called the Advisory Committee/Guiding Coalition (ACGC). Early in 2022 this leadership team approved a new mission statement to guide the work of Disability Concerns. It includes our vision statement—everybody belongs, everybody serves—coined by the previous director, Mark Stephenson. Since we are a volunteer-run ministry, this mission statement is for all of us. We’re so glad you’ve joined us in helping churches reflect the body of Christ.

RCA-CRCNA Disability Concerns’ Mission Statement: “Following God’s call to mutual love and service, Disability Concerns collaborates with churches and partner organizations to break individual and systemic barriers that keep people with disabilities from full participation—so that churches truly reflect the body of Christ where everybody belongs and everybody serves.”

—Lindsay Wieland Capel, editor

Disability Concerns Focus 2022-2023

Recently leaders from Disability Concerns recorded a video sharing our new mission statement, ways to join us this year, and a prayer of confession. Would you consider sharing this video with your pastors, worship leaders, and others at your church?

Watch the Video
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Book of the Year

Join us in reading the Disability Concerns book of the year, My Body Is Not a Prayer Request by Amy Kenny. In her recently-published book, Amy Kenny shares her experiences of ableism in the world and in the church and suggests ways we can work together to undo ableism. Kenny is a disability scholar, Shakespeare lecturer, and author.

There are several ways to join Disability Concerns in studying Kenny’s book:

1. Would you consider leading a book club at your church with a small group, existing book club, church staff, inclusion team, social justice committee, or whoever in your church is interested? We will send you a leader's guide and up to 10 free books for your book club members, thanks to support from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

2. Join us online for a four-session book club hosted by Disability Concerns:
January 5, 12, 19, and 26 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Eastern)

3. Join us online for a live conversation with Amy Kenny
on January 26 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Eastern)

Fill out this form to indicate how you would like to be a part of the Amy Kenny book club.

Learn More Here

An Anchor for the Soul 

Our current chairperson of the Disability Concerns leadership team, Vinnie Adams, works through Resonate Global Mission in Nicaragua. He recently shared about how God is at work in the lives of people with disabilities and their families at Tesoros de Dios in Nicaragua.

Read the Article

Fall Breaking Barriers 2022: Acquired Disabilities

Breaking Barriers is our newsletter where we share the stories of people with disabilities. The Fall 2022 installment focuses on acquired disability. Most people with disabilities were not born with their disability, but acquired it through stroke, accident, illness, aging, etc. In this issue, people describe how their acquired disability has affected them, what they’ve lost, and what they’ve gained.

Read Newsletter Here

Perhaps you have a story to share! We are looking for writers.


Our next Breaking Barriers theme is: “Too Disabled!”
Many people with disabilities have gotten the message from others that their disability is too limiting, making them unfit or incapable to do something—even before getting the opportunity to prove otherwise. If you’ve ever been told or gotten the impression you were considered “too disabled” for a task, role, or job you wanted to take on, and knew you possessed the needed qualifications, please tell us your story (up to 400 words) by December 15, 2022.

Email: lcapel@crcna.org  •  tdeyoung@rca.org

Disability and Mental Health Series

Did you know that the RCA has a great landing page where stories and articles about disability and mental health are collected? There you can read a variety of articles about Mephibosheth, ableism in the pulpit, non-ableist hospitality, abled privilege, and more. Check it out.

Read Articles Here

Latest  Reformed World Focuses on Disabilities

Terry DeYoung, RCA Coordinator for Disability Concerns, served as the guest editor for the current issue of the Reformed World journal and wrote the introductory article. This issue of the World Communion of Reformed Churches theological journal explores intersections of church and disability. Specific themes covered in the 11 articles include: Theology and Scripture, Church Ministry and Practice, and Ecumenism and Theological Education.

Read this Issue
The Learning Journey Advocate Training' above a street map, overlaid with a compass

Regional Advocate Training

Are you a Regional Advocate in the CRCNA or RCA? We are thrilled to announce that we have a new online training for regional advocates (RAs). This 10-module training can be done at your own pace as your schedule allows. We would like all RAs—whether new or seasoned—to learn and grow through this training.

Register for the Training

Consider Becoming a Volunteer!

We are so thankful for our many volunteers who carry out the important work of our ministry. However, we need many more volunteers across North America to fully live out the call to create spaces where everyone belongs and everybody serves. We have openings for regional advocates and church advocates.

Would you prayerfully consider if you are being called to lead as a regional advocate or church advocate? Or, if someone comes to mind who you think would be interested, please connect with us at disability@crcna.org and disability@rca.org. The job descriptions can be found here: Disability Advocate Job Descriptions

The Advocates Corner on the CRCNA website can help you know if your classis is in need of a regional advocate.

Job Description!

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Thank You for Your Support!

Support for Disability Concerns allows us to create and share resources like this newsletter. To help us ensure that everybody belongs and everybody serves, would you please consider praying for us and making a financial contribution?

You can donate to the ongoing work of Disability Concerns in the CRCNA here.

Donate via the CRCNA

 

You can donate to the ongoing work of Disability Concerns in the RCA here.

Donate via the RCA

 

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This mostly monthly e-newsletter is a ministry of Christian Reformed Church in North America and Reformed Church in America Disability Concerns ministries.

Christian Reformed Church in North America
1700 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508-1407
3475 Mainway, Burlington, ON L7R 3Y8

Reformed Church of America
4500 60th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

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