Monthly Archives: July 2011

Defining Moments

These experiences have been instructive. I’ve felt like an outsider looking in. I think that feeling is similar to the experience I’ve heard from many parents of kids with disabilities who’ve wanted to get more involved at church but describe the sense of being an outsider whose presence is an intrusion into the ways that things have always been done. Continue reading

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The Luau

“So, back to that Friday night party and the Sunday morning worship that followed it. It’s not about the party at all, is it? It’s about being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to families who are affected by disability. It’s about meeting them where they are, with lots of love and no judgment. When we do this, we have a rare chance to serve up a little slice of Heaven right here on Earth. And that’s where the real party is!” Continue reading

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I’m Taking My Talents to Cedarville…2011 Bioethics Conference and Joni and Friends Through the Roof Summit

I’m honored to have received the opportunity to speak at the 2011 Bioethics Conference and Through the Roof Summit, scheduled for September 15-17, 2011. The conference is cosponsored by Joni and Friends and the Center for Bioethics at Cedarville University. Continue reading

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Shannon Dingle…Simply the Right Thing to Do

Can we still call ourselves churches if we don’t care enough about others to consider their lives and their needs? Or would it be more accurate to paint over “church” and replace it with “country club” or “social group” instead? Continue reading

Posted in Families, Inclusion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Demon or Disorder? Attitudes Toward Mental Illness in the Church

15% of adults who sought help from their church for a mental illness for themselves or a family member reported a weakening of faith as a result of their interaction, and for 13%, their interaction resulted in the end of their involvement with their faith. Continue reading

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What Pastors Believe About Mental Illness

I would think that churches inclined to view depression or other mental disorders as conditions associated with a lack of faith in God would be most committed to efforts to reach and build relationships with persons suffering from these conditions. After all, to fail to do so would be analogous to building a hospital and subsequently deciding to do as little as possible to let sick people know that the hospital was open. Continue reading

Posted in Depression, Leadership, Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Autism and Your Church…Revised Edition by Barbara Newman

Autism and Your Church is an excellent resource for church staff and volunteers seeking to more effectively minister to children and adults with autism spectrum disorders and their families, offering strategies for creating welcoming environments and practical solutions for churches seeking to be more inclusive of persons with special needs. Continue reading

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Are Churches Blind to Mental Illness?

The most obvious take-home points from the study seemed to be that families in which someone was struggling with a mental illness were very desirous of support from their local churches, but members not exposed to mental health issues were basically oblivious to their needs and the presence of mental illness appears to be an impediment to church attendance and regular prayer. Continue reading

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All Are Welcome

The team behind All Are Welcome has created an excellent resource and has provided a template for disability advocacy organizations to follow in supporting inclusion of the families they serve at church.
Continue reading

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An Inclusive Movement

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve continued to have experiences that reinforce how important it is for Key Ministry to actively seek out other ministries and leaders who are passionate about sharing Christ’s love with families of kids with disabilities, to offer to support and network those ministries and leaders, and to share our platforms with them in order to assist them in expanding the impact of their ministries. Continue reading

Posted in Hidden Disabilities, Key Ministry, Leadership, Resources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments