I’m honored today to have the opportunity to guest blog for Gillian Marchenko. Gillian is a rising star in the disability ministry movement who God is positioning to do great things in advancing the cause of God’s Kingdom. She’ll be serving as a faculty member for Inclusion Fusion 2012. Her topic is Loss and Grief in Parenting Children With Special Needs.
Gillian and her husband Sergei are building a church in Chicago (Christian Fellowship Church) where families of kids with disabilities are welcome. She leads a ministry (The King’s Table) offering weekly respite care to families of children with special needs, and an inclusive ministry for weekend worship. Gillian is attracting a rapidly growing following for her skills as a writer, speaker, and advocate for individuals with special needs. She writes and speaks about parenting kids with Down syndrome, faith, imperfection, and adoption. Her work has appeared in MomSense Magazine, EFCA TODAY, Four Cornered Universe, CHICAGO PARENT, Story Bleed, CHICAGO SPECIAL PARENT, and is forthcoming at Thriving Family, Literary Mama, and Connections Magazine. She speaks to Mothers of Preschool groups and teaches about inclusive church with Joni and Friends Chicago.
I began reading Gillian’s blog after one of our staff members started posting her articles on Key Ministry’s Facebook page. The authenticity of her writing immediately caught my attention. She’s written some fabulous blog posts on her personal experience with depression that’s among the best stuff I’ve seen on mental health from a Christian perspective. This post in particular is especially appropriate for Mental Illness Awareness Week.
Join Gillian and 35 other leaders serving as faculty for Inclusion Fusion, Key Ministry’s second annual Special Needs Ministry Web Summit is made available FREE OF CHARGE to pastors, church staff, volunteers and families everywhere from November 12th-16th, 2012. For an up to date list of speakers, topics, links to speaker blogs and a link for free registration, click here.