Wentworth Miller says when you’re in survival mode, there isn’t space for “we” or “community.” It becomes all about “I” and “me.” He is not relating specifically to the challenges of disability, or faith communities fostering , but he shares valuable information about the challenges that may arise if you feel singular, different, and alone; if you have to spend the majority of your days in survival mode over the long term. Read More →

Two young adults sit on couches and look off in the distance. The photo is in black and white. Abby is in the foreground. She has long curly hair. Logan is in the background. He has short hair and looks very relaxed.

While the incarnation is a unique event in Christian theology, the experience of embodiment is not. I have found the image of the Word made flesh to be a powerful paradigm for seeing the experience of my minimally verbal children, both in their relationships with me and their expression of faith. Read More →

A man with grey hair, and a woman with black hair are talking while looking at pottery in a glass showcase. There is a mug with a brown sheep painted on it, and another mug with stripes.

  He was middle aged, had Down Syndrome, and spoke no English, but he said hello and quickly answered my introductory question about how long he had worked in that shop.  I apologized for not understanding his answer and he realized that I was at a disadvantage in this conversation.  Read More →

Jasmine is a white woman with long brown hair. She is wearing a red dress and ark sunglasses. She sits on a walker and is giving a presentation. There is a powerpoint slide on the screen behind her that says "Disability and Faith."

Then the pandemic hit and everything moved online.  Our church hosted multiple online ways to connect: Zoom calls, online teaching, podcasts, Instagram and Facebook communities, virtual camp, book clubs, park meetups, subscription boxes and more.  I could fully integrate into the life of our church community and it was wonderful. Read More →

When such assumptions concerning the connection between faith and chronic illness or disability do not pan out over the long term, they may lead some people with disabilities and their families to a fork in their spiritual journeys. Option one being the belief that “God is a real jerk.” Option two being the belief that “people with disabilities must be horrible people to deserve this much ‘extra punishment’.” Read More →

This is an image of the cover of the book Whole Community by David Morstad. There is a photo of a young woman with Down Syndrome holding a coffee cup. She has light brown hair and is looking into the distance.

Ultimately, though, the way forward […] will be navigated in relationship with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities themselves. As Whole Community makes clear, it is people with lived experience who are experts on the best way forward. “The most powerful and effective act that people without disabilities can take is to yield to the voice of people with disabilities” Read More →

someone's hands are shown taking notes at a table with an open Bible beside them.

Respecting neurodiversity means not starting with an assumption of what people want or need. Christian discipleship always happens within a specific context. Start with the people who are present and adjust the practices accordingly. It is more complicated than a standard way of discipleship but it is a way that respects that different ways God has created us. Read More →