Over the next weeks, we will be highlighting some of the presentations at the 2013 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability. This week, we are featuring “Reflections on Dietrich Bonhoeffer” by John Swinton. John Swinton, Ph.D, holds the chair in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom. He worked Read More →

Over the next weeks, we will be highlighting some of the presentations at the 2013 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability. This week, we are featuring “Calvin on Job, Disability and Suffering” by Hans S. Reinders. Hans S. Reinders has been the Professor of Ethics at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam since 1995. He has Read More →

harvestniagaraAttending Harvest Bible Chapel in Niagara, Ontario, Brett and Breha have experienced a transformative journey which led to their adoption of William, a child with exceptional needs. Learn more about their spiritual growth as part of Harvest Niagara from 0:00 to 3:45, or jump to the story of William’s adoption at 3:46. Many of us, I’m sure, can relate to Brett’s observation (5:04) of our own tendency to place a primary emphasis on a lot of secondary things.

CLC Network LogoCLC Network is a faith-based, non-profit that promotes the development of people with a variety of abilities and disabilities to live as active, integrated members of their communities. We partner with families and organizations to understand more fully the individuals we serve and to build support systems that enable their inclusion in all aspects of life. Some of the services we offer include individual, strengths-based evaluations, school and church consultations, professional development sessions, and a variety of resources for understanding and including all of God’s children.

CLC Network also provides services specifically for Churches:

CLC Network Church Services

Looking for a resource to help church leaders and members welcome and engage people disabilities in the life of the church? : Faith Alive has recently released the second edition of Inclusion Handbook: Everybody Belongs, Everybody Serves. Description: Knowing the particular disability a person lives with will help churches better to understand and help that person, but people Read More →

In this free resource, made available by Covenant Theological Seminary, the director of MNA’s Special Needs Ministries offers firsthand experience, practical resources, and creative ideas for helping the church be more effective at ministering to and alongside of those touched by disability. Click here to view this valuable resource Since May 2007, Stephanie O. Hubach Read More →

Guest Post by Matthew Arguin, Assistant Curate-Coordinator of Outreach and Evangelism at Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church, Diocese of Huron, Anglican Church of Canada. This post was originally the content of a sermon Matthew delivered on August 25, 2013.  Old Testament: Jeremiah 1:4-10 New Testament: Luke 13:10-17 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in Read More →

Written by Dr Rod ThompsonPrincipal of Laidlaw College, NZ 

Originally posted at the Laidlaw College site here. Thank you to the college for permission to re-post.

You can find more information about the Theology, Disability, and the People of God conference that was held at Carey Baptist College here.

Swinton-DementiaOne of the best conferences I have been to in my life took place at Carey Baptist College from 1-3 July. It was the Theology, Disability and the People of God Conference, co-hosted by Laidlaw and Carey Baptist Colleges, with special guests Professor John Swinton (from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland) and Professor Amos Yong (from Regent University in the USA) as key-note speakers. About 120 people attended each day.

Most conferences are stimulating intellectually, however this gathering was also moving emotionally and deeply challenging as we asked questions about the practices of churches and other communities – including Colleges – that cause people to sense that they belong within that community. What does it mean to belong in a community? John Swinton argued that we know we belong in a community if, when we are absent, we are missed. To be missed. To have a place in the minds and hearts of others in the community. This is more than inclusion. This is belonging.

A number of us from the Laidlaw College community participated in the conference. Papers were presented by myself and other members of Laidlaw’s community. And we were privileged to mingle and speak with many working within the disability sector throughout the conference.

John Swinton has recently written a book entitled Dementia: Living in the Memories of God, in which he explores what it means to be human, particularly in light of debilitating loss of memory and identity, such as seems to occur for those who have dementia. Swinton’s book is wonderful and I highly recommend it to you.

To see what John has to say about dementia, ageing, identity and friendship click on the video below.

Amos YongLaidlaw College Principal, Rod Thompson and Pentecostal Theologian, Amos Yong met for a video interview after the Theology, Disability and People of God Conference held at Carey Baptist College in July in New Zealand where Amos was one of the keynote speakers. As well as reflecting on the highlights of the conference, they discussed Pentecostal Theology, its challenges and the uniqueness of its tradition.

Much of the conversation relates to Pentecostal experience and theology, but for the part of the conversation specifically related to healing and curing  watch from 9:10 to 12:33 in the video, and for a fascinating exploration of embodied ways of knowing and “knowledge of the heart” watch from 19:42 to 22:42.

If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it.