The Summer Institute on Theology and Disability was an educational and inspiring time to connect with others interested and invested in the intersection of theology and disability.
One of the highlights was meeting with the Canadian contingent that attended this conference and forming an ad hoc network of people doing great things across the province and country. Some of the ideas on next steps for this group included:
- Identifying a name (Canadian Theology & Disability Network is a placeholder. Other ideas are welcome). Keeping affiliation in mind as an option.
- Continuing the conversation from the Summer Institute by email, forum, getting together when it makes sense.
- Opportunities to connect include meeting as a Canadian contingent at other conferences and the potential for a short retreat during the year.
- Identifying people who would like to be involved in the planning/coordinating aspects of this network.
- The importance of sharing resources, speakers, capacity between organizations and affiliations.
Please leave a comment if you have any ideas on the above items! Below, find a list of organizations and resources related to the Summer Institute and the Canadian contingent.
Summer Institute Resources
Don’t forget to visit the 2013 Institute blog, to “like”the Facebook page, join the Facebook group, or read the conference tweets. The Bethesda Institute website has audio and/or video recordings of previous years’ conferences. If you haven’t provided feedback yet, you can do it here.
Bethesda Institute has also developed Cross Road Journey curriculum designed to nurture the spiritual lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. You can find more out about it here.
The Disability and Faith Forum (this site!)
The Disability and Faith blog/forum was created with the idea of offering a space where churches, ministry leaders, writers, theologians, persons with disabilities, families and friends can discover what is happening in disability ministries across Canada and can share resources.
It is open to anyone who would like to contribute on matters of theology and disability. If you would like to post, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea or post.
Canadian Association of Muslims with Disabilities (camd.ca)
Ethno-Radical People with Disabilities Coalition of Ontario (www.erdco.ca)
Books, Journals and Articles
“Liturgical Furniture for St. Mary’s University College” an article on the work David Pereyra has done in designing inclusive liturgical furniture.
“Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality” by Tom Reynolds (Toronto).
“Theology, Disability, and Spiritual Transformation: Learning from the Communities of L’Arche” by Michael Hryniuk (Toronto).
“Spirituality and Occupational Therapy” by Mary Ann McColl (Kingston).
Canadian Journal of Disability Studies (http://cjds.uwaterloo.ca)
“Disability and Communion” as mentioned by the Honourable David Onley.
Canadian Association for Parish Nursing Ministry Conference
This conference will be held June 5-8 2014 at Redeemer University College. You can visit their website here. Marilyn Gratz would be interested to hear if you have suggestions for speakers or other ideas for this conference, so please leave any ideas in the comments below.
Building Communities of Belonging Conference
Christian Horizons is partnering with churches to facilitate a Building Communities of Belonging conference in 2014 at Harvest Bible Chapel in Oakville. The emphasis is on informing, equipping, and networking for churches looking to build communities of belonging with people with exceptional needs. If you are interested in being involved with this, please let me know at email@example.com.
Christian Horizons also has resources available to churches here.
Joni and Friends Family Retreat
From August 26th-30th, 2013 there will be a Joni and Friends family retreat at Elim Lodge near Peterborough Ontario. We are still in need of Short-Term Missionaries to support people with disabilities and their families through this exciting opportunity.