It might sound cliché, but I was hired to help others and they helped me just as much, perhaps even more. I learned about acceptance, trust, diversity, and what it meant to have a place to belong. Looking back, I realize God was beginning to teach me about 1 Corinthians 12 and what it means to be whole.
Like Jazz musicians, church leaders need to become masterful at holding tension and refrain from resolving it prematurely. Rather than encouraging others to strictly preach victory in Jesus, perhaps we need to make space for people to find their own voices and speak their hurts or cry out to God.
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.
Imagine what it could be like if pat answers, out-of-context bible verses and Christian clichés were ruled off-limits at church. What if saying you’re ok when you’re not ok wasn’t ok in the church?
“Draw the circle wide. Draw it wider still. Let this be our song. No one sits alone. Sitting side-by-side, draw the circle wide.”
Inshallah Choir has welcomed people of various genders, ages, races, ethnicities and musical abilities. It is now a place where at least 130 singers belong.
In today’s world, people with disabilities are largely ‘othered’, and there’s movement of self-advocacy afoot among them. There’s no telling what can happen when people unite across differences.
Dear Church, As restrictions are being lifted and you plan for being together in person once again, please think of us...
These men, despite their depths of hard-won wisdom and delightful companionship, are well-accustomed to strangers keeping their distance in public places. The conditions we ironically bemoan on social media are barely distinguishable from how they have spent most of the days of their lives. They are old pros at quarantine, and they are teaching me.
Everybody finds fulfillment in using the unique gifts that God has given her or him. All people find value in meaningful paid or volunteer work that serves their community.