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.
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.
How can Canadian churches “build back better,” or—more accurately—create a “new normal” after COVID that’s healthier than the old? I would simply, and strongly, recommend one strategy that works for us at the IDRC: just ask, just listen.
“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.
The wide range of less privileged guests Jesus adds to the VIP list: the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind, serves as an indication that interacting with a wide cross-section of the diverse people that God created and loves is important to becoming Christ-like.
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.
What if I told you that the Christian church has been silencing a prophetic presence in our midst?
Are we deliberate in our own lives to welcome someone with a disability to our table? Are we careful to recognize that person by their name, who they are, rather than their disability?
"Just come, just get here." Sometimes, the best first step is invitation. Who knows how many people don't attend on any given Sunday simply because no one has asked them? The video below, from Harvest Bible Chapel in Oakville, Ontario, is an excellent example of an invitation for families with children with special needs. It also goes [...]