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 →

L’Arche Canada recently posted Jean Vanier’s message to the North American Interfaith Network from August 10th, 2013. In this video, Jean reflects on personhood and the importance of interfaith dialogue. Similar to the emphasis of the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability, he stresses that the purpose of coming together is not to dilute one’s own religious beliefs but rather to love/deepen our own religious beliefs while growing in love and respect for one another.

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.

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 Read More →

This is the space, the home, the dwelling that we share and fortunately it is a place of belonging vast enough for us all. When we encounter weakness or difference in others, it cuts ‘too close to home’ because we recognize our own weakness and self-stigmatization that we try to submerge. Ultimately, refusing the Other is not about the ‘strangeness’ of the Other but about the strangeness of ourselves to ourselves that rejects the Other. Read More →

1 Corinthians 12: 12-26 Paul writes to the Corinthians that our unique gifts, especially the gifts of those that appear to be weaker, are indispensableto the healthy functioning of the Body of Christ: “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need Read More →