Students in Ethiopia

At face value, Jesus was engaged in the supernatural and people were being healed. Having worked with people with disabilities for two decades and now working with people in extreme poverty in under-resourced countries, I have been blessed to have a new lens through which to see this story. These people healed by Jesus had no hope. Their poverty and disability, in his day, relegated them to begging outside the city. Being healed enabled them to be known again in the general population. Healing brought them back to community. Read More →

Does disability ministry require its own staff person or volunteers? Does it require its own room and time to meet? As a parent of two children with autism, I would just assume that any church that we attended would provide ministry even if there were no other children with special needs. It would never enter my mind that ministry would have to wait until “critical mass.” I am not criticizing churches that have organized disability ministries that have specific events for large groups of people with special needs. I am just saying that is not the only form of disability ministry. 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.