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Anabaptist Disabilities Network
3145 Benham Avenue, Suite 5
Elkhart, IN 46517
Phone: 574-343-1362
Ph/Fax: 877-214-9838

Open 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Eastern time, Monday through Thursday

Disabilities in the Church

Jesus welcomes all persons into the community of faith. A faithful missional church does the same. Yet, just as in society as a whole, persons and families with significant differences often encounter barriers. These barriers may be physical barriers, barriers created by the way a community's life is structured, and attitudinal barriers. Overcoming these basic barriers is the focus of the Accessibility page.

This section includes resources to help the church  respond to the challenges and also identify and embrace the God-given gifts and abilities of all persons. This obviously begins at the congregational level and that is where most of the resources are focused. However, there are significant decisions made and structures created in conferences, denominations, and church-related organizations that have an impact on persons with special needs.

Spirituality includes understanding the spiritual life of persons with disabilities and mental illness as well as providing spiritual care for such persons and their families.

Four friends stand arm in arm

Community is an essential part in the Anabaptist understanding of Christian life. This page explores some of the ways in which the Christian community can include persons with disabilities and mental illness.

Special outreach ministries are springing up throughout the wider church to minister to various groups that are often marginalized.  See also a growing list of topics that impact the church in the right column.  

Finally, we present links to Anabaptist ministries at the conference and denominational level as well as ministries linked in some way to Mennonites, Brethren, and other Anabaptist groups.


Articles in The Mennonite

From Exile to Inclusion: A Community for Everyone
by Paul D. Leichty.
This article, which appeared in the February 18, 2003 edition of The Mennonite helps churches think about the issues of including persons with disabilities and mental illness and their families into the life of the congregation. View the article or download a copy of the entire issue in PDF format. Article is on pages 9-11.

This issue of The Mennonite also includes an article entitled "The Lord is my strength: Toward an Anabaptist disability theology" by Erick Sawatzky.

Welcome the Exceptional
Christianity Today Editorial, January 4, 2010

"People with disabilities... can contribute mightily to the work, witness, and leadership of the church and community." Read more...

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