|How do you know?
Is your congregation welcoming to persons with disabilities? How do you know? These are the two fundamental questions addressed by the Congregational Accessibility Network (CAN).
Love is a Beautiful Thing
Our congregation (Columbus Mennonite Church) has been blessed for over forty years by the inclusion of a valued member that some might call a “special needs” individual. Anita Chapman started coming to our church at about age eight, at the invitation of the leader of our “Pathfinders” youth group. She and her brother have a condition akin to cerebral palsy with some accompanying psychological manifestations.
A photo of Ellie Wenger at age 3 riding on her dad’s shoulders was on the back page of the Anabaptist Disabilities Network’s Connections newsletter for perhaps ten years. “I’m famous!” Ellie exclaimed when she saw the newsletter and photo recently.
I will always remember a Toronto newspaper headline from February 3, 2012: “Toronto police shoot and kill man with scissors wearing hospital gown.” The day was like any other. Crisp, clear, and likely well below the freezing point. A quiet, snowy residential suburb in Toronto, Canada, was just waking up and starting its day when suddenly a man appeared out of nowhere holding two pairs of scissors in his hands. The man was wearing nothing more than a hospital gown and clearly seemed confused and in a daze. Reports later confirmed the fact that he had somehow made his way out of the psychiatric ward of the local hospital and down the street. Nevertheless, instead of using a calming influence, the police acted out of instinct, shooting and ultimately killing the man.
Plan for their future
Join us for an informative evening about how to develop estate plans that benefit your loved one with disabilities. Presented by Randall Jacobs, J.D. April 28, 2016, at Everence, 1110 N. Main St., Goshen. Please RSVP by April 14.
We Are Able Workcamp
This past summer I had the privilege of being one of the leaders at the We Are Able workcamp where I served alongside eight We Are Able workcampers and two young adult assistants. Through our time of devotions, shared meals, service, and play, a beautiful community formed over the three days we spent together.
Open Hearts, Open Doors
At Anabaptist Disabilities Network, we believe that good news for people with disabilities is close to the heart of Jesus’ gospel message. Again and again Jesus is drawn to people with various disabilities, and they in turn are drawn to him and find wholeness.
Dancing with Alta
I would like to introduce you, or re-introduce you, to Alta Good-Elliott. Alta is a dancer who happens to also have Down syndrome. When she was very small, her photos graced the front of an early brochure for Anabaptist Disabilities Network, and we used her photo on our conference display until recently.