Supporting Inclusion in Religious Institutions

Jan 21, 2011
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I think an important part of being within the disability community is sharing resources that may be beneficial to someone else. For that reason, I wanted to share a bit about a fairly new organization. Please read on!

Spirituality is a critical component of health that is often overlooked. For people with disabilities, both accessibility and inclusion can be an issue within places of worship and spiritual groups that limits their ability to engage in behaviors that promote healthy spirituality. I was recently made aware of an organization called “Chosen Families” that is attempting to address this issue through support for families and education for religious leaders. Although I don’t know a lot about them, I think this organization is filling a huge gap and is potentially of much benefit to so many people!

I wanted to share a few things from their website that caught my attention.

“While the medical community is beginning to understand these disabilities, they are less understood in the church. As if the diagnosis and daily challenges were not enough, the burden is often made heavier by a lack of understanding and support from the body of Christ. At best, the church is silent, and at worst it is hurtful. Wrong-headed theology treats these disorders as sin or demonic possession rather than as neurological disorders affecting an organ of the body — the brain.”

“The mission of ChosenFamilies.org is to provide resources, connections and encouragement to families with hidden disabilities and to educate and provide resources to religious leaders as they minister to families with these needs. We will endeavor to inform, educate, inspire, motivate, and encourage families and churches in this vitally important mission.”

I have been following their blog for the past two weeks and have been encouraged and enlightened by what I have read. The entries are largely written by family members of people with disabilities. I urge you to check it out if you are interested in this area or have had similar experiences and are seeking support. Again, I admit that my knowledge of the organization is fairly limited, but on the surface it sure looks promising!

Author: Carolyn