Revd Karen Bell is the Commission's District Disability Advisor. She is available to contact for advice and give talks to churches on Disability Awareness and how you can better cater for all people. To find out more send her an email on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Revd Karen Bell has also written a course on accepting disabily, 'Made in God's Image', which you can download here.
Below you will find a new resource designed to get people thinking and talking about Disability within your church congregation. The following questions were designed to be used in small groups or a church setting and will be published weekly in the Weekly Update Newsletter as a helpful reminder:
1. Have a look around your congregation this Sunday. How many people have disabilities or impairments? Are they representative of your church community or the local community or are they in the minority?
2. How many people with disabilities take an active role in the worship at your church on Sunday? What might impede someone with impairment from leading worship in your church building (e.g. Steps, lectern, pulpit)? Take a mental note and raise it at your next church council!
3. Why might someone with a disability feel excluded from worshipping God fully in your church?
4. How can you encourage people of all abilities to experience and participate in worshipping God fully in your local church and Circuit?
1. What does the Bible tell the Church about disability? Why not wrestle together in Bible Study and discover what God is saying about ability and disability to the Church today.
2. How can you mentor and support a disabled person in your congregation? Here are a few simple ideas that might make someone feel included: invite the person to sit with you in church, offer help gently and don’t assume, invite the person, no matter what their perceived ability, to your mid-week bible study or fellowship groups.
3. What can you, your local church and Circuit learn from people who may experience God and the world differently to you due to their impairment or disability?
1. How can you, your church and Circuit stand alongside people with disabilities to campaign on social justice issues (especially as benefit cuts now take effect)?
2. What work is going on locally for people with physical and mental impairment? How could you or your church get involved?
3. How can your church support and work with people with disabilities in your local community?
1. Bearing in mind people with disabilities may have had a difficult experience with church, how can you and your church best reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ?
2. What message of the gospel might sit most comfortably with people with impairments?
3. What can your local church and Circuit do to make your premises more welcoming for people with disabilities and impairments?