Sunday, June 22
The Lord’s Day
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Minute for Mission: Disability Inclusion
All of us face the possibility of dealing with natural disasters. Depending on where you live, these can include hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires. In recent years many people have been hit particularly hard by these disasters. Preparing for and dealing with disasters can be stressful for everyone, but disasters can be especially challenging for persons with disabilities (including the elderly).
A major issue persons with disabilities face, which may not be readily apparent to members of their congregation, is the lack of transportation. For example, dealing with extended power outages during natural disasters is a major inconvenience. During Hurricane Sandy, many people were without power for two weeks or more. It was very unpleasant for everyone affected. For persons with disabilities without transportation, these situations are often compounded by discomfort, isolation, loneliness, concern for personal safety, and the need for food, medical supplies, or both.
As a member of the leadership team of Presbyterians for Disability Concerns, I am very encouraged by the growing number of stories about how congregations are welcoming and supporting persons with disabilities. It is also wonderful to see increasing numbers of persons with disabilities sharing their gifts and talents in worship, leadership, outreach, and personal ministry.
As our congregations continue to strive for greater inclusion of persons with disabilities, please be mindful of the added difficulties they may face during natural disasters. By reaching out to folks who may need a helping hand (or ride), you are reinforcing the message that everyone is included in God’s kingdom.
Thanks be to God.
—Gary Pratt, leadership team, Presbyterians for Disability Concerns, a network of the Presbyterian Health, Education, and Welfare Association
Let us pray
Incline your ear to us, O God, for we are always in need of your gracious care. Preserve and protect us when the storms of life wash over us and leave us gasping for breath. Help us to notice signs of your providence and love each day, especially when we cannot care for ourselves but need to rely upon the kindness of brothers and sisters to help us weather the storm. Amen.
Sunday Lectionary and Hymns
“O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee”
HB 304, PH 357
Ps. 86:1–10, 16–17“Nearer, My God, to Thee”
“Baptized in Water”
“Take Up Your Cross,
the Savior Said”