Sunday, June 23
The Lord’s Day
Minute for Mission: Disability Inclusion
Parents started it! The Arc of Midland, Michigan, a nonprofit organization that promotes the general welfare of people with developmental disabilities and increases their presence, participation, and inclusion in the community, invited speakers to train those who conduct person-centered plans. Afterward, they met with parents to discuss the needs of their children. Many positive things were shared. And then the theme of worship came up. It was discovered that staff assigned to Sunday morning either took individuals to their own churches or did not go at all! As other barriers were identified, the Arc Faith Group was born.
The parents invited clergy to join in, and other community agencies got involved too. The Arc Faith Group developed AFIRE (Accessing Faith in Religious Environments), an experiential program designed to help faith communities become aware of the barriers that prevent full participation of people with disabilities. If your congregation would like to conduct an accessibility audit, please go to www.pcusa.org/congregational-audit.
The message of the Arc Faith Group is simple: “All are one in Christ.” All are part of the body of Christ. Including people with disabilities in the life of a congregation involves more than money; it involves a mindset that says, “This is what God calls us to do.”
—Rev. David E. Young, interim pastor, Madison (Indiana) Presbyterian Church, and Carol K. Brown, past elder, Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church
Let us pray
O God, you have made us all in your image, with our own abilities and disabilities. We have ignored the gifts you gave us and been ashamed of who we are. We forget that you made us all as your reflection and that all of us belong to you and show the world your image. Forgive us, O God, and claim us all again as your children. Amen.
Sunday Lectionary and Hymns
1 Kings 19:1–4 (5–7), 8–15a
How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord
Ps. 42 and 43
As Deer Long for the Streams
Baptized in Water
O Christ, the Healer