For many people church as it currently exists in many, many places just doesn’t work, can’t work, won’t work. And it’s not just people on the margins of society that this is true for, it’s true for the majority of the communities in which these churches are located. It’s just even worse if you don’t happen to conform to the ‘typical’, ‘expected’ profile of church attendee; and that includes many, even most, families who have a child with additional/special needs or disabilities. Church needs a reboot before everyone can truly belong.
If a picture paints a thousand words, I wonder how many a video paints? This four-and-a-half minute video, which I recorded with Urban Saints, provides you with seven tips to help, encourage and inspire you to make your children's or youth work more accessible and inclusive, to create belonging for everyone. There are loads of links to other resources, videos and information to help you too!
Have you ever tried body surfing? Think surfing, but without a surfboard or body board, just using your own body to ride the waves. What has this got to do with additional needs parenting? Well, it all depends on the size of the waves!
Surely in this day and age there can’t be anyone who would stop children with additional needs or disabilities, and their families, from being able to access church; anyone who would exclude them from all that church offers; anyone who would prevent them from belonging to the church community, can there? But sadly, this does happen all too often and some of the people responsible might surprise you!
The road to acceptance can be a long one for parents of children with additional/special needs or disability. Some reach it quicker than others, some struggle to get there at all. There are many stops along the way where we can get ‘stuck’… Additional/Special Needs Parenting: Welcome To Holland, Not Italy
How do I include all children & young people with additional needs in my church? As many church children's and youth groups return back after the summer break this week, we explore how everyone can be included and belong.
Over a year ago I wrote a blog post about James’ favourite ‘Treat Trip’, a tour of his favourite places. Little did I know as I wrote those words that it would be almost the last time that James would go on a ‘Treat Trip’, or any kind of trip, for over a year… A year that has just come dramatically to an end!
How do I know if my disabled child can have a faith? It’s a question many parents of children with disabilities ask, but there are clues to find, things Jesus did, ways of understanding how our child responds to God, that give us answers.
A few days later, God turned up in the middle of the night… and then I saw an image very clearly in my mind. I remember feeling quite smug, thinking I’d guessed God’s punchline… I’d guessed wrong!
During his life on earth Jesus challenged the accepted culture of his time, often creating a societal and political storm as he did so. He was not what many expected the Messiah to be, even though there had been plenty of prophesy that provided more than enough detail of what to expect from him. He … Continue reading Jesus Christ: Poor, Child Refugee, Homeless, Disabled?