Disability and the Church: Re-Imagining Being Together (Sat)


This workshop will offer a mix of personal presentations and small group discussions. The presentations will seek to spark ideas of the challenges and opportunities, and have the ultimate aim of addressing efforts to widen the scope of participation in the church, particularly to more fully include people with disabilities (including visible and invisible disabilities).  The presentations would share transformational processes from people’s own experience and work. Some of the presentations would be about theologies of disabilities, and others would be more about people’s personal experiences. A total of 4-6 short presentations would be offered. 

Following each short presentation, there will be small group discussions. A series of guided questions would precede each small group time. People would also have an opportunity to share what is happening in their own communities of faith. 

Exploration of an accessibility audit will be included the second part of the workshop, and there would be a focus on practical suggestions for communities of faith. Advocacy ideas will be considered. 

In the practical portion of the workshop, the discussion would be guided so that it can focus on increasing awareness of the challenges people with disabilities face in accessing and participating in the church; enhancing appreciation and understanding of the nature and task of what it means to be ‘church’ together, with access for all, particularly in the United Church; challenging people to integrate a disability perspective into theological reflection and pastoral practices in ministry, including music; and raising questions that provoke further consideration. 

Speakers: Adele Halliday, Sharon Aylsworth, Sharon Ballantyne, Kathleen James-Cavan, and Tracy Odell.

Max Number of participants: Up to 50, first come first serve