Life Together: Disability and Belonging in the Church is a new online and print resource available free from The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC). Update August 2023: Maintenant aussi disponible en français.
Life Together centres the voices and gifts of people in the disability community, sharing their profound cultural and biblical insights and personal experiences. The new resource helps Christians to recognize and address discrimination against people with disabilities, known as ableism, in our church communities.
“We can’t tackle every barrier at once,” says Julia Beazley, the EFC’s director of public policy, “but we can begin to consider our attitudes and take small steps to make our buildings, ministries and community life more accessible and welcoming. We are hopeful this resource will have a big impact, inviting all of us to fuller community and greater belonging in the Body of Christ.”
Life Together touches on important issues including human dignity, medical assistance in dying and our calling as members of churches and communities. Designed for individual reflection or group discussion in churches and small groups, the resource has thoughtful questions about the application and practice of biblical teaching. It also includes tips for respectful interaction and resources for further learning.
“Each of us has dignity and worth because we are created by God, made in His image and loved by Him (Gen. 1:26-27),” the new resource states. It prompts readers to examine the unbiblical idea that human worth comes from what we can do or produce. Through interviews, articles, action steps and reflection questions, the resource encourages Christians to align more closely with what Scripture teaches about human dignity and allow that view to change their interaction with others.
“Now more than ever, our churches need to be places of welcome and belonging,” says Beazley. “As followers of Jesus, we must not only work to counteract the ableism in our culture, but also consider our attitudes and approaches to people with disabilities.”
The resource is available for free online at TheEFC.ca/LifeTogether as a PDF, with print copies available upon request. Version française : TheEFC.ca/vivre-ensemble.
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