Mark Pinsky–Churches mustn't neglect the disabled

In the Gospel of Luke, early Christians are urged to “invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind” (14:13) to their gatherings. But how far can ”” or should ”” modern religious congregations go to accommodate people with physical or intellectual disabilities?

With the Baby Boom generation about to age into infirmity, and wounded war veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in growing numbers, the issue of worshippers with disabilities will very soon overwhelm ethical and theological abstraction….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care

2 comments on “Mark Pinsky–Churches mustn't neglect the disabled

  1. Sarha7nj says:

    I have two special needs children in our Sunday school program which asks for volunteers from the congregation to spend one Sunday morning a month sitting with my children so they can participate, as much as possible, in the age-appropriate class. It has been a huge blessing to us! The program started because the head pastor has a son with Down’s Syndrome and needed someone to sit with him while his parents “worked” on Sunday mornings.

  2. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    This issue has always been close to my heart. I think churches have had a particularly bad track record on these issues, seeing as existing churches were largely exempted from the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Likewise, Sunday schools are notoriously bad at dealing with any parishioners (or potential parishioners) who might have special needs. Some of the reticence is understandable certainly, as most Sunday schools are staffed by volunteers, many of whom have no training in special education needs. But, as a group, churches are notoriously bad as dealing with those people that seemed to be closest to Jesus’ healing heart.