Seek Out the Treasures! Every Cell Counts! Campaign Launched!
12 July 2021
Where are the persons with disabilities in our churches? What are the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in participating in the life and witness of the church? What could we do as churches to become more welcoming of persons with disabilities?
Such questions spurred ED to launch a series of campaigns towards disability inclusion in churches targeting different groups within the church beginning with Christian women.
The Campaign kicked off with a virtual launch where five women’s groups collaborated to bring together their members for an orientation to disability inclusion and understand the campaign message and activity. NCCI Women, EFI Women’s Commission, Association of Theologically Trained Women in India (ATTWI), Indian Women Theologians Forum, Indian Christian Women’s Movement (ICWM), and the Women’s Commission of the Archdiocese of Mumbai were represented by their leadership teams and members.
The powerful sharing by persons with disabilities about their experiences in interacting with and participating in church set the tone of the campaign launch reminding participants that there can be ‘Nothing about us without us!’
A biblical perspective on why disability inclusion is an urgent mandate for the church to interrogate our own practices and witness as a church was brought home to the participants at the launch.
The challenge of the campaign, “Will you ‘Seek out’ the ‘treasures’ (persons with disabilities) in our churches, to ensure that ‘every cell counts’ towards completing the body of Christ?” was posed to participants. The potential of women in churches to carry forward this crucial and urgent agenda of disability inclusion was stressed.
Participants then signed up to carry out the Campaign Activity: to identify and accompany persons with disabilities in their congregations and communities to understand their challenges in participating in the life of the church. The activity also includes interviewing the identified persons with disabilities with questions regarding the challenges faced and their suggestions about how the church could become more welcoming for people with disabilities, that will be captured in the Campaign Activity form.
It was encouraging women from various Christian traditions were present and were challenged to take forward the movement towards disability inclusion in our churches.
The livestreamed video of the Virtual Launch can be viewed here should you wish to understand the details of the campaign.
If you are inspired by the message and challenge of this campaign activity, please feel free to use the Campaign Activity form to capture your journey in identifying, accompanying, and understanding persons with disabilities towards fuller participation in churches in India.