CHRISTIAN LIFE IN LONDON | February 2024 EDITION
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada Launches New Resource on Disability and Belonging
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Published February 2023



Life Together: Disability and Belonging in the Church is a new online and print resource available free from The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC).

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.”

Life Together: Disability and Belonging in the Church



This booklet contains articles and discussion questions that can help you and the Christians around you understand the importance of including people with disabilities in church communities, what ableism is and why it matters, and how we can respond to current shortcomings and injustices.

The 56-page booklet (we just printed 5,000 copies) is divided into four sections with informative articles and interviews. Each section ends with helpful reflection questions. Watch a two-minute video about how and why this resource was made.

It's free to download an electronic copy (PDF) here and by clicking the button at the bottom of this webpage. A French translation will be available soon.

To order free printed copies, call toll-free 1-866-302-3362 or email EFC@TheEFC.ca.

There is no cost for either the printed version or PDF version of this publication, but we do ask that you help offset our costs of producing such a valuable resource with a donation. You can donate toll-free at 1-866-302-3362 or at TheEFC.ca/Donate.

CONTENTS
Introduction

Section 1: Welcome & Belonging

  • On relationships, welcome and the Body of Christ: An interview with Cynthia Tam
  • On finding roof busters: An interview with Taylor Hyatt
  • Reflection questions

Section 2: Ableism in Church & Culture
  • Ableism and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)
  • On human dignity: An interview with Taylor Hyatt
  • Ableism in the Church
  • Addressing ableism in the Church
  • On ableism, gifts and the life of the Church: An interview with Chantal Huinink
  • On the Church’s calling (and failure) to welcome: An interview with Taylor Hyatt
  • On churches missing out: An interview with Janet Noel-Annable
  • Reflection questions

Section 3: Next Steps for Christian Communities
  • How to become a disability friendly church
  • Disability etiquette tips
  • On acknowledging our own woundedness and need for healing: An interview with Dion Oxford
  • On first steps for Christian communities: An interview with Taylor Hyatt
  • Reflection questions

Section 4: Organizations and Resources
  • Organizations
  • Resources: Three resources to start with
  • Eight articles and podcasts to start with

Conclusion

ONLINE EXTRAS
Here are links to the eight articles and podcasts to start with:

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
10 Huntingdale Blvd,
Scarborough, ON
M1W 2S5
Tel: 1-866-302-3362
https://www.evangelicalfellowship.ca