All equal?

I’m sure we would all gasp in horror at the thought that our churches may not be as equal as we would like or hope them to be. We all know our vision statements and think our places of worship and fellowship are welcoming to all who cross our doorsteps. But are we? Is everyone who comes made to feel wantd and accepted for who they are right at that moment in their life?

Maybe, maybe not.

I’m a mother of 2 ASD boys, so I know first hand that there is an inequality surrounding churches and who is accepted and who isnt. Unwelcome comments, snide remarks on dress, lack of understanding to conditions we have no control over are present every week across the country. I myself am disabled, but dont have a single person in my church family who understands or I feel I can talk to. How bad is this and how prevelant is it?

I think the biggest word surrounding equality, is Understanding.

Respect and understanding are all pretty much everyone would ask for and I feel it is an expected part of church life whether it is available or not.

 

Sorry…….. got distracted at the door by 2 lovely gentlemen from the local JW felllowship. Lovely talk with them.

 

Right.

So if I talk about some of the most noticable disabilities. If some one is in a wheelchair, can the even enter your church? Is there wheelchair access? Is there disabled toilet access for them?

Do you have bibles in braille?

Do you have trained sign language people available?

Do you have translaters available for those who dont speak much English?

Are there trained teachers within the Kids Church to be able to allow those children with both learning/behavioural difficulties and those with more severe disabilities be a part of the work that is done with the youth?

What about those with tourettes? ASD or ADHD disorders? Those who cant speak? Mental health problems?

Are we there for all or just the ones we “feel” we can cope with?

Its a big question, but a very real one. Churches are there for all, the Gospel is for all, and we need to be ready for absolutely anyone who crosses our doors. For some, its took a big amount of bravery to even be there, so we need to make sure they are accepted, loved and welcomed for who they are. A lot of those struggling with disabilities are very isolated and some are housebound. I myself am mostly isolated and can be housebound some weeks, and noone even know or understand at all. My husband is amazing as is my youngest boy who is such an amazing child and is becoming a strong man of God. They both see the bad times, the worst of it all, and like me, there are millions out there in our own country who feel the same as me more and more, day after long depressing day.

So where are we? Are we filling pews and not caring? Are we out there involved with social action? Are we part of urban mission reaching the most lost of society?

We are not called to speak and act like a church, but to be the church. The church in the time of Acts right up to maybe 100 years ago was the benefits system looking after the homeless, the impoverished, the orphans, the unloved and unwanted. There are many out there working for them still, and they do it tirelessly and whether they feel like it or not. That army of love cant slow down or stop, it need to grow and grow so that we can reach all with the love of Christ and the hope they so desperately need.

So, what are we going to do about it?

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