This blog site is a place for conversation and exchange amongst people with an interest in the connection of disability and faith.
The Uniting Church seeks to be a community enriched by the involvement and contribution of all people. Some recent multi-faith research, ‘To Belong I need to be Missed’ (see below) recognises that hospitality and justice are themes all faith communities aspire to.
Our blog site is an opportunity to share learnings/ideas/comments to strengthen relationships with people marginalised by disability.
Opportunities continue to be sought, and connections made with people wishing to exchange stories and experiences of faith and disability across the faith spectrum. Also with people who want to see improvements in faith communities and are in a position to influence change. This post is of a recent Panel discussion organised by Disability Media Australia.
Great news folks!!
Congratulations to the State Campaign Office of ‘Every Australian Counts’ and the National office as well. A wonderful day in Australia’s history and shows we can do major social change to better the lives of people who have been at the sharp end for far too long.
This Plan was produced by the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania and submitted to the Human rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
Click here to view the document
June 23, 2012 ABC Encounter aired a program with multi-faith perspectives about inclusion and participation of people with disabilities in the life of faith communities in Victoria and NSW. Listen via the link below.
The following is a Christian perspective, with some parallels across the religious spectrum.
Mental illness is not caused by demon possession. It can sometimes seem like other powers are in control or impacting a loved one and the causes of mental illness are often not clearly traceable or understandable. But there is simply no evidence of mental illness being caused by demon possession. The same thing used to be said for all kinds of other illnesses, diagnoses that none of us would give today. One of the ways that citing mental illness as demon possession further wounds a person with mental illness and his or her family and friends is that the next step is often claiming that a lack of healing is a lack of faith on the part of the person or, sometimes even worse, on the part of the family. Anyone who asserts that must realize that if they could not cure someone by faith (of any disease or especially mental illness), that is also a judgment they have to make against themselves. Rather, individuals and families need the faithfulness of friends, extended family, professionals, and faith communities who can walk with them, support them, and prevent the kind of isolation and stigmatization that often accompanies mental illness.
Links to the resources below are provided by Bill Gaventa, a foremost US advocate and leader in inclusion of people with disabilities. They are Christian in orientation.
http://www.mentalhealthministries.net/ Mental Health Ministries
www.pathways2promise.org<http://www.pathways2promise.org> Pathways To Promise
Mosques/Community Centres (PDF)
Some helpful resources and suggestions for Muslim communities wishing to enhance inclusion for people with disabilities.
A Place to Belong
A Brisbane-based site with resources about inclusion, and an opportunity to interact with others and raise questions.
A terrific US video that highlights issues of stigma and exclusion, within Jewish communities.
Happy Chanukah video