Disabled Persons In The Worshiping Community

Source: The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Robert E. Webber, General Editor

Though not intentionally, worship planners often fail to consider the needs of the disabled, hearing-impaired, and other physically challenged adults. This section attempts to redress this situation by presenting several thoughtful articles that consider disabilities in a scriptural light.

Theology Of Ministry To People With Disabilities

People with developmental disabilities are typically devalued by society. The Christian church, however, needs not only to reflect on what it means to be created in the image of God in relation to ministries and the developmentally disabled. In addition, it also needs to reflect on the meaning and implications of what it professes in its liturgy. For example, how does becoming part of Christ's body through baptism relate to ministries and the developmentally disabled? The following article will explain the theology of and the implications of liturgy to the church's ministries and the developmentally disabled.

Planning For Disabled People

With at least 35 million people with disabilities in America, a worship committee needs to plan to include these people in worship. This process of including people with disabilities begins by determining whether the church building, including the worship space, is fully accessible. This process also involves attitudinal changes, considerations about worship language and worship leaders, and the commitment of the church to be inclusive. The following articles outlines some steps to take in this process.

Involving People With Disabilities In Worship

By neglecting to include persons with disabilities, the church impoverishes itself. Disabled persons complete the church body, have special gifts, and are called by God to minister to the church. Christians need to be concerned about their church facilities and their language in order to facilitate their unity with their disabled members.

Liturgies With Deaf Worshipers

For deaf persons, liturgies need to communicate through gesture, action, sign language, drama, film, slides, overheads, and skits, as well as through speech and music. Such media are the vernacular for deaf people. The following article will offer some suggestions on how to make liturgy communicate to deaf people.