I failed ninth grade Earth Science, and I still don’t know what the classification of rocks are. I believed God created the earth in six twenty-four hours days because that’s what the Bible says. I should have remembered what my confirmation teacher taught me a year before. Science asks how and religion asks why. Continue reading Taking God at His Word
Happy spring. The snow is melting here in Colorado, and Kelly and I are looking forward to being outside with the dogs. Maybe I can participate in my new favorite activity: wheelchair conga lines.
I had a blast last summer at Joni and Friends Family Retreat when all of us wheelchair users (including Joni Erickson Tada herself) lined up our chairs and weaved our way through the beach party. People were clapping us along, some of the manual chair users grabbed onto the back of electric chairs for “a ride,” and we all had smiles on our faces. Continue reading Spring newsletter
A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.
First, I need to admit something.
In the last few weeks, I have seen Mephibosheth Ministry proudly displayed as a partner with International Anglican Church. I am happy that my church sees the value of my ministry and me. But a voice in the back of my head says, “What have you done lately to prove you’re worthy of this partnership?” Continue reading Mephibosheth Ministry 2014 Fall Report
It’s a long drive from Colorado to Minnesota, but my soul mate, Kelly, and I wouldn’t have missed the 2014 Joni and Friends Family Retreat. This was our third time at the retreat, and it’s always feels like coming home to family.
Continue reading Joni and Friends provides a week of fun for families living with disabilities
I was confirmed in the Methodist Church when I was 15. Back in 1988, it was clearly communicated that confirmation was the time when young people joined the church. I went through an entire year of classes, and a big celebration followed – both at church and afterwards at home. Besides maybe my birthday, that weekend was one of the highlights of my young life. Continue reading Confirmation: Anglican Style!
My iPad is a godsend. The iBook and kindle apps are my favorites because I can finally really explore my love for reading and enjoy my love of books. I bet I have hundreds of dollars invested in books. While I always had good intentions of reading each and every one of them from cover to cover, most became dust bunnies on my shelf. Tracking problems and physically holding them open cause this. I’m lucky to read one or two books a year, but not any more. With the iPad, I can read at least a book a month, sometimes two. And like every reader, I usually have more than one going, just to keep it interesting. Continue reading My 2013 Reading list
(First published by ASSIST News Service. Used with permission.)
When someone using a wheelchair shows up at church, how do you respond? Do you know what to do, how to act, what to say? Do you feel awkward? My pastor at International Anglican Church felt awkward. Now he says his congregation wouldn’t be complete without my being part of our body. Continue reading In the Accessible Church
I am pleased to announce the publication of IN THE ACCESSIBLE CHURCH. My book begins with an in-depth look at the theology of disability. What does God have to say about people affected by disability and why should you care? I speak directly to pastors and their church family concerning how to get comfortable relating to those with disability. You will find practical steps on how to include someone with a disability in the church body. It’s not about a getting a budget that makes your church more accessible! It’s about building relationships. Of course, I tell personal stories of how I have experienced both “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” in the churches I pursued.
I have attended church all my life, and honestly, my relationship with God remained as cool with just enough distant as most members inadvertently treated me. My ultimate success story is the discovery of a church that did make me feel welcome and even gave me opportunities to participate. The people there never question my disability. Instead, they encourage me to grow in my faith and “serve” the Lord. Could I read scripture on Sunday morning? Sure. Go for it! Could I be a Sunday school teacher? Sure, there is an opening for a third-fifth-grade teacher. Have at it!
In the Accessible Church, you will…
· Learn the framework of the theology of disability.
· Discover how someone with a disability can be an active part of the church.
· Be challenged to include someone with a disability in your congregation.
I am the church relations director with Mephibosheth Ministry. My desire is to help churches understand that people affected by disabilities are more than observers. They can be active participants in the life of a church, teach classes, serve on committees, and so much more. When given a chance, a person with a disability can be a wonderful addition to any congregation.
My pastor, Rt. Rev. Ken Ross, wrote the forward. It is available in print though Amazon and Lulu or as an eBook on the Barnes and Noble’s nook and iBook formats. The read is quick. The message is simple. Yet, hopefully this message will inspire you and your church family to help fulfill the Great Commission to a very overlooked people group, the disabled.
One thing I’ve been wanting to do is to present one of Mephibosheth Ministry’s workshops, Exploring the Needs and the Opportunities that Exists between the Christian and Persons who have Challenges, as a blog. This would allow me to do several things including making it more available and writing it out for future readers. Continue reading Workshops
One thing I’ve been wanting to do is to present one of Mephibosheth Ministry’s workshops, Exploring the Needs and the Opportunities that Exists between the Christian and Persons who have Challenges, as a blog. This would allow me to do several things including making it more available and writing it out for future readers.
The workshop is the brainchild of Mary Jane Ponten, founder of Mephibosheth Ministry. Some topics included in it are
· Scripture/devotionals based on disabilities
· “A time to laugh”
· Accessibility issues
· When love is not enough
The workshop is designed to be interactive. I encourage you to interact with the material. Please feel free to ask questions and make comments along the way.
I look forward taking this journey with you.