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Finding New Ways to Connect

When I was a little girl I loved watching the movie Pollyanna, starring Hayley Mills. I truly appreciated her sharing her secret to life - “The glad game.” I still find myself playing it in my mind when I have had a very long week - or perhaps year! When I look at this year, managing as best we can to get through Covid-19, I find I am reverting back to my childhood game and am looking for things to be glad about. In our disability community, I am glad that through adversity we were agile - we shifted our community to an online platform and learned how to reach a broader audience. I have made lasting connections with so many people within our community that may not have happened without the need to shift our communication practices. While it is very important to remember the significant challenges and losses we are all walking through due to the pandemic, I cannot help but be glad of the many connections and friendships that have developed in the midst of adversity.

—Becky Jones, Editor

Have you considered writing for Breaking Barriers?

Breaking Barriers newsletter has a circulation of about 80,000 copies per quarter to Christian Reformed and Reformed Church in America churches. Here’s what we are planning for the next two issues, and we’d love to have your contributions.

Winter 2021 - The coronavirus pandemic actually has removed barriers for some people with disabilities, allowing access to communities and spaces that were inaccessible before. Please tell us your story (400 words) of unexpected access with a disability by November 13, 2020.

Spring 2021—Race and disability. Daniel Prude might still be alive if he had not been black or disabled. If you are Black, Indigenous, or a person of color and live with a disability, please tell us your story (400 words) by January 29, 2021

October Caregiver Series in Review

Walking Alongside Caregivers - Recap!

While we originally had planned for an in-person conference in Ontario for our Canadian Disability Concerns community, Covid-19 forced us to re-evaluate! Instead of a one-day in-person event, we created a month-long series of webinars, and opening it up to anyone who wanted to participate! Sometimes out of adversity, something beautiful comes forth! The entire series was recorded and is available to all. Our focus for this event was on caregivers, and each session within the series looked at the conversation on caregiving from a slightly different lens. Thank you to all our speakers for their insights on Caregiving.

Read Full Review

Breaking Barriers - Summer 2020

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

We recently released our summer issue of Breaking Barriers. The theme for this issue is focused on families who are living with loved ones who have been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. There has been a significant lack of information and understanding related to this diagnosis for many years, so there is a great deal of grief and brokenness related to this conversation. It is only in recent years that significant progress has been made in supporting families who are working dealing with this diagnosis.

Access the Resources

Join our Disability Concerns Book Clubs!

Disability Concerns Book Clubs Announced!

Looking for a good book club to join during the long winter months ahead? We have 2 for you! Our first one is just beginning. We are working our way through Courage for Caregivers: Sustenance for the Journey. It will go through the month of November. Our second one is schedule to start in the new year: Finding Jesus in the Storm by John Swinton. Join us!

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The Loss of a friend and colleague

Remembering Our Friend Barb Newman

Many within our disability community knew Barb Newman. She was an author, speaker, and most importantly, our friend. We were deeply saddened to find out at the beginning of the summer she had been diagnosed with brain cancer. This disease took her from us far too quickly and we all grieve the loss deeply. We are so thankful for the amazing life she led,the significant contribution she gave to the field of disability concerns and the great legacy she leaves behind as one who lived her life as a shining example of Jesus' love for all.

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Mental Health Support for our Church Communities

Tonight’s Small Group Conversation: Your Mental Health

This past month was Mental health awareness month. It is a reminder that we need to hold space for conversations about our mental health. We need to continue to work on eliminating the stigma that surrounds mental health and support each other. We want to share a resource that will support meaningful conversations about mental health that you can have as a small group. Giving space for the conversation is such an important step towards good mental health.

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This mostly monthly e-newsletter is a ministry of Christian Reformed Church in North America and Reformed Church in America Disability Concerns ministries.

Christian Reformed Church in North America
1700 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508-1407
3475 Mainway, Burlington, ON L7R 3Y8

Reformed Church of America
4500 60th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

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