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Breaking Barriers


Theme: Down Syndrome

Authors describe some of the joys and challenges they and their church have experienced in loving and living with someone with Down syndrome.

A Church Enlivened by Grace
Diana Ackner’s daughter Grace has found a warm welcome and brought life to First Reformed Church in Scotia, New York.

Student, Servant, Best Friend
For the past quarter century, Scott Ludwigsen has been Bobby Maehr’s teacher in Sunday school, but mostly they’re friends who read Bible stories and write in their prayer journals.

A Gift from God
Martha Schreiber’s daughter Mathea embraces her role in family and church and loves to exercise her gifts of prayer and worship.

Missed Opportunities for Belonging
The youth programs at Jeannette Versteeg’s church are missing out on the joy that full inclusion of her son Evan could bring.

Editor’s note: Transformed by Relationships
This issue of Breaking Barriers captures some of the challenges and the personal transformation the authors have experienced through relationships with people with Down syndrome.

Now Available!
Breaking Barriers - Summer 2019


Coming in future issues of Breaking Barriers:

Fall 2019—Deaf and hard of hearing. Is American Sign Language your heart language? Did you grow up with a Deaf sibling or Deaf parent? Do you use hearing aids or have a cochlear implant? Please tell us your story (400 words) by July 29.

Winter 2020—Medications. Many of us need to take medications—for pain, for rheumatoid arthritis, for seizures, and for other reasons. Medications can improve quality of life and can cause side effects. If treatment of a disability or mental health challenge involves medication for you or a loved one, please tell us your story (400 words) by September 30.


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