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I dropped my daughter off at university recently. As I think about her at school, I wonder what this year holds for her. Last year she entered her first year of university in the middle of a pandemic. She spent most of her time in her dorm, participating in online school. It was not the year I would have hoped for her; but in the midst of adversity, she grew, she flourished, she made friends, she thrived.

I think of this past year for our ministry. We lived our lives on Zoom, planning events, connecting with so many of you online, and continuing to thrive in the midst of a pandemic. While it was challenging and there was clearly a learning curve, we worked through everything together. We figured out new ways of growing within our ministry that we will continue even when we are no longer dealing with current restrictions. I am so thankful for a community that refuses to give up in the midst of challenges, but instead explores new ways of connecting that will benefit us for years to come.

As we enter another fall season, looking ahead to a year of possibilities, I take time to pause, just for a moment, to thank all of you for being such a strong circle of support for our ministry throughout this season. When we dreamed of new ways of connecting throughout the pandemic, you showed up. You encouraged us. You shared in our lament over the reality of living in isolation, but you also shared in our excitement for new ways of delivering our resources and services to you. You shared your knowledge of ways to improve our technology. So, thank you! To each of you who is part of our community, we acknowledge that we are better because of you.

Looking forward to another great year working together with all of you!

—Becky Jones, Editor

Have you considered writing for Breaking Barriers?

Breaking Barriers newsletter has a print circulation of about 80,000 print copies per quarter plus over 2500 electronic subscriptions to Christian Reformed and Reformed Church in America churches and many individuals. Here’s what we are planning for the next issue, and we’d love to have your contributions.

Winter 2021—Young people with disabilities
In Canada and the United States, about 13 percent of people ages 15–30 live with a disability. Are you one of them? Please tell us a story (up to 400 words) about living with a disability when nearly 90 percent of your peers do not. Send your submission by September 27, 2021.

...And That’s a Wrap!

Disability Concerns Leadership Training Event 2021 Recap

After much planning and organizing, much excitement and anticipation, our annual Disability Concerns Leadership Event took place on August 11 and 12 this year. Thank you to all who were able to attend this event with us! For those unable to attend, we are excited to announce that video segments of the two days are available to watch! We encourage you to share these links with your community and engage in discussion around the central theme of this year’s event, “Who’s missing in my church?”

Find Out More!


Embodying Equity: Disability Justice Within the Church

Mike Walker is a Canadian theologian and advocate for people with disabilities who has worked in Toronto, Chicago, and Ottawa. He’s currently the primary researcher on the Our Doors Are Open Project through the Ontario College of Art and Design. Mike has been actively engaging churches to consider how to make their spaces more accessible by hosting a number of presentations online. In this article he offers a discussion on creating a culture of equity within our churches from the perspective of disability.

Find Out More!


Do You Have Yours Yet?

Our Newest Resource is Released:
Everybody Belongs, Serving Together

After considerable work and much anticipation, our new print version of Everybody Belongs, Serving Together is now available and has been shipped out across North America to all our church and regional advocates! This resource is available in a number of formats so that everyone can engage in the material in a way that works well for them. It is available in the traditional print format, as well as an audiobook (US version, Canadian version), an eBook, and an online resource (including interactive content!). Further explore this new resource with many others from our community during our October webinar series. (See below.)

Learn more here!


Disability Concerns Canada October Series 2021

Everybody Belongs, Serving Together:
Launching the Newest Resource for Supporting People with Disabilities in Faith Communities

Interested in diving in and engaging in conversations that are key to Everybody Belongs, Serving Together? Great! Join us every Thursday evening in October when we host a series focused on unpacking material from this book with key people engaged in the work of disability advocacy. Though hosted by Disability Concerns Canada, it’s open to friends in the U.S. and beyond. We look forward to having you join us!

Read the Article


Calling All Advocates!

Calling All Young People:
Join the Disability Advocacy Journey!

The Disability Advocacy Journey is about to commence. Have you signed up yet? There are still a few spots available! If you are between the ages of 18 and 30, consider yourself as a leader who is passionate about social change and advocacy work, remain deeply committed even when things don’t go as planned, and are passionate about community, this journey is for you! Sign up today. Registration closes soon!

Find out more


Further Your Education

NBTS Certificate Program

Are you feeling God calling you to deeper ministry in your church or faith-based organization but feel you need more equipping? Listen to this recorded information session from New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NBTS). You will hear about the NBTS certificate programs and what makes them unique in preparing you for ministry.

This two-year, four-semester, affordable program is designed especially for lay leaders and taught by diverse, experienced instructors, including NBTS faculty. Whether you are a church lay leader or staff person, deacon or elder, in training to be a preaching elder or commissioned pastor, this program will help you step into your calling with confidence and competence!

Find out more


Follow us on Instagram!

Did you know we have joined Instagram?

Our handle is @dis_ability_concerns. Like us and follow us today!

Follow Us on Instagram


Donate Now

Thank You for Your Support!

Without monetary support for Disability Concerns, we wouldn’t be able to share these stories. To help us ensure that “everybody belongs and everybody serves,” would you please consider praying for us and making a financial contribution? It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s a gracious and beautiful act of obedience.

You can donate to the ongoing work of Disability Concerns at the CRCNA here.

Donate via the CRCNA


You can donate to the ongoing work of Disability Concerns at the RCA here.

Donate via the RCA


Calendar   Donate   Resources


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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