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Every year my kids and I spend the last few minutes of the year watching the live footage of Times Square, New York, waiting for the New Year’s ball to drop. This year, as we counted down, I felt very disconnected from the typical enthusiasm of a brand new year. This has been a hard season for so many of us. What are we anticipating for the new year? Will it offer joy? Will it offer grief? My guess is it will continue to provide a complex mixture of emotions we have come to know so well over the past couple of years.

As a ministry how do we enter the year ahead? Upon reflection, we realized that the past has allowed us to reach out more to our communities online. As a staff that is based both in the US and Canada, our borders have become very blurred as all meetings now take place via zoom, and we have become more accustomed to using chat and instant messaging to connect faster, more efficiently. We have seen new ideas, such as online book clubs, pop up in our ministry as we look for unique ways to connect. So perhaps, as we reflect on what we have gained over the past couple of years, we can be encouraged as we look forward to the year ahead.

—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 2,500 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.

Spring 2022Acquired disability
How has your disability—acquired through stroke, accident, illness, aging—affected you, your relationships, your work, your spiritual life? What have you lost and what have you gained? Please tell us a story (up to 400 words) about your acquired disability by February 7, 2022.

Email: lcapel@crcna.org  •  tdeyoung@rca.org

Become a Church or Regional Disability Advocate Today!

Disability Advocate Job Descriptions

As we enter a new year, have you considered taking on a new role within your church or your classis? There are a number of vacant positions for both church and regional disability advocate across North America. If you feel called by God to serve within your community as an advocate for people living with disabilities, we would love to hear from you!

Job Descriptions!

January Book Club 

Disability Concerns January 2022 Book Club

We started our January book club featuring Kate Bowler’s book: No Cure for Being Human (and Other Truths I Need to Hear). This book club is running for three weeks: January 13, 20 and 27. Feel free to register for the last week of the book club, or consider hosting your own book club! Hop over to Kate’s website to find out how!

Find out more!

Disability Concerns Canada Fall Newsletter

Fall 2021 Disability Concerns Canada Newsletter

Have you read the latest edition of the Disability Concerns Canada newsletter? Our Fall 2021 issue focused on connections, and how we can be intentional at making connections with others. As we look forward to the year ahead, let’s pause to consider how we have succeeded in our connections over the past year.

Find out more!

How to listen well

What Do You Want Me to Do For You?

Mike Walker, Canadian theologian and advocate for people with disabilities, offers his insights on Bartimaeus and what it means to actively listen to people with disabilities in churches. Walker shares how Bartimaeus manifests tenacity and a desire for relationship, how he isn’t just waiting for things to happen; he’s actively seeking God’s purpose for his life and how Bartimaeus provides us with a model of steadfast engagement.

Find out more!

What Society Values Most

When Merit Drives Out Grace

Amy Julia Becker shares her thoughts on merit culture, and what her daughter Penny, born with Down Syndrome, has taught her about shifting away from a culture that values achievement over love.

Read more here!

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 in the CRCNA here.

Donate via the CRCNA

 

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

Donate via the RCA

 

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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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