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June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness day. This holds a great deal of significance this year as we have watched in horror as the pandemic has devastated our senior communities. Our hearts have been grieved as friends and family living in seniors residences have been unable to connect with loved ones. Some have lost their lives to COVID without being able to connect to their community one last time before they pass. This has been a time in history that has been marked by deep sadness and grief for the senior population.

Yet, in the midst of great sadness and loss, our ministry has watched with full hearts as our advocates have worked to mitigate the ongoing challenges our elderly population has been up against. Disability Concerns is incredibly thankful for our network of advocates. Throughout the pandemic as we connected with our volunteers. Consistently we heard that the role of an advocate has shifted well outside of the church building to supporting those living in isolation. This was a year of phone calls, window visits and working with churches to ensure seniors were being connected to online services whenever possible. Advocacy looked much different this year than it has in other years.

To our valued volunteers - thank you! You have been the example of Christ to others throughout this challenging time.

—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.

Fall 2021—Speech differences.
People living with speech differences, such as stuttering and cerebral palsy that affects speech, face various challenges such as avoidance of interacting with others, not being allowed to finish their thoughts, and even assumptions others make about their intelligence. If you live with a speech difference, please tell us a story or give us your advice in no more than 400 words. Send your submission by August 2, 2021.

Registration Now Open!

Disability Concerns Leadership Training 2021

Have you signed up yet for our next Disability Concerns Leadership Training event? Registration is now open! We will be hosting it virtually this year - sign up for free! Join us August 11th and 12th from 11am - 2pm (Eastern) for conversations centred around the theme of #WhosMissingInMyChurch.

Sign Up Today!

 

A New Book for your Resource Library!

Book Review: ‘Noticed, Known and Missed’ by Cara Milne

Looking for an excellent book for your resource library on disability advocacy? One of our regional advocates, Cara Milne of classis Alberta South - Saskatchewan, recently published her second book on this topic! Elly VanAlten, co-editor of the Disability Concerns Canada newsletter as well as regional advocate for classis Alberta North, offers a review on Cara’s latest book: Noticed, Known and Missed.

Read the Article

 

In Response to 215 children’s remains found in Kamloops

A Prayer for the Uncovering of Graves in Kamloops

This past week in Canada, the devastating news was announced that a mass grave of 215 Indigenous children’s bodies had been discovered at a residential school in Kamloops. This announcement was not met with surprise, but with deep sadness. May we remember all of those children who lost their lives, children of the Creator. Our justice ministries have worked together to offer prayers and resources in light of this heartbreaking discovery.

(To view the prayer: Prayer for the uncovering of Graves in Kamploops)

Learn More Here

 

Join our team of Disability Concern Advocates!

Safe Church and Disability Concerns Coordinator
(Classis Lake Erie)

If you are in classis Lake Erie, consider joining 2 of the social justice ministries of the CRCNA! Classis Lake Erie seeks to fill the roles of Regional Disability Advocate and Safe Church Coordinator with one position. This position will be supported by the Classis Executive Committee, and funded by way of annual stipend and expense account.  Both of our ministries will work with you to help you organize communications and volunteer training for Classis congregations and ministries. We are excited to have you join our team!

Find Out More Here

 

Developing a Community of Mental Health Support

10 Ways Churches Can Partner With Mental Health Services

Has your congregation reached out to your community to see what type of support services are available within the mental health sector? Disability Concerns encourages churches to develop strong connections with their local mental health organizations and service providers. They are there to support the needs of people within your church congregation and you can offer them faith-based support they may be looking for as well. This article offers some straightforward best practice tips for reaching out to mental health resources in your community.

Find Out More Here

 

Holding Out Hope

Chantal Huinink, Coordinator of Organizational and Spiritual Life at Christian Horizons shares a beautiful reflection on holding hope for people throughout this pandemic. In the midst of great loss and suffering and isolation, how can we learn to come together as a community of faith and support each other?

Read More

 

Follow us on Instagram!

Did you know we have joined Instagram?

Disability Concerns is excited to announce that we are now on Instagram! Our handle is @dis_ability_concerns. Like us and follow us on Instagram today!

Follow Us on Instagram

 

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Thank You for Your Support!

Without monetary support for Disability Concerns, we wouldn’t be able to share these stories. To help us make sure that “everybody belongs, 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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