I went to a great event today at Hyde Park Community UMC in Cincinnati. The topic was “‘Special Needs’ Training for the Church.” The focus was on people with Autism and Down syndrome. There was so much information it would be impossible to summarize. It did start off with some provocative questions, though: Do churches treat people with disabilities as people? Do they treat children with disabilities as babies? Do they offer real community? Do they regard people with disabilities first as people, or as disabled? How many families leave churches because the churches don’t welcome, or even make attempts to accommodate, children with disabilities?
Now, I couldn’t help but notice that the women outnumbered the men by quite a bit. I counted over twenty women, but only five men! Am I missing something? Come on, guys….
Kudos to the good folks of the West Ohio Ministry Team for Persons with Disabilities and Hyde Park Community UMC for putting on a very fine event.
One thought on “Sensitivity to People with Disabilities, Tough Questions, and the Absence of Men”
These are all excellent questions. My son has autism, and his challenges have raised a variety of theological questions for me, especially about our Methodist and Wesleyan theology that puts so much emphasis on cognitive aspects of Christian experience.
How he is seen by the church is also a huge issue for his mother and I. Thank you for engaging with these questions.
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