Theology & Disability

Some of the presentations (certainly not all of them) from the 2013 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability conference, are now online. Just click here to get a small glimpse of this extraordinary week.

Among these few presentations, I’d recommend watching:

I first highly, highly, highly, recommend taking in Judith Snow’s first presentation. (She did others as well.)

Jeremy Schipper’s presentations were amazing, and he’s a great guy with a wicked sense of humour. Jeremy also has Cerebral Palsy. The author that Jeremy regularly refers to is Nancy L Eiesland, author of “The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability”.

Bill Gaventa (also the coordinator of S.I.T.D.) has an insight and attitude that no one should miss out on. This particular presentation was his week’s end wrap up session, and it’s outstanding.

John Swinton – watch his “Who is the ‘Stranger'”. It’s wonderful.

Others unfortunately are not online (or at least not yet)  are:
Tom E. Reynold’s – author of “Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality”. Tom is Associate Professor of Theology, at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto.  Tom has a son who has Autism and in Vulnerable Communion he talks about how his faith and beliefs have been changed in a profound way because of his son.

A young man named David Yates, who in leading worship gave the most amazing meditation on “The Paralytic and His Four Friends”. It was truly an alternate possibility of the circumstances surrounding this “miracle” that would make one realize that we assume a lot, and quite possibly wrongly so. David (I think) is truly astonishing. He attends university in Chicago, majoring in Spanish and Social Justice, and Minoring in Theology. Oh yeah, David has CP too.

Shelley Cohen is the founder and Director of The Jewish Inclusion Project, which develops and conducts Inclusion Training Programs for Rabbinic Students. In having a son with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and knowing he would not have a long life, Shelley wanted Nathaniel to grow up in their Jewish faithh, but there were no accessible synagogues. Well, it then became her mission to change this – to educate Rabbis and synagogue leaders, Jewish Educators and schools. Shelley advocated for wheelchair accessible synagogues and got them! And with her strong faith and her deepest abiding love for her son, Nathaniel did grow up in their faith and was an active member until his passing, at age 21.

So many others I met that week instantly come to mind.  All incredible people.

In June of 2014, the conference will be in Dallas Texas. In an effort to be attend the Dallas conference, I am making a request for support. If you’d like to help me achieve this goal, please read my “Request for Support”, by clicking here.

In closing, may I ask for your prayers and good wishes that Dan and I may again attend.

With God’s abundant blessings wished for you.

Gerianne