Welcoming everyone to church
Disability and special needs
You would expect that parishes would have disabled members at the same rate as the general population. In other words, since 4% of the population has life-threatening allergies, then at a typical Orthodox parish, with about 100 people attending on a Sunday morning, you would expect to have 4 people with life-threatening allergies. Similarly, you’d expect to have 2 people with autism, 6 or 7 who use a mobility aid, and 10 who have diabetes. Depending on the age of your parishioners, you might expect to have 1 or more people who are blind or deaf.
Most parishes have nowhere near that many people with disabilities who attend. Sometimes architectural barriers prevent people who use wheelchairs from attending. The more common, and far more difficult, barriers are the barriers caused by other people’s attitudes and expectations.
These barriers of the heart can be overcome. It’s not easy. It takes knowledge, humility, and philoxenia.
- Posts about disability and special needs in Charlotte’s blog
- The best picture books with disabled characters
- Special needs resources from Summer Kinard
- Arms Open Wide: Orthodox Christian disability resources
- Disability and Communion: Embracing People with Disabilities within the Church
- Church and the child with invisible disabilities
Buy the Books: The Saint Nicholas Day Snow and Catherine’s Pascha
Shoes or stockings? Horse or sleigh? Does St. Nicholas visit on December 6 or on Christmas Eve? Will a little girl’s prayer be answered? When Elizabeth has to stay at Catherine’s house, she’s worried about her grandmother, and worried that St. Nicholas won’t find her. The grownups, though, are worried about snow.
Celebrate the wonder of St. Nicholas Day through the magic of a book: The Saint Nicholas Day Snow.
Catherine doesn’t like vegetables. She doesn’t like naps. She doesn’t like it when her mom combs her hair. She loves hot dogs, chocolate cake, and her best friend, Elizabeth. Most of all, she loves Pascha! Pascha, the Orthodox Christian Easter, is celebrated in the middle of the night, with processions and candles and bells and singing. And Catherine insists that she’s not a bit sleepy.
Celebrate the joy of Pascha through the magic of a book: Catherine’s Pascha.