In the meantime, I thought I'd take a look at the way our denomination has addressed individuals with disabilities.
- First, there's PHEWA, Presbyterian Health Education and Welfare Association Disability Concerns Consultants. I don't know much about this program, but I think it promising that the denomination is proactive about these issues, rather than reacting to "problems" as they arise. Ahem. No one wants to be a considered a problem.
- Creating an Inclusive Community and Bias-Free Guidelines.
- Also, research.
- Videos, though I failed to find what I was looking for, there.
- There are 1410 results when you search for "disability" on the PC(USA) web site. (I wish to note that the site's search results are difficult to wade through.)
In my opinion, the denomination is talking the talk. Walking the walk, however, is not something I believe can be mandated from denominational headquarters or General Assembly resolutions.
Creating an inclusive and truly welcoming community for people with disabilities is the work of each of us, members in local congregations. It will challenge us to move out from our comfort zones, our safety. It might be hard and it might be scary. But it's what we're called to do.
Luke 14:12-24 (New International Version)
12 Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
The Parable of the Great Banquet
15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."
16 Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'
18 "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.'
19 "Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.'
20 "Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'
21 "The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'
22 "'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.'
23 "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.'"