Disability inclusion: Why it’s about more than a ramp

Kay Morgan-Gurr who is a fantastic children’s evangelist, has written a brilliant article following on from the Archbishop of Canterbury hosting a cutting edge disability conference at Lambeth Palace on July 13th called ‘A Place to Belong‘:

The heart for change was alive and well, but for change to happen this heart also needs to be alive and well in those who were not at the conference. We need change where the rubber hits the road, and I’m worried that the outcomes of this will only reach the already convinced and not the people who really need to hear it. …

It’s often the case that many churches – though not all – think inclusion begins and ends with a ramp. Most will provide for those of us with wheels, but even then some do it badly. In their minds, they’ve already ticked the discrimination box.

Disability is diverse, in both the range of disabilities and the type of support needed. There may be practical inclusion adjustments in a church, but the attitude is poor. This is why many in the disability community use the term ‘belonging’. It’s much more than inclusion. To quote John Swinton, who was at the conference, ‘Belonging is being missed when you’re not there.’ Or in my own words, it’s being missed for who you are, not a sigh of relief because the disabled person hasn’t turned up.

Go read her full article here.

Mothering Sunday resources

Students and staff from St Mellitus led by Jane Williams, Assistant Dean and Tutor in Theology, have written a beautiful Mothering Sunday liturgy for Mothers’ Union which can be downloaded below:

St Mellitus and Mothers’ Union Mothering Sunday Liturgy WORD

St Mellitus and Mothers’ Union Mothering Sunday Liturgy PDF

 

The Mothers’ Union also have to offer a number of additional NEW Mothering Sunday resources for the use of Churches and Children’s groups.

2018 Resources

Mothering Sunday Childrens Resources

Mothering Sunday Family Service

Mothering Sunday Notes for Family Service

Mothering Sunday 2018 Prayers 

 

2017 Resources

Mothering Sunday Prayer Bookmark

Mothering Sunday Prayers

Mothering Sunday Bible Reading, Hymns and Songs 

Mothering Sunday Talks

Mothering Sunday Children’s Songs, Prayers and Memory Verses

Mothering Sunday Children’s Activities

Mothering Sunday Mothers’ Union Stories 

Mothering Sunday Sample Service Outlines

Church accidentally prints 2Pac lyrics in carol service booklet!

Someone probably should have told this church that there’s more than a few ‘Hail Mary’ carols.

Sadly they choose rapper 2Pac’s version.  Not the most suitable lyrics!

The Church in Colombo were hosting their carol service ‘Joy To The World’ last year when this mistake happened.  They were meant to be singing a Catholic prayer, also called ‘Hail Mary’, when they spotted the wrong lyrics.

Pictures have since spread on social media, with people sharing those 2Pac’s lyrics.  Here’s just a little snippet:

‘I ain’t a killer but don’t push me
Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to getting p*ssy
Picture paragraphs unloaded, wise words being quoted
Peeped the weakness in the rap game and sewed it
Bow down, pray to God hoping that he’s listening
Seeing niggas coming for me, to my diamonds, when they glistening
Now pay attention, rest in peace father
I’m a ghost in these killing fields’

 

Christmas video 25: Christmas according to kids

What happens when you ask a bunch of kids to tell the story of Christmas? Enjoy this story of Bethle-ha-ha-ham and the magical star that appeared.

The natural humour of the children of Southland Christian Church describing the nativity story makes this an obvious video to show at your Christmas family service:

 

Christmas video 24: Christmas Starts with a Baby’s Giggle

The constant onslaught of Christmas advertising from October onwards can start to wear a little thin as we enter December. Something inside us knows that however lovely the advert featuring a snowman giving a gift to a unicorn is – or whatever this years iteration is – it’s not really what Christmas is all about.

Instead, here is a concise and creative away of sharing the crux of the Christmas message: two parents, one baby and a whole lot of love.

 

The vicar’s reaction to people only appearing in church at Christmas

Jody Stowell wrote a great article in The Independent, a couple of years ago, on the vicar’s reaction to people only appearing in church at Christmas:

Do I mind that people come to church at Christmas and occasionally at Easter, and remain absent the rest of the year?  The honest answer is yes and no. Of course I want people to come to church each Sunday, but do not think for one moment that I care one tiny jot about bums on seats.  When people come to church at Christmas, I would like to see them again, simply because they have made the connection between the twinkly lights in the darkness and the Light that Shines in the Darkness.

You may only come to church at Christmas, but it really is Christmas every day.

Christmas video 22: 88 Piano Keys Control 500,000 Christmas Lights!

The Piano Guys have created a brilliant video of Jon Schmidt controlling half a million lights from his paino.

500,000 Christmas lights, linked to 4,900 digital channels to ensure that the entire spectrum of the piano’s keyboard was featured brilliantly.  46,000 watts of juice were used to electrify this!  The piano was actually being played:

A camera attached to a drone served as the primary angle to capture the captivating Christmas Spirit of these festive homes.

The best bit is:

The police actually did show up. For real. (We’d like to thank them for their kindness and mercy. 🙂 No pianists were harmed or jailed in the making of this video … yet!

 

Christmas video 20: The Scale and Morgan Freeman

This video, ‘The Scale’ is narrated by Morgan Freeman.  ‘The Scale’ leaves you wondering all the way through what he is talking about.  Only at the end to you get it, and yes it is very clever.  But more than that it is challenging and thought provoking too:

 

 

Best children’s Christmas story book

One of my favourite resources for the Christmas season is Jesus’ Christmas Party by Nicholas Allan.

Nicholas Allan writes and illustrates the nativity through the eyes of a grumpy inn keeper who is unexpectedly at the centre of Jesus’ birth.  The story follows him as he is woken up repeatedly by Mary and Joseph and guests visiting the newborn.

I first heard of the book when I was a child and it was used for a Sunday School drama to present the Christmas narrative to the whole church.  As a children’s and youth worker I’ve used it numerous times, be it with young pre-school children, older teenagers, or non-Christian adults.  The book is easy for people to follow and join in, and yet still allows for profounds truths to be taught.

It can be bought in a number of sizes – from A6 just to fit in the pocket and use to tell a large group of people, to a large A4 size which a class of children can crowd around and look at the pictures.

What Joey Essex teaches us about Christmas

Heat Magazine: Will you put a nativity scene under the tree?
Joey Essex: What does that mean?
Heat: You know what a nativity scene is, surely…
Joey: An activity screen? Is it a box you put presents in
Heat: You know, when Jesus was born…
Joey: Oh! The hay round the bottom of the Christmas tree!
Heat: His mum and dad, Mary and Joseph…
Joey: They put him in a cot?
Heat: A crib…
Joey: Like a house? What was that song they used to sing? :Bursts into song “Baby Jesus! Bethlehem! And he used to sit in a little barn?” That was a sick song. I really want to start going to church.
Heat: And the three wise men brought him gold, frankincense and myrh…
Joey: [incredulous] How do you know all of this…

Krish has more on how modern society understands (if at all) what Christmas is about. Here’s the original interview.