Friday, July 3, 2009

Faith communities and disabiity

An article over at discusses various faith communities and inclusion of people with disabilities.

Reverend Bill Gaventa of the Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities:

In every faith community there is a scriptural basis for welcome and hospitality. But you’ve also got congregations who live in cultures where people with disabilities have been hidden and ostracized and devalued in lots of ways, and too often faith communities sanctify prejudices in the community rather than challenge them. It shouldn’t be easier to get into a bar than a church.

Rabbi Grossman of the Adath Israel Congregation in Lawrenceville, NJ, notes how his synagogue is known as a 'special needs community' when it makes up a small percentage of who attends, but says "I think it defines the synagogue because it simply doesn’t happen elsewhere." He adds that "you got to create the environment where everybody has a place, and if you start with that notion, then everything flows from there."

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