Anglicans across Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia are being invited to set aside the third Sunday in June as Disability Awareness Sunday.
One in four of us kiwis are disabled – through having a physical, intellectual, learning, sight, hearing, or psychological impairment. Disability Awareness Sunday gives us the opportunity to reflect on disability and our faith. At General Synod – Te Hīnota Whānui in 2018, the three-Tikanga social justice network disability group moved that this Church work to increase our awareness of disability issues within and beyond our churches.
“The Gospel calls us to break down barriers between people and enlarge our vision from people being divided into “us” and “them” to all people being part of “us”, they told synod.
The Gospel constantly challenges us to see what we perceive as our weaknesses, as well as our strengths, as being gifts that can be used in the work of God. In Christ we build a new community where all people are called to serve and to be served. Disabled and non-disabled are called together to build this community where all give and receive.
Here are some resource ideas for Sunday:
Disability Awareness Sunday is Trinity Sunday in 2019, so worship planners can choose to look at how the Trinitarian theme relates to disability, inclusion and wholeness, or choose another Sunday to celebrate Disability Awareness Sunday using the alternate themed readings below.
The Episcopal Church USA marks Disability Awareness Sunday as “Inclusion Awareness Day” and remembers their 19th century missionary US Episcopal Bishop Joseph Schereschewsky as a disabled saint. Bishop Samuel spent the last 25 years of his ministry working to translate the Bible into ancient Chinese script, while living with paralysis in most of his body. The Episcopal Church USA’s liturgical resources focus on Bishop Samuel and include prayers for use in worship.
Elevates website has resources for Disability Awareness Sunday from a New Zealand non-denominational perspective.
Taonga has an article with full list of resources: http://www.anglicantaonga.org.nz/news/common_life/disability_as