Teacher-Scholar Panel: Inclusive Worship, Reconciliation, and Public Witness

Calvin Institute of Christian Worship – 2022 Online Grants Event John Witvliet, moderator. David Pereyra (OCAD University) To gather diverse worshiping communities in online workshops and webinars in order to create a culture of inclusion by assessing inclusive thinking, helping communities develop strategies to increase their inclusivity, and gathering data to develop on online reference … More Teacher-Scholar Panel: Inclusive Worship, Reconciliation, and Public Witness

Hospitality Towards Immigrants with Special Needs in Places of Worship

Many countries, communities, and individuals are working on helping refugees and migrants by creating a welcoming environment to receive millions of dislocated people worldwide. Given the tremendous global increase in forced migratory flows, Pope Francis, himself coming from an immigrant family, insists on several encyclicals (EG, AL, LS) giving excellent support and a distinctive look to migrants and refugees. In this group, some are more vulnerable than others: children, women, and people with disabilities; perhaps the latter group is the most vulnerable one. The pope says, “I would stress that dedication and concern shown to migrants and to persons with special needs alike is a sign of the Spirit. Both situations are paradigmatic: they serve as a test of our commitment to show mercy in welcoming others and to help the vulnerable to be fully a part of our communities” (AL 47). In these two sentences, Pope Francis first arises an absolute novelty in the Church Magisterium, persons “with special needs” (and not “with disabilities”), second associates them with migrants, third reinforces the idea that both are invited to become full parts of Christian Communities. From this point of view, the biblical figure best representing the person with a disability would not be the sick or the little one, but rather the stranger. If this new perception would settle permanently, the pastoral care of persons with disabilities could soon be part of the Service for Pastoral Care of Migrants, whose mission is to humanize the encounter with foreigners, to promote solidarity with the brother and sister in trouble, and to encourage local churches to welcome all of foreign origin. This paper proposes to put together “migrant” with “disability” and present a program from the Inclusive Design Research Centre for Pastoral Welcoming and Inclusion in faith communities. … More Hospitality Towards Immigrants with Special Needs in Places of Worship