Universally accessible worship or bible study or outreach would not be thrown off-track when some people engage or respond in ways that “normal” folks might perceive as “unconventional or unanticipated”… because universal design takes that into account ahead of time.
Long ago, in a faraway land not very far from here, a Wise Man once gave a puzzle to his kids. Not just any puzzle – when solved, it showed the most beautiful picture ever seen, a deep beauty that could scarcely be imagined…
There is no “handicapped access” to the Kingdom… People with disabilities “enter by the same door” as everyone else.
The gospel addresses all people, and we are committed to making the gospel accessible to all people. This serves as a strong motivation to have the church’s “design processes” reflect these realities.
This is where “ableism” originates: “we” establish “ourselves” as “normal” – and having done so, what works (for “us”) works. Period. “Others” are not in view, because they are, by definition, “exceptions.”
I soon learned something that refreshed me to the core – nothing is off the table for discussion at The Mill; more importantly, no people are off the table when it comes to friendship. To me, their openness reflects the love and peace of Christ. His perfect love truly does drive out fear: fear of others, fear of differences, and even fear of our own weakness.
“How do WE overcome anything?” We fight it, kill it, avoid it, escape it, buy it off, trick it, destroy it, zap it…
Eternal God, As we lift our hearts to you on behalf of those who have suffered at the hands of the demonic distortion of white supremacy, either at the hands or by words of others, or by their own degradation by this sin which so easily entangles, we acknowledge our own need for your forgiveness….