Thursday, 22 August 2019

Called to be a Church for All

The Transforming Worship Circle has launched a new liturgy that acknowledges both the experiences of exclusion and embrace for people with disabilities.

Titled, Called to be a Church for All, the liturgy is the result of the 15th Assembly's commitment to justice and exclusion regarding people with disabilities.

A task group led by Circle Advocate Alex Sangster has developed the liturgy for use across the Church.

One of the contributors, Rev. Andy Calder, Disability Inclusion Advocate in the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania,  offers this introduction to the resource.

In the Uniting Church we are a community that seeks to be: “a body within which the diverse gifts of its members are used for the building up of the whole, an instrument through which Christ may work, and bear witness to himself” (Basis of Union: Paragraph 3).

In seeking to be a community of embrace, the 2018 Assembly passed a number of resolutions related to justice and inclusion regarding people with disabilities.

One of these was a ‘Statement of Access and Welcome’ whilst another was to develop a liturgical response which acknowledges the historical exclusion experienced by many people.

This liturgical resource acknowledges that people’s experience of faith and worship is enhanced by a range of senses as well as by words spoken or written. One recommendation is that the liturgy be used during the first week of Advent when International Day of People with Disability is held on December 3.

It’s also suggested the content may provide materials and information for a stand-alone Service of Worship: alternatively, some components may be incorporated as part of a liturgy/ritual appropriate to your circumstances.

The liturgy can be downloaded below.