Logo der NAK NAK Kirchentag 2014

Paths to Inclusion in community and church

(06.06.2014) A program contribution of the first International Church Convention (ICC) from the area „Living with handicaps“ took place in the Werner-von-Linde-Halle on Friday afternoon, June 6: The lecture “Ways to inclusion in congregation and Church”.

The speaker, Moni Frobel, has been working with children and young people with physical and learning disabilities for the last 30 years. She is also active in a field committee for people with disabilities. The developed concept, which she introduced in her presentation, should serve to unify the various approaches in this work.

All German area churches, as well as The Netherlands and Switzerland, have sent experts who were actively involved in the design. She stressed that the lecture is not directed primarily at people with disabilities, but to all who can help, that ALL can be enabled at ALL can participate.

The lecture was translated by her son in sign language. The inclusion in a Christian community should actually be understood as the beginning of the department. The Church is not just a society of values, but has the motto: “Your brother is as good as you". Their vision is to create a church where all people feel comfortable and accepted. She briefly outlined the career of dealing with people with disabilities in society. For a very long time these people have been marginalized but by and by, a noticeable improvement is being felt.

Concerning the level of integration, we have now arrived at the stage of inclusion. The message for the community members should be: "We open up ourselves to accepting others", Disabled congregants are also fully fledged members of the congregation. An individual approach to these situations is of course required, both in the community and in the pastoral sensitivity and specific activities.

The wish of the working group is that there should be more divine services with sermon contributions in simple language (easy to understand). You accept Jesus as a benchmark. He often taught with pictures and made use of the intuition of his time. In various area churches, there are already provisions for people with disabilities. These are a real asset, but do not constitute a replacement for the inclusion in the congregation, so says the speaker. The communities and the Church can complete the task, through the wealth of volunteers in the congregation, she is sure. The implementation and development of the concept lies in the different district churches. The stated aim is the "Inclusive Church". The lecture ended with quotes from Otto heart. He said among other things: "Inclusion is an attitude, arising from the actions!" To love God above all and your neighbor as yourself, that should be the motto!

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