This is the opening Bible Study given by Reverend Rod McArdle titled ‘Thinking theologically about disability’ at the Ridley Pastoral Seminar: Church, Disability and Families. It includes a reading from 2 Samuel 9
Twenty percent of the Australian population is living with a disability, yet disability is still not widely talked about much in Christian circles. Families are often ill prepared if a child is born with a disability or a family member acquires a disability. and frequently such families are not supported well by the Christian community. In one woman’s words “It takes a village to raise a child, but when it comes to a disabled child it falls back on the family”.
The Bible has plenty to say about human disability, but most times people read what it says negatively. This causes us unthinkingly to marginalise those with disabilities, even in the church. But the Bible offers good news to people of all abilities. This seminar will challenge churches to reorganise their practices as they strive to become more inviting, healing, and reconciling communities of faith. It will offer particular insights from families that include children, teenagers, or parents with a disability.