A Mandate: Church Accessibility

from The Orthodox Christian News Service,  (Published by Ekathimerini.com) December 4, 2004-

More than two months after its revolutionary decision to conduct Bible readings in Modern Greek, the Church of Greece is now planning to start services in sign language, Archbishop Christodoulos announced.

The head of the highly conservative Greek Orthodox Church told a Archbishop Christodoulosdelegation of disabled people’s unions that a series of seminars on learning sign language was launched last year, and will be continued this year to enable clergymen to conduct services for deaf congregations.

The archbishop also said all parishes have been instructed to improve church accessibility for the disabled. “Wherever this is not yet the case, it is due to technical difficulties that we are trying to overcome as fast as possible,” he said.

In September, Athens churches started services in Modern Greek, for people unfamiliar with the original Ancient Greek texts. One also offers English services.

http://old.orthodoxnews.com/149/sign.htm

Also, from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website:

ACCESSIBILITY

If your church is not handicap accessible, portable temporary ramps may be rented or purchased. The parish council could consider a permanent ramp as a matter of policy. It is important to note that the Clergy-Laity Congress of 1982 in San Francisco accepted a recommendation in its General Assembly that parishes make every effort to become more accessible to people with disabilities.

 

http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/departments/outreach/ministryprofiles/challenge

And again, The Accessible Church, by Fr. John  Matusiak of the Orthodox Church in America: http://www.oca.org/RHPrint.asp?ID=55

Note- Archbishop Christodoulos fell asleep in the Lord five days after the original post, on January 28, 2008. May his memory be eternal!

Reprinted, with additions,  from January 2008

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