Archive for July, 2014

3 Support Group Opportunities

Caregivers Action Network- About Us

There are a good number of various resources here for the support of caregivers, including those with a family member who has disabilities. It is a large, well developed organization, and there are volunteers who can guide you through whatever issues you may have.  It is not a religious organization, but it is clear that their goals are to provide well rounded support for caregivers- personal support and all kinds of advice from people who have been there and know what it is like to be a caregiver. Of course, for an Orthodox Christian, their advice will need to be supplemented by that of one’s spiritual father.

Not Alone: Finishing the Course

This is an effort by Christians  with children who have disabilities to form a supportive network. The Christians, it would appear, are mostly from various protestant evangelical groups. They offer relationships (emphasis theirs) – encouragement, guidance, and prayer. The pictures on the site show women- mothers- but fathers are certainly not prohibited.  They also provide written resources and encouragement groups.

I see no reason why an Orthodox Christian parent who would like to touch base with other parents who profess faith in our Lord Jesus Christ would be prohibited from availing themselves of some of the resources offered here, but this really should be discussed with one’s Parish Priest, especially in regard to the offer of “praying together.” I will not comment on this, because it is the responsibility of  one’s Orthodox Christian spiritual father to sort out such matters.

Destination: Sainthood (via the funny farm): “Our whole household”

While not every Parish has other families who have children with disabilities, there is a list of Orthodox Christian families in this blog’s Resource section, Orthodox Christian Disability Resources, that provides an avenue to connect with other Orthodox Christian families as well.

OCDR: Online Orthodox Christian persons with disabilites & their families

Here is the page from Orthodox Christian Disability Resources with the blogs, online articles, and news from other Orthodox Christian families  with members with disabilities. The means whereby one can contact the families and persons listed is not provided; a bit of legwork will be required to get in touch. I wish there was something better organized in terms of an Orthodox Christian network of families with disabled members, but at this point one has not been developed.

Here is an opportunity to create an online work of great value. He or she who has ears to hear, let him/her hear!

Photo from Destination: Sainthood (via the funny farm) previously “Mairs Momilies”

 

St. Gerasimos of Cephalonia †1579

St_Gerasimos_of_Kephalonia

St_Gerasimos_of_Kephalonia

St. Gerasimos of Cephalonia is known to be an intercessor for the mentally ill and demon possessed. His life and informative details of his Feast on Cephalonia on August 16th, as well as the Feast of the Restitution of his relics on October 20th, can be found here: Full of Grace and Truth: St. Gerasimos of Cephalonia

The following post brings out more details of his gift of healing the demon possessed. Eight reports of miracles which occurred at the Monastery of St. Gerasimos are also related: Mystagogy: St. Gerasimos of Keffalonia and the Demon Possessed

And here is a short video (2 minutes) which captures a portion of His Feast on Cephalonia in August 16th: You Tube: The Holy Relic of Saint Gerasimos – Kefalonia (Greece)

icon from orthowiki.org

An Artifact History of Disability in America

W44-2From the Smithsonian National Museum of American History:

People with disabilities have been present throughout American history

This online display includes a variety of images as well as a timeline provided by Temple University:

Temple University: Disability Rights Timeline  & Further Historical Resources

Dr. Wolf Wolfensperger gave a two day symposium at Millersville University in Pennsylvania a number of years back in which he details, with pictures and vivid description, the evolution of human services, including those to persons with disability. The path from early Christian efforts to secular and modern efforts has not been a tale of continuous progress. In fact, until recently it has been a horror story. And Dr. Wolfensperger concludes by noting continuing deficiencies and issuing a dire warning in light of societal trends. This video series is many hours long, but it is an eye-opener:

A History of Human Services, Universal Lessons, and Future Implications (a video series)

 

Orthocath: Orthodox Christians Who are Deaf and Blind

Orthocath is a webblog written by a man who has become an Orthodox Christian, left the Church for some reason, and then come back. His parents were both deaf, and he learned American Sign Language. Additionally, he is sensitive to the Orthodox Church’s response and efforts toward the deaf community. In the following blog posts he shares and develops this:

Orthocath: My Two Worlds — Deaf & Hearing

Orthocath: Orthodox Christians Who are Deaf and Blind

Orthocath writes,

As I said earlier, very little work has been done with the Deaf in mind in Orthodox parishes here in North America. But, such is possible as the examples from Russia and Greece show. I pray the day for deaf ministry amongst Orthodox here in North America is not far away.

subdeacon-tigran

Subdeacon Tigran Khachikyan

Orthocath: Armenian Orthodox Ordain First Deaf Sub-Deacon

You Tube: His Ordination
You Tube: Conversation With Subdeacon Tigran
Tigran’s You Tube Page, with many informative videos

There is also a Facebook Page for Deaf Orthodox Christians:

Facebook: Deaf Orthodox Christians

 


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