Archive for the 'gifts' Category

SBSK: “Normalizing the Diversity of the Human Condition.”

 *SBSK* More and more, I’m discovering that stories hit home, while mere information is often just deposited in the head. This website is not a Church site, but the stories that are told show forth how all people are made in the image of God. As descriptive words go, the word “special” has used up it’s shelf life in regard to people with disabilities; what is desired is not to be seen as special, but as a person like everyone else. While the title of this organization does begin the focus on the special, the home page reveals that the actual goal is to see everyone as normal (normalization)! For Orthodox Christians, to acknowledge that despite the great variety of peoples in the world, all are made in the image of God.

And while Orthodox Christians cannot affirm that all lifestyles are normal as the folks at SBSK are willing to do, we are committed to refraining from passing judgement on any person, as that is for the all-wise Lord to do at the proper time which He will choose. We are all in process. 

And these short video stories illustrate the value of people of disabilities who are also in process.

To access:

Special Books by Special Kids

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From the Ministry of St. Elizabeth Convent in Belarus

To access website:

Ministry of St.Elisabeth Convent: Children with special needs make icons of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco

Children from the boarding school for children with special needs and the convent’s studio “Anyolak” prepared an exhibition of drawings “A gift to St. John” devoted to the feast day of St. John of Shanghai San Francisco.  

From The Catalog of Good Deeds posted by Nun Elena (Strashinova) July, 2017 St. Elisabeth Convent

 

 

 

The Worthwhile Lives of Persons with a Disability (disabilities)

The website:

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Live On!

This is a disability website celebrating life. Even with all the challenges people with disabilities face. A happy, fulfilling, . . . . incredible life. 

No matter what some narrow-minded people in our society think.

The creators of this web page, who are disabled themselves, are up front about the more difficult challenges: the bullying of young people, the institutionalization of adults. Their goal is to reach those who are discouraged, despondent, even despairing, and those with suicidal thoughts through a series of short, powerful videos in which persons with a disabilities overcome their obstacles and establish a meaningful life. Valuable resources are also provided toward this goal.

A photographer of note:

River Bend Galleries

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Pertinent posts from the Not Dead Yet website: 
Disabililty Rights Organizations Issue Statement Opposing Assisted Suicide Laws and Supporting Health Care
Statement of Solidarity in Observance of Suicide Prevention Month
Disability Rights Toolkit for Advocacy Against the Legalization of Assisted Suicide

Other great Orthodox Christian blogs that address disability issues

I’ve been surveying Orthodox Christian disability resources for 10 years, and now I will be taking a break.   Many others, mostly mothers, have taken up blogging, sharing their experiences and discoveries. As I have worked in a group home for many years, this is personal for me as well, but not in the same way as a mother of a child with disabilities. Mothers are mothers 24 hours a day, for their entire lives. There is great depth to what they write, not necessarily in terms of new information,  but the kind of depth which comes from the heart, which is the important kind of depth. This is true, of course, of the blog and websites written by persons with disabilities themselves.

You will find much, ongoing information, personal and otherwise, on the blogs listed on the webpage below. Give them a look:

Online Orthodox Christian persons with disabilites & their family members

 

 

 

 

 

 

From our Holy Bishops: Disability and Communion

 Pictured: Attendees of the Standing Conference of the Orthodox Bishops of America at St. Sava Cathedral, New York, NY, May 2, 2006

Disability and Communion is the most official statement on the matter (June 25, 2009) our American Orthodox Christian Bishops have put forward.

 The Orthodox Church of America’s website reprinted the statement, and, at the bottom of the post, put forward some good questions to reflect upon in regard to personal interaction with persons with disability, both within the Parish Church, and in daily life.  http://oca.org/resource-handbook/parishdevelopment/disability-and-communion 

Picture from http://www.easterndiocese.org/2006archives.html 

– On Tuesday, May 2, 2006 the St. Sava Cathedral in New York was honored to host the annual SCOBA Meeting, the gathering of the hierarchs of all canonical Orthodox Churches in America. Attending this event were: Greek Orthodox Archbishop Dimitrios, Serbian Orthodox Metropolitan Christopher, Romanian Orthodox Archbishop Nicolae, Ukrainian Orthodox Archbishop Anthony, Bulgarian Metropolitan Joseph, Antiochian Orthodox Bishop Basil (filling in for Metropolitan Philip), representative of the Orthodox Church of America (OCA) V. Rev. David Brum and the general secretary of SCOBA Bishop Dimitrios Xantos.     

 

“the Mighty One entered, and put on insecurity”

Syriac Nativity Icon

An excerpt from St. Ephrem the Syrian’s Nativity Hymn 11, translated by Sebastian Brock, the distinguished Oxford Syriac scholar (The Harp of the Spirit, Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, 1983).

(icon from Iconography of the western Syriac Churches)

Your mother is a cause of wonder:
the Lord entered into her
and became a servant; he who is the Word entered–
and became silent within her;
Thunder entered her and made no sounds;
there entered The Shepherd of all,
and in her He became the Lamb, bleating as He comes forth.
Praise to You to whom all things are easy, for You are almighty.

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Your mother’s womb has reversed the roles:
the Establisher of all entered into His richness,
but came forth poor; the Exalted one entered her,
but came forth meek; the Splendrous one entered her,
but came forth having put on a lowly hue.
Praise to You to whom all things are easy, for You are almighty.

+

The Mighty one entered, and put on insecurity
from her womb; the Provisioner of all entered–
and experienced hunger; He who gives drink to all entered–
and experienced thirst; naked and stripped
there came forth from her He who clothes all!
Praise to You to whom all things are easy, for You are almighty.

Saint Ephrem the Syrian

icon from The Feast of Mor Ephrem

Saint Naum the Miracle-worker of Ohrid †910

St. Naum

St. Naum is called upon to intercede with the Lord for people with mental disorders.

St. Naum of Ohrid (or Preslav) followed in the footsteps of St. Cyril and Methodius, missionaries to the Slavic lands, who translated liturgical texts from Greek into the language of the people, Slavonic. As they lived before the schism with Rome, St. Naum accompanied St. Cyril and Methodius to Rome, where God worked many miracles through them, so that the Pope came to see their translation work as a work of God. On their way back to their mission field, the Slavic lands, they traveled through Germany, where they opposed a number of heresies, and were tortured and imprisoned. Freed through an earthquake from God, they proceeded to Bulgaria, where St. Naum traveled about with fellow disciple St. Clement distributing the Bulgarian translation of the Holy Scriptures and preaching the Way of Christ. His feastday is December 23.

Sources: OCA.org: St Nahum of Ochrid, the Disciple of Sts Cyril and Methodius, Equal of the Apostles & A List of Saints Called upon for … Mental Disorders

There is a Monastery on the shore of Lake Ohrid named after him: St. Naum Monastery on Ohrid Lake, Macedonia


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