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“The Power of Weakness,” Fr. Thomas Hopko (video)

A talk by the late Father Thomas Hopko of blessed memory. This may not address disability issues directly, but it certainly relates to them. A person with a disability may grasp this promise more easily than a person who is more normally functional in either mind or body, because their sense of loss, via their particular disability, which they live with every day, may help them rely less on their human capacities and embrace divine aid more readily.

An impassioned plea to keep assisted suicide illegal by a person with a disability

Lizz Carr, from the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) speaks from her vulnerability against doctor-assisted suicide, which, she asserts, will put all disabled people at risk. This is because it will create pressure on persons with disability to choose this legal option, to relieve their family, or perhaps society, of the “burden” of their care.

I, like most people are not disabled in bodily or mental function, can only imagine what such a disability would be like, and many of us imagine that life would not be worth living that way. Does that give the right to the majority to impose this view on persons with disability? No! As fellow human beings with free choice, they can decide for themselves the value of their lives, which they very well may, despite their limitations, treasure. And it is the responsibility of persons without such disabilities to think the best of their lives, and to encourage and to assist them as we can.

Lizz Carr says it best on You Tube (8:13): 

An example of an abuse of this legal option in the Netherlands:

A Regional Review Committee clears Dutch doctor who asked family to hold patient down as she carried out euthanasia procedure

 

How to understand a cross

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“through our own personal cross and struggle we may learn to appreciate the struggles of others . . . 

Though we cannot know the personal struggles of our neighbor, we may try to understand our brother’s cross by approaching with humilty.”

To access the rest of this brief word of wisdom:

How to understand a cross

 From the website  The Ascetic Experience 

The picture is from the article.

A Pre-School Teacher

The article below, from Agence France Presse, relates the story of  Noelia Garella, who became the first teacher in Argentina with Down syndrome.

“I adore this. Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to be a teacher, because I like children so much,” she tells AFP.

“I want them to read and listen, because in society people have to listen to one another.”

To Access the article:

Argentine woman with Down syndrome inspires as teacher, by Paula Bustamante, AFP 

A one minute video featuring Ms. Garella:

Russia: Preventing Abortion & Assisting Mothers of Disabled Children

 The Russian nation’s official Church and  it’s Ministry of Health are working together toward discouraging the choice of abortion AND also seek to support the mothers. In the USA, the two major political parties do one or the other. The Republicans seek to limit abortions, but reduce funding for human services, which also means the defunding of support structures for mothers of newborn children. The Democrats would work toward supporting the mothers, but want virtually no limits on abortion; it’s the woman’s choice, they say, while ignoring the fact that it is the baby’s life. In addition to this political conundrum, the medical profession actually encourages pregnant women to abort babies who they have discovered to have disabilities.

In the Soviet era in Russia, the communist government also actively encouraged abortion, and this became the mindset of the people of Russia, even after the downfall of the Soviet Union. The abortion rates in Russia are the highest in the world. The Russian Orthodox Church considers abortion to be a grave sin, and the people of Russia have been gradually regaining an Orthodox Christian mindset since the overthrowing of the heavy Soviet communist yoke. And this has led to this good news!

The Online Source of this information:

The Gospel Herald: Russian Orthodox Church, Ministry of Health Sign Agreement to Prevent Abortion, Assist Mothers of Disabled Children

Book for Purchase: A Step by Step Guide to Making your Parish more Disability-Friendly

In 2016 Faithtree, a ministry of St. Michael’s Orthodox Church in Van Nuys, California, held a Webinar entitled “Building a Disability-Friendly Church: 7 Practical, Low-Cost Supports that Make a Difference.”  

Faithtree also has published a resource on the subject:

A Step by Step Guide to Making Your Parish Disability-Friendly

The cost is $23.99. 

Faithtree

 

 

An Orthodox Christian camping opportunity for youth with disabilities

This camp begins in 22 days, so sign up soon!

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of USA  Camping Programs: St. Nicholas Program (SNP)

 

 


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