Archive for the 'vision' Category

Disability Resources: The personal blogs and offerings of Orthodox Christians with disabilities

(Also included: The online offerings of family members)

The author of this blog is a group home advisor who lives and works with adults with developmental disabilities. (Me – W.G.) I’ve done this for 26 years. It has had its many moments of frustration. And it has had its wonderful moments as well. I thank God for this opportunity, this life, these relationships.

But the truth is that I have been paid for my service as an advisor. And the organization with which I am employed gives me time off. And in a number of years, not so far away, I will retire from this role.

This is not the case with the people with disabilities themselves, and their family members. These relationships- mother, father grandmother, son, daughter – are lifelong;  for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week one lives with a disability with no time off, unless, of course, there is healing or successful medical intervention.

The webpages below are those of such people- Orthodox Christian persons with disability and their family members. For ten years I have compiled these resources and commented on them. But the insights shared on the websites below come from a place deeper within those that share them than my thoughts on the subject. I invite you to learn from them.

Online Orthodox Christian persons with disabilities & their family members


Orthodoxadultautists: A blog by an orthodox autist, for orthodox autists   by Monica. See especially A letter to the Church

Stephen Yates and son Axel: Yates and Son

Morning Coffee by Alana; see especially Sitting on the Front Pew 

Beth Hopkin’s In Case of Fire, Use Stairs

Bethany Sheldahl’s weblogNot of this World

 Catherine’s Pascha: Wheelchairs and Sidewalks by Charlotte Riggle (See also Home Page & Trailer for the book “Catherine’s Pascha” )

The Oprisko familyThe Least of These: Raising autism in the church, with dignity

Pasha, Russian orphan, has been adopted by David and Dawn Heatwole, members of Saint Catherine Mission, Hagerstown, MD

What Do You Do DEAR? Telling the honest truth about our beautiful new normal by Mary Evelyn

And Baby Makes 12 A conversation between Khorea Frederica Mathewes-Green and Mary Klopcic; from Ancient Faith Radio also Mair’s Momilies see especially How do you do it?

Girada Marius’ “I want to fight! I write using the nose, but I write … “

Loving a Child with Autism by Khorea Frederica Mathewes-Green; from Frederica.com

The Story: Steve and Tony Sakak  + (Website Homepage)

The Tcaci family Mental Health Advocates in Moldova Use Film to Tell Stories of Children with Disabilities

Facebook: Deaf Orthodox Christians

Facebook: Kathyrn Kessler, an Orthodox Christian with Crohn’s Disease: Fighting the Good Fight With Faith And Love 

Facebook: Koinonia for Exceptional Orthodox Families 

The Turner Family, Randolph, New Jersey 

Greek American Girl 

Living with the Woof (a service dog)

Disability Resources: Ministries

The ministries that have been found (surely there are many more) are listed on two pages, international and U.S. (my location).  The ministries in traditional Orthodox Christian countries are considerably more developed, and these ministries serve as a goal for the developing Orthodox Church in the U.S. to aim for.

Ministries (International) 

This list contains Orthodox Christian ministries which serve and enable persons with disabilities in Russia, Lebanon, Belarus, Macedonia, Egypt, Palestine, the Ukraine, Australia, Georgia, India, Canada, Moldova, Ethiopia, Romania, Sierra Leone, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Serbia-Montenegro, Syria, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Greece. Quite a few are associated with monasteries. Here are seven outstanding efforts:

Al-Kafaàt (Abilities) (Lebanon); Monastery of St. Martyr Grand Princess Elizabeth (Belarus); The Village of Panfilovo (Russia); The Four Homes of Mercy (Palestine); Tikhvin Icon of Our Lady Temple, (Moscow, Russia); Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity (Romania):  Theotokos Foundation, (Greece).

Ministries (U.S.) 

As the Orthodox Church is spread out across the U.S., most of the ministries listed are individual Parish ministries, and one Parish Church can do just so much; most of the ministries are once a month or once a year one day or weekend events which are held once a month or once a year.  The Special Olympics Multi-Sport Training Camp at Antiochian Village, Ligonier, Pennsylvania   sponsored by the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, is an annual (once a year) week-long event.

But there are some ministries that operate on a continual basis; The Hellenos House (see also Christopher), on Long Island, New York, which is affiliated with The Challenge Liturgy Ministry (see also Ministry Profile), providing a permanent home for seven persons with developmental disabilities.

There is also the Sheltering Tree in Omaha, Nebraska, which also provides housing, day programs, and frequent, periodic activities, both at their Activity Center and out in the community. Their motto is “Serving and empowering people with developmental disabilities.”

 

 

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.     

 

A Sensory Garden

Winter does not look like the perfect season for starting a new garden. However . . .  

Alyona Ovlashevich, who works in The Boarding Home for Children with Special Needs while studying towards a degree in landscape design, came up with the idea of a sensory garden on the territory of the home.  . . .

‘There is a vacant plot of land on the territory of the boarding home. It caught my attention some time ago,” Alyona says. “We are going to improve it and transform it into a sensory garden next spring. I am certain that it will bring a lot of positive feelings and new discoveries to our children!’ . . . 

Nature plays an important role in the children’s upbringing and education. . . . The children will be able to look at the beautiful plants, smell their scents, touch the plants and even taste some of them.  . . .

Read the entire story of this Sensory Garden, which was written by Tatiana Shimko:

A Garden for Children with Special Needs  

from the Website Catalogue of St Elisabeth Convent 

(your purchases will help support the Convent, which is devoted to continual prayer and works of mercy)

 

IOCC: Restoring Hope in Romania

International Orthodox Christian Charities is providing training to 114 Romanian leaders from the Church and the community at large to enable them to help those in crisis, including people with disabilities, such as Teofil, an artist. Read his story and view his portrait of Christ:

IOCC: The Art of Restoring Hope

z
picture from Moldova Visit

St. Ignatius Brianchaninov on prayerfully discovering and mourning our sin and spiritual poverty

St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

St. Ignatius Brianchaninov’s concluding words from the book

On the Prayer of Jesus:

“By our attentive prayer let us seek to turn the gaze of our mind to ourselves so that we discover within ourselves our sinfulness. When we discover it, let us stand mentally before our Lord Jesus Christ in the company of the lepers, the blind, the deaf, the lame, the paralyzed, the possessed; and let us begin our mournful cry of prayer before Him from the poverty of our spirit and from a heart crushed with sorrow for our sinfulness.

Let this cry be infinitely abundant.  . . . .

. . . . let it be clothed in the brief but meaningful prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

Amen. “

from On the Prayer of Jesus, from the Ascetic Essays of Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov, translated by Father Lazarus, forward by Bishop       Kallistos Ware. New Seeds: Boston & London, 2006. pp. `139-40.

The Book: http://www.mybookmonlivre.com/On-The-Prayer-of-Jesus-Ignatius-Brianchaninov.php 

Chapter One in audio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE-LbzdXogE

On Bishop Ignatius: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignatius_Bryanchaninov 

For more on the Jesus Prayer:  http://www.orthodoxprayer.org/Jesus%20Prayer.html 

icon from http://pravoslavnasrbkinja.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_03.html 

from the Hymns of Paradise, by Saint Ephrem the Syrian

from the weblog Communio: St. Ephrem the Syrian

from St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press:

Hymns on Paradise

by St. Ephrem the Syrian

 

A review of the hymns with excerpts, by Alice C. Linsley:

Just Genesis:  St. Ephrem’s Paradise 

q

Hymn 7, Stanza 13, P. 123 in the book:

In Paradise the cripples,

who had never walked, leap around;

the deformed, who had never even crawled,

fly about through the air;

the eyes of the blind and deaf,

who had yearned from the womb,

hungering for light

which they had failed to see,

now rejoice to behold

the beauty of Paradise,

and the mighty sound of its harps

gives comfort to their ears.


Archives

Blog Stats

  • 110,247 hits
May 2017
S M T W T F S
« Feb    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

%d bloggers like this: