Though many churches advertise an "everyone welcome" culture, that invitation often comes with an invisible asterisk. With approximately twenty percent of the US population living with a disability, children and adults with varied physical, behavioral, intellectual, and socio-emotional abilities and needs are often excluded from the corporate worship conversation with God. Restrictions and barriers limit them from fully engaging in community among God's people. Pastors and ministry leaders need a holistic framework for welcoming children and adults of all abilities--an approach that is rooted in theology, applicable within every congregational size, denomination, and context, and practical enough to begin tomorrow.
Worship as One by Barbara J. Newman gives leaders the tools to fully include persons with varied abilities into the life of their congregations, demonstrating God's call for community in 1 Corinthians 12. Introducing the concept of universal design for worship, Barbara combines her extensive background in inclusive education and more than thirty years of experience walking alongside congregations to help churches truly worship as one.
About the Author
Barbara J. Newman is the CLC Network Director of Church Services co-director of inclusion at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. For over 30 years, she has worked to create communities of inclusion, frequently advising churches and schools. She holds a teaching certificate with a cognitive impairment endorsement from Calvin College, and a Master of Arts in early childhood education and early childhood developmental delay with a concentration in autism spectrum disorders from Grand Valley State University.