How do you educate a community? It starts with us but if we only speak to ourselves and don’t enlist others, how far will we go…
- In addressing the bias that continues to exist about persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities?
- In making sure all their/our civil rights are realized?
- In facilitating opportunities through school, work, faith communities, and community organizations?
Over a decade ago, The Arc of Massachusetts recognized the West Concord Union Church, which had been nominated by the Minute Man Arc for its inclusion activities. Today, their minister, Hannah C. Brown, is educating other congregations about the value of inclusion.
Our church had a problem: One of our congregants couldn’t serve communion.
She is one of our spiritual leaders. She is especially wise when it comes to the importance of communion. She knows how much it matters to share a holy meal together, how much it matters that no one is left out. She can’t tell us that in words. Instead, she lets us know through the agitated movements and sounds she makes when she’s worried that no one is going to serve her.
When members or leaders of faith organizations, schools, first responders, and health networks – among others – demonstrate leadership and educate their communities, we can make the most progress.
We can, and we will.
Leo V. Sarkissian