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Is your church ready for the Paralympics?

With the Team GB 2012 Games euphoria set to pick up once more with the Paralympics, is your church ready to make the most of the opportunity? There are plenty of great resources out there to help ...

The euphoria of Team GB’s Olympic medal tally will likely carry through to the Paralympics – so is your church ready to take advantage of this unprecedented spotlight on disability? Dorothy Read from the Norwich Torch Fellowship reports for Network Norwich and Norfolk.

"There’s so much material in the media and the internet to provide fantastic resources for any church wanting to celebrate the inclusive message of the Gospel," says Torch CEO Dr Gordon Temple.

"While all eyes are on Paralympians and their achievements, churches can open their doors wide to disabled people in their communities who are overlooked and isolated. They can demonstrate that the message that the Good News of Jesus is truly for all people."

If your church is looking for material, a good place to start is the new Churches For All website.

"There’s much on the website to link with the Paralympics," says Gordon. "Not least the Disability Sunday activity pack, which many churches will be marking this year during the Paralympics, on September 2 or September 9."

The Churches for All website also features video of an interview with former blind Paralympian Alan Whetherly, which was broadcast on Channel 4 TV this month, one of a series of short interviews about faith and sport (www.4thought.tv).

Alan Whetherly will also be interviewed in two Reflections radio programmes produced by Torch Trust and being broadcast on September 2 and 9. Reflections is broadcast on RNIB Insight Radio online, on fm 101, on Sky 0188 and freesat 777 on Sunday at 9am, with repeats on Tuesdays at 2am and Fridays at 1am; and also on Premier Christian Radio online, on mw 1305, 1332, 1413, on DAB, on Sky 0123 and on Freeview 725, Sundays at 4pm.

More useful resources include:

  • The August edition of the Baptist Union MissionScene online magazine gives lots of good material
  • The July/August edition of the Evangelical Alliance Idea magazine is a Paralympics special
  • If you want to hold an outreach event for disabled people, why not use the idea of a Luke 14 Banquet? To find out what this means, go to the More than Gold website or straight to the pdf which explains how to do it
  • Enabling Church by Gordon Temple with Lin Ball is a brand new resource for individuals, small groups and churches looking at issues around disability. The book includes Bible study discussion outlines, creative prayer and worship ideas, comments and insights from ordinary and well-known disabled people, and real life stories of people with different disabilities. It's recommended by all the Christian disability organisations under the Churches for All grouping, and is available at £7.99 in print (from SPCK), large print and audio book formats from Torch Trust

Photo above: Team GB paralympian Stef Reid, who takes part in the 100m, 200m and long jump in the T44 class. Photo: UK Athletics

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