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Disability concerns team of Thrive hosts a number of events throughout the year that focus on building community and provide ongoing training and support for church leaders and disability advocates.

Accessibility and Belonging Church Cohort

** Year-long learning cohort for churches in British Columbia and the Cascadia region **

Thrive is hosting a year-long learning community with churches in the BC, Washington, and Oregon regions. Beginning in Spring 2024, churches will participate in the Thriving Essentials training for all church leaders including pastors, elders and deacons. Then, churches will have a group of people who work together over a year to make your church accessible and welcoming to people with disabilities. We’re excited to work towards creating churches where everybody belongs and everybody serves.

More Info and FAQs >>


Church Disability and Accessibility Training (Video Recording)

** for CRC and RCA churches in BC and the Cascadia region **

Virtual Event hosted by Thrive and Disability Concerns RCA 

This informative and interactive Zoom workshop was led by Lindsay Wieland Capel, Thrive's Disability Consultant on November 18, 2023. It provided an overview of the disability words and concepts everyone should know and provided ideas to help churches be more welcoming and accessible for people with disabilities. Watch this discussion and gain some essential insights for all churches, pastors, and ministry leaders as we all seek to live into the motto: "Everybody Belongs, Everybody Serves!"
Watch on YouTube >>

For more information, please contact Pastor Johannes Schouten at: [email protected] or call: 778.895.6837

Nurturing Belonging: Exploring Hospitality, Disability, and Theology

Hosted by: Thrive and RCA Disability Concerns
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We believe that all people are created in the image of God and that each person is essential. Yet, when it comes to hospitality and belonging for people with disabilities, our congregations often don’t reflect what we believe.

Learning from Benjamin Conner, Ph.D, L.S. Carlos A. Thompson, Ph.D., Victoria White and a panel of guest speakers, this training will explore disability theology and the experiences of people with disabilities in the church.

  • How does the way we talk about healing narratives in the Bible impact people with disabilities in our congregation?
  • How has ableism gotten in the way of hospitality?
  • What practical steps can a church take to nurture belonging with people with disabilities?

Whether you’re a pastor, a worship leader, a disability advocate, or a youth leader, this training is for you.

This event will have live interpretation of American Sign Language and Korean. Additional languages are available, along with English, in Closed Captioning through Zoom.

Learn more about the speakers below:

Benjamin Conner pic

Benjamin Conner, Ph.D., is Professor of Practical Theology directs the Center for Disability and Ministry at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. The Center exists to support ministry leaders of all abilities in nurturing and receiving the gifts and contributions of persons with disabilities through formational opportunities including theological education, consultation, forums, and publications.  For nearly two decades Ben served with Young Life, including working with Capernaum, Young Life’s work with youth with disabilities, and serving on the Capernaum mission-wide committee.  His writings include Amplifying Our Witness: Giving Voice to Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities (Eerdmans, 2012) and Disabling Mission, Enabling Witness: Exploring Missiology through the Lens of Disability Studies (IVP Academic, 2018), among others.  He is also an occasional horse-leader, side-walker, stall-mucker, and general support for his wife, Melissa, who runs Renew Therapeutic Riding Center.

Carlos Thompson pic

Dr. L. S. Carlos was born in the Latin American coastal port city of Cartagena, Colombia. After being adopted by a North American family, he was raised in Fargo, North Dakota.
Carlos has earned a B.S. in Church Ministry from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida; an M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida; as well as both an M.Th. in Ministry and Mission (Practical Theology) and a Ph.D. in Divinity, from the University of Aberdeen, King’s College, in Aberdeen, Scotland. He is also a recipient of Western Theological Seminary’s the Henri Nouwen Doctoral Fellowship. WTS is also Dr. Carlos’ community where he serves as the Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry and Disability Theology; the Director of the Friendship House Community; the Director of the Friendship House Fellows Program; and the Student Accessibility Coordinator.
Dr. Carlos has served in various pastoral capacities for 15+ years in over 10 different denominations. Dr. Carlos identifies as a Charismatic-reformed Pentecostal who lives with congenital Cerebral Palsy. Thus, the lived experience of disability informs and shapes Carlos’ current research around the faithful development of Christian Communal Theology.

Victoria White pic

Victoria White is Program Director for With Ministries, an organization providing resources that support faith formation and congregational inclusion with individuals with disability. She brings over 20 years of experience in educational and ministry settings, chronic illness, and mentorship under the late advocate and author Barbara J. Newman. Victoria holds a teaching degree (secondary education) from Grand Valley State University and is pursuing a master’s degree in Disability Studies in Education from Calvin University. Taking and teaching courses with Christian Leader’s Institute and Calvin Theological Seminary also broadens her perspectives on inclusive worship. Victoria is a popular writer, speaker, and coach for faith communities that are faithfully building belonging for persons of all abilities, but most of all she seeks to be faithful to her Lord, Jesus.

For more information, please contact: [email protected] or [email protected]