From A Mountain Climbing Accident to The Power of Vulnerability

I was born into the tribal culture of the indigenous Native American people. My parents taught me the indigenous plants, how to catch a wild horse, and the value of Creation Care. My grandparents immigrated 100 years ago from the Netherlands to the Navajo Reservation. They were beloved cross-cultural bridges to the Navajo and Zuni […]

Belonging to the Body: Beyond Sunday

Written by Evan Clulee   John Swinton said, “To be included you just need to be present. To belong you need to be missed.” (From Inclusion to Belonging. Pg 184, line 6). I agree with John, and it is a powerful and important distinction. This speaks volumes to me. Being missed by the community, or […]

LOVE IS, LOVE ISN’T, LOVE ACTUALLY 

Written by Wes Walter* JACK*   A large, ‘successful’ church: good-looking successful people. And if you’re female, being blonde (whether by birth or by bottle) helps. If you’re popular in the media, so good. We love you!   But you? You’re in a wheelchair? We’ve got a ramp, and a wheelchair loo [good for storing gear in] […]

Contributing to the Transformative Work of the Body of Christ

Written by Coralie M. Bridle  Introduction  My eldest son, Samuel, gently led me into the world of sustained theological enquiry. In doing so he has made extraordinary contributions to my life without leaving the confines of his wheelchair. As catalyst for questions, he does not have the vocabulary to pose, he has beckoned me to […]

Honouring One Another

Written by Fiona Sherwin  In recent years I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about inclusion and belonging. While the two terms are used synonymously at times, there are notable differences between them. Including others is an important practice. It’s an act of kindness and hospitality, but to include others only scratches the surface. When […]

Church Unity in the Love of the Trinity

Written by J. Immanuel Koks I can’t think of a time when the unity of the church here in Aotearoa and around the world, has been put under this much strain. It seems like a constant hammer pounds on a wedge between those who are sympathetic towards progressive concerns and those who sense the need […]

We Cannot Walk this Journey Alone

One of the maybe less-known ministries of Elevate is our Emmanuel Support Group, currently run by Penny and Nigel Shivas. This Auckland couple in some circles may be better known as “the parents of Olivia and Benjamin”. Emmanuel Support seeks to give spiritual, emotional and practical support to parents and families of a child, from […]

The Difference Between Inclusion and Belonging

We often hear the words ‘inclusion’ and ‘belonging’ when talking about welcoming more people with disabilities into our churches and ministries. But the difference between these two is not always clear. As it’s December, let me use a Christmas example to try and explain.  Most of us will have different Christmas traditions, such as a […]

Stop, Wait, Go – but have we forgotten anyone?

We’ve all done it, or had it done to us, at some stage. Many parents have accidentally forgotten their child somewhere (home, school, shops). Many of us have accidentally forgotten to invite a friend or family member to a party. It’s not that we do it intentionally, nor does it represent a lack of love […]