Dear Fellow Pilgrims in Faith Journey,
Advent Greetings from the Commission on Justice, Peace and Creation of the NCCI!
The United Nations earmarks 3rd December as International Disability Day every year. This year, the UN calls the entire globe to encourage and embrace Persons with Disabilities, and to facilitate societies to be Just and Inclusive by proposing a theme: “Break Barriers, Open Doors: For An Inclusive Society For All”.
It facilitates the society at large to be part of the Just and Inclusive Society of all and for all including the Persons Living With Disability (PLWD).
The Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment (IDEA) promoted by the Commission on Justice, Peace and Creation of the NCCI is endeavoring with determination to work with its member churches to be more inclusive. For the past 3 years IDEA has been facilitating Indian and Global Churches in becoming more disabled-friendly by holding theological and missiological conversations on disability, and encouraging them to observe Disability Sunday every year with an Order of Worship and a Homily outline.
We are glad to inform you that, in order to give full attention to the concern of disability, the Executive Committee and the General Body of the NCCI have resolved that the Sunday before the Advent season be celebrated as Disability Sunday. However the churches are free to choose any convenient Sunday to observe this special day to educate the congregation to be inclusive and advocate for persons with disabilities to be part of the very life, ministry and mission of the Church without any discrimination.
Therefore IDEA proposes 24th Nov 2013 as Disability Sunday and encourages all the faith communities and churches to observe the same whenever it is possible for you. To assist you in this regard IDEA has come up with an order of worship which was developed by theologically trained persons with disabilities and with homily notes on the theme “Striving Towards a Just and Inclusive Church”.
The population of PLWDs in India alone could be 100 million approximately. What might be the number of PLWDs in Indian Churches? No statistics are available, one reason being that PLWDs are not considered as regular and full members of the Church. However a good number of projects and homes are run by the churches for them.
Hence, the entire Church and society is challenged to become Just and Inclusive.
Wishing you all a very Meaningful Disabled-Friendly Christmas
and Blessed New Year 2014
Rev. Fr. Aswin Fernandis
Rev. R. Christopher Rajkumar
NCCI - Commission on Justice, Peace and Creation
Rt. Rev. Dr. Taranath S Sagar
Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad