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A litany for Disability Inclusion Sunday

Disability Inclusion Sunday is on September 10, 2023. Churches across the country will be celebrating the gifts that people with disabilities bring to our congregations.

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Disability Inclusion Sunday is on September 10, 2023. Churches across the country will be celebrating the gifts that people with disabilities bring to our congregations. In preparation, Presbyterians for Disability Concerns invites you to use their worship resources, such as the litany below written by Hunter Steinitz. To learn more about Presbyterians for Disability Concerns, see here. To download “Once a Sheep Was in a Pasture,” Carolyn Winfrey Gillette’s hymn for Disability Inclusion Sunday, click here. To download Presbyterians for Disability Concerns’ 2023 Resource Packet, which can be used all year, click here. We invite you to take advantage of our Disability Consultants to support your congregation who are ready to promote inclusion and access in your churches. 

“For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works; that I know well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed” (Psalm 139:13-16).

Creator God, you formed us all in the depths of the earth, seeing and knowing our unformed selves, and knitting us together in love. Holy Maker, on this day we praise you for all our neighbors that this world would consider disabled. We praise you that we too are fearfully and wonderfully made in the Image of God. And we praise you even when others fail to embrace our belovedness.

As (Jesus) was walking along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned: he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him” (John 9:1-3).

Incarnate God, we praise you for all the people in our midst. We thank you that through you, we come to know our disabled neighbors. When the disciples sought to place blame for his disability, you reminded them that blame is not important. You pointed them to the deeper truth, that this man and his blindness are also vessels of your redeeming and boundless love. You called him beloved, even when the powers that be did not.

I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

“When it was evening…and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked…Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord” (John 20:19-20).

We praise you, Wounded God, that in the midst of our fear and our closed-off spaces, you come to us. You come to us and are identified both by your words and by your wounds. We praise you, that in your resurrected wholeness, you bore the wounds of the cross. In so doing, you proclaim the beloved wholeness of all people with all abilities.

I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

We praise you, Disabled God. When we come to your table, we come to the table of a God both wounded and whole, whose love shatters all barriers and whose grace knows no bounds. We pray that all might feel and know their belovedness and that they would be fully included in this life as well as in the kingdom of heaven. Alleluia. Amen.

Want more resources?

Presbyterians for Disability Concerns has put together a booklet of resources addressing inclusion, accessibility, accommodations and tools. You can download the packet for free here.

You can also download a free hymn by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette to use alongside this litany.

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