In the lobby of Southminster Steinhauer United Church in Edmonton.
Rainbow banners fly outside the front doors.
Draw the circle wide, draw it wider still.
Let this be our song: no one stands alone.
Standing side by side, draw the circle, draw the circle wide...
God the still-point of the circle
Round you all creation turns
Nothing lost but held forever
in God's gracious arms
Let our hearts touch far horizons
So encompass great and small
Let our loving know no borders
Faithful to God's call
Let the dreams we dream be larger
Than we've ever dreamed before
Let the dream of Christ be in us
Open every door!
Concurrently, Jacober reconstructs a far more hopeful and healing vision of the church, one that goes beyond making space for those with disabilities by merely providing accessible parking or seating or other accommodations. Instead, Jacober contends that Scripture invites us to honor the gifts those with disabilities can bring to communities in reciprocal, right relationships—gifts that can be used in worship, in discipleship, and in vocational calling.
This includes the paradigms we’ve created for what church leadership looks like. Real change will not happen within churches until those with disabilities are “absolutely” reflected in leadership, Jacober said. And this will not happen until people redefine how we traditionally view Christian leaders, theologians, and teachers.
"You know how vampires have no reflections in the mirror?" the Pulitzer Prize-winning author asked an audience at the Bergen Community College in Paramus, NJ in 2009. "If you want to make a human being a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves."
"And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn't see myself reflected at all. I was like, 'Yo, is something wrong with me?' That the whole society seems to think that people like me don't exist? And part of what inspired me was this deep desire, that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors, so that kids like me might see themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it."
Junot Diaz, quoted in an article by Billy Nilles