Churches urged to make most of Paralympics
As the Paralympics begins, the 'More than Gold' collaboration is encouraging churches to do what the Olympic movement has done - take the issues of disability to its heart.
The 'More than Gold' collaboration is urging churches across the country not to miss out on the opportunity that the London 2012 Paralympics provides to look at issues of inclusivity and accessibility, for the lasting benefit of the physical and spiritual wellbeing of disabled people and those with learning difficulties.
With extensive resources and suggestions provided on the More than Gold website, churches are encouraged to hold special events during the 10-day sporting spectacle.
One idea is to celebrate a Paralympic Sunday
on either the 2nd September
or 9th September
, the date of the closing ceremony, which can be used to re-affirm a commitment to be inclusive and welcoming to all and to celebrate the contributions made by people with disabilities in our churches.
Another suggestion, with pubs providing less coverage of the Paralympic Games, is to open up your church and show selected events on a big screen.
North Breckland Youth for Christ are hosting a community café within Dereham Baptist Church showing coverage of the Paralympics including both the opening and closing ceremony. With refreshments, console games, pool, table tennis, music and other activities it will provide an alternative space for members of the Dereham community to meet and share in the excitement of the Games.
More than Gold also suggests running a 'Luke 14 Banquet'
based on Jesus' story of a great banquet where the master sends his servants out to bring disabled and disadvantaged people to the table.
The More than Gold website says: "At a time when the world will be celebrating the achievements of the Paralympians, there is a perfect way for churches to celebrate the diversity of their own community." For a free guide to how your church can run one click here