September Adult Ed: Good Neighbors

Disability, Justice & the Church

This three-part series will focus on engaging in ministry with and alongside people with disabilities. Come and learn about how disability theologies help us expand the shape of our community, how laypeople can engage in the work of disability ministry, and how people with disabilities are transformed by the Spirit as leaders.

Download Flyer (pdf)

Audio recordings will be posted below each class description.

September 10 | 9:30 a.m., Assembly Room

From Inclusion to Justice: Receiving the Ministry & Leadership of Disabled People

American Christianity does not tend to view disabled persons as having experiences and gifts that enrich the church. Come explore the social model of disability, the problems with paradigms of inclusion, and the promise of justice-oriented ministry. We will witness to how God not only makes disabled people in the image of God, but how Jesus calls disabled folks into ministry, and how the Spirit transforms them in leadership.

Erin Raffety is a cultural anthropologist, a Presbyterian pastor, and an ethnographic researcher who has studied foster families in China, Christian congregations in the United States, and people with disabilities around the world. Raffety teaches and researches at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton University, and the Center of Theological Inquiry. She is the author of From Inclusion to Justice: Disability, Ministry, and Congregational Leadership (Baylor University Press, 2022).

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September 17 | 9:30 a.m., Assembly Room

A Joyful Noise Service

Joyful Noise Ministry was designed to make our church communities more inclusive and truly welcome all. Learn how the Clarke Family decided to start a service for families encompassing children with special needs. Explore the importance of inclusion in our church communities.


Jessica and Arundel Clarke grew up in North Jersey and met at a Lutheran Camp. Jessica is a Special Education Teacher and Arundel is a Computer Engineer. He is also the Vice President of the New Jersey Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. They have always been connected to the special needs community through camp, school and Special Olympics. They have two children Morrigan (13) and J’den (10). J’den has Autism and is an athlete for Special Olympics. Morrigan is a student at PDS and an Advocate for Adults and Children with disabilities. They are a very active family in the Community and at Church.

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September 24 | 9:30 a.m., Assembly Room

The Enemy Within

Join a discussion about our complicated acceptance of disability, and how it can provide a meaningful pathway in our spiritual journey, considering our neighbor, ourselves, and our God.

Chaplin Stephen Faller, an Ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church, is a highly accomplished and experienced pastoral care expert, educator, and author with an impressive career spanning over two decades. Currently serving as an Association of Partners in Christian Education (ACPE) Chaplain Educator at Overlook Medical Center (Atlantic Health System), Summit, NJ, he is responsible for building a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program and recruiting students for an ACPE accredited center. Faller’s personal experience with cerebral palsy and his role as a caregiver enable him to offer a unique and powerful perspective on the intersection of disability and spiritual caregiving.

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