Thursday, June 19, 2014

What about Wichita?

Tom Racunas & Nancy Thompson
While conferences drain our mental energy, the real work begins when we leave.  In our table discussion today after listening to John Swinton, Stanley Hauerwas, and Hans Reinders, one member suggested that the theological reflection may be good in academia, but the real rub comes in the trenches (I paraphrased a bit).  To a large degree, she's right!  What good is a conference if we return to our home cities, churches, schools, and jobs without affecting change?

Today, I finally met my neighbor.


It took nearly two years, dozens of emails, and a 6 hour trip to Texas.  Ironically, we discovered we live less than 800 yards apart and shop at the same grocery store. Tom Racunas serves as the Director of Ministry with Persons with Disabilities for the Catholic Diocese of Wichita.  I found out that besides a shared home owners association, we have common passions -- we also discovered that the other has a key to unlock greater ministry potential within the city. We both agree that to hold a consistent pro-life position requires congregations and Christian schools to intentionally educate persons with disabilities and fully welcome them into the life of their chosen congregation. Alone, our wheels might spin; together we have the potential to affect faith based societal change for multiple catholic and evangelical congregations.  This is 1 Cor 12 in action.    I look forward to working with him.

Tom also serves on the board of NCPD (National Catholic Partnership on Disabilities) along with Dr. Nancy Thompson (Iowa City, IA).  Nancy and I had a great time getting to know each other over the last few days as the NCPD and Friendship Ministries were set up next to each other.

#SITD #TheologyDisability