Deep & Wide: A Conference on Ecclesial Engagement with Disability Across Canada

Date(s) - May 10, 2024 - May 11, 2024
4:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Northwest Seminary & College

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A cross-Canada, multi-denominational effort to ask the following question: how can churches in Canada grow in their understanding of and engagement with disability?

This year’s A Deeper Communion conference will explore the width and depth of ecclesial engagement with disability across the nation. Friday night will feature scholarly exploration of theology, disability, and the church. Saturday will offer a blend of practical workshops, presentations, and insights from prominent Canadian authors who embody authentic leadership in the exploration of a more inclusive and responsive church.

In addition, we will have workshops of practical importance and TEDD (technology, education, design, and disability) talks featuring diverse perspectives from the disability community. It will be held in three cities: Calgary (at Ambrose University), Hamilton (McMaster Divinity College), and Vancouver (Northwest Seminary & College). We hope you’ll join us!

As we meet in locations from British Columbia to Ontario, we celebrate the ways Jesus meets us across geographic expanses and in the midst of the particularity of our ordinary lives.

Where, how, and when?

Location: The Northwest Seminary & College site will meet in person at the Northwest Media Centre, located in the Fosmark Building, on Trinity Western University’s Campus. An online attendance option is also available.

Cost: $75 (in-person, lunch provided) / $40 (online & students)

Time: May 10, 4:00pm – 6:00pm & May 11, 8:30am – 2:00pm (full schedule available below)

What is A Deeper Communion?

A Deeper Communion is a big tent (multi-denominational) network of organizations that connects Canadian ministry leaders, practitioners, and academics at the intersection of disability and theology. In 2018, A Deeper Communion began as an event in Toronto to connect and bring together students, pastors, theologians, and other Christians with and without disabilities. Since then, we have included and enhanced both the practical and more theoretical/theological aspects of the disability and faith conversation. We ask questions such as, “Where are Christians engaging with disability?” and, “What needs to grow and/or change in the Canadian church context?”

Plenary speakers

Rev. Heather Morgan

Rev. Heather Morgan is a physical disabled and neurodiverse writer, author, and speaker who wears many hats! She is part of the pastoral team at Vox Community Church in Barrie, ON; she runs Powered by Love, a disability advocacy, coaching training, and consulting organization; and she is an emerging crip theologian, working on her PhD at Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto. Heather is also wife, mom, and nana to a crew of fabulous disabled and neurodiverse humans who make sure that her academic work is always deeply grounded in lived experience.

Dr. L.S. Carlos A. Thompson

Dr. L.S. Carlos, born in Cartagena, Colombia, and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, holds degrees in Church Ministry, Religious Studies, and Divinity from various institutions. He serves as Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry and Disability Theology at Western Theological Seminary (WTS), where he is also involved in community initiatives and student accessibility.

With over 15 years of pastoral experience across diverse denominations, Dr. Carlos identifies as a Charismatic-reformed Pentecostal shaped by Benedictine Spirituality, Henri Nouwen’s work, and St. Juan De La Cruz. Living with congenital Cerebral Palsy, his research focuses on Christian Communal Theology and the intersection of Jesus’ healing ministry with contemporary notions of health. Key questions in his research include defining Christian community, understanding healing, and grappling with enduring disability and chronic illness.

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