Since 1996 Pathways.org has become a leader in providing educational materials, events and grants to support communities of faith that welcome individuals of all abilities. Today, That Every Ability May Belong has a new emphasis on creating houses of worship and religious schools where individuals of all abilities belong as fellow missionary disciples, working alongside their brothers and sisters in faith. This five part video training explains the importance of belonging and gives faith communities the tools to move beyond inclusion to belonging for individuals of all abilities in communities of faith.
Download accompanying handouts:
- The Ministry of Jesus as a Model for TEAM Belong
- Know Your Disability Etiquette
- Reflecting on Belonging
- Accessibility Plan Worksheet
Introduction: The Importance of Belonging
The introduction discusses belonging as a basic human need and shows how a sense of belonging to a faith community leads to a transformational experience of missionary discipleship. The objectives of the video training are presented and personal testimonies from parishioners and a student illustrate the importance of belonging for individuals of all abilities in faith communities.
Section One: Jesus as Our Model for Creating Belonging
The Ministry of Jesus as a Model for TEAM Belong
We follow Jesus’s example when we reach out and create belonging for individuals of all abilities.
In Section one Scripture passages show Jesus’ ministry is a model for how to create belonging for people of all abilities. When Jesus’ ministry is the model, belonging for individuals of all abilities becomes a priority in faith communities.
Section Two: Know the Basics
Disability Etiquette and Accessibility
Know Your Disability Etiquette
Learn disability etiquette and the true meaning of accessibility so you can create belonging for individuals of all abilities.
Section two discusses disability etiquette and accessibility. Everyone in a community of faith needs the knowledge and confidence to interact comfortably with and offer hospitality to individuals of all abilities. Things you can do to make your environments truly accessible are illustrated so individuals of every ability can experience authentic belonging in faith communities.
Section Three: From Inclusion to Belonging
The Hierarchy of Belonging, Changing Attitudes and Starting a TEAM Belong Ministry
Learn the stages of belonging, how to change attitudes towards disability differences and how to start a TEAM Belong Ministry to make belonging for people of all abilities a priority.
Section three discusses the ten characteristics of belonging, to be: present, invited, welcomed, known, accepted, supported, cared for, befriended, needed and loved. This section also discusses how to create belonging in faith communities. The 4D method to change attitudes towards disabilities is explained and the importance of starting and maintaining a TEAM Belong Ministry is presented.
Section Four: Support from TEAM Belong
Learn about TEAM Belong $1,000 grants, lesson plans, educational handouts, the TEAM Belong Ministry Handbook and TEAM Belong Month.
Section four discusses all the supports available from TEAM Belong to assist faith communities to create belonging for individuals of all abilities:
- $1,000 TEAM Belong grants to help parishes and schools fund projects that create belonging for individuals of all abilities,
- Different Gifts, Same Spirit lesson plans to teach children and youth about the importance of belonging for students of all abilities,
- TEAM Belong Ministry Handbook with a wealth of resources for starting and maintaining a TEAM Belong Ministry,
- TEAM Belong Month planning materials to annually take stock of progress and to celebrate accomplishments.
The training concludes with using the knowledge gained to complete the Accessibility Plan Worksheet.
Prayer Card for Awareness, 10 Tips for Belonging, Interacting with People of Differing Abilities, How You Can Make a Difference, Ministry Audit, People First Language, Universal Design, Making Events Accessible, Facilities Survey, Survey of Needs, Access Symbols, What Does a TEAM Belong Minister Do?, TEAM Belong Ministry Handbook, TEAM Belong Award and Junior TEAM Belong Award Application Packets, Different Gifts, Same Spirit Lesson Plans, TEAM Belong Month Workbook
See our Resources Page for More Free Handouts
- Alpha-Catholic Context. https://alphausa.org/catholic.
- Barron, Most Reverend Robert (1999) Opening Hearts, Minds and Doors... Chicago, IL: NFPC [Vol. 10, #3]
- Block, Jennie Weiss (2002). Copious Hosting. New York, NY: Continuum International Publishing Group.
- Carter, Erik W. (2016). A Place to Belong, Young Life Capernaum Everywhere BlogSpot, February 9, 2016.
- Carter, Eric W. (2007). Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co.
- Faithtree (2017) Removing Barriers: A Step-By-Step Guide. Van Nuys, CA: Faithtree Resources.
- Foley, Edward, Capuchin (2020). Ars Praedicandi: II Easter, Ed Foley. Pray Tell: Worship, Wit & Wisdom.
- Mallon, James (2014). Divine Renovation: Bringing your parish from maintenance to mission. New London, CT: Twenty third Publications.
- Miller, Nancy B. And Catherine Sammons (1999) Everybody’s Different. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co.
- Nouwen, Henri (1996). The Vulnerable Journey video. Chicago, IL: Pathways.org. Available for viewing at TEAMBelong.org.
- Pathways.org (2017). Different Gifts, Same Spirit: Creating an Inclusive Learning Community. Chicago, IL: Loyola Press.
- Pathways.org (1997). Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors video. Chicago, IL: Pathways.org. Available for viewing at www.TEAMBelong.org.
- Senior, Donald, CP, (2019). The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Chicago, IL: Chicago Catholic, Nov. 24, 2019.
- Thought.com. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Explained. https://www.thoughtco.com/maslows-hierarchy-of-needs-4582571.
- Vander Plaats, Dan (2009). The Five Stages: Changing Attitudes. Crestwood, IL: Elim Christian Services. the5stages.com.