Newsletter – October, 2003

**Companion Resources Newsletter**

edited by Paul D. Leichty

Volume 5, No. 10 October-December 2003

This issue of Companion Resources Newsletter will be a bit unusual, but hopefully helpful as well. As you may have noticed, my attempts at publishing this email epistle in a timely monthly fashion have floundered a bit. I’ve decided that this year’s offerings will end with No. 10 and cover the remaining part of 2003. Starting in 2004, I hope to publish issues toward the first part of the month, rather than late in the month.

Some of you know that one of my primary activities of the past year has been to help establish the Anabaptist Disabilities Network, or, as we usually refer to it, ADNet. ADNet was born out of a desire to see advocacy and educational work continue in the area of disabilities and mental illness among churches growing out of the Anabaptist movement, Mennonites, Brethren, and others. I am pleased to be working as a part of a wonderful team of essentially volunteers who have, within the past year, established a viable organization that is building partnerships with various church organizations.

I want to introduce you to two online resources that I think may have appeal even beyond the Anabaptist churches. Both of these resources are available on ADNet’s website (www.adnetonline.org) which I created using the Caravel content management system that I introduced last month.

The first resource is our newsletter which we hope to publish quarterly. It is called “Dialogue on Disabilities” and carries on a name and tradition of previous newsletters published by Mennonite organizations working with disabilities. We at ADNet also include the whole area of chronic mental illness as well, drawing upon the broad definition of “disabilities.” You can find an introduction and copies of “Dialogue on Disabilities” at the following address:

http://www.adnetonline.org/Resources/ Newsletter

The second resource will be of special interest to those who work to include marginalized persons in the life of the church. It is called “ADNotes.” It is a one-page reproducible sheet which offers resources and ideas that strengthen the relationships within your community. In each issue we plan to focus on one or two specific areas of challenge for congregations seeking to welcome and support individuals and families with mental illness and other disabilities.

Your are encouraged to visit http://www.adnetonline.org/Resources/ADNotes

to read and print out the current issue with your Adobe Reader, available free for any

computer.

The current issue is entitled “Holiday Hints.” Here are some sample quotes:

On “Sensitivity”:

“In this season of ‘goodwill and cheer,’ we can be aware of those in our

congregations who struggle to cope both emotionally and physically with the

disruption and stress.”

On “Inclusion”:

“During this Advent and Christmas season, we can make a special effort to

draw in those who may be feeling isolated, unneeded, or lonely.”

On “Understanding”:

“Including the language of despair and brokenness in pastoral prayers is a

way to offer companionship and acceptance to those who may feel completely

alone in their struggles.”

Again, to get your copy of ADNotes, visit

http://www.adnetonline.org/Resources/ADNotes

Feel free to browse further at ADNet Online while you are there. And don’t forget to check out the Companion Resources home page (www.cresources.org) in the right-hand column as you do your Christmas shopping.

I wish you all a very blessed Advent and Christmas season!

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Paul D. Leichty

PDLeichty@cresources.org

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