Conference Programme

Kia ora and Welcome

Our dream for this conference has always been to provide a platform, an environment where we can all learn from our past journeys and, with this wisdom, move together towards a future that holds such amazing potential.  But as is the case with many dreams, our beginnings were much more humble.

In January 2001 the issue placed before a group representing a mix of faith and disability affiliations was one of accountability - making sure that a $500 grant to research disability in an ecumenical context was used appropriately. Little did we realize at the time, but this gift was as a seed on fertile ground!.  It sprung forth with widely exciting opportunities, ripe for harvesting.  What better way to gather this fruit than to bring together a diverse group of people and enable them to present their stories in an atmosphere of tolerance, respect and aroha.

Every one of us was at some time given tasks and responsibilities that pushed us outside our area of expertise and thus our “comfort zone”.  However this was never accepted as an excuse not to “give it a go” and in doing so we have all learned a great deal about ourselves, each other, our communities and our faith. 

Faith, love, appreciation and acknowledgement of each person’s uniqueness (plus a good deal of humour) paved the way for claiming our dream.  The desire now is that all participants at this conference do likewise - try something new and feel good about what you have learned, shared and achieved.  May this conference be a time for building up and breaking down, where there is a willingness to put right the wrongs, to forgive the hurts, and to empower the weary disabled traveller.  Let us all be part of that potential, and may the desires of both communities rebuild relationships as we count our blessings for being given this opportunity to do so.

Thank you for being with us on the beginning of a new journey ….

Carolyn Wadsworth (chairperson)

 

 

Greetings~ Kia Ora ~ Kia Orana ~ Talofa lava ~ Taalofa ~ Bula ~Malo ni ~ ~Fakaalofa Lahi atu ~ Malo e lelei ~ Namaste ~ Gidday  

Beware of what you say and commit to in jest!  Seeds of this conference were sown over eight years ago when I half jokingly said to the vicar can I preach on Disability Sunday?  And to my surprise he said yes!  This led to me attending the first disability, spirituality and faith conference in Australia in Brisbane in 1996 and to my dream of having such a conference on this side of the Tasman.   

In January 2001 a small group of us gathered together and my dream became our dream and grew to include a much bigger group.  It is incredible and wonderful that the dream is now about to be birthed among us.    

This book is your “lonely planet” guide over the next few days as we journey together through the whirlwind of disability, spirituality and faith.  Hopefully your copy will become well-thumbed as you make it your own, complete with your unique markings.  In years to come I hope you will pick it up and be reminded of what you put in or took out of your disability and spirituality suitcases on this journey -  “Through the Whirlwind: Te Puta I Te Tai-awhiowhio: Disability, Spirituality and Faith Conference 2003”      

Vicki Terrell (conference co-ordinator)
(Written on Easter Eve)     


Powhiri (Opening Ceremony)

(Rev Leo Te Kira gathered together those wishing to have an explanation of  the Powhiri prior to the ceremony).

 The Planning Group and Leo Te Kira’s parish were the Tangata Whenua

Tangata Whenua  (Host) speakers: 

  • Leo Te Kira
  • Brett Callender
  • David Nimmo 

Manuhiri (Visitors) speakers

  • Danny Beech (Deaf Chaplain from Auckland)
  • To be confirmed
  • Andy Calder (Australia),

 

The Process

Karanga (calling people together) (The Tangata Whenua are all ready seated). 

A woman from the Tangata Whenua calls the Manuhiri into the room:

  • Vera Morgan

 A woman from the Manuhiri replies

  • To be confirmed

The Manuhiri can take their seats.

After each male speaker has spoken, a waiata (song) is sung (its not imperative that it is a Maori song.)  Male speakers will speak enblock (paeke) starting with the Tangata Whenua.  The last speaker from the Manuhiri will offer the baton as a koha (gift).  Then all exchange handshakes, hongi (touching of noses), and greetings.  This is followed by guest opening speeches. 

Guest speakers will be introduced by the Conference Chair (Carolyn Wadsworth)  and Co-ordinator (Vicki Terrell).

The Hon Ruth Dyson - Minister of Disability Issues;

  • Councillor Leonie Gill -  Wellington City Council 
  • Mr Ken Edgecombe - Chairman of The Council of Wellington Churches
  • David Zwartz - Wellington Interfaith Group

Speeches are focussed on welcoming people to the conference.  The whole ceremony is brought to a conclusion by the sharing of food (our cocktail dinner). The evening programme will commence following the meal.

CONFERENCE  TIMETABLE

Thursday

2.30pm    Registrations

4.00pm    Gather together

5.00pm    Powhiri & Welcome 

6.30pm    Cocktail Meal

7.30pm    Getting Started

8.00pm    A Traveller’s Guide to Disability and Spirituality

                 Christopher Newell

9pm         Concluding the Day


FRIDAY

9.00am             Beginning the Day

9.30am    Fairwinds or Foul? Chaplaincy & Pastoral Care

                  Christopher Newell

10.30am   Morning tea

11.00am   Workshops 1 - 5 (see “workshops” later in book)

12.30pm   Lunch

1.20-1.50pm   Kimberley Chimers

This is a talented group of intellectually disabled residents of Kimberley who enjoy sharing their music making. The group have produced a CD and have performed overseas. Don't miss this!

 1.30 - 2pm   Poster displays 

"Be sure to have a look at the poster displays in Kauri One. 

On Friday and Saturday from 1.30-2pm people will be available to answer questions at each display."

 2.00pm    Workshops 6 - 10 (see “workshops” later in book)

 3.30pm               Afternoon tea

 4.00pm    Have you recovered from your little lapse?

                  Mary Caygill

 5.00pm    Concluding the plenary day

 7.00pm    Parent’s forum: Where is God / spirituality in the whirlwind  of family life when faced with a child with a disability?

 8.30pm    Healing Touch workshop

 

SATURDAY

9.00am    Beginning the Day

9.15am    Plenary

 .30am    Health & Theology - are they related?

                  Mary Caygill

10.30am   Morning tea

11.15am   Conference reflections

11.30am   Indigenous Spirituality & Disability

                  Huhana Hickey

12.30pm   Lunch

1.30pm    Poster displays

2.00pm    Workshops 13 - 16 plus (see “workshops” later in book)

3.00pm      Afternoon tea

3.30pm      Workshops 17 - 20 (see “workshops” later in book)        

6.20pm            Mini-fiesta - Members from the Plimmerton Faith & Light community will share a mini fiesta with us. A fiesta is a time where people with and with out a disability celebrate and share the joys and pains of each other's life journey. Come and join us in song, prayer and celebration

7.00pm            Conference Dinner - feasting fun and games including: All God's critters got a place in the choir, composition of funny rhymes over  dinner, and circle dancing.  You don’t know about circle dancing? Share the enjoyment of gentle, meditative yet energising dancing and music. The music is traditional and the movements are easy and repetitive. This is music for the soul! This is all being helped along by Robin List and Margaret Megwyn.

 

SUNDAY

9.00am    Beginning the day       

9.30am    Looking out after looking within: Spirituality and the                   disability movement

                  The aim of this session is:

  • to look at the history of the Spirituality and Disability movement worldwide, within Australia and the beginnings of it in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
  • to look at where to next for the movement in Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • to look at how to continue to foster links across the Tasman and further afield.

                  A number of people will be contributing to this session (see “Sunday morning contributors”). Michelle Lafferty will facilitate this and it will be followed by a question time.

10.45am   Morning tea

11.00am   Conference concluding liturgy and Poroporoaki

                  Everybody involved - more will be revealed!

12.30pm   Lunch (optional)

2.00pm    Disability, Spirituality & Faith network (optional)

                  (see rear of book)

 

Michelle Lafferty

This conference is very grateful to Michelle Lafferty for being our MC and Conference Facilitator.  Michelle has a background in education, having been a teacher now for 35 years (a child prodigy!).  From her principal's position at St Patrick's Masterton, she came to the Catholic Education Centre as Manager of Schools in 1996.  She has a passion for the education of students with special teaching needs and did a post graduate diploma in this area in 1996.  She has just completed her Masters of Educational Leadership and does not plan any further study in her old age.  Michelle assures us that she has facilitated a number of seminars and conferences and so far has not destroyed any of them! She has a number of hidden disabilities and they will no doubt be revealed during the course of the Conference which she is very much looking forward to.

Worship and Liturgy Co-ordinators

 Throughout the conference there will be times of quietness, reflection and worship. Deborah and Gillian have agreed to lead this for us, with the help of others.

Deborah Gordon spends almost all her spare time listening to church folks argue.  She is music coordinator and does church polishing for Jesus at St Andrews on The Terrace in Wellington.  Deborah also runs the GalaXies (lesbian and gay congregation) choir, some of whom will be singing for the opening of the Conference.

Gillian Bell is an English (born and trained) Speech-Language Therapist and has been a Mental Health consumer. She has worked for 30 years in her profession and was a Co-Founder of the Stroke Foundation of N.Z.Inc.  Gillian is a musician and involved in the music and worship leading at her local church.

Key Note Speakers

Rev Christopher Newell

The Reverend Dr Christopher Newell, AM is an Ethicist, Anglican priest, and Australian disability activist.  He is Senior Lecturer in Medical Ethics at the School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, and on the staff at St David’s Cathedral, Hobart.  His experience of disability informs his work and research in the areas of bioethics, spirituality and the everyday lives of people with disabilities.  His wife, Jill, and eight year old daughter, Christine, are accompanying him on this trip to New Zealand.

"Whirlwinds and Disability: A Traveller's Guide"

So often we think of such natural phenonema as whirlwinds and disability as being inherently negative.  Yet, whirlwinds aren't just necessarily negative.  They create pathways, opportunities and even new growth. Likewise disability.  We come to this conference as fellow travellers along the diverse path of disability and spirituality.  As a fellow traveller I would suggest that we need a variety of aspects to our journey.Let us aim for not just mere existence or survival but indeed thriving through and beyond the whirlwind.  Whilst the modern Western approach is that all we need is independence, it is proposed that the only way in which we can survive and thrive as people is via interdependence.  Accordingly, I ask how well equipped we are in terms of the relationships we need to sustain us physically and spiritually.  But watch out, we might discover that we have much to offer our fellow travellers...

"Fair winds or Foul: Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care"

In this paper we explore the experience and nature of pastoral care via a narrative which highlights how pastoral care can be both damaging but also nurturing.  Markedly different approaches to “healing” and “disability” lead to extremely different accounts of chaplaincy and pastoral care.  People involved in pastoral care have significant opportunities to nourish but also damage.  This address emphasises theological and spiritual approaches which stress the entire person in relationship with others and recognises growth and legitimacy to be found within all aspects of the human condition, including disability.  We journey together as we encounter healing in relationship and approaches to chaplaincy and pastoral care which are disability friendly.

Rev Mary Caygill

The Reverend Dr Mary Caygill is an ordained Methodist Minister and currently lectures at St John’s/Trinity Theological College in Auckland in the area of Pastoral Theology.  Mary is a person who is passionate about hidden disabilities and her modelling of pastoral care reflects this, letting people who wouldn’t otherwise have a voice, be heard.  Her personal experience with a depressive illness gives her great insight into the pain others may experience. 

 "Have you recovered from your little lapse"?

This paper begins with reference to the above question which was asked of the speaker recently concerning her 'succesful recovery' from a serious epsiode of clinical depression.  The paper outlines this lived experience of depresion through the lens of what Mary articulates as a spirituality and theology of the dark night, drawing on the imagery of the 16th Century mystic John of the Cross.  The paper looks at a) the nature of the darkness in relation to being in the pit of depression and b) the emerging spirituality and theology of hope which emerges as the "dawn", light, presents herself throughout the process of recovery.  In conclusion the paper speaks, using the imagery of the poet Jim Cotter, as the task of "befriending the flora and fauna of the night", as she relates to the ongoing reality of living with mental illness.

 "Health and Theology - Are they related"?

This paper is, in essence, an exploration of the question posed in the paper title.  The speaker asks an interrelated question concerning the health of theology, alongside the perspective of constructing a theology of health and the relationship between the two.  The central question is explored by looking at the consequences of the Western Christian theological tradition.  This is based on Greek dualistic philosophy creating core divisions between mind and body, good and bad, perfect and flawed, etc which has and continues to have huge consequences for core understandings of what health or well-being might be.

Huhana Hickey

Huhana Hickey is a Phd student at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, as well as legal advocate, human rights advocate, writer, artist and mother.  She is  the National Maori Advisor for DPA (NZ) Inc and President of Workbridge (NZ) Ltd. She has been published twice internationally and once nationally.  Huhana is currently writing her second book called ‘Whanau Whanau’ which explores the issues around spirituality, identity and disability for Maori with disabilities who were adopted illegally.  Huhana is a strong advocate for the rights of people with disabilities to be independent and fully included into all aspects of society.  She describes herself as a very round peg that just cannot fit into square holes.  Tikanga Maori is a strong focus in her life and something she is learning, experiencing and embracing.  She hopes to share some of this with the conference.

Indigenous Spirituality and Disability

Huhana will outline Indigenous Spirituality within the context of the pre-colonial (and pre Christian) Maori (Polynesian) spiritual identity, the impact of Christianity and colonisation on that traditional concept and how (if they do) embrace Maori with disabilities.

She will discuss the current issues for Maori with disabilities who seek to access their spiritual identities within traditional Marae and Tikanga, when they are often inaccessible at the most basic of levels.  She will explain Mason Durie’s model of Maori health and where Maori with disabilities fit or do not fit within that framework. She will also discuss the social model of disability and the impact of that model on Maori with disabilities.

Despite being given up for dead at birth and having her identity removed as a Maori, Huhana grew up knowing she was not as she had been presented to be. Her spiritual journey took her to Parihaka Marae, where, with an elder, she began to unravel her spiritual identity as a Maori woman.  She learnt the differences between traditional and constructed post colonial spiritual identity.  She also found that the healing, that had eluded her in her search through different Christian avenues, began to happen and has grown into a practise in her life which has been as natural as breathing. Indigenous spiritual identity is a passion of hers and, as an individual who wears many hats, she has come to realise how the identities intertwine with each other.  Her spirituality is an entrenched part of her life, yet, how does she reconcile this with her Christian upbringing and the reality that many Maori have very negative ideas around disability?

Maori history is still evolving as the oral history of the tipuna is being revealed. Some of that history is gone forever with no hope of knowing for sure what really has happened.  She is hoping to help unravel some of that as she discusses her research in relation to this topic. 

Workshops

 N.B.  

            (1)  Heidi Dragevich is unable to present her workshop

            (2)  Janine Gibson is presenting one extra, “The Living Room”

            (3) There is an extra workshop being held on Saturday 2pm (30mins) 

              Extra     Worship without words looks at communication challenges when worship is done without words. It will include taking into account other speech, hearing and swallowing considerations.

 

                        Gillian Bell

 Gillian is an English (born and trained) Speech-Language Therapist and has been a Mental Health consumer. She has worked for 30 years in her profession and was a Co-Founder of the Stroke Foundation of N.Z.Inc. 

Friday 11am-12.30pm

1a.    Healing Ritual: hocus pocus or a hopeful whirlwind? will explore the power of rituals for people with disabilities.  Sometimes viewed with suspicion, rituals, individual and/or public, are an overlooked response in supporting people’s recovery and living with disability.  Andy is a survivor of road trauma and, in this seminar will focus on the organization of an annual Memorial Service held in Victoria, Australia, for people bereaved by road trauma, or living with its aftermath.    

          Andy Calder                                   

          Andy is a Uniting Church minister who has responsibility for promoting and encouraging equal participation of people with disabilities in congregations, schools and community service agencies within the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania.  He also holds a chaplaincy role for victims of road trauma and work related accidents at the Epworth Hospital, Melbourne.  He is currently training as a Pastoral Supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).  He was the convenor of “Exclusion and Embrace”, the 3rd Australasian Conference of disability and spirituality held in Melbourne, 2001.

1b.    Coping with Chronic Debilitating Illness looks at how we cope with the fact that we are unlikely to be cured.  Dennis will examine some of the biblical prayers and psalms of lament and the place of lament for Christians.

(Friday 11am-12.30pm continued)

          Dennis Clow                               

          Dennis is a Presbyterian Minister who has had to retire from Parish Ministry because of Parkinsons Disease.  However he is still able, with the help of his wife Margaret, to carry on with being the Presbytery Clerk of the Presbytery of Waikato.  He is the doting grandfather of his five grandchildren and, before the onset of Parkinson’s was active in amateur dramatics.

 

2.       Justice Panel Discussion                                             

          Justice, Spirituality and Disability: What does justice have to do with spirituality and disability?

Chairperson: Margaret Beddgood, a former Chief Human Rights                         Commissioner and an Anglican Lay woman. She is, at present, the                Chairperson of the Management Committee of the Human Rights                         Foundation of Aotearoa New Zealand, a broad based human                         rights NGO launched last December.

            *Robyn Hunt is a human rights commissioner, mother, is disabled             and a Quaker. She co-convened the group that wrote the NZ disability strategy.  She has been involved in almost every sort of disability issue for many years, and the bioethical and human rights debates are matters of passionate concern.
Lorna Hallahan is the Co-ordinator of the Spirituality and Disability project in the Centre for Theology, Science and Culture, Flinders University and the Adelaide College of Divinity. Lorna and Trevor Whitney work together in “Beyond the Ramp: The Work of Embrace”, a project aimed at enhancing the participation of people with impairments in congregational life.

        *Margaret Mayman is minister of St. Andrew's on The Terrace Presbyterian Church in Wellington. She has an academic background in Christian feminist liberation ethics and she is the mother of a sixteen year old son who has autism.

        *Roderick Milne is a Catholic priest who at present lives in Otaki, and is Pastoral Care person for l'Arche community in Paraparaumu, the only such community in New Zealand.   Roderick has had extensive experience overseas within these communities and he, with others, has been instrumental in setting up the first l'Arche community in New Zealand, which began in 1998. He has written a booklet of his experience in the Philippines, as an assistant, called "I walk with Raymond".

3.    From Isolation to Inclusion aims to focus on linking, or strengthening links, between people with disabilities and faith communities for pastoral and spiritual input.  Ways of overcoming barriers to supportive integration will also be explored.      

        (Friday 11am-12.30pm continued)

        Yanny Webb                        

        Yanny Webb has extensive experience working with people with disabilities and particularly intellectual disabilities.  She has been involved in various roles in NZ and elsewhere. Both Yanny and Anne, who work as community liaison chaplains, have successfully linked homes that were set up after the closing of an institution and provide ongoing support and education to enable the church community to offer appropriate support.

        Anne McCormack                                                 

          Anne McCormack has a wide and varied background in social work and disability.  She is widely know as an able communicator, professional supervisor and facilitator. Both Yanny and Anne, who work as community liaison chaplains, have successfully linked homes that were set up after the closing of an institution and provide ongoing support and education to enable the church community to offer appropriate support. 

4.       Healing from Hardship, Growth from GriefLoss is any experience that we feel restricts us and our reaction to loss is called grief. This workshop will explore concepts and practical tools that help people find their individual healing path through the losses of disability.                     

          Nancy Reeves                                                                              

          Dr. Nancy C. Reeves, from Canada, is a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, spiritual director, university instructor, author and published poet, who has specialized in trauma, grief and loss with

          adults and children for 25 years. She also has personal experience with disability. Nancy’s books are available in NZ and include “A Path through Loss: A guide to writing your healing and growth”, “I’d Say Yes God, if I knew what You wanted” and “Found through Loss: Healing Stories from scripture and everyday sacredness”

5.       Spirituality and Disability - a deaf perspectiveDavid will speak from his own experience as a Deaf person on spirituality and Church. He will involve workshop participants seeking their input and views on issues arising in his presentation. Other disabled people and Church workers will find David's workshop challenging and thought provoking    

          David Loving-Molloy                                                                           

          David Loving-Molloy is chaplain for the Catholic Deaf community in the dioceses of Wellington and Palmerston North. He has had experience working as a religious and priest in the Catholic Church for 20 years. Now married, David is a published poet and has recently undergone training to become more qualified as a counsellor. He has had a wide range of experience with many disabled groups.     

Friday 2pm - 3.30pm

6.            Evangelise, Equip and Educating will educate people about the work of the Christian Ministries with Disabled Trust and explore issues of disability and spirituality from a Christian perspective.

Christian Ministries with Disabled Trust                                     

Di Willis is the Ministries Director of Christian Ministries with Disabled Trust and Evan Clulee and Debbie Mudgway are both trustees. Combined they have nearly 30 years of ministering with and to people with disabilities through this nationwide ministry.  Evan and Debbie both have personal experience with disability.

7a.      Intellectual Disability and Beatitudes will consider the idea that             disabled people can be bearers of beatitude and to help             families/caregivers develop their own theological ideas about this            thought.

 Robin List       

Robin List is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church and has degrees in social history and pastoral theology. Robin has a daughter with autism and epilepsy, and he has worked in both special needs and the assessment area of rehabilitation.

 7b. Approaching the Beloved:  beyond servanthood will be looking at what we, who consider ourselves able-bodied, see when we approach/ view a person with a disability; what barriers I erect, and the fears that turn me away. After briefly looking at the theological and philosophical constructs that we devise that reinforce such a negative perception I will seek to explore the type of “overcoming” theology & philosophy that enables me to see the person with a disability as “the beloved”.

 Trevor Whitney

Trevor is an ordained minister in the Uniting Church in Australia, SA Synod. He has spent 14 years in parish ministry and 15 Months ago he was appointed as Disabilities Ministry Chaplain.  This involves chaplaincy within facilities for people with disabilities; advocacy at a church and wider community level; and working on a project to enable people in local congregations to be more embracing of people with disabilities.  He is married with 2 teenage children and loves bush walking, art galleries, music and reading.

(Friday 2pm - 3.30pm continued)

8a.            Well Connected - Journey to Mental Health: Suzanne will tell the story of her journey, using excerpts of her book, paintings she did during the therapy process and two short videos.  The title “Well Connected” comes from John 4:14: “Whoever drinks from the water I shall give him shall never thirst; the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life”

 Suzanne Tocher

Suzanne is the author of a book “Well Connected” in which she tells the story of her mental illness, hospital treatment and later rehabilitation.  She says that her Christian faith, long term therapy, writing and painting have been the key to her journey to mental health.

 8b.       Healthy spirituality as a component of mental health will ask what makes for a healthy spirituality, especially for those who use mental health services. This will be addressed primarily, but not exclusively, from a Christian perspective.

Church Mental Health Lobby           

This group will be represented by Michael Watson, an Anglican Priest working in the mental health area, and Brenda Cheyne, a mother and gardener who has journeyed through depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 

 9.             Cultural and Spiritual Diversity Panel                                 

"How does your Spirituality/Culture help you when your disability makes your life a Whirlwind?

Chairperson: Cathy Egan, a woman with a disability who has been involved in the programme group

*Carol Ratnam  is a parent of a daughter with profound multiple disabilities and also the parent of a daughter who died from cancer. She is from the Jewish community.

*Marcellin Wilson is a Sister of Mercy.  She has spent many years as a Secondary School teacher. Last year she received a special government award for the vast amount of work does for volunteer groups, despite her disabilities.

*Jane Ikihenga  is a Nuiean woman, very active in the Polynesian community, has a disability and has recently featured on Inside Out.

*Huhana Hickey is a Maori woman with a disability. Tikanga Maori is a strong focus in her life and something she is learning, experiencing and embracing.

(Friday 2pm - 3.30pm continued)

*Ye Ja Lee is a Korean woman who is “differently abled” and she is representing EDAN at the conference.

10.             Healing Panel                                                            

Healing: Does it take the ‘whirl’ out of the whirlwind?

Chairperson: Mary Petersen, the National Co-ordinator of Ministry with Children and Families for the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

* Dennis Clow is a Presbyterian Minister who has had to retire from Parish Ministry because of Parkinsons Disease.  However he is still able, with the help of his wife Margaret, to carry on with being the Presbytery Clerk of the Presbytery of Waikato.  He is the

doting grandfather of his five grandchildren and, before the onset of Parkinson’s was active in amateur dramatics. 

* Christine Newman lives in Lower Hutt and is married and with 2 teenage sons.  She has multiple sclerosis and has recently had successful surgery and chemotherapy for cancer.  She has written a paper published in NZ Journal of Disability Studies called Healing: Gain or Pain, and believes that the ‘healing ministry’ can lead to a lot of challenges and heartache for those with permanent disabilities. Christine has been very actively involved in the conference organization and instrumental in ensuring the planning and programme groups never lost sight of the lighter side of life.

* David Nimmo was raised on the South Island’s west coast, and lives in Wellington with his wife, Kathy and two large sons. For nearly 20 years his main focus has been in Anglican parish ministry; he approaches issues of healing and disability from a pastoral, church community perspective. David has been very active in conference organization.

* Nancy Reeves, from Canada, is a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, spiritual director, university instructor, author and published poet, who has specialized in trauma, grief and loss with adults and children for 25 years. She also has personal experience with disability and believes that “when cure is not possible, healing is“.

 

Friday Evening 7.00 pm

11.             Parents’ Panel

"Where is God/Spirituality in the whirlwind of family life when faced with a child with a disability?" It will be highly participatory/interactive and to those who attend we would say we hope you leave energised, empowered and equipped.

Chairperson: Pamela Cook, a retired social worker who has been around the disability scene for longer than she cares to remember. She is a lay minister at St James' Church in Lower Hutt. She has a longstanding polio disability

* Carol Ratnam is a parent of a daughter with profound multiple disabilities and also the parent of a daughter who died from cancer. She will talk about how strong community support and faith has helped her live through these challenges.

* Des Collins is married to Louise, a lifetime catholic and a biological scientist. They have five children the youngest of whom was severely disabled at birth 11 years ago.

* Peter Foster lives in Brooklyn, Wellington, and is the father of a 7 year old son, Andrew, who has a rare chromosome disorder. “Andrew brings challenges to our family, but also gifts that we want to share with his family, church and school communities, I am changed by the experience of walking with him“.

* Marion Maddox is a senior lecturer in religious studies at Victoria University, Wellington, where she specialises in the relationship between religion and politics. She is married to Michael Symons and they have two children, Dorothy (5) and Lawrence (3). Lawrence has an undiagnosed condition which has left him blind and quadriplegic, with severe developmental delay and feeding difficulties, a fabulous smile and a passion for The Wiggles.

Following the Parent’s Panel

Healing touch will present to parents, caregivers and their children, not only how to deepen the bonds of love through nurturing touch, but how to bring relief to aching muscles because of the “holding patterns” imprinted in the body brought on possibly from birth.  Peggy will also look at ways of increasing circulation to tired limbs and joints, as well as ways of working with amputation.  Most importantly she will look at “fun” ways of working with children.

Peggy Dawson

Peggy Dawson trained in the San Francisco School of Massage.  She has worked in the “Coming Home” Hospice, the Plane Tree Unit of the Pacific Presbyterian Medical Centre, and in the Day Care Centre of Mother Teresa’s Home for AIDS care - all in San Francisco.  She has a professional Diploma in working with people with disabilities and with life-threatening illnesses.  She teaches “Service Through Nurturing Touch” throughout N.Z. and in other countries of the world.

Saturday 2pm - 3pm

13.            Whispers from God:  How we all have our place and a part             within the family of God. The presenters will share their own             experience of faith and disability in a way which inspires participants to explore their own faith and disability story.

Dot Wilson

Dot is a disabled woman who works with disabled people teaching self-advocacy and human rights. She is in leadership within the Catholic community of the central parish in Invercargill.

Linda Lee Odom

Linda is a wonderfully humorous woman with a disability.  She says that while God sends angels in many forms she is not sure if she is one or not.  She is half an American and Kiwi, and proud of both. She has many skills and will share them with anyone who wants to listen. Her family come first ( and that includes her two black Orientals Cats and Golden Retriever), she is a "Free Spirit", Bi-lingual in New Zealand Sign language, and loves people.

 14.            Shaping Life Attitudes: Transition of Spirituality and Faith through Disability Dynamics is a brief exploration of what spirituality might be, followed by the influential aspects of disability on the life attitude.  The focus will be on the transitional aspects of spirituality and faith development, through a dynamic process of disability.  This may help participants to reframe potentially confusing concepts of disability

John Bathurst  

John is a lecturer at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.

Merima Isakovic

Merima is at present lecturing in psychology at The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand while also completing her PhD.  She has extensive experience in working with people recovering from spinal injury as well as those recovering from acute and severe war trauma in Russia and the former Yugoslavia.

15a.            Parish Nursing

This will explore how the ministry of Parish nursing addresses the needs of those living with mental health problems in the hospital and community setting and the needs of their caregivers.

 (Saturday 2pm - 3pm continued)

Elaine Tyrrell                              

Elaine works in the Anglican Diocese of Nelson as a Parish Nurse Advisor having been parish nursing at Nelson Cathedral since 1998.  She was a licensed lay minister in Liverpool and now in Nelson and is married to Charles Tyrrell, the Dean of Nelson Cathedral. Parish nursing has been piloted at the Cathedral and they have since been inundated with requests for help to start up this ministry in many Christian denominations, throughout New Zealand and also in UK and Canada. Elaine is on the Board of the NZ Association of Faith Community Nurses and is presently convening a training course to be held in Nelson in July 2003 for interested registered nurses and/or parish representatives.

 15b.            Whirled around: depression, families and faith will explore the effects of neurological diseases and depression on the faith and spirituality of the individual and those close to them. There will be a particular examination of how one person’s neurological condition can affect their faith and spiritual growth as well as the effects on families. She will also look at the potential for being sucked into the whirlwind or finding the still small voice beyond it.

Mary Peterson                                   

Mary Petersen is the National Co-ordinator of Ministry with Children and Families for the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. She was formerly the General Secretary of the Churches Education Commission for ten years and before that Mary was a teacher.  She teaches courses for Massey University and the Ecumenical Institute of Distance Theological Studies. Her mother lives with the effects of a brain haemorrhage and her husband has Parkinson's disease.

 16.            Drawing Near and Risking Embrace:Participants are invited to reflect on times of risk and embrace to identify what can sustain those who dare to move beyond doubt and despair and into closer connection with others. In conclusion, participants are invited to reflect on transformation in the church as more people with impairments take their place at the table   

Lorna Hallahan

Lorna Hallahan is the Co-ordinator of the Spirituality and Disability project in the Centre for Theology, Science and Culture, Flinders 

University and the Adelaide College of Divinity. Lorna and Trevor Whitney work together in Beyond the Ramp: The Work of Embrace a project aimed at enhancing the participation of people with impairments in congregational life.

(Saturday 2pm - 3pm continued)

Trevor Whitney

Trevor is an ordained minister in the Uniting Church in Australia, SA Synod. He has spent 14 years in parish ministry and 15 months ago he was appointed as Disabilities Ministry Chaplain.  This involves chaplaincy within facilities for people with disabilities; advocacy at a church and wider community level; and working on a project to enable people in local congregations to be more embracing of people with disabilities.  He is married with 2 teenage children and loves bush walking, art galleries, music and reading.

Extra  Worship without words looks at communication challenges when worship is done without words. It will include taking into account other speech, hearing and swallowing considerations.

Gillian Bell

Gillian is an English (born and trained) Speech-Language Therapist and has been a Mental Health consumer. She has worked for 30 years in her profession and was a Co-Founder of the Stroke Foundation of N.Z.Inc. 

 

Saturday 3.30pm-5pm

17.            Bio-ethics Panel                                                                      

This panel will be run as a hypothetical. The audience will listen to how a group of individuals respond to an unfolding and realistic scenario on the bioethical issues so present in our lives.

Chairperson: Wendi Wicks is a Quaker, disabled and has a deep interest in bioethics, fuelled by her employment as DPA’s policy researcher."

*Louise Collins has a degree in ethics and is the parent of a disabled child. She is a Baptist and works in rehabilitation at Hutt Hospital. She is also a member of the medical ethics committee.            *John Forman has a son and a daughter with intellectual disabilities and has been, variously, a disability service provider, a parent advocate, and has set up a small but robust NGO with links to both health and disability.

*Les Gilsenan is a Maori and a long term Bahai. He is disabled, and his deep concern for quality of life for disabled people has led him to set up service options such as a disability resource centre and an advocacy service.

*Robyn Hunt is a human rights commissioner, mother, is disabled and a Quaker. She co-convened the group that wrote the NZ disability strategy.  She has been involved in almost every sort of disability issue for many years, and the bioethical and human rights debates are matters of passionate concern.

(Saturday 3.30pm-5pm continued) 

*John Kleinsman is the parent of teenagers.  He works at the Nathaniel Centre for            bioethics, run out of the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington.

*Christopher Newell, is Senior Lecturer in Medical Ethics in the School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, a consultant ethicist and Assistant Priest at Saint David's Anglican Cathedral, Hobart. He has long had a specialisation in the bioethics of disability.

18.             Disability and Spirituality: The role of adversity in the health process  will present a way of perceiving and experiencing life that enables people who experience loss or any significant personal trauma to use such an experience positively to achieve a robust and sustainable state of wellbeing, which is health.  It will explore how spirituality is encapsulated in the human experience and provides the possibility for continual growth. It is based on personal research.

Kieren Faull

Kieren Faull is currently undertaking a PhD in Psychology, investigating the role of spirituality in health. He also works part-time as a researcher and tutor. He was a shearer/farmer until developing Rheumatoid Arthritis 9 years ago.

Dale Smith

Dale is a counsellor at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He is also involved in the development and delivery of educational programmes for those with disabilities, both within the Hospital and the communit

19.     Story-telling in and through the WhirlwindTake some time out                      to play with words and images that relate to your story of disability                     and spirituality.  This workshop will involve input, reflection time                 and a bit of playing.  It is designed for people whose disability has             a profound effect on their daily life. (This is only for 60 minutes).                   

Trish Harris

Trish has a passion to see how disability, creativity and spirituality work together.  She developed arthritis at age six, grew up in a Catholic family, and now works as a writer/editor. Trish has been very active in the conference organization. She is passionate about the voice of disability being heard and believes when such core strands as disability and spirituality come together, powerful things emerge!

 

(Saturday 3.30pm-5pm continued)

20a.            Misdirected Pastoral Missiles

This workshop will describe Volunteer Support Chaplaincy as a model of on-going pastoral support for disabled people where volunteers are trained, supervised, and envisioned to avoid being Misdirected Pastoral Missiles 

20b.             The Living Room

This workshop will describe “The Living Room”, an alternative form of Christian worship where people experience Ah, Hmmm and Whoopee, otherwise known as rest, reconciliation and rejoicing.

Janine Gibson                                                                             

Janine Gibson works voluntarily with Community Ministries at Windsor Park Baptist Church, including a Tuesday night service called “The Living Room”. She has worked with the church for four years, including three as an intern, has experience in presenting material to groups and has supported a number of people with Mental Health Disabilities. She has also run an Alpha course modified for specific needs and has a good knowledge of Mental Health and Spirituality issues.

Sunday Morning Contributors

Ye Ja Lee is a disabled woman who at present lives in Seoul Korea.  She is the acting Coordinator for the Pacific region for and is representing EDAN.  Ye Ja Lee was the World Council of Churches Disability work Consultant based in Geneva between 1994 and 1996.  She also works for the Korean Differently Abled Women's United group.

Rev Richard Miller is the General Manager, Community Services Commission, South Australia Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia. He was the chairperson of the Disability and Spirituality Conference in Adelaide in 1998 and has been actively involved in the spirituality and disability movement.

Lorna Hallahan is the Co-ordinator of the Spirituality and Disability project in the Centre for Theology, Science and Culture, Flinders University and the Adelaide College of Divinity. Lorna and Trevor Whitney work together in Beyond the Ramp:  The Work of Embrace, a project aimed at enhancing the participation of people with impairments in congregational life.

Vicki Terrell is the Conference Co-ordinator.  She attended all three Australian conferences and has worked on "Holy/Wholly Accessible: Disability Policy of the Anglican Diocese of Wellington. She has been self employed for six years and starts a position as a field worker for NZCCS in Wellington later this month.  Vicki is a follower of Christ in the Anglican tradition and is involved in the Northland Parish. Vicki was born into the Anglican church and into the disability community and finds that the communities do not understand each other. She hopes that through the work of this conference that there might be more understanding between them also that there may be a dialogue around spirituality in the disability community.

Huhana Hickey is  the National Maori Advisor for DPA (NZ) Inc and President of Workbridge (NZ) Ltd. She has been published twice internationally and once nationally. Huhana is currently writing her second book called ‘Whanau Whanau’ which explores the issues around spirituality, identity and disability for Maori with disabilities who were adopted illegally. Tikanga Maori is a strong focus in her life and something she is learning, experiencing and embracing. 

Listening Posts

The planning group are aware that some of the topics being covered at the conference may stir up emotions for people. We want to ensure you that there are people who are available to help in such situations if needed. We have no idea what the demand will be. No doubt some people will prefer to talk to a friend or someone they know-either during the conference or after it, however others may want to talk to someone at the time. This is the role of the “Listening Post”. As the name implies, it is a role, which is about listening, rather than advice giving! I see us being the ‘Friend in Need’. They will wear a distinctive “ear” badge which will be easily recognisable.  Alternatively any of the planning group members will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Bookstall

There will be a bookstall running at the conference, supplied by Epworth Books. Whenever it has been possible we have procured books recommended by the key note speakers and workshop presenters. It will be possible to order what is not available on the stall. 10% of all sales made at the Conference will be returned to help with conference expenses. This will be adjacent to the Help Desk.

Help Desk

If you are lost, stolen or strayed, do NOT panic.  There will be a Help Desk manned (or womanned) from 8.30am - 5.15pm & 6.45pm-9pm on Friday; 8.30am - 5.15pm on Saturday; and 8.45am - 1pm on Sunday.  As well as dealing with all emergencies and questions, this can also receive last minute registrations and meal bookings etc.  This desk is probably in Kauri 1 but if lost, look outside the door where registrations have occurred.

Planning Commitee

Carolyn Wadsworth - Chairperson

Vicki Terrell - Conference Co-ordinator

Trish Harris - Chairperson for the Programme group

Christine Newman - Key note and Workshop Co-ordinator

David Nimmo - Registrations, arrangements and everything else!

Pat Belgrave

Brett Calandar

Pamela Cook

Cathy Egan

Dorothy Howard

Marie Preston

Karen Plimmer

Teresa Stuart

Rhonda Swenson

Bill Wrightson 

Special Thanks

There have been many other people involved in numerous ways.  Despite being limited by distance or disability we have appreciated their many contributions.  Two such people are Lesley Orr and Judith Clearwater.  We are also grateful to Peter Cowley for his patient and tireless efforts at creating and looking after our website and Lester Reid, a retired Presbyterian Minister and member of St Marks, Lower Hutt, who is responsible for the design and production of the lovely banners on display. We are indebted to Lester for these wonderful "treasures".  Thanks also to the sign language interpreters Wenda Walton and others from the Deaf Association and to the St Anne's Braille club for transcribing the conference into Braille.  Last but not least we also have to thank the various spouses, partners, families and friends who have supported us all.   Without the help of so many, this conference would not have been.

 Acknowledgement of Financial Support

The Planning Group gratefully acknowledges the financial support given to the Conference. We wish to thank the following:

  • Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network of the world Council of Churches
  • Conference of Churches in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Anglican Social Justice Commission
  • Wellington Anglican Social Services and Community Development Board
  • Prince Albert College Trust (as a National Project, Methodist)
  • Methodist Mission (Northern)
  • Methodist Mission (Central)
  • The Boulcott Fund (Baptist)
  • Catholic Bishops’ Conference
  • The Capuchin Franciscan Friars
  • The Cenacle Sisters
  • The Sisters of St Joseph
  • Rehabilitation Welfare Trust
  • St Marks Uniting Parish, Lower Hutt
  • Anglican Distant Education Formation and Training Unit
  • Julia Stuart
  • Gillian Bell

 

Generous Gifts in kind were also offered by:

  • The Anglican Centre, Diocese of Wellington 
  • Trinity Union Church
  • Victoria University Anglican Chaplaincy
  • St James Anglican Lower Hutt
  • Plimmerton Salvation Army
  • St Anne’s Anglican Parish Northland-Wilton
  • Victoria University Roman Catholic Chaplaincy
  • Wellington Wesley Community Action

 Disability, Spirituality and Faith Network Aotearoa New Zealand

If you are concerned about issues of Disability, Spirituality and Faith beyond this conference you need to be involved in the development of the Network.  There is a meeting of the Network straight after the conference.

The Disability, Spirituality and Faith Network was formed and registered as an incorporated society in September 2002 to ensure the work of the conference would be on-going. 

The aims and the objects of the Network are:

  • To encourage and promote dialogue within and between the faith and disability communities.
  • To provide a place for disability communities to explore spirituality
  • To advocate for disability issues within faith communities. 
  • To engage in theological reflection on disability within Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • To promote discussion on ethical issues including those that affect human rights.
  • To encourage and promote programmes for, with and between Disability and Faith communities.

The complete Conference Proceedings can be downloaded HERE