If your family includes someone with disabilities, you know that congregations can be places of healing or harm, support or lack of care. How can churches better support individuals with disabilities and their families?
In Circles of Love, meet people who have received support from caring people in Anabaptist congregations—support that has changed the course of their lives. These are not stories of valor or victory, but rather of ordinary people whose lives have been transformed by circles of love. Learn concrete acts of compassionate care that congregations can take to support people with disabilities and those who love them.
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About the Author
Dean A. Preheim-Bartel spent his career as an administrator in social service and church-related agencies, including director of Mennonite Developmental Disabilities Services. He specialized in developing programs and building coalitions. In his retirement, he is working in his gardens, doing landscape design for others, and spending time in his wood shop. He is currently learning more about disabling conditions, as he lives with Parkinson’s disease.
Timothy J. Burkholder devoted most of his working years to church relations at congregational, conference, and denominational levels. He recently served two years as executive director of the Anabaptist Disabilities Network. After retiring, he contributed volunteer time to this book project. He and his wife, Sharon Burkholder, have three adult children and two grandchildren.
Linda A. Christophel has worked as a social worker in the public school system for twenty-four years. In this role, she has worked as an advocate for students with disabilities and as a consultant to their families and school staff who educate them. Outside work, she enjoys oral history, movies, travel, her backyard garden, and spending time with family and friends. She and her husband, Joe, have three adult children and two grandchildren.
Christine J. Guth has been working for the Anabaptist Disabilities Network since 2006 and currently serves as its program director. She is a graduate of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and a licensed minister of Mennonite Church USA. She helped to found a mental health recovery clubhouse and a support group for parents of children with autism in Goshen, Indiana. She and her husband, Robert Guth, have two adult children.