My Body is Not a Prayer Request: Disability Justice in the Church
By: Dr. Amy Kenny
How to use the reading guide
This reading guide was developed to be used weekly during the five weeks of Lent in-between, Ash Wednesday and Holy Week. It outlines the chapters that can be read for that week, the page number of reflection questions at the end of each chapter, and an additional question that connects the reading to the Book of Common Prayer or Lectionary. It is the prayer of the Committee for Access for all God’s Children that this book study will deepen your church’s faith formation and inspire you to live out your baptismal covenant to its fullest.
You can also print this page, or download a copy of the guide.
After the first Sunday in Lent, Preface – Chapter 2
Chapter 1 Disability Curatives
- Reflection questions on pages 17 – 18
Additional question: On page 816, one can find the prayer for the Mission of the Church. Is disability justice a part of the church’s mission? Why?
Chapter 2 Disability Discrimination
- Reflection questions on pages 35 -36
Additional question: Reflect on the Great Litany on page 148 of the Book of Common Prayer or the rite of the Reconciliation of the Penitent on page 447. Could these rites and ceremonies, both corporate and individual, aid our church in reflecting on how we have ignored/are ignoring the needs of people with disabilities? How?
After the second Sunday in Lent, Chapter 3 – Chapter 4
Chapter 3 Disability Doubters
- Reflection questions on pages 52 -54
Additional questions: Read the prayer For the Oppressed on 826 in the Book of Common Prayer before taking the quiz. Who came to mind? After taking the quiz, reread the prayer. Did anyone new come to mind that did not before? Were you shocked at how many people experience societal oppression because of their disability?
Chapter 4 Disability Justice
- Reflection questions on page 66
Additional question: Read The Baptismal Covenant on 304 – 305 of the Book of Common Prayer. In what ways has your church served Christ in all people with disabilities? In what ways can your church improve?
After the third Sunday in Lent, Chapter 5 – Chapter 6
Chapter 5 Disability Blessing
- Reflection questions on page 87
Additional question: The assigned Gospel reading for Sunday evening prayer was Mark 5:1-20. Read Mark 5:1-20 and reflect on how you hear this story differently after reading chapter 5.
Chapter 6 Disability Mosquitoes
- Reflection questions on Page 105
Additional Question: Reflect again on the Baptismal Covenant on 304 -305 of the Book of Common Prayer. Does this reframe for you a desire to prevent what Dr. Kenny describes as mosquito bites? Why or why not?
After the fourth Sunday in Lent, Chapter 7 – Chapter 8
Chapter 7 Disability Lessons
- Reflection questions on page 127
Additional question: Dr. Kenny warns us not to minimize anyone’s struggles, particularly those with disabilities. Read the collect appointed for this past Sunday found on 166 or 218 of the Book of Common Prayer. How does this collect speak to not circumventing complex emotions? Said another way, how does this collect speak to being incarnational?
Chapter 8 Disability Foundations
- Reflection questions on pages 144 -145
Additional question: If you are a person with a disability, have you felt welcome to lead, particularly during high visibility times like Holy Week and Easter? If you are a disability ally, have you encouraged people with disabilities to be a part of the liturgy, even if that means working together to reimagine what that could look like?
After the Fifth Sunday of Lent, Chapter 9 – “Benecription” for People with Disabilities
Chapter 9 Disabled God
- Reflection questions on pages 170 – 171
Additional question: Reflect on any of the Eucharist prayers in the Book of Common Prayer. Does Dr. Kenny’s articulation of a “Disabled God” reframe the meaning of God’s solidarity with people with disabilities? Did this book change the way you are entering Holy Week?
Chapter 10 Disabled Church
- Reflection question on Page 183
Additional question: Take special care to reflect on Dr. Kenny’s question entitled “Committed to Change.”
This book is easily obtained through your local bookstore or online. The Bishop is willing to fund 50% of book costs for you or your group. You may submit your requests to the Bishop’s Assistant, Emily Davenport.
The Rev. Brittany Sparrow Savage is a transitional deacon and serves on the Access for all God’s Children committee, and as the Children’s Ministry Coordinator at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City.