Certificate in Accessible Ministry Module 3: Belonging and the Body

 Event Date(s): Sat, 2017/11/18 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
 Event Type: TSFC Events

Saturday November 18, 2017

Online registration now open. You can buy tickets at the bottom of this page, or register on Eventbrite.

Do we have bodies, or are we bodies? How we relate to our body, in all of its strength and vulnerability, plays a role in how we engage with those who have different embodied experiences. When the Word became flesh, Christ shows us a new way to be human and a new way to love ourselves and people of all abilities around us, many of whom have been marginalized due to how their bodies are perceived by others. From philosophical and theological insights to experiential learning, this module will encourage you to think in new ways about your own body and what it means to be the body of Christ on earth.


Keith Dow

Keith DowKeith has served people with exceptional needs through the work of Christian Horizons for just over a decade, currently as Manager of Organizational and Spiritual Life. He lives just outside of Ottawa with his wife and three children. Keith is currently completing his PhD in Theological Ethics under Hans Reinders at VU University, Amsterdam, and previously obtained a M.A. Phil for his work on Søren Kierkegaard. He is fascinated by the role that perceptions and projections play in our ethical lives and in the life of the body of Christ as we seek to be a place of hospitality and welcome for every body.

Module Outline

9:00am: Welcome

  • Introduce presenter, participants
  • Course objectives


  • What drew you to this course?
  • What are you hoping to learn today?

9:15am: Session 1: Body capital and exclusion

  • Thomas Reynolds and body capital
  • Nancy Eiesland and the Disabled God
  • Maurice Merleau-Ponty “I am my body”
  • Freakery, Goffman and Stigma (re: Yong)

Activity: Mapping one’s body: How does privilege or lack thereof ‘mark’ me as a body?

11:00am: Session 2: Theology of the body

This session points to several key passages for a holistic biblical notion of the body, as it relates to anthropology and the body of Christ. Jean Paul II’s theology of the body will also be explored.

Video: Portion of John Swinton’s “Every-Body has a Place: A Practical Theology of Hospitality, Community and Belonging” (2015)

1:30pm: Session 3: Every body belongs

What would our churches look like if they refused to operate according to the cult of normalcy, and instead recognized “the margins” as the centre of God’s work in the world?

Special Guest: What would it look like to experience the world through someone else’s body?