Meet Our Partners: Christian Horizons
This week we feature our partners at Christian Horizons in the form of a conversation. Learn more below about the vision and mission of Christian Horizons and what they would like to share with their fellow Faith Alliance Members.
Q: Would you mind telling us a bit about the vision and mission of Christian Horizons?
Christian Horizons (CH): Christian Horizons is a faith-based non-profit that, as an expression of Christian faith, works with people who experience disabilities to accomplish their goals and nurture communities where everybody belongs. Our vision is to see people with disabilities belong to communities in which their God-given gifts are valued and respected. From supported independent living and vocational training, to community residences and respite services, Christian Horizons provides person-centered supports to over 2,200 people with disabilities in Ontario and Saskatchewan. In addition to our government funded domestic work, Christian Horizons Global is actively engaged in 6 developing nations to help build person and community centered supports with our local partners. These supports include inclusive education and sustainable development like nutrition supports and entrepreneurship training. The global work of Christian Horizons impacts over 13,000 people.
Q: Would you speak a little bit to how 2017 is a significant year for your organization? How does Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations impact the work that Christian Horizons undertakes?
CH: 2017 was another year of growth and change for Christian Horizons. The transformation of our services - from residential roots to the empowerment of individualized funding for people with disabilities – along with our amalgamation with Menno Homes in Saskatchewan have been monumental for the organization. As always, we continued to strive towards more personalized and innovative supports for people with disabilities, aimed towards accomplishing their goals and experiencing belonging. Canada 150 is a powerful point of reflection for how we celebrate as communities, how we welcome people of all abilities, and how we need to commit to ensuring that all people have the opportunity to experience belonging. Our own New Revolution Choir, made up of people supported by Christian Horizons - was featured on CTV National News in preparation for their performance at Nathan Phillips Square for Toronto’s Canada 150 celebrations. This awesome group has found belonging as a choir and as active contributors to their communities’ arts and music scene. As Canada moves into a new generation, we strive to see the continued development of communities where everybody belongs.
Q: If you were to say one thing to the Faith Alliance Network to whom this profile will be sent, what would it be?
CH: 1 in 5 Canadians experience a disability or mental health issue. While Christian Horizons exists to support the 1 in 200 with a developmental disability through our government work, we want to ask our brothers and sisters in faith to look at their own communities. What does your congregation look like? Is there 1 person in 5 with a disability? 1 in 10 even? If not, the facts show us that there is a group of people, loved by God and made in his image, that are missing from your community – people who want to be connected and to experience belonging. We invite members of the Faith Alliance Network to explore how they can create spaces where everybody can experience real communities of belonging - starting with ourselves as individuals. Get to know people in your community who experience disability. Know their names, their gifts, and their goals, and their capacity to contribute. Christian Horizons is committed to resourcing churches and individuals to accomplish this – visit www.christian-horizons.org/churches to see the range of resources available.
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