David Morstad, M.Ed, FAAIDD, is the author of Whole Community: Introducing Faith Communities to People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He is a Fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), and was the 2010 recipient of the AAIDD Religion and Spirituality Division’s Henri J.M. Nouwen Award. For more than 38 years, he was with Bethesda Lutheran Communities in roles that included corporate director of staff training, Vice President for Communications, and was the Executive Director and Senior Fellow of the Bethesda Institute.
As a teacher and consultant, David has assisted organizations across the US, Central America, the Baltic nations, and the Middle East to advance their faith-based and training initiatives. He currently serves as chair of the Wisconsin Governor’s Committee for People with Disabilities, and is an advisor to the Faith Inclusion Network of Hampton Roads and resource and exhibit coordinator for the Institute on Theology and Disability.
My blog, Larger Table, is a collection of thoughts inspired by nearly four decades of work in faith-based services among people with disabilities, work with the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability, and countless relationships with people who have disabilities – friends, students, family and coworkers.
This much needs to be clear: I am not a person with a disability. I fully and freely admit that the story of disability is, to a great extent, not mine to tell. Further, I am neither clergy nor theologian. For all these obvious reasons, I beg forgiveness in advance for what are certain to be theological and perceptual errors that are at the very least silly, and perhaps even offensive. I invite correction in the comments.
I am an observer, a writer, and a student of relationships among people with diverse abilities. Though I write from a Christian perspective, I am most grateful for the influence, patience, and abundant kindness of my friends in the Jewish and Muslim communities.
I look forward to our conversation. Welcome to the table.