Disability and the Gospel

A Conference for Leaders in Ministry, Education, the Church and the Community

Thursday, November 2nd
11 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.

A Christ-Centered Conference About Embracing Disability

How does God’s upside-down kingdom compel us to become a people who embrace the largest minority population on earth (individuals with a disability)? Have we made an idol out of human ability? Is there really a “cult of normalcy” in the church today that has excluded some of God’s beloved? And, how is healing different from being cured?

If you’d like to consider what it means to amplify our witness of Christ alongside our friends with disabilities, please join us for a time of thoughtful dialogue, practical application, and fresh inspiration.

Hear from keynote speaker Eric Targe, who is the pastor for preaching at Park Community Church, Near North, and adjunct professor of disability studies at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

He previously served as pastor for disability ministries at The Moody Church and urban engagement director for Joni and Friends. Eric has an M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and is a nationally recognized practitioner and thinker in disability ministries.

Conference Schedule

  • 11am to 11:45am: Opening Keynote with Eric Targe.  
    • "Holey, Wholly, Holy" (John 5, 9, & 20). The Gospel of John's differentiation between healing and curing holds profound implications for the inclusion and discipleship of disabled individuals in our church communities. 
  • 12pm to 1pm: Luncheon Q&A with Eric Targe.  
  • 1pm to 2pm: Four Break-out sessions.
    • (1) Disability and the arts.  Drew Schmidt and Chris Moquist
    • (2) Disability and education. Heather Hayes and John Menning
    • (3) Disability and the church. Rev. Kristin Brouwer
    • (4) Disability and Henri Nouwen. Mark DeYounge
  • 2:10pm to 2:45pm: Closing worship and keynote with Eric Targe.   
    • “Who Brought Who To Jesus?" ( Matthew 9:1–8, Mark 2:1–12, and Luke 5:17–26).   Doubting Thomas, the history of the Church, wholeness in the end times, and an invitation to change our attitudes towards disabilities.  

There is no cost to attend but suggest a $10 free-will donation to cover lunch (pay by cash, check or venmo).



Keynote Speaker

Eric Targe 

Eric Targe serves as pastor for preaching at Park Community Church, Near North, and as an adjunct professor of disability studies at Moody Bible Institute, both in Chicago. Previously he served for 10 years on the staff of The Moody Church, as pastor of disability ministries and university students. In 2014 he established The Moody Church’s 139 Disability Ministry, which serves people with disabilities both at the church and throughout the city. Before joining the staff at Moody, Eric oversaw the Urban Engagement Initiative with Joni And Friends Chicago, training and equipping pastors and church leaders to better minister to families affected by disability. Eric has a B.A. in theology from Moody Bible Institute and an M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He and his wife, Rebecca, a registered nurse, live on the south side of Chicago with their two children.

Breakout speakers