What does thriving, interdependent community look like? Rev. Dr. Matt Floding talks with Amy Julia about Friendship House, a sustainable housing model where graduate students and adults with intellectual disabilities live in interdependent communities. They focus on the beautiful work that is possible when communities refuse to believe in scarcity and fear and rather trust in the abundant love and provision of God.
Rev. Dr. Matthew Floding is the director of ministerial formation at Duke Divinity School and a founder of Friendship House Partners USA.
On the Podcast:
- Friendship House
- Western Theological Seminary, Holland MI
- Erik Carter
- Penny’s diagnosis of Down syndrome
- Friendship House locations
- Western Graduate Certificate in Disability and Ministry
Friendship House: Intellectual Disabilities and Interdependent Communities quotes | Matt Floding
“Safe, affordable, community-oriented housing—seminarians needed that; people living with an intellectual or developmental disability needed that.”
“…the community-building model that we hoped would build life together: eating together, praying together, and celebrating—finding every opportunity to celebrate life in each other.”
“‘It’s not doing something to someone or doing for someone. It’s life together with someone. And receiving from.’ If we really truly believe that there is this treasure in each human being who bears the image of God, then it really is about mutuality and belonging.”
“Everyone has needs to be met.”
“The skills that come with interdependent living—social awareness, self-awareness, active listening skills, this attentiveness and attending to each other—these are foundational skills for people going into ministry, but they’re foundational skills for human beings who live in community.”
“I have come to believe that person-first language is the key to my relationships across racial lines, economic divisions…before I label…with any label whatsoever, the disability community has taught me that they are a person first.”
“The belovedness and the dignity that comes with being made in the image of God—the disability community gets that.”
Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.
Head, Heart, Hands, Season 4 of the Love Is Stronger Than Fear podcast, is based on my e-book Head, Heart, Hands, which accompanies White Picket Fences. Check out free RESOURCES that are designed to help you respond to the harm of privilege and join in the work of healing. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
👁🗨Accessibility: You can read the transcript for this episode here or see this episode with subtitles on my YouTube channel.
To learn more with Amy Julia about disability:
- Love is Stronger Than Fear | Season 4—Head, Heart, Hands
- S4 E3 | How Brokenness Brings Healing with Katherine Wolf
- S3 E15 | Who Belongs? Disability and the Built World with Sara Hendren
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