Paul Lucas

“The Hidden Me: Pastoral Reflections on Authenticity and Invisible Disabilities”

Bio: Paul Lucas is a pastor, IT guy, researcher, writer, husband, and father. He is a pastor at Crossings Community Church and is currently working on a doctoral dissertation on interpreting church belonging with social psychology at McMaster Divinity College, where he also works as an IT assistant. He lives near Acton, ON with his wife Payge and their three kids.

Sheldon Penner

“Bringing Understanding World of Disabilities to the Church in a Honest and Caring Way”

Bio: Sheldon was born a healthy child, but when he was a few days old, he stopped breathing. This caused cerebral palsy, which limits his speech. Ever since, life has been a roller coaster ride with many highs and lows, but God has always been by his side. Sheldon loves to talk to young people about the importance of acceptance as a way to bring hope to others, as well as how to overcome life’s hurts and challenges with God’s help. Sheldon speaks with a sense of humour and an honest, open approach to his story.

Meagan Gillmore

“What One of My Least Favourite Bible Characters Teaches Me About Biblical Disability, Justice, and Inclusion”

Bio: Meagan Gillmore is a freelance journalist, based in Ottawa, who has been legally blind from birth. She’s worked for news organizations throughout Canada, including in the Yukon and New Brunswick. She’s written and reported on disability issues for Broadview Magazine, the CBC, Chatelaine, Christianity Today, Faith Today, the Toronto Star and the Walrus. She regularly appears on Accessible Media Inc.’s morning show Now with Dave Brown and hosts the Connecting Disability podcast on Accessible Media Inc.’s podcast network. She’s been nominated for a digital publishing award and national magazine award and is currently an instructor at Algonquin College.

Tim Schmidt

“Our Worthless Gifts Are God’s Greatest Assets”

Bio: At the age of 20, God spoke through Tim’s youth pastor and told him that God was calling him to youth ministry. In 2009, Tim graduated from Alberta Bible College with a Bachelors degree in youth ministry. Since then, he has gone on to fulfill another part of God’s call on his life to walk alongside, and minister to, those in the disability community.

Equipped with the skills of a youth pastor and a call on his life to minister to people with disabilities, Tim is very passionate about seeing people with disabilities, no matter their age or ability, involved in the life of the church. He is currently part of the special needs ministry at Centre Street Church in Calgary and is excited to be part of this year’s Creative Justice conference and share from his experiences in both youth ministry and special needs ministry.