Stronger Together: Heritage Christian Services’ Grief Support Team

Wednesday, April 10, 2024
2:00 – 3:00 p.m., Eastern time

Register for the webinar

Heritage Christian Services’ Grief Support Team works with people who are aging and experiencing life changes. This presentation about the team’s work will reflect on why and how the team was developed, how the team provides grief support through music, dance, and art to people with disabilities and their chosen congregations, and how team members support one another with self-care in the process. This webinar is the third in a four-part series from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) Religion and Spirituality Interest Network and RespectAbility.

Speaker Bios:

  • The Rev. Padraic “Paddy” Collins-Bohrer is a Priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester and a Faith Community Inclusion Specialist / Chaplain with Heritage Christian Services, an agency that supports people living with developmental disabilities in Rochester NY. He helps to connect people served by the agency with faith communities of their choice, offers prayer, builds relationships, and provides support during times of grief, illness, and at the end-of-life. His interests in ministry include exploring the portrayal of disability in the Bible and sharing his voice as an advocate for more clergy who live with disabilities. Rev. Paddy lives with Cerebral Palsy and is highly-sought-after to preach on his journey to Ordination and about Disability Theology. He assists regularly as a Supply Priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester preaching and presiding at the Eucharist. Rev. Paddy earned his Master of Divinity Degree from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester and Diploma in Anglican Studies from Bexley-Seabury Episcopal Seminary in Chicago.
  • Lida Merrill has led the spiritual life/faith community inclusion team at Heritage Christian Services since January 1996. The team works towards addressing the spiritual needs of the people served by HCS by focusing on inclusion of people with disabilities into local faith communities, providing training and supports to employees, and serving as resources for local faith communities as they welcome all people into their congregations. The team also works with the creative arts team of HCS to support people at times of loss or death. Lida is a graduate of Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan University and has a Master of Theology degree. In her 2024 retirement, Lida serves as a consultant for congregations and organizations.