The Julian Way
by Matthew Schroeder

Matthew is a young man who found his way to the The Julian Way through a connection we have with Britney Burroughs, the Methodist campus ministry director at University of Texas Dallas. Matthew received his master's degree in English from UTD, and Justin and Lisa Hancock met him a few years ago as they were speaking with the Wesley Foundation leadership. The Julian Way has traveled with Matthew as he has discerned a call to ordained ministry and applied to Perkins School of Theology.

Photo credit: Ryan Klinck

Photo credit: Ryan Klinck

Members of the The Julian Way and the Missional Wisdom Foundation were instrumental in helping me get to, as well as endure, a crucial Social Security appointment recently. The outcome of this appointment would determine if I would continue to have Medicaid and SSI benefits, both of which are crucial to my daily life.

Since I didn't have working transportation at the time, Lisa Hancock picked me up and drove me in a handicap accessible van. This alone is worthy of tremendous gratitude, since transportation is often one of the hardest parts of daily life for an adult in a wheelchair. However, in addition to that, Justin and The Julian Way also arranged to have someone from Missional Wisdom meet me at the office to help me handle all the details, as well as provide emotional support.

 At a typical Social Security Administration appointment, immediately upon walking in the door you sign in and are given a number. Your existence is reduced to random combination of numbers as you sit and wait for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, staring intently at a screen hoping that your number appears next.

When your number does finally appear, you are interviewed briefly to be signed in at the next level, and then sit back down. At this point you spend another 2 to 4 hours waiting for your name to be called, for a meeting that might only take 10 minutes. It is a mind-numbing and exhausting experience that hundreds of people must suffer through every day. Having someone there during my four hour experience, to get to know and commiserate with about the extended wait, did wonders to keep up my spirits. The Julian Way and the Missional Wisdom Foundation were crucial in helping me get where I needed to be and comforting me during the process. I am forever grateful.

*Rev. Justin Hancock, Rev. Stephen Taylor, The Julian Way, and SNs360 have begun a new collaborative blog, "Julian 360." Julian 360 is a blog and forum space where individuals with disabilities are able to share their experiences about living with a disability in this time and space. Check it out here: