Friday, August 17, 2018

News and notes from AMD, 17 August 2018


Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf:
-
Northeastern Jurisdiction Deaf Ministry Conference, November 9-10
https://www.umcd.org/newsnej/1811info.pdf
-
AMD 2018 meeting
https://www.umdisabledministers.org/meeting/2018.html
and
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2018/08/meeting-of-united-methodist-association.html
-
DHM and UMCD 2018 meeting
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2018/08/deaf-and-hard-of-hearing-ministries.html
and
https://www.umdeaf.org/mission/2018mtg.html
-
Communities and the complexity of presence (L'Arche)
https://onbeing.org/blog/kristin-lin-community-and-the-complexities-of-presence/
-
NYT Disability series: how to meet autistic people halfway
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/13/opinion/autism-social-life-new-research.html
-
Ableism
https://stephenkuusisto.com/2018/07/28/of-ableism-and-the-lucky-rabbits-foot/
-
ASL for schools
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/08/10/team-ntid-bringing-sign-language-academia
-
Carry On - Together
https://crippastor.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/carry-on-together/
-
Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (September campaign)
http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/faithhopelife
-
 H-Net Reviews: The Bible and Disability
https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=51631
-

Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.
UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
This newsletter is also published on the UM Disability Blog
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

Friday, August 10, 2018

News and notes from AMD, 10 August 2018


Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf:
-
Northeastern Jurisdiction Deaf Ministry Conference, November 9-10
https://www.umcd.org/newsnej/1811info.pdf
-
This Changes Everything: beyond charity
https://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/news/this-changes-everything
-
Precedents of practice
https://disabledchristianity.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-way-we-have-always-done-things.html
-
Reaching out to homebound families
http://www.keyministry.org/specialneedsparenting/2018/7/25/reaching-out-to-homebound-families
-
Not only how much, but where does disability, with its mix of social and medical models (along with technical requirements) fit in?
https://www.christiancentury.org/blog-post/ccblogs-network/how-much-education-does-pastor-need\
-
Marian Aiken in Houston
https://www.facebook.com/260161100677427/photos/pcb.2294437670583083/2294426720584178/?type=3&theater
-
Signals of Distress, Signs of Hope
https://mhn-ucc.blogspot.com/2018/08/signals-of-distress-signs-of-hope-by.html
-
AMD 2018 meeting
https://www.umdisabledministers.org/meeting/2018.html
and
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2018/08/meeting-of-united-methodist-association.html
-
DHM and UMCD 2018 meeting
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2018/08/deaf-and-hard-of-hearing-ministries.html
and
https://www.umdeaf.org/mission/2018mtg.html
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.


UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
This newsletter is also published on the UM Disability Blog
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries Committee Meeting in Las Vegas


By Rev. Leo Yates, Jr.

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries Committee of Global Ministries held its annual meeting in Las Vegas on July 25, 2018. The committee represents the varieties of its constituency: persons who are culturally Deaf, hard of hearing persons, late-deafened, Deafblind, and sign language interpreters. The purpose of the meeting was to review the past year’s objectives, discuss the committee’s progress, create strategies for some of the committee’s work, and to support an ecumenical Deaf ministry conference that included the members and leadership of the United Methodist Congress of the Deaf (UMCD), a United Methodist approved caucus.

The Rev. Dr. Tom Hudspeth, the president of the committee, invited the stakeholders to the meeting, such as the UMCD board and other United Methodists and guests from other denominations.  Rev. Leo Yates, Jr., the consultant for Global Ministries, co-led the meeting with Hudspeth, as they engaged the committee members and guests. “There’s been a shift in how Deaf ministry is done and it’s critical that the committee stays abreast to this,” said Hudspeth. One concern that was raised was about the February 2019 special General Conference session and how it might affect the committee and its work if there is a new model or plan put in place. “Deaf people are praying about this too,” said Mary Deters, a guest from the Florida Annual Conference. The daylong meeting also included ZOOM training (an online video conference platform) which the committee believes can provide tutoring in American Sign Language (ASL) to churches that are interested in or wish to learn more about beginning a Deaf ministry. “It’s important the committee network and stay connected with the various forms of Deaf ministries and observe what the other denominations are doing,” said Yates.
Part of the strategizing involved the development of Deaf leadership, which includes the committee approving the allocation of future grant funds. These will enable churches to hire Deaf or hard of hearing persons to oversee their Deaf ministries, by providing a stipend for their work. Another activity will support Deaf Certified Lay Servant training developed by Carol Stevens in collaboration with the Global Board of Higher Education and Ministries. Another strategy is the implementation of orientation to Deaf ministry for churches or ministries that receive grant funding. “Helping with an assisted listening system is good, but teaching them about how to serve in ministry with persons who are hard of hearing or late-deafened is better,” said Carol Stevens, a long-time Deaf ministry advocate and the vice president of the committee.  Another strategy to support the church is the creation of a training module that assists individuals and churches with implementing a Deaf ministry. This will be taught by resource persons. It was also decided that the UMCD president will become an ex-officio member of the committee so the collaboration can continue and the committee can see where they may need to provide support.

Much of the afternoon session focused on the work of the UMCD. This was led by the caucus president, the Rev. Kirk VanGilder, an elder in full connection who is Deaf. Committee members joined small groups and provided input and support for the envisioning the work of the caucus going forward. With the shift in the Deaf community and more younger generations of Deaf and hard of hearing persons being mainstreamed in public schools instead of Deaf residential schools, UMCD is committed to adapting to better serve its constituents and stakeholders. More Deaf and hard of hearing children and youth are not going to state residential schools like they did decades before, where they were in community with one another. Connections and networking with hearing churches where there are one or two persons or Deaf families is one aspect of the direction where the work of the committee and the caucus are headed. Relationship building and community is an important feature of Deaf culture, but so is accessibility.
Yates shared with the committee about the creativity of some Deaf ministries who have received grant funding, which included one ministry program that connects a Deaf church with the Deaf community that surrounds them. “Sometimes, relationships begin with the connection with a church’s ministry program before the connection with a worship community,” said Yates, as he described the (Deaf) older adult ministry that invites guest speakers who present on various topics as it pertains to Deaf and hard of hearing seniors.

At the conclusion of the committee meeting, members joined together in a circle and prayed for one another, for Deaf ministries, and for the denomination.

Committee members and guests gather around a table for work.

Rev. Kirk Van Gilder leads the brainstorming session while Rev. Tom Hudspeth looks on.

Committee members around u-shaped tables discuss business during the meeting.

Committee members group photo




Meeting of United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities


By Rev. Leo Yates, Jr., Consultant for Global Ministries’ Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries

The United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities (UMAMD), a national caucus that is recognized by The United Methodist Church, met from .August 1-3, 2018 on the historic campus of Gallaudet University at the Kellogg Conference Hotel. Gallaudet University is the first university dedicated to the higher education of Deaf and hard of hearing students. At the meeting, the co-chairpersons, Rev. Russell Ewell, a deacon in full connection, and Rev. Janine Delaunay, an elder in full connection, both of which are blind, worked with support persons to facilitate sessions during the three day conference. Part of the challenge in planning an in-person meeting is identifying a location that not only is accessible for meeting space, but also had lodging that is accessible,” said Bishop Peggy Johnson. Conference participants came from as far way as England, though most of the participants were from the U.S. It was a welcoming sight to see persons with all sorts of disAbilities arrive at the hotel that included: persons on crutches, persons with canes (used by blind persons), persons in wheel chairs, persons with assisted devices like a pocket talker for hard of hearing persons, persons with Cerebral Palsy, persons with invisible disAbilities such as mental health issues, addictions, and Multiple Sclerosis, along with allies and personal care attendants to assist with the trip. The conference participants were both laity and clergy. It was shared at the start of the meeting that the General Board of Global Ministries financially supported the conference.

The theme of the conference was "Taking Our Place at the Table: Disability Leadership Academy." The Rev. Stephanie Remington from the Lewis Leadership Center of Wesley Theological Seminary led the leadership seminar that provided insights to good leadership. The Rev. Nancy Webb, a blind retired clergy person from the Baltimore-Washington Conference and a past co-chairperson of the UMAMD, shared, “These insights are helpful across the board. What a wonderful presentation.” The afternoon session had a panel discussion that had representatives from the General Commission on Religion and Race, the General Board of Church and Society, and a representative from the Board of Ordained Ministry from the Baltimore-Washington Conference, all of which was to be improve collaboration and networking between general boards, agencies, commissions, and people with disabilities. The Rev. Dr. C. Anthony Hunt, the chairperson of the Baltimore-Washington Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, shared how the board had worked  with candidates with disAbilities in the past and offered accessible meeting spaces. One current provisional deacon from another annual conference shared the challenges of her board examination and how the location would not be changed to make it fully accessible since she had to use crutches and did not drive. The gasps were heard throughout the room while sympathy filled the air. An appropriate response by Dr. Hunt was the encouragement to work with the conference disability commission; however, one of the participants stated that not all annual conferences have disability commissions despite the mandate in The Book of Discipline. As the other challenges were shared, Bishop Johnson, who was appointed by the Council of Bishops to be the bishop assigned to the disability ministries for consultation and awareness for the denomination, said she will continue to work with her colleagues to be certain that every annual conference in the denomination has a working commission on disability concerns. The evening session concluded with small groups doing some reflection for how God used them and their disability to share grace with others after the Rev. Leo Yates first opened the session with a personal story. To top off the evening session was the awarding of “The Unsung Hero Award” to Rev. Nancy Webb for all of her years of service and advocacy work. Bishop Johnson was provided with a book, Disability, Faith, and the Church, which was signed by all the conference participants as a reminder they were depending on her and her leadership. All of the participants, rolled up, walked up, or struggled to make it up to the front of the room to lay hands on her and prayed for her ministry. Bishop Johnson held back tears and said she will be faithful to the work. The Rev. Janine Delaunay said, "We are grateful for your leadership, Bishop Peggy, and we as a caucus will continue to support you as well."

In small group discussions, the Rev. Caroline Bass shared from personal experience that she did not find terms like disability and disabled as negative words, but it was society that put on negative connotations, and these words should be claimed openly and proudly. Adding, the euphuisms for disabilities, such as “differing abilities” or "differently-abled" are not necessary as disability does not need to be cloaked with euphuisms to be accepted. The Rev. Hank Jenkins observed, almost every person with a disability at the conference had an adverse reaction to “differently-abled.” These observations pushed the caucus to publish a statement about wording and how language is often individualized (by personal preference) and first person (e.g. she has  bipolar disorder instead of she is bipolar). It was clear that the disAbility community is not of one mind when it comes to terms.

The Rev. Greg Edwards, the UMAMD treasurer, led the final session, which was building on the work of Rev. Remington from the day before. New subcommittees were established from the reflection and group work to advance the future work of the caucus. Published statements were drafted that support the inclusion, accessibility, and empowerment of persons with disAbilities. All in all, participants found the conference to be mutually supportive, educational, and empowering for doing the leadership work in The United Methodist Church. The Rev. Russell Ewell thanked the participants for attending and looked forward to working with them to continue the work of the caucus.

group photo of participants

A person putting a sticky note on a whiteboard during the strategizing session.

A group of individuals reflecting on their assignment during a time of group work.

several participants arrive at the conference: 2 persons using canes, 1 person using crutches.

The UMAMD group also issued the following statement as part of the meeting.

Purpose Statement from the United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities

We the people of the United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities (UMAMD) affirm the sacred worth of persons with disabilities as whole persons made in the image of God. For years, people with disabilities have been discouraged, excluded, and denied as we have sought places at the table as equals with full participation in all that the life of the church offers.

Therefore, we now claim our right to take our places at the many tables at all levels of the UMC. To prepare the table that all may be fully included, the UMAMD will provide leadership to:

1 Educate the church about the many and diverse gifts of people with disabilities for ordained and lay ministries that will strengthen the church.

2 Advocate for people with disabilities, both lay and clergy, as we seek places at the table in seminaries, the local church, annual conferences, jurisdictions, and the general boards and agencies of the church.

3 Support and provide connections and links between the church and people with disabilities, coming alongside conference disability ministries committees and the DisAbility Ministries Committee of the UMC as we work together toward full inclusion. To that end we also support clergy and candidates for ministry who have disabilities in facing the persisting barriers to living out God’s call.

We call on the church to engage with us in this effort to achieve full equality. We further call upon the church, its annual conferences, and the general boards and agencies to identify funding to support this important work.








Friday, August 3, 2018

News and notes from AMD, 3 August 2018


Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf:
-
Northeastern Jurisdiction Deaf Ministry Conference, November 9-10
https://www.umcd.org/newsnej/1811info.pdf
-
Social Principles revisions
https://umdisability.blogspot.com/2018/07/social-principles-revisions-about.html
-
The Wall
https://www.christiancentury.org/article/faith-matters/wall-my-daughter-cant-get-past
-
Podcast accessibility
https://www.hearinglikeme.com/podcasts-the-last-frontier-of-accessibility-for-deaf-and-hard-of-hearing-people/
-
How the church can help people with mental illness
http://www.umcom.org/learn/breaking-the-taboo-how-the-church-can-help-people-with-mental-illness
-
The pews mean the most to the heaviest hearts
http://www.charlessamuel.com/culture/mental-health-suicide-church/
-
Ramps, Straws, and Isolation
https://crippastor.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/ramps-straws-access-and-the-general-isolation-of-disabled-people/
-

Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.

UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
This newsletter is also published on the UM Disability Blog
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

Friday, July 27, 2018

News and notes from AMD, 27 July 2018



News


Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf:
-
Be heard on Social Principles revisions
https://umdisability.blogspot.com/2018/07/social-principles-revisions-about.html
-
Minding your pastor's mental health
https://www.thebanner.org/departments/2016/12/minding-your-pastor-s-mental-health
-
Deaf women and human trafficking
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/modern-day-slavery/201709/the-underrecognized-victims-trafficking-deaf-women
-
Rest
https://mhn-ucc.blogspot.com/2018/07/rest-by-rachael-keefe.html
-
Webinar from PRC: Sept. 20, Lifesaving Church
https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4134452182936984833
-
Would you sit with me awhile?
http://www.adnetonline.org/Blog/Pages/2018/Would-you-sit-with-me-awhile.aspx
-
ADA 28th anniversary
https://www.diversityinc.com/the-ada-28-years-of-opportunity-unrealized
-

Events


Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.
-
UMAMD Meeting and Academy, August 1-3
Registration is at capacity. E-mail to be placed on waiting list.
https://www.umdisabledministers.org/meeting/2018.html
-
Northeastern Jurisdiction Deaf Ministry Conference, November 9-10
https://www.umcd.org/newsnej/1811info.pdf
-
-
-
UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
This newsletter is also published on the UM Disability Blog
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

Friday, July 20, 2018

News and notes from AMD, 20 July 2018



News


Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf:
-
Be heard on social principles revisions:
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2018/07/social-principles-revisions-about.html
-
MHM: Theological comfort and the suicide crisis
https://pres-outlook.org/2018/07/my-mom-and-me-theological-comfort-and-the-suicide-crisis/
-
A sad good-bye, a teachable moment
https://mhn-ucc.blogspot.com/2018/07/a-sad-good-bye-becomes-teachable-moment.html
-
Language and mental illness
http://amysimpson.com/2018/07/when-it-comes-to-mental-illness-watch-your-language/
-
Chair can lift people who have fallen
https://www.facebook.com/Insiderinventions/videos/1365033010298906/
https://www.facebook.com/DisAbilityMinistriesUM/posts/1664395376992641
-
Sexual assault and disability
https://nomore.org/two-advocates-talk-about-the-sexual-assault-epidemic-affecting-people-with-disabilities-how-we-can-all-help/
-
Princeton seminary ASL welcoming video, passing the peace
https://www.facebook.com/princetonseminary/videos/1739605086074674/?fref=mentions
-
Disabled and healthy
https://fullerstudio.fuller.edu/disabled-and-healthy/
-
Being Befriended: Formation in L'Arche's Theological Imagination
http://www.disabilityandfaith.org/being-befriended-formation-in-larches-theological-imagination/
-

Events


Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.
-
UMCD, DHM, ELDA, ECD joint meeting in Las Vegas, July 22-29
https://www.umcd.org/
-
UMAMD Meeting and Academy, August 1-3
Registration is at capacity. E-mail to be placed on waiting list.
https://www.umdisabledministers.org/meeting/2018.html
-
Northeastern Jurisdiction Deaf Ministry Conference, November 9-10
https://www.umcd.org/newsnej/1811info.pdf
-UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
This newsletter is also published on the UM Disability Blog
Visit us on the web or Facebook.