Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Deaf Church Plants Seeds for Deaf Ministries


By Rev. Leo Yates, Jr. 

Magothy United Methodist Church of the Deaf in Pasadena, Maryland, a church in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, partnered with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries committee of the UMC’s General Board of Global Ministries to host a “Deaf Ministry: Boot Camp” workshop. The event was held on Saturday, October 13, 2018. The idea was put into action with assistance from Global Ministries through a grant the church received to support the workshop. 

Participants were United Methodists, as well as from other denominations, some of whom came from the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference and the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual conference. Some were newcomers to Deaf ministry, while others were wanting to learn more and leave with new ideas.  

The co-facilitator, Rev. Leo Yates, Jr., shared, “It’s important that churches be more accessible and empowering for Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deafblind persons and their families in the Church, no matter the denomination.” Referencing Luke 14:15-24, he continued, “we are all a part of the body of Christ and being accessible is what Christ calls us to do” as he spoke about welcoming persons with disabilities. By practicing welcoming, God’s house can be full. He went on, using Luke 1:62 to emphasize the inclusiveness of Zechariah’s friends who signed and gestured to him about naming his infant, whom we know as John (the Baptist). Darlene Koontz, a Deaf church leader expressed, “Its important that Deaf people have access to church, which means we need qualified interpreters, but being friendly and welcoming is just as important.” Having Deaf and hard of hearing people help lead the workshop showed their gifts for ministry, said Yates.

The “boot camp” opened with a devotional that highlighted Jesus’ words, “Ephphatha,” from Mark’s gospel, emphasizing “being open” to Deaf and hard of hearing persons and their language and culture (Mark 7:31-37). The typical interpretation shows the Deaf-mute was healed; however, the devotion showed that the community was healed because they were now open to this Deaf man. The workshop went on to orient participants to Deaf culture. This included an introduction to sign language, led by the church’s Deaf lay leader, Darlene Koontz. Then the empowerment of Deaf leadership was explained by the church’s Deaf Finance Committee chairperson, Alma Andrews. Following this, the inclusion of Deaf music worship was shared by one of the founders of the Deaf church, Flo Johnson. Considerations for an interpreting ministry, the implementation of a hard of hearing ministry, and a disability ministry were also covered in the workshop. In addition, overviews highlighting accessibility, mission opportunities, raising Deaf awareness and inclusion, various Deaf ministry models, how to promote the ministry, and best practices were presented by the workshop co-facilitators, Rev. Leo Yates, Jr. and Jeanne Maddox. The church’s pastor, Rev. Emily Hart, shared resources about Deaf Ministries in the Baltimore-Washington Conference.

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants prayed with and encouraged each other in their endeavors to have their own ministry. Some already have such a ministry, most hope to expand their reach, based on new ideas such as adopting a Deaf group home or a group home with persons with disabilities during the holidays. Other ideas include hosting sign language classes for new parents and their infants (teaching baby signs while connecting new families to a faith community).

Table with banner "ASL day" and papers showing basic ASL
A model table for ASL Days at Deaf awareness events

Person at a table from Global Ministries, there are many brochuress
One of the participants checks out the Global Ministries table

two people look at a table,  on their right is a banner, "Welcome"
Two participants from Pennsylvania check out an exhibit

A woman signs behind a lectern, a screen behind her projects the words
Deaf worship leader, Flo Johnson, signs "Amazing Grace"

a woman near a lectern signing, behind her is a projected screen
Deaf church leader, Darlene Koontz explaining about Deaf culture.

A closer view of the same setting, another woman signing about leadership
The church’s finance chairperson sharing about empowering Deaf persons for leadership.

People seated around tables, working with each other
Workshop participants engaged in an activity

Leo leads a session, he is signing in front of a projected screen
Presenter, Rev. Leo Yates, Jr., explained about past experiences of oppression Deaf persons had at church



Friday, October 12, 2018

News and notes from AMD, 12 October 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:
-
MHM bulletin insert for Mental Illness Awareness
http://www.mentalhealthministries.net/resources/bulletin_inserts/mental_illness_awareness_week/mental_illness_awareness_week.pdf
-
Deaf, Deafblind, and Hearing UM's celebrate Deaf Awareness in Florida
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2018/10/deaf-deafblind-and-hearing-united.html
-
Ten Basic ASL signs
https://www.facebook.com/DeafTvStory/videos/452172448550080/
-
The heart of the suicide epidemic
http://mindspirit.com/heart-suicide-epidemic/
-
We thought we'd done enough to welcome...
https://www.faithandleadership.com/hannah-c-brown-we-thought-wed-done-enough-welcome-people-disabilities-our-church-we-were-wrong
-
New technology, regulations for hearing aids
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hearing-aids-you-aint-heard-nothing-yet/
and
https://www.hearingtracker.com/bose-hearing-aid
-
On pain, pain management, and public policy--all topics for pastoral care
http://notdeadyet.org/2018/10/anita-cameron-the-criminalization-of-pain.html
-
The woman behind Textweek
https://www.faithandleadership.com/woman-behind-textweekcom
-
Crip for a day: unintended consequences of disability simulations
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57d1d882e58c62c988fb0254/t/5ae8b3ce562fa76910c7ee3e/1525199822672/cripforaday2017.pdf

-
Northeastern Jurisdiction Deaf Ministry Conference, November 9-10
https://www.umcd.org/newsnej/1811.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.

Friday, October 5, 2018

News and notes from AMD, 5 October 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:
-
"Harmless" comments that hurt
https://themighty.com/2018/02/harmful-comments-said-to-people-with-anxiety/
-
Welcome comes in all  shapes and sizes
https://clergystuff.com/an-exceptional-people/interview-pastor-one-arm
-
Inclusion at functions outside of a church building can be problematic, especially small groups meeting in homes. CRC's Breaking Barriers discusses this in their Fall 2018 issue. Available in PDF and audio.
https://network.crcna.org/disability-concerns/breaking-barriers-fall-2018
-
ASL voter assistance hotline from NAD
https://www.nad.org/2018/09/28/asl-voter-assistance-hotline-available/
-
Shepherd's self-care
https://oboedire.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/shepherds-care-self-care/
-
"inspiration porn": my story isn't for your catharsis
https://theestablishment.co/my-disability-story-isnt-for-your-catharsis/
-
Deaf in Tanzania
https://religionnews.com/2018/09/27/for-deaf-tanzanians-places-to-worship-are-rare/
-
Get Ready for Mental Illness Awareness Week – October 7-13
http://www.mentalhealthministries.net/resources/october_mental_illness_awareness_week.html
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Learning to love limits
http://autismpastor.com/?p=2698
-
Northeastern Jurisdiction Deaf Ministry Conference, November 9-10
https://www.umcd.org/newsnej/1811.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.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Deaf, Deafblind, and Hearing United Methodists Celebrate Deaf Awareness Week


by Rev. Leo Yates, Jr. 

Deaf, hard of hearing, Deafblind, and hearing United Methodists observed and celebrated Deaf Awareness Week during the last week of September. Members from various United Methodist churches in the Florida Annual Conference celebrated by gathering and touring the Holy Land Experience, an amusement park in Orlando on September 29. They gathered for a time of education, fellowship, and fun. The group coordinator, Mary Harris, an interpreter from Conway United Methodist Church, organized the event as a part of their church’s observation of Deaf Awareness Week. At Conway, Deaf ministries are considered an extension of the Deaf community; also present were Deaf and hearing congregants from St. Andrew UMC of Titusville, Pine Castle UMC of Orlando, and Conway UMC of Orlando. Several people served as support service providers (SSPs) and guides for the Deafblind participants. 

The celebration continued on Sunday, September 30th, when visitors from various churches and ministries worshipped together at Conway UMC to celebrate Deaf Awareness Sunday. This last Sunday of September is recognized as International Day of the Deaf. Billy Deters, the president of United Methodist Congress of the Deaf, a recognized caucus of the denomination, was on hand along with his family to participate and worship. Deaf, Deafblind, hard of hearing, and hearing members from various Deaf ministries and from the community made up the signing choir. A feature of raising Deaf awareness was when a Conway member taught and led the congregation the song, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Conway’s pastor, the Rev. Dianne Davis, was on hand to encourage and assist with worship, which included her leading the pastoral prayer. Mary Ann Deters, a Deaf member of St. Andrew UMC of Titusville, taught the children’s message, based on 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, highlighting equality of the members of the body of Christ. The church had Deaf and hearing members to serve as ushers and greeters, which included bulletin inserts of the ASL manual alphabet. Dennis Cody, a Deafblind member of Conway, prayed over the offering. The Rev. Leo Yates, Jr., a consultant of Global Ministries’ Committee on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries, was the guest preacher. At the conclusion of the sermon, Mary Harris was recognized for her planning efforts and her dedication to Deaf ministry. Whether you’re Deaf, hard of hearing, Deafblind, or hearing, we all share in the same enjoyment of a potluck lunch, a common feature of United Methodism. This was certainly true on this special Sunday as most gathered after worship in the dining hall for lunch. 

Observing and celebrating the gifts of all people, including Deaf, hard of hearing, Deafblind, and hearing people alike is a faithful expression of what the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans. “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Romans 15:7). The worship service led by Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deafblind persons exemplified their leadership ability. Whether it’s for social justice reasons or for diversity reasons, it’s the right thing to do that we include ALL people and their gifts for servant ministry.

Resources:



Other resources can be found here 

   
An interpreter signing for the audience
An interpreter signing for the audience

People seated at the edge of acting area, watching
Some of the audience viewing the Biblical drama.

A person portraying Jesus, around him are many others.
A scene from the Biblical drama

Several people seated around a table, eating
A few gathered for lunch at the Holy Land Experience

A person dressed as Roman soldier, a Deafblind man, and a woman hug each other
Roman soldier hugging a Deafblind audience member

A Global Ministries exhibit table

the group at the event, there are three rows of people, about 25 in all
A group picture at the Holy Land Experience

people in a chancel, in a line, signing together, with a leader in front and screens behind
Deaf, hard of hearing, Deafblind, and hearing persons signing a hymn

        

Friday, September 28, 2018

News and notes from UMAMD, 28 September 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:
-
Helping people with mental health conditions prepare for disasters
http://www.tucollaborative.org/sdm_downloads/helping-people-with-mental-health-conditions-prepare-for-disasters/
-
Helen Keller to be removed from Texas history texts
https://rewire.news/article/2018/09/20/now-is-an-especially-terrible-time-for-texas-to-stop-teaching-kids-about-helen-keller/
-
Members of Glendale UMC, Nashville speak about healthcare
https://www.facebook.com/glendaleumc/photos/a.10153287268633980/10156770936718980/?type=3&theater
and
https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/health/2018/09/12/tennessee-aca-obamacare-health-insurance-preexisting-condition/1265333002/
-
The Mental Health Ministries Fall e-Spotlight is now available
http://www.mentalhealthministries.net/spotlights/index.html
-
Everything you wanted to know about anxiety but were afraid to ask
https://www.pnwumc.org/news/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-anxiety-but-were-afraid-to-ask/
-
Enriched by differences
https://network.crcna.org/disability-concerns/enriched-differences-0
-
Autism and the New Testament (limited time availability)
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23312521.2017.1373613?scroll=top&needAccess=true
-
Art for the visually impaired
https://www.mutualart.com/Article/How-the-Art-World-is-Making-Way-for-the-/40BD2955157C32C1
-
Resiliency
https://www.bphope.com/fast-talk-resilience-rules/
-
GBCS: clergy and suicide prevention
https://www.umcjustice.org/news-and-stories/clergy-have-a-role-in-suicide-prevention-735
-
Northeastern Jurisdiction Deaf Ministry Conference, November 9-10
https://www.umcd.org/newsnej/1811.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.

Friday, September 21, 2018

News and notes from UMAMD, 21 September 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:
-
OPIOID EPIDEMIC PRACTICAL TOOLKIT: Helping Faith-based and Community Leaders Bring Hope and Healing to Our Communities
https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/hhs-partnership-ctr-opioid-practical-toolkit-unremediated.pdf
-
Everything I fear...
https://crippastor.wordpress.com/2018/09/14/everything-i-fear-and-dread-comes-true-or-at-least-it-feels-that-way/
-
Economics of disability
https://www.marketplace.org/topics/economics-disability
-
Will you get to know me?
https://sns360.org/blog/will-you-get-to-know-me/
-
Adapting a Labyrinth
https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/8704889-181/earle-baum-center-in-santa
-
Wounded Healers
https://oboedire.wordpress.com/2018/09/03/in-sight-wounded-healers/
-
Deaf TV Zimbabwe
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2350535954973254&id=260161100677427&notif_id=1537367702547269
-
The Autism Pastors: Six Reasons why Pastors silently struggle
http://autismpastor.com/?p=2660
-
Pro-Tactile ASL
https://newportnewstimes.com/article/in-touch-literally
-
What it's like to be autistic in church
https://factsandtrends.net/2018/09/04/cringing-at-church-what-its-like-as-an-autistic-person-in-your-congregation/
-
Northeastern Jurisdiction Deaf Ministry Conference, November 9-10 (updated information)
https://www.umcd.org/newsnej/1811.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.

Friday, September 14, 2018

News and notes from UMAMD, 14 September 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:
-
Raising Deaf Awareness means Opening Church Hearts
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2018/09/raising-deaf-awareness-means-opening.html
-
Review of Faithful and Fractured
https://www.christiancentury.org/review/books/putting-clergy-health-perspective
-
UMCs in Twin Cities accommodate disabilities
http://www.startribune.com/some-twin-cities-churches-learning-striving-to-accommodate-children-with-disabilities/492741281/
-
Clergy not prepared to meet congregations' mental health needs
https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/religion/2018/08/27/mental-health-church-clergy-congregation/884914002/
-
Accessible Parking Coalition
https://accessibleparkingcoalition.org/
-
South Carolina: Mental Health ministry
http://www.advocatesc.org/2018/08/being-jesus-to-the-mentally-ill/
-
Northeastern Jurisdiction Deaf Ministry Conference, November 9-10
https://www.umcd.org/newsnej/1811.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.