Friday, May 22, 2020

News and notes from AMD, 22 May 2020


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.

Many congregations we hear from are not ready to re-open, and therefore our inclusion resources remain important. This includes a list of resources from Disability Ministries, a list of ASL or captioned streams from Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries, and guidance on inclusion: Online and Virtual Gatherings: Inclusion for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Members.

As some areas "open up," we will continue to provide helpful information from reliable sources about what people who comprise the church can do to keep themselves safe and show their Christian love for others. We ask that you take the charge to love your neighbor seriously, without engaging in panic.

May 27: Places of Belonging: Using Our Heads, Hearts, and Hands to Overcome Social Divisions, a webinar conducted by Amy Julia Becker for University of Connecticut and Collaborative on Faith and Disabilities.
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AMD
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DHM/UMCD
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DMC
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MHM
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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, May 15, 2020

News and notes from AMD, 15 May 2020


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.

As some areas "open up," we will continue to provide helpful information from reliable sources about what people who comprise the church can do to keep themselves safe and show their Christian love for others. We ask that you take the charge to love your neighbor seriously, without engaging in panic. This includes a list of resources from Disability Ministries, a list of ASL or captioned streams from Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries , and guidance on inclusion: Online and Virtual Gatherings: Inclusion for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Members.

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AMD
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DHM/UMCD
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DMC
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MHM
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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, May 8, 2020

News and notes from AMD, 8 May 2020


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.

As some areas "open up," we will continue to provide helpful information from reliable sources about what people who comprise the church can do to keep themselves safe and show their Christian love for others. This includes a list of resources from Disability Ministries, a list of ASL or captioned streams from Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries , and guidance on inclusion: Online and Virtual Gatherings: Inclusion for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Members.

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AMD
-
DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
-
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, May 1, 2020

News and notes from AMD, 1 May 2020


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.

A note: we intend to provide helpful information from reliable sources about what people who comprise the church can do to keep themselves safe and show their Christian love for others. We ask that you take the charge to love your neighbor seriously, without engaging in panic.

The Disability Ministries Committee has compiled a list of resources for inclusion during the outbreak; this is updated frequently. The UM Committee on Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries has a list of ASL or captioned streams. Also, if you are streaming services, keep Deaf/HOH in mind. We have an updated blog entry that offers guidance: Online and Virtual Gatherings: Inclusion for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Members.

You may also find it helpful to follow the hashtag #‎HighRiskCovid19‬

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AMD
-
DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
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, April 24, 2020

News and notes from AMD, 24 April 2020

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.

A note: we intend to provide helpful information from reliable sources about what people who comprise the church can do to keep themselves safe and show their Christian love for others. We ask that you take the charge to love your neighbor seriously, without engaging in panic.

The Disability Ministries Committee has compiled a list of resources for inclusion during the outbreak; this is updated frequently. The UM Committee on Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries has a list of ASL or captioned streams. Also, if you are streaming services, keep Deaf/HOH in mind. We have an updated blog entry that offers guidance: Online and Virtual Gatherings: Inclusion for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Members.

You may also find it helpful to follow the hashtag #‎HighRiskCovid19‬


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AMD
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DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
-
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.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Deaf communities gather for online services

by Rev. Leo Yates, Jr.

The invitation was shared.
The prayer service was planned.
Those who joined were Deaf and hard-of-hearing persons and ASL users. They came for an online prayer service. It was an ecumenical virtual gathering in response to the COVID-19 public health concerns. Many state governors encouraged individuals and families to be in prayer due to the devastating impact.

Brenda Kelly-Frey, whose parents are also Deaf, and Rev. Leo Yates, Jr., a deacon in full connection, have been hosting virtual ecumenical prayer gatherings in the Baltimore area. An idea first thought of by Brenda, the prayer service has been drawing Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals and ASL users from among the various United Methodist jurisdictions. "We're sharing encouragement and hope," says Leo.

Brenda, a member of the Catholic Church, asked Leo, "Why don't we have a prayer vigil? Can you set it up?" Both were excited to host the prayer service and felt that a need existed for a place where Deaf and hard-of-hearing peoples would be able to join and participate in a period of no in-person gatherings. Shortly thereafter the first invitation was posted on Facebook. 

slide showing the word "employment" with a scripture verse from Isaiah 41.10. Rev. Yates is in the top right-hand corner signing.

The signing prayer service provides an online community forum for those who seek to gather as a Deaf community. This provides a place which enables them to share and to request prayers for themselves, their loved ones, and for their communities.
screenshot of an on-line meeting, a light-skinned woman in the center, with other people in a side panel

Prayers were lifted up specifically for employment, medical, families, schools and colleges, leadership, mental health, churches, essential workers, and other prayer needs. In addition, participants assisted with signing Scripture verses.

Visual presentation is an important part of a Deaf service, which includes Yates' mini altar. He described that the cross had bandages to remember to pray for those who are suffering, a prescription bottle to remember to pray for those who are ill, and a packet of tissues to pray for those who are suffering or struggling right now. Along with the cross were a candle of hope, representing the light of Christ during dark times, and a Bible representing that God is still with us.
altar with a Bible, a candle, a cross with bandages on it, tissues, and a prescription bottle.

Other Deaf communities are also hosting prayer services, such as the Deaf Ministry at Lovers Lane UMC in Dallas, TX, which is led by Rev. Dr. Thomas Hudspeth. It too has people joining from all over the country. Rev. Tom's congregation also hosts weekly worship services. 

Rev. Dr. Thomas Hudspeth, signing and speaking, leads Easter service

Other Deaf congregations, such as Christ Church of the Deaf in Baltimore and Magothy Deaf Church in Pasadena, MD, also host weekly online worship and study opportunities. 

a light-skinned woman signing, inserted into a background of flowers

Along with these Deaf congregations, several Deaf ministries (hearing churches with interpreting ministry) are making their worship service accessible for their Deaf, hard-of-hearing, late-deafened, and Deafblind members. Sign language interpreter Rosalind McKelvey makes the services at Grace UMC in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania accessible via Facebook Live where Deaf and hard-of-hearing members log in to watch both the interpreter and the worship service. 

a dark-skinned woman, dressed in white signs "hallelujah."

Churches have been using YouTube and similar services to record worship for some time. Recent improvements have made captioning much more feasible. Improved voice-to-text technology reduces the amount of editing required, and editing is much faster and accurate than before. Rev. Rebecca Holland of the Susquehanna Conference has been using this feature regularly after tutoring from one of the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Committee's consultants.

A Filipino-American woman delivers a sermon, the video is captioned

Also, sign language interpreters are incorporated into addresses and sermons by several bishops, such as Bishop LaTrelle Easterling of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, Bishop Peggy Johnson of the Pen-Del and Eastern PA Conferences, and Bishop Ken Carter of the Florida Conference. These help model accessibility and inclusion for the wider church.

Bishop LaTrelle Easterling on left, sign language interpreter on the right


Because ASL is a visual language, in-person gatherings are ideal, and historically a cultural norm for persons who are a part of the Deaf community. However, virtual gatherings are similar to the video calls Deaf and hard-of-hearing persons often do with one another on their video phones--it's just now that they are on a larger scale. Virtual gatherings are helping ALL of us to keep connected.

Similar to the Deaf online services, the United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities (AMD) also hosts bi-weekly check-in calls via Zoom. This group includes ministers with disabilities (not necessarily clergy) and advocates. If you minister with a disability, and need community, contact Rev. Hank Jenkins (hank.jenkins@gmail.com) to join.

For information about including everyone in your meetings, read our recent blog post. For more information on how to make your online services accessible, contact the committee by e-mail at umdeaf@gmail.com or Rev. Yates at RevYates@eumclaurel.org or click here to learn more. To explore other accessible virtual services, visit the United Methodist Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Committee's Ministry Directory.

Friday, April 17, 2020

News and notes from AMD, 17 April 2020


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.

A note: we intend to provide helpful information from reliable sources about what people who comprise the church can do to keep themselves safe and show their Christian love for others. We ask that you take the charge to love your neighbor seriously, without engaging in panic.

The AMD will continue to share pastoral care aids, prayers and liturgy from our members, tuned to the needs of our times.

The Disability Ministries Committee has compiled a list of resources for inclusion during the outbreak; this is updated frequently.

Please check the UM Committee on Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries for a list of ASL or captioned streams. Also, if you are streaming services, keep Deaf/HOH in mind. We have an updated blog entry that offers guidance: Online and Virtual Gatherings: Inclusion for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Members.

You may also find it helpful to follow the hashtag #‎HighRiskCovid19‬
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National Disability Covid-19 Healthcare Support and Advocacy Hotline
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AMD
-
DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
-
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.