Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Deaf Awareness means Deaf Empowerment

Deaf Awareness Means Deaf Empowerment
By Rev. Leo Yates, Jr. 

September is Deaf Awareness Month. It's a time to learn about Deaf culture, sign language (and even learn some sign phrases), and Deaf history. It's also a good time to become more sensitive to Deaf culture, improve accessibility in our churches, and do a better job of empowering Deaf and hard of hearing people. 

Deaf awareness also includes an understanding of what "hearing privilege" is. A simple explanation of having a privilege is to recognize having an advantage or having power that others, or a group, does not have. Here are some examples of hearing privilege.

Hearing people:

  • Are able to apply to any university they choose without discrimination, and do not have to worry whether an interpreter will be available to interpret when they attend said university.
  • Can have direct communication with their peers and teachers in a classroom without the use of an interpreter.
  • Do not have to worry about funding for interpreters.
  • Do not have to worry about finding an interpreter at a medical office, in dealing with police, or other public agencies.
  • Get to have full communication with parents and family in their first language.
  • Get to share the same cultural values as their family.
  • Don’t have to defend and fight to have their language recognized and respected.
  • Can apply at any job they choose without fear of discrimination.
  • Can go to a museum or special events without needing an interpreter.

Certainly, the list is just a snippet (see more examples here) and can be more specific to communities or circumstances. The point of this list is to heighten our awareness, to be more sensitive, and to be intentional in empowering Deaf and hard of hearing people in our faith communities.

Most of us may think that "providing" an interpreter or having a hearing loop system is what we need to do to be inviting of Deaf and hard of hearing people. Yet, this is exactly the point. Including or providing (being inclusive) is not the same as being empowering. Empowering is sharing the power or giving up power in order for a person (someone without it) to have power. When we do not empower others, then it is often about us not wanting to give up power and control. It might be more about keeping status or due to insecurity when we do not empower others. Empowering others is Christ-like and it is what Jesus showed us in his ministry throughout Galilee. For example, Jesus empowered the seventy-two disciples to share in the work and ministry. When we empower others, we are intentionally sharing grace.

One church in the state of Maryland does a great job in empowering Deaf parishioners. Besides having a sign language interpreter, the church elected the Deaf person a lay leader. A church in Washington state voted for the Deaf person to be the lay member to annual conference. Talk about sharing power! The lay member to annual conference has a seat on a few church committees. 

More importantly, this type of empowerment models to the church and to the community that ALL people are valued and are welcomed here. A church in Florida had a supportive pastor who empowered a Deaf couple to be representatives at their annual conference. At their home church, they are often Scripture readers and lead in other ways. There are other churches doing these and more; however, it’s only a start as we need to continually strive for more diversity that better represents the body of Christ.

Raising awareness couldn't be easier during Deaf Awareness Month. Try these ideas:


For more Deaf awareness ideas, for resources, and considerations for establishing a Deaf ministry, go to the United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries webpage for congregational resources

About the writer: Rev. Leo Yates, Jr. is a provisional deacon serving in the Baltimore Washington Conference. He serves on the United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

DMC Funding Update

NEWS UPDATE, September 11, 2017

“Uneven ground will become level, and rough terrain a valley plain. The Lord’s glory will appear, and all humanity will see it together; the Lord’s mouth has commanded it.”   Isaiah 40:4-5

On August 11, 2017, the DisAbility Ministries Committee of The United Methodist Church was informed that the Global Health Division of the General Board of Global Ministries will stop funding us as of May 31, 2018. After many years of being our home, they no longer have a mandate in the Book of Discipline to include us in their budget. In fact, our committee was quietly erased from the Discipline altogether. Global Health now has responsibility only for “Encouraging awareness of the gifts, graces, assets, and needs of persons with special physical, mental, and other developmental needs, fostering a culture of inclusivity within The United Methodist Church as a place where people with special needs will be embraced in all aspects of worship, leadership, and ministry.”

The DisAbility Ministries Committee does not approve of the changes nor of the way that they were made. Providing the advocacy, education, and empowerment that are needed so that everyone will find a place to belong in the United Methodist Church requires much more than encouraging awareness and fostering inclusivity. It requires listening to the voices of people with disabilities and not making changes about us without us.

We will continue to provide resources, grants, and education to people engaged in DisAbility Ministries. We will move forward to expand our relationships with others in ministry. We will keep on expanding our capabilities by adding new resource people. We will not stop until all United Methodists everywhere have been reached and we have, through them, “made disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” disciples who include people with disabilities.

We are asking for your help in two ways:

Please consider writing a letter to the General Board of Global Ministries, Global Health Division, recounting your personal experiences, 
  • If you have been impacted by a workshop or training that we have provided,
  • if you have been motivated by hearing one of us preach or speak,
  • if you have found our website or printed-out resources helpful,
  • if you have received a grant to help improve accessibility or programming.

Letters can be sent to Thomas Kemper (tkemper@umcmission.org), Dr. Olusimbo Ige (oige@umcmission.org), and Sabrina Rodgers (srodgers@umcmission.org).

2.  Please also consider donating to our Advance, #3021054 through the General Board of Global Ministries at http://www.umcmission.org/Give-to-Mission/Search-for-Projects/Projects/3021054

Above all, remember that we are still here to serve you. Thank you for your support!


Yours in service to Christ,


Sharon McCart
Chair, DisAbility Ministries Committee of The United Methodist Church

Friday, September 1, 2017

News and notes from AMD, 9/1/17

A trip to the Philippines
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2017/08/a-trip-to-philippines-sharon-mccart.html

Rooted in Rights "Like the Mic"; this video is captioned and audio described, so it's a good demonstration, as well as a reminder of accommodating everyone:
https://youtu.be/IKVuKtMtQSk

Jean Vanier: background and interview:
https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/07/jean-vaniers-world-of-love-and-kindness/

Mental Health Ministries newsletter, September
http://www.mentalhealthministries.net/spotlights/index.html

"Usefulness" is not a measure of human worth
http://www.startingwithjulius.org.au/usefulness-is-a-dangerous-measure-of-human-worth/

Disaster disability assistance agency
https://psmag.com/social-justice/saving-disabled-people-during-hurricane-harvey

There will not be a newsletter next week. A happy Labor Day, y'all!


--

Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.
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Thursday, August 31, 2017

A trip to the Philippines -- Sharon McCart

My Trip to the Philippines, July 24 – August 5, 2017

By Sharon McCart, Chair, DisAbility Ministries Committee of The United Methodist Church

I met with Joy in a nondescript chain restaurant. I had been wanting to go to the Philippines since 2009, and when she invited me as one recipient in a mass e-mail, I wondered if this might be the time for me to go. There in the restaurant, she told me about the planned trip. I asked questions. It was an ordinary conversation until she said, “Part of this year’s trip will be to help the faculty of a school learn how to better include students with disabilities.” Suddenly the noisy restaurant seemed to go silent. I didn’t know what to say and I just looked at her. She knows how passionate I am about inclusion for people with disabilities. She had just answered my unspoken question, “What can I contribute to this team?”
Joy is the chair of the Philippines Task Force of the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. The Task Force has sent teams nearly every year for about eight years now. The purposes of these trips have been fact-finding and to stand in solidarity with the marginalized and those working for justice in the Philippines. Until that moment, I wasn’t sure if that was something I was called to do. I was sympathetic and supportive, but that wasn’t enough to get me to sign up. I needed the trip to connect with my call to advocate for inclusion of people with disabilities, both within the Church and outside of it.

Suddenly, I found it did. And I knew I would go.

The entire trip was incredible, but my focus here is disability ministry, so I will restrain myself to that topic. One evening we went to dinner with two United Methodist deaconesses, Zarla Raguindin and Norma Dollaga. I had met Deaconess Zarla in Louisville at UMW Assembly 2014 when she attended the workshop I co-taught with Lynn Swedberg. She is doing great work in disability ministries, holding trainings and events and even travelling to Jakarta and Indonesia to share her knowledge in those places. Deaconess Norma was instrumental in raising funds to build the school we were going to visit, among other accomplishments in her work for a justice organization called “Rise Up.” We met a number of deaconesses during our trip, but connecting with Zarla was important to me because of the disability ministries connection. It was encouraging and exciting to learn about her work and talk about ways we might support each other. She will be in China for the next three years to earn her PhD. Her research topic is on best practices for advocacy and I look forward to reading her thesis very much.

Joy and I then travelled to the state of Mindanao. On the way to the school where we would spend four days, we stopped to tour St. Genevieve Hospital, which is currently under construction in the town of Tagum. There are no medical facilities specifically for the indigenous (Lumad) peoples, and they typically encounter less than welcoming attitudes at other hospitals, so the Mindanao Foundation for Medical Disaster Preparedness and Response, Inc. decided to build a hospital to serve their needs. The administrator, Asha A. Mendez, RN, and I talked about the great need to provide psychological counseling as well as medical care for the Lumads who have been exploited by foreign corporations, targeted by the Philippine military, and denied assistance from their own government when they were starving because of drought.

From Tagum, we travelled through acres and acres of banana plantations to the Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao (CTCSM), which is a Lumad school. Previously the Lumad people have remained illiterate or they were educated in schools with the purpose of pursuing careers away from their own communities. This residential school prepares them to help their own communities. It is culturally sensitive and includes education in organic farming and herbal medicine. Traditional dancing and music are encouraged. Despite the word “college” in the name, the school educates children from preschool through high school. Next year they will add college classes.

Part of the culture, as in many places, holds a stigma about disability. The school administrator and the faculty were not completely forthcoming about disability in their community. It was not until the end of our time there that I sat down with the lead clinic worker, Jill, and we talked about the needs of the students. There are students with ADHD and learning disabilities and other needs. Jill gave me a list of resources that would be helpful. This made me feel that I was doing at least some of what I had come to do.

There are also many students who have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is understandable because many of them came from militarized areas where there is daily conflict. Some of the children saw a school administrator shot in front of them. Others heard bombings and gunfire daily at the schools they were at previously. Some had lost parents and siblings to the fighting between the indigenous people and the military. The political situation there is violent, and the children pay a price. The faculty is getting training to help with this. There are a number of students on medication for anxiety and other mental illnesses, but the teachers still need to know what to do when a student is struggling. I was grateful to know that this training is taking place.

After four days at the school, we returned to Manila. When we were in Manila the week before, we had met Jenn Panelo Ferariza from the United Methodist Women’s Board, a conference-wide board. She had proposed gathering a few other women from the board and meeting with us before we left for the United States and we had eagerly said yes. The last day of our trip, then, we met with Jenn, who had invited Liza Adamos Cortez and Pastor Marie Sol Villalon to join her. They shared with us about the work they were doing to help the victims of human trafficking and to translate Vacation Bible School curriculum, including adding Philippines-relevant stories. When they finished, I gave them each a packet of disability ministry information and resources and talked a bit about the work of the DisAbility Ministries Committee of The United Methodist Church.
We also talked about Deaconess Zarla’s work. Soon I found that we were planning to have a Disability Ministries Consultation in Manila in the summer of 2018 and I realized that I would return to this country that had shown me both its beauty and its hardships. Dates will soon be set for the Consultation and we will begin planning in earnest.

The conversation then shifted and the women spoke for several minutes in Tagalog, which I do not understand. When they stopped, they looked at me and said, “We were just discussing which conference board the Disability Committee will be under.” The Philippines Central Conference does not have a Disability Committee yet and they were deciding to propose one! This is great news! A centralized committee to provide trainings and resources will help the churches of the Philippines to become more welcoming and accessible to people with disabilities!


This is how my relationship with people in the Philippines has begun. I can hardly wait to see where it will go!

Friday, August 25, 2017

News and notes from AMD, 8/25/2017

NYT disability series: why is our existence as humans still denied?
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/26/opinion/why-is-our-existence-as-humans-still-being-denied.html

Long, and somewhat political, but also explains modern attitudes toward disability and how it has changed over two centuries:
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/aug/18/neoliberalism-the-idea-that-changed-the-world

Person first discussion
http://www.rudermanfoundation.org/blog/disabilities-trends/the-importance-of-language-person-first-or-identity-first

Adult disability ministry
http://irresistiblechurch.org/3-tips-building-adult-disability-ministry/

Photos: Ghana Deaf Ministries
https://www.umcd.org/wfdm/ghana.html

The case for faith in bipolar depression
http://www.bphope.com/bipolar-buzz/the-case-for-faith-in-helping-bipolar-depression/


--

Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

News about DMC -- Sharon McCart

News from the DisAbility Ministries Committee of The United Methodist Church

"We are treated as...unknown, and yet are well-known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything." 2 Corinthians 6:8b-10.

Last Friday, August 11, 2017, at our annual face-to-face meeting, the DisAbility Ministries Committee of The United Methodist Church was informed that the Global Health Division of the General Board of Global Ministries will stop funding us as of May 31, 2018. After many years of being our home in the United Methodist structure, they no longer have a mandate in the Book of Discipline to include us in their budget. In fact, our committee was quietly erased from the Book of Discipline altogether, without our consent or knowledge.

However, the Book of Discipline still gives Global Health responsibility for unspecified disability ministries. Although this no longer includes funding, they will still provide health-related grants, support in the form of publicity, housing our Advance, a link to our website on theirs, and in other ways yet to be agreed upon.

So what does this mean? It means we need to do more and better fundraising. It means that both grants and our operating expenses will come out of our Advance, unless and until we secure a new source of funding. It means that we will continue our work despite this challenge.

We are pursuing many opportunities and ways to have a home once again. Or maybe we will find a way to be self-supporting and independent!

What it does NOT mean is that we are closing down. You can still contact us for resources, trainings, and help. We are still here to serve you. Thank you for your support!



Sharon McCart
Chair, DisAbility Ministries Committee of The United Methodist Church

Friday, August 11, 2017

News and notes from AMD, 8/11/17

 CRC Network: The Trials of Charlie Gard
http://network.crcna.org/disability-concerns/trials-charlie-gard

"Am I my brother's keeper": Op-ed on airlines and emergencies
http://silentgrapevine.com/2017/07/op-ed-what-should-airlines-do-to-ensure-that-people-who-are-deafhard-of-hearing-understand-whats-going-on-in-a-real-life-emergency.html

UMNS: Deaf Ministry moves toward empowerment
http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/deaf-ministry-moves-toward-empowerment

Hidden costs of disability
https://theconversation.com/the-hidden-extra-costs-of-living-with-a-disability-78001

Silent movies and visual communication
https://blog.oup.com/2017/07/silent-movies-deafness/

The Importance of self-care
http://mhn-ucc.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-importance-of-self-care-by-karl.html

Preaching on mental health
http://www.pnwumc.org/news/preaching-on-mental-health/


--

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,
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Friday, August 4, 2017

News and notes from AMD, 8/4/17

Lighting a Fire
http://mhn-ucc.blogspot.com/2017/07/social-work-and-ministry-by-hannah.html

Lesson from service dogs
https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/candidate-ministry-shares-lesson-learned-guide-dogs/

Jewish perspective: B'tzelem Elohim
https://www.respectability.org/2017/07/26/leaving-life-in-a-better-place-than-we-found-it/

Among many disability groups, there is a strong memory of church opposition to the ADA. Now we add to that silence about the ACA.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/07/28/this-is-why-disabled-people-were-so-devastated-by-the-christian-silence-on-health-care/

Room at the table: Celebrating people of all abilities
(DMC community event, August 13)
https://www.facebook.com/DisAbilityMinistriesUMC/


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.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

News and notes from AMD, 7/28/17

August DHM Newsletter
https://www.umdeaf.org/news/

The Power of Rest
http://mhn-ucc.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-power-of-rest-and-saying-no-by-amy.html

ADA anniversary:
https://theconversation.com/fulfilling-the-promise-of-the-americans-with-disabilities-act-81426

Minding your pastor's mental health:
https://thebanner.org/departments/2016/12/minding-your-pastor-s-mental-health


Disability materials from DMC, DHM, and AMD to share at your Annual Conference:
https://www.umdisability.org/conference/

Room at the table: Celebrating people of all abilities
(DMC community event, August 13)
https://www.facebook.com/DisAbilityMinistriesUMC/

As we approach annual conference season, a reminder about the amendment to Article 4:
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2017/02/umc-article-4-amendment.html

Updated information: 4th Global Missions Conference of the Deaf
https://www.umcd.org/newsnat/1708.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,
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Friday, July 21, 2017

News and notes from AMD, 7/21/17

GCORR video, "Welcoming People with Disabilities"
http://www.gcorr.org/video/welcoming-differently-abled-people-in-church/

Where is the church family? NYT disability series:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/opinion/ehlers-danlos-family.html

"Want to be loving? Learn more."
https://www.facebook.com/RobertVoreOFMH/posts/1805616519749767

Preaching and mental illness:
http://www.workingpreacher.org/craft.aspx?m=4377&post=4937

UM Disability blog: The Ripple Effect
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-ripple-effect-tim-vermande.html


Disability materials from DMC, DHM, and AMD to share at your Annual Conference:
https://www.umdisability.org/conference/

Room at the table: Celebrating people of all abilities
(DMC community event, August 13)
https://www.facebook.com/DisAbilityMinistriesUMC/

As we approach annual conference season, a reminder about the amendment to Article 4:
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2017/02/umc-article-4-amendment.html

Updated information: 4th Global Missions Conference of the Deaf
https://www.umcd.org/newsnat/1708.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.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

The Ripple Effect -- Tim Vermande

Broad Ripple UMC in Indianapolis takes part in a neighborhood festival every July. This year, as a fund-raiser for a suicide prevention group, the church presented a choral concert and included speakers about various problems confronting the city. What follows are from Tim's prepared notes, addressing the audience about living with a disability.

During the week, if you watched the news, you’ve seen us on the tube, on Facebook, and all the other places, or you’ve heard about it. People with wheelchairs are blocking hallways, empty wheelchairs are sitting in pathways, and people are crawling up steps or otherwise getting in the way to make a point about access, health care, and the infrastructure of getting around.

(Exaggerated voice): the crips are getting restless. Whatever will we do?

We have a word for that: ableism.

Is it a new word to you?

Ableism is the presumption that “normal” (whatever that means) is the way for everyone to go, while anyone who doesn’t fit that definition has “special needs.” It takes many forms, such as ramps that are too steep, congressmen suggesting that I should have made better health choices to avoid pre-existing conditions (sure, before I was even born), being treated more as a medical diagnosis than a person to be included in society, or not assuming competence.

So when asked to speak living with a disability here, I thought the best thing to do would be to keep a diary and go through some notes. Here’s some of what I came up with.
·         In the early years of school, the assumption that since I couldn’t walk well, I couldn’t learn, and the rationalization when I showed them wrong
·         Learning later that a degree in history didn’t make me qualified to teach it, since I can’t coach football
·         The job notice for a computer-based teaching job that required the ability to lift 50 pound loads and carry them up stairs
·         Other job interviews with hurried, barely audible discussion, sometimes followed by an embarrassed “let’s use this room” or “oh, we just filled that job”
·         The last couple of years, when I go to work, the guard meets me at the door, because it weighs too much for me to wrestle with opening it, and the power door has repeatedly misfired and tried to crunch my ankles
·         Like JJ in Speechless, a trip to the store means dodging the people who apparently can’t see me and walk into me, while others jump right in front of me in a hurry, like a track hurdle
·         Wondering what someone was thinking when they placed a floor-mounted grab rail right down the middle of the stall in a restroom
·         Restaurants that, despite a large number of empty and convenient tables up front, can only find us a cramped booth next to a drafty door off to the side
·         Other restaurants where the server asks my wife what I want. Her favorite answer a few years ago was “he’s a graduate student at … ask him.”
·         Ongoing struggle with a hotel chain that can’t figure out that a towel rack isn’t a grab bar, and it takes more than that to be accessible, or even that we reserve accessible rooms because we need them
·         Conversations with some friends who were they can’t join churches because the Bible states that “faith comes by hearing,” so Deaf people aren’t able to have faith
·         Conversations and my own experience with seminary students and pastors who state that I can’t “run the race” of faith or need to be healed to show my faith before I can join
·         Rooms whose doors are just an inch or two too narrow to get through
·         The notes kept of a committee meeting a couple of years ago by someone with an intellectual disability: the committee talked about a bunch of stuff, and we met in an incredibly beautiful room that showed God’s light in so many ways.

Sometimes we miss the forest for the trees. We are so caught up in differences and making up schemes to classify them that we forget that each of us shows God’s light in a unique way.

Or, as one of my favorite cartoons put it, a little girl asks her mother “what’s normal?”

She hears in reply, “Normal is just a setting on the dryer.”

Thank you.


Friday, July 14, 2017

News and notes from AMD, 7/14/17

     Mental Health Friendly Language:
https://www.robert-vore.com/blog/2016/10/11/4-language-changes-to-make-your-church-more-mental-health-friendly

Disability theology and health care
http://mailchi.mp/uchicago/sightings-213621

Not a problem to be fixed:
http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/the-privilege-of-deafness-for-chantal-deguire-the-absence-of-hearing-isnt-a-problem-to-be-fixed/wcm/84caeed5-5c4a-4ea0-8b0c-9c657ce0b0bf

Turning design against stigma:
https://www.hearinglikeme.com/deaf-is-cool-fashion-brand-breaking-down-stigmas-of-hearing-loss/

New book: Max and his hearing aids
https://www.hearinglikeme.com/childrens-book-hearing-aids/

NYT disability series
"I believe strongly that everything should have been made accessible yesterday," https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/11/opinion/my-life-with-paralysis-its-a-workout.html

Disability materials from DMC, DHM, and AMD to share at your Annual Conference:
https://www.umdisability.org/conference/

Room at the table: Celebrating people of all abilities
(DMC community event, August 13)
https://www.facebook.com/DisAbilityMinistriesUMC/

As we approach annual conference season, a reminder about the amendment to Article 4:
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2017/02/umc-article-4-amendment.html

Updated information: 4th Global Missions Conference of the Deaf
https://www.umcd.org/newsnat/1708.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.

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Friday, July 7, 2017

News and notes from AMD, 7/07/17

DHM grant reports added:
https://www.umdeaf.org/fund/story.html

UM Com: ministry to people with dementia
http://www.umcom.org/learn/10-ways-churches-can-minister-to-those-with-dementia-and-their-families

Bishop Graves on health care
http://www.awfumc.org/newsdetail/a-word-from-bishop-graves-health-care-for-all-people-8667557


Disability materials from DMC, DHM, and AMD to share at your Annual Conference:
https://www.umdisability.org/conference/

Room at the table: Celebrating people of all abilities
(DMC community event, August 13)
https://www.facebook.com/DisAbilityMinistriesUMC/

As we approach annual conference season, a reminder about the amendment to Article 4:
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2017/02/umc-article-4-amendment.html

Updated information: 4th Global Missions Conference of the Deaf
https://www.umcd.org/newsnat/1708.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.

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Friday, June 30, 2017

News and notes from AMD, 6/30/17

Disabled people are not an inconvenience
http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a10205286/disability-lorde/

Things Deaf people live with:
http://www.ranker.com/list/things-deaf-people-have-to-deal-with/nathan-gibson

GBCS on health care:
https://www.facebook.com/gbcsumc/photos/a.109517104539.115362.22037974539/10155475282959540/?type=3&theater
and
https://www.umcjustice.org/news-and-stories/our-son-david-and-the-importance-of-medicaid-470

Bishop Palmer on Medicaid:
http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/06/medicaid_is_part_of_a_sacred_p.html

Mercy and justice (and disability):
https://largertable.com/2017/06/21/mercy-and-justice/

Disability materials from DMC, DHM, and AMD to share at your Annual Conference:
https://www.umdisability.org/conference/

Room at the table: Celebrating people of all abilities
(DMC community event, August 13)
https://www.facebook.com/DisAbilityMinistriesUMC/

As we approach annual conference season, a reminder about the amendment to Article 4:
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2017/02/umc-article-4-amendment.html

Updated information: 4th Global Missions Conference of the Deaf
https://www.umcd.org/newsnat/1708.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.

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Visit us on the web or Facebook

Friday, June 23, 2017

News and notes from AMD, 6/23/17

Disability materials from DMC, DHM, and AMD to share at your Annual Conference:
https://www.umdisability.org/conference/

Room at the table: Celebrating people of all abilities
(DMC community event, August 13)
https://www.facebook.com/DisAbilityMinistriesUMC/

As we approach annual conference season, a reminder about the amendment to Article 4:
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2017/02/umc-article-4-amendment.html

Updated information: 4th Global Missions Conference of the Deaf
https://www.umcd.org/newsnat/1708.html

Inclusion story from one synagogue:
http://urj.org/blog/2017/06/13/how-my-synagogue-has-prioritized-disabilities-inclusion-and-yours-can-too

Report on CRPD at UN:
https://www.disabled-world.com/news/crpd-sdg.php

Not Dead Yet: problems with assisted suicide bills
http://notdeadyet.org/2017/06/delaware-ndys-daniese-mcmullin-powell-testimony-against-assisted-suicide-bill.html

Black mental health literacy and pastors
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-black-mental-health-literacy-matters_us_5939b099e4b014ae8c69decf

"Inspiration porn" is a problem. Being inspiring is different. Distinguishing the two can be a challenge: http://www.freewheelintravel.org/if-im-your-inspiration-thank-you-very-much/

New Mobility reports on budget cuts
http://www.newmobility.com/2017/05/trump-budget-proposal-slashes-disability-services/

Indiana AC disability advocacy at Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/INUMCDisabilityAdvocacy/

Brief Guide: Ministry with Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened people
https://www.umdeaf.org/resource/cong.html

June newsletter from Deaf and Hard of Hearing ministries:
https://www.umdeaf.org/news/
--


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.
Visit us on the web or Facebook

Friday, June 16, 2017

News and notes from AMD, 6/16/17

Disability materials from DMC, DHM, and AMD to share at your Annual Conference:
https://www.umdisability.org/conference/

Room at the table: Celebrating people of all abilities
(DMC community event, August 13)
https://www.facebook.com/DisAbilityMinistriesUMC/

As we approach annual conference season, a reminder about the amendment to Article 4:
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2017/02/umc-article-4-amendment.html

Updated information: 4th Global Missions Conference of the Deaf
https://www.umcd.org/newsnat/1708.html

Advance information: UMCD-UMCDHM-ECD-ELDA meeting in July 2018
https://www.umdisability.org/180722.pdf


Disability benefits and history
https://stephenkuusisto.com/2017/06/03/the-washington-posts-distorted-view-of-rural-disability/

MHM spotlight
http://www.mentalhealthministries.net/spotlights/index.html

Robert Vore: Dear Pastors
https://www.robert-vore.com/blog/2016/2/17/dear-pastors

NYT Disability series
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/opinion/the-myth-of-disability-sob-stories.html

Ableism: real, pervasive, and subtle
https://thespinoff.co.nz/parenting/12-06-2017/ableism-is-everywhere-dont-leave-it-up-to-the-parents-of-children-with-disabilities-to-challenge-it/


--

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.
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

Friday, June 9, 2017

News and notes from AMD, 6/9/17

Disability materials from DMC, DHM, and AMD to share at your Annual Conference:
https://www.umdisability.org/conference/

Room at the table: Celebrating people of all abilities
(DMC community event, August 13)
https://www.facebook.com/DisAbilityMinistriesUMC/

NAMI campaign for mental health coverage:
https://nami.quorum.us/campaign/4184/?platform=hootsuite

As we approach annual conference season, a reminder about the amendment to Article 4:
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2017/02/umc-article-4-amendment.html

Updated information: 4th Global Missions Conference of the Deaf
https://www.umcd.org/newsnat/1708.html

Spirituality and recovery:
https://qz.com/606564/psychologists-have-found-that-a-spiritual-outlook-makes-humans-universally-more-resilient-to-trauma/ (the underlying study is at http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm)

WHO resolution on hearing loss
https://www.hearinglikeme.com/who-adopts-resolution-on-prevention-of-hearing-loss/

AMD letter to Commission on a Way Forward
https://www.umdisabledministers.org/resource/17forward.html

Advance information: UMCD-UMCDHM-ECD-ELDA meeting in July 2018
https://www.umdisability.org/180722.pdf
--


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.
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

News and Notes from AMD, 5/19/17

UM Disability blog: DMC Faith Development Curriculum released
http://umdisability.blogspot.com/2017/05/faith-development-curriculum-released.html

Creating a culture of accessibility (in a specific tech product, but the principles transfer)
https://blogs.dropbox.com/tech/2017/04/creating-a-culture-of-accessibility/

Is the "yes you can" mentality always best?
http://disabilityhorizons.com/2017/05/is-the-yes-you-can-mentality-always-best/

Clergy mental health
https://medium.com/christian-citizen/clergy-mental-health-30b1f960dac

Out of the shadows (suicide prevention)
https://appalachianpreacher.com/2017/05/13/out-of-the-shadows-the-valley-of-death/

Updated resources on accessible emergency communications
http://www.wirelessrerc.gatech.edu/updated-resources-accessible-emergency-communications
--

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.
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Faith Development Curriculum Released

A new faith development curriculum is now available from the Disability Ministries Committee of the United Methodist Church. In twelve lessons, with guidance materials, the lessons are suitable for confirmation classes or general church life classes with teens and adults who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. The lessons can also supplement other classes. Sharon McCart, chair of the committee, states that "barriers to faith development are too often found in complicated language and demanding lessons. This curriculum teaches the concepts of our faith in a way that is adaptable enough for a wide range of ability." 

The lessons include a variety of activities, such as singing, videos, Bible passages, prayer, discussion, and hands-on activities. Although presented in a suggested order for confirmation, each lesson is independent and can be used in sequence, or ordered as needed, or used alone.


The lessons were developed by a team of writers, including Rev. Donna Draeger, Rev. Karen Evenson, Rev. Debbie Hills, Gail Hoffman, Rev. Amanda Larsen, Naomi Mitchum, and Debby Newman. Costs are funded by the General Board of Global Missions. 

The materials may be found at the committee's web site: https://www.umdisabilityministries.org/curriculum/

Faith Development, a series of four vines progressively growing larger, set over the words

Monday, May 8, 2017

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

by Rev. Leo Yates, Jr.

May is known for many observances, but it is also known for Mental Health Awareness Month. In our churches, we often feed the souls of our congregants and visitors, which includes speaking to the whole person: mind, body, and spirit, and this month can reach all of these.

A Huffington Post article from August 2015 lists some eye-opening statistics on mental illness:

  • Half of all adults will suffer from mental illness in their lifetime.
  • Half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14.
  • One in five children will have a mental illness by age 18.
  • Ninety percent of people who die by suicide also had mental illness.

The Commission on Disability Concerns of the Baltimore-Washington Conference recommends that we take the time to raise awareness about mental health. There's no doubt that some in your congregation are or have experienced mental health issues. Part of raising awareness is by acknowledging the struggles folks may be going through (read some of the Psalms written by King David). Also, talking about mental health helps to remove some of the stigma associated with mental illness. In addition, it helps show that they are not alone and others are going through their own struggles too. Speaking about mental health usually comes from a vulnerable place and it takes some risk to even share our personal struggles; however, it is healing in that it helps to reduce or remove any shame associated with it, while lifting up this important subject.

Some ways to observe Mental Health Awareness Month include:

  • Having special prayers. (Here are some resources.)
  • Include some bulletin inserts. (Here are some resources.)
  • Preach one Sunday on one of King David's Psalms or about Jesus' grief when Lazarus died. The point is to normalize mental health, validate what people go through, and see God's love and grace during our struggles.
  • Invite a speaker to share during coffee hour. Topics include: addiction recovery, depression and/or anxiety, dementia, and grief. The speaker can be an expert or give a testimony. Take up a special offering and donate it to a mental health type ministry or charity.
  • Post mental health-related information on the church bulletin board; include suicide prevention information.
  • If you have a resource table, include educational pamphlets or brochures on depression, grief, anxiety, dementia, addiction, suicide prevention, community resources, and so on. (Here are some resources.)
  • Post or link an article or two about mental health on the church website.(Here are some resources.) Or link to the UM Committee on Disability Ministries and Mental Health Ministries.
  • Show a movie on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, such as Silver Linings Playbook.
  • Read an article about mental health at a youth group gathering, UMW meeting, and/or at an adult Sunday School class. Mention it to parents before reading an article at a youth group. (Here are some resources.)
  • Pray about starting a mental health ministry. (Here is a resource to get you started.)

For more ideas, go to www.mentalhealthministries.net.

As a person who has struggled with anxiety off and on during my life, I know firsthand the importance of maintaining my mental health. Often, we do not want others to know, but it's important we know we are loved, have a place we belong, and are not judged (or criticized) for our struggles. Isolation is often what occurs and we have an opportunity this month to break this trend.

This month, take a Sunday and observe Mental Health Awareness Month. You'll make a difference in someone's or some family's life.

Reference
Gregg-Schroeder, S. (2017). Mental Health Ministries. Retrieved from www.mentalhealthministries.net.

Rev. Leo Yates, Jr. is a provisional deacon serving in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. He is also a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Maryland.