Friday, November 17, 2017

News and notes from AMD,11/17/2017

Giving Tuesday is Nov. 28
DHM: http://www.umcmission.org/Give-to-Mission/Search-for-Projects/Projects/982562
DMC: http://www.umcor.org/Search-for-Projects/Projects/3021054
DMC flyer, .png: https://www.umdisabilityministries.org/gtf2017.png
DMC flyer, .pdf: https://www.umdisabilityministries.org/gtf2017.pdf
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Canadian Down Society has released several PSA's with the theme "Anything but sorry," here is one: https://youtu.be/gWUkI5mghx8
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Healthcare enrollment kit for churches that are participating:
http://www.souls2enroll.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/SOULS2ENROLL-TOOLKIT-3.pdf
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Update to Congregational Guide to Sign Language Interpreting
https://www.umdeaf.org/resource/cong.html
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The Gift of the Strange
http://unvirtuousabbey.com/2017/10/31/lily-burana-the-gift-of-the-strange/
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Teen suicide and pastors
http://www.adnetonline.org/Newsletter/Pages/2017/Connections%20Fall%202017/Suicide-Lifeline.aspx
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Hearing aids with creative flair
https://www.hearinglikeme.com/artist-drawing-hearing-aids-on-art-to-break-down-stigmas/
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There will not be a newsletter next Friday. If time permits, maybe Wednesday, maybe the following week.

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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.

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Visit us on the web or Facebook

Friday, October 20, 2017

News and notes from AMD, 10/20/17

Our God-given gift of creativity and hearing aids
https://www.hearinglikeme.com/how-to-decorate-hearing-aids-2/
and
https://themighty.com/2017/08/why-i-decorate-my-hearing-aids-and-cochlear-implants/

National survey on accessible parking
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AccessibleParkingSurvey

NYT disability series: You are special! Now stop being different
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/12/opinion/learning-disabilities-attention-deficit.html

We have updated the Emergency Preparedness article on our website to include more roles for disabled people: https://www.umdisabilityministries.org/widen/plans.html

Mental illness, taboo for pastors
http://lifewayresearch.com/2014/09/22/mental-illness-remains-taboo-topic-for-many-pastors/
 --

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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Looking for Volunteers? -- Leo Yates, Jr.

Looking for Volunteers? Check with People with Disabilities

By Rev. Leo Yates, Jr.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). It’s been in existence for over 70 years. The observance was established to recognize those with disabilities who make contributions to their community, even to their nation. Although many people with disabilities are unemployed, many do work.

Regardless of their employment status, people in general want to contribute, have a life purpose, and feel like they’re making a difference. Year around, but especially during this month, churches are encouraged to do more than be inclusive of people with disabilities (for example, through accessibility); they are encouraged to empower their church members with disabilities. Remember, employment is not exclusive to income, but also includes volunteer employment. 

Most persons with a disability will be able to let you know what he or she cannot do. Certainly, the Holy Spirit bestows spiritual gifts and talents to everyone (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). Along with this, the Apostle Paul describes how the church needs everyone through his metaphor of how each body part is essential to the body. “God put our bodies together in such a way that even the parts that seem the least important are valuable.  He did this to make all parts of the body work together smoothly, with each part caring about the others” (1 Corinthians 12:24-25). The beauty of this is grace is extended to everyone.

In the spirit of NDEAM, consider recruiting people with disabilities in the church or ministry setting. Some ideas include having volunteers:
  • ·         Call church members who are in the hospital or in the nursing home.
  • ·         Call or email church members who have missed a few Sundays to check on them. He/she can pass on any pastoral needs to ministry staff.
  • ·         Establish and facilitate a disability ministry committee (see page 16 of the BWC disability ministries manual).
  • ·         Do data entry on the computer or database.
  • ·         Call or email church members to invite them to church-related events (use a service such as Evite).
  • ·         Use Hubspot or your own templates to create or design newsletters or announcements for the bulletin board or to be emailed.
  • ·         Be a greeter or usher with these tools from UM Com.
  • ·         Assist Sunday school teachers (or be the Sunday school teacher) or work one-on-one with a child needing assistance.
  • ·         Keep up the UM tradition of eating together: organize and/or schedule potluck meals.
  • ·         Assist with the preparation of the Lord’s Table (e.g. bringing the bread and setting it up).
  • ·         Organize disability awareness events (Disability Awareness Sunday, monthly topics to post on the website or bulletin board, searching for articles or videos to post on the church website, and so on).
  • ·         Make copies of the bulletin and folding it.

The list is endless, and that’s part of the point. It’s often a matter of finding out what the spiritual gifts and interests of people with or without disabilities are and connecting them in ways that helps to lead or serve the faith community. Sometimes, we need to change our mindset and stop looking at only their disability, but to see the whole person who has gifts and graces for our church. By focusing only on the disability and thinking they need to be served, we mistakenly set them apart and/or possibly oppress them further. All people have a calling to serve the people of God.

Reference:
www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/

Rev. Leo Yates, Jr. is a provisional deacon serving as the chairperson of Commission on Disability Concerns in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. He is also a caregiver for his father who is Deafblind and his mother who has multiple disabilities.


Friday, September 22, 2017


REPORT OF MY EXPERIENCE:
Pastor Kary Janaina S. Sales Borges

Originally addressed to Rev. Thomas Hudspeth, in response to a request after the First International Conference of Mission and Deaf Culture, and reprinted with permission of the author.

I come respectfully to talk about my experience and how I reached the priesthood of the Methodist Church. I am a blind person born in the city Rondonopolis, the state of Mato Grosso, located in the west-central region of Brazil, married to Gelson José Borges, mother of one daughter Ana Hadassa Sales Borges who is 4 years old and currently I reside and lead the Methodist Church of Porto Ferreira SP since 2012.

It has been and is a great grace to know and live for the work of our Lord. “To know and live for the Lord” is not just to read your Bible or to learn by heart some scriptures, but rather to have a knowledge like that of children. Is it not true that children taste everything by putting it in their mouths? They put everything in their mouths. I have noticed that through my daughter, ever since she was born. She used to do that and still does. To know the Word is to ‘taste it’ and to ‘delight in it’. Likewise, to know God is to experience his ‘taste’ and his ‘aroma’. The Lord has given me a great opportunity to come near him and to ‘taste’ him. To taste how the Lord is good… To taste how the Lord is an intimate friend and merciful. It was the church that gave me this privilege to have intimacy with the Lord. I knew Jesus through teachings of my family and of the church. But I had a personal experience in truly knowing him, by going to the Methodist Church in Rondonopolis, state of Mato Grosso, which is near where I lived. I went there in search of help for a friend who is also blind and who was very depressed. I took her to the Methodist Church, without even being a member there, with the hope that the Pastor could help her overcome her depression. I was happy at how well I was welcomed and I started to attend that church.

After almost one year, during a Sunday service, during a sermon of Rev. Fabio, current elected bishop in the council of our church, I felt in my heart the will to be a servant of the Lord.  You must be thinking: “Only after a year that you had arrived at church was it that you had a personal experience with Jesus?” Yes! On a Sunday evening, I opened my heart and listened to that sermon and something touched me deeply. I felt it in my heart, the taste of that moment and a strong aroma that marked me intensely. What Jesus had asked Peter and the other apostles, I also heard him ask me: “And you, who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15) In reality, it was Jesus asking me: “And you, Kary Janaina, who do you say I am?” Right at that moment and on that evening, I had my personal encounter with Jesus. Ever since that day, I felt the strength of my calling. Some days later I felt very afraid… I did not know what had happened to me. I searched for Pr. Fabio and told him what was happening. He also did not understand what was ministered to me. In face of this fact, he was very happy and he supported me in my calling.

With a conviction of my calling, the church referred me to the Baptist seminary in a nearby town, where I was for 6 months, and I felt that that was not what God had for me because they wanted me to be a Baptist. I returned to Rondonopolis and reported that to pastor Fabio and he gave me some guidance. Because I did not have the two year membership as is required, I had to wait until I did in order to be recommended by the church and go to the Methodist College in Sao Bernardo. I had received my calling in the Methodist Church and therefore that is where I should complete my studies, according to the will of God.

During this time I developed a project of evangelism with the blind people of the Louis Braille Institute of Rehabilitation where I had studied for 18 years previously. Many people accepted Christ there.

I completed the two years required of membership and in 2005 I went to do the pre-theological in the city of Lins, state of Sao Paulo for one year. I was afraid because I had never travelled alone before and I had to do it then, until I completed the course.

At that point, I took the vestibular (a test to enter into college). By the divine grace and a lot of determination on my part, I passed and I entered in 2006 into UMESP, the Methodist College in Rudi Ramos in the city of Sao Bernardo do Campo in the state of Sao Paulo. Everything went well in the course, but because I was the first blind person, it was a great experience for me and for the institution itself.

There was a time I went through a trial, that was when the great grace fell upon me: many people that should have supported me doubted that I would conclude the Theology Course. However, inspired by grace and by the Holy Spirit, comforted and helped by him, I dedicated myself to my studies. I was the object of irony for many, they made bets that I would not graduate in theology. Some friends and teachers supported me, they saw in me a reliable and determined person. Many of them are my friends to this day.

During five years, I would go to and from my home city of Rondonopolis and Sao Bernardo, which are approximately 1,800 km apart. Always travelling alone, and with God´s grace I concluded the course. God was carrying out his will in me, for me to be his servant. In the year of 2009 I was nominated as assistant pastor in the city of Ribeirao Preto in the state of Sao Paulo, for two years. In 2011, I was caught by surprise being nominated as senior pastor  of the Methodist Church in Porto Ferreira, in the state of Sao Paulo, where I still am currently. In 2014 I was appointed coordinator of the 5th and 8th ecclesiastical regions for the ministry of inclusion. Aside from my ministry, I take part in the handicapped association in this city called “Nós Somos Capazes” (“We are able”) of which I am one of the founders. I am hope for their families, who seek help. The Lord guides me so that I can comfort them and show, in the gospel, the answer to those who seek me in the hope of also having an experience of an encounter with God. He prepared me to be here. And, like a child, I continue to ‘taste’ the delight of having had such experience and of being able to share it. “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor 2:9)

With the growth of my ministry, I have taken part in a couple of congresses, the “Integral Mission for the Deaf” in Belo Horizonte being one of them, where I had the great pleasure of meeting you. There I was able to notice how much we, as handicapped people, can learn and teach. That we are living  witnesses of God's love, in the way you expressed your ability of preaching the gospel of the good news to every creature. The biggest disability is in the soul of people who do not know and do not want to seek a deeper personal experience with God.

With you, I had the conviction that I am not alone, and that the distance and the language are not an obstacle for us having integration regarding many of the human special needs. I have noticed that this movement, your ministry and the ministry of Pr Ronilson Lopes de Almeida produce fruit as determined by our Lord Jesus Christ. May our church have the sensitivity to support and take this ministry forward, and may we learn to listen and communicate with the Deaf, and acknowledge that the disabled are able.

I was impressed with the reverence shown by Reverend Thomas Hudspeth, to those who are in need of knowing the Word, with his manner of communicating, with serenity, spirituality which was clearly distinctive, making me and all the others present too very happy. I take the liberty to congratulate the team for their complicity and fine tuning by which they lectured to us with love and grace. On my part, I would like to express my gratitude for this precious opportunity.

In the same way I had this experience of God´s love, and of my personal encounter with him, many still don´t have this perception. And it is up to us as an example, to develop and carry out the mission that Jesus Christ asks of us.

”When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

With the grace of God and his love,

Rev. Kary Janaina S.S Borges

Rev. Borges standing on a platform, she is wearing a pastor's robe with a red stole, and playing a guitar.

See more photos at www.umdeaf/mission/borges.html

News and notes from UMAMD, 9/22/17

 Volunteers and disability (2 articles)
https://charitychannel.com/the-case-for-hiring-a-manager-of-volunteers/
https://charitychannel.com/is-your-program-ready-to-welcome-all-volunteers-a-checklist/

NYT Disability: Nazis' first victims
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/13/opinion/nazis-holocaust-disabled.html?_r=1

Disability pride is good for you
https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/osu-sad082817.php

"Low expectations" or "presume competence"--a story from the tech world that, with few changes, could be true in (too many) churches:
https://longmoreinstitute.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/ending-the-cycle-of-low-expectations/

Breaking Barriers, from CRC disability ministries:
http://network.crcna.org/disability-concerns/breaking-barriers-fall-2017

Report from Brazil
https://www.umdeaf.org/mission/borges.html

Using a microphone:
https://www.uua.org/worship/lab/what-youre-saying-when-you-say-i-dont-need-mic


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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.

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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.
UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several disability symbols
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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.
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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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/


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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.
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

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.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
Visit us on the web or Facebook

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,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
Visit us on the web or Facebook