Friday, March 22, 2019

News and notes from AMD, 22 March 2019


Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf:
-
MHM spring Spotlight
http://www.mentalhealthministries.net/spotlights/html_spotlights/2019/spring2019.html
-
Do you see what I hear?
https://pastorjimmymac.blogspot.com/2019/03/do-you-see-what-i-hear.html
-
Mark and Sandi Johnson, Deaf ministry
https://beardedtheologians.com/2019/02/21/beardcast-for-2-21-19-with-mark-and-sandi-johnson/
-
Life, death, and productivity thinking
https://crippastor.wordpress.com/2019/03/14/matters-of-life-and-death-productivity-thinking-bad-theology-and-exclusion/
-
Considering the ordinary
https://www.doforone.org/blog-posting/2019/2/27/considering-the-ordinary
-
Article about recent college admissions scandal mentions an under-appreciated problem: perception of disability when some people engage in faking conditions.
https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2019/03/14/advocates-students-learning-disabilities-fear-impact-admissions
-
Teaching children to protect their hearing
https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/life-hearing-loss/201709/children-need-be-taught-protect-their-hearing
-
With a little thought, what this article states about business can be extended to churches.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathankaufman/2019/03/11/why-mindset-matters-a-new-narrative-for-disability-and-business-in-the-21st-century/
-
A theology of equality for Intellectual Disabilities
https://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/9331/seeking-a-theology-of-equality-for-those-with-intellectual-disabilities
-
MHM on spirit and grace
https://www.facebook.com/186943104662050/photos/a.212469705442723/2261524877203852/?type=3&theater
-
Deaf community in Zimbabwe and Cyclone Idai
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10156124576559327&id=152198489326
-
NEJ Deaf Ministry Boot Camp, May 18, 2019
https://www.umcd.org/newsnej/1905.html
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.
UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

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

Friday, March 15, 2019

News and notes from AMD, 15 March 2019


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:
-
"I will pray for you"
https://largertable.com/2019/02/26/i-will-pray-for-you/
-
How my Judaism helped me accept my disability
https://www.respectability.org/2019/03/how-my-judaism-helped-me-accept-my-disability-shabbat-smile/
-
Restoration by repentance
https://crippastor.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/restoration-by-repentance-a-reflection-for-lent/
-
Design for confidence
https://mymodernmet.com/sarah-ivermee-custom-hearing-aid-decorations/
-
SAWS of Virginia
https://www.facebook.com/SAWsVA
-
ASL courses at university
https://www.ryerson.ca/news-events/news/2019/02/new-american-sign-language-courses-spell-success/
-
MHM: religion and happiness
http://www.pewforum.org/2019/01/31/religions-relationship-to-happiness-civic-engagement-and-health-around-the-world/
-
Cleaning out my basement
https://beckiewrites.com/2019/03/07/cleaningandchrist/
-
Is "special needs" the new "r-word"?
https://themighty.com/2019/03/special-needs-r-word-bad/
-
Who do you believe is indispensable?
https://crippastor.wordpress.com/2019/03/11/who-do-you-believe-is-indispensable-on-exclusion-love-life-and-death-in-the-united-methodist-church/
-
Is the church doing enough to welcome its neurodiverse members?
https://uscatholic.org/articles/201902/church-doing-enough-welcome-its-neurodiverse-members-31661
-
Where do I belong?
https://thethread.ptsem.edu/culture/where-do-i-belong
-
AMD member writes about inclusion's forgotten areas.
https://um-insight.net/perspectives/gender-race-and-disability-the-aspects-of-inclusion-we-frequ/
-
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.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Do no harm --- Leo Yates, jr, LCPC


Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth after General Conference
by Rev. Leo Yates, Jr., LCPC

The Book of Discipline affirms LGBTQ+ persons are of sacred worth. In order to carry out the traditional Methodist charge of "first, do no harm," bishops, pastors and church leaders need to be aware of measures that can save lives.


The pain is palpable. Reaction is strong. How do we help? Where do we go? What can we offer? With these and other questions, churches, pastors, and others are wondering how they might help LGBTQ+ persons following the adoption of the Traditional Plan at the Special General Conference in St. Louis, MO. It appears that, worldwide, the denomination is going in a more conservative direction, which will cause undue harm to LGBTQ+ persons, both youth and adults. While LGBTQ+ adults are more equipped to protect themselves, or even attend a different church if need be, the same cannot be said for LGBTQ+ youth. This is part of the grave concern, as youth who attend services with parents or caregivers often do not have a choice but to attend services with them, and for some, being a part of a insensitive youth group.
Hearing or being taught homophobic messages at church can and will likely contribute to a person’s self-perception that often leads to low self-esteem, even to mental health issues. This, of course, is related to prejudice and stigma that some LGBTQ persons face, such as bullying, harassment, discrimination, and so on.
A study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine in 2018 found a link between judgmental religion and suicide among gay and questioning youth, particularly where religion was important to them. This study included data from a 2011 University of Texas at Austin's Research Consortium, where it indicates that suicide is one of the leading causes of death among LGBTQ persons ages 10-24.* The study showed that questioning individuals were three times more likely to attempt suicide. For gay and lesbian individuals, religion was associated with 38 percent more likelihood to have suicidal ideation (thinking).* John Blosnich, the co-author of the study, from the West Virginia University’s Injury Control Research Center, noted that sexual minorities may worry what their sexual orientation means for their families, especially those who are religious.*
Suicide Prevention
To combat injuries, be familiar with the signs of suicide. Go to the websites of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or Mental Health Ministries to familiarize yourself with these signs. Some signs of potential suicide from the Trevor Project include some of the following:
·           Not care about their future: “It won’t matter soon anyway.”
·           Put themselves down: “I don’t deserve to live. I suck.”
·           Express hopelessness: “Things will never get better for me.”
·           Say goodbye to important people: “You’re the best friend I’ve ever had. I’ll miss you.”
·           Have a specific plan for suicide: “I’ve thought about how I’d do it.”
·           Talk about feeling suicidal: “Life is so hard. Lately I’ve felt like ending it all.”
 ·          Have a burst of cheerfulness after a period of sadness.
Startling Suicide-Related Statistics
NAMI provides us with some startling statistics that include:
·           LGBTQ youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide or engage in self-harm
·           Questioning youth are 3 times more likely to attempt suicide or engage in self-harm
·           38-65% of transgender individuals experience suicidal ideation (thinking about it)
To learn more about some of the experiences and hostility that LGBTQ+ youth experience, which can contribute to suicide and self-harm, check out the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) National School Climate Survey. and the It Get's Better Project for LGBTQ+ youth.
Mental Health Support
According to NAMI, LGBTQ+ persons are 3 times more likely to have a mental health condition. NAMI’s website offers a list of signs of mental illness and a short video presentation. If you feel that a youth or an adult might be suffering from a mental health condition, access to treatment is recommended. If it’s available in your area, dialing the health and human service referral hotline at 2-1-1 is one easy way to find treatment providers. Also, providers who offer inclusive services or specialize in this area can be found at the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association’s Provider Directory
Substance Abuse Support
The Center for American Progress states one of the main reasons some LGBTQ+ persons turn to substance abuse is because they live with a high level of stress because of social prejudice and discriminatory laws. Estimates by NAMI indicate that 20-30% of LGBTQ persons abuse substances compared to 9% of the general population. Alcohol abuse exists among 25% of LGBTQ persons, compared to 5-10% of the general population. 
Many times, people turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with feelings, often not realizing that an addiction is developing.. Being a part of a discriminated social group is stressful for many LGBTQ persons, whether a youth or an adult. If substance abuse is suspected, having a conversation with the youth or adult is recommended along with a referral to treatment (dial 2-1-1 for a referral or contact your local health department).  As you can imagine, overdoses can be deadly and encouraging a person to consider treatment is one of the most compassionate things you can do. If the person isn't receptive in the moment, don't try to win them over, or argue with them. Keep the door open to where they'll feel comfortable with you to return for future conversations.  Just offer your assistance if they ever need it, but with boundaries (e.g. not giving them money). And at some point, bring it up again. Being non-judgmental and empathetic is recommended when approaching the subject.
Help is Available
There are more resources available than you might think when serving LGBTQ+ persons. For example, the Trevor Project offers 24/7 crisis and suicide prevention lifeline for LGTBQ+ youth. Here are available resources:
·           Trevor Lifeline 1-866-488-7386 (24/7)
·           TrevorChat (3-10pm ET Mon-Fri) a confidential instant messaging service
·           TrevorText – (3-10pm ET Mon-Fri) a confidential service that connects LGBTQ youth with a counselor. Text START to 678678.
For transgender support, the Trans Lifeline offers a hotline that offers emotional and financial support. The Trans Lifeline’s Hotline is 877-565-8860.
The Tyler Clementi Foundation offers a plethora of resources that addresses bullying, suicide prevention, and other helpful resources for affirmation and support.

Affirming Individuals & Families
The Book of Discipline affirms LGBTQ+ persons are of sacred worth; however, not ordaining individuals because they're self-avowed practicing homosexual conflicts with the sacred worth affirmation. To be accepting of LGBTQ+ persons is also to be accepting of their relationships - not forcing them to be celibate or closeted. Denying their relationships, really means denying who they are as individuals. In order to reverse potential harm that may come from the denomination’s stance or from homophobic views, bishops, pastors and church leaders can do a number of things to be affirming to LGBTQ+ persons and their families.  The Baltimore-Washington Area Reconciling United Methodists (BWARM) offers recommendations and has a list of resources. Another resource, Nurse.org offers some great tips for such support:
1.    Expand your knowledge about sexual orientation and gender identity
2.    Know key LGBTQ+ definitions
3.    Deepen your LGBTQ+ knowledge
4.    Create a welcoming environment (e.g. posting a nondiscrimination policy, unisex bathrooms, etc.)
For more tips, check out the website. In addition to these above, BWARM recommends churches consider becoming a reconciling congregation or at least a welcoming/affirming faith community, and connect with Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN), Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC), Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA), and the like. Sometimes, collaboration with community organizations works just as well. 
There is no doubt that Christ calls us to be compassionate. In this call, he echoes the tapestry of compassion stories and verses in the Old Testament. For example, from The Message Translation, Zechariah 7:8-10 reads,
“‘Treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other. Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don’t plot and scheme against one another—that’s evil.’” 
Help LGBTQ+ persons to feel like they belong, not like a visitor or deemed as the stranger. This certainly holds true for same sex couples and their families being welcomed.
Arguments Don’t Help
There are some who believe that any orientation other than heterosexuality is wrong. They may share Bible verses that support their understanding. The same can be said about those who believe that homosexuality and different gender identities are a part of God’s creativity. However, arguing with others is not helpful and only serves to cause division. People on both sides of the aisle, can have their own opinions and beliefs. That’s okay, as long as it’s not infringing on others. Encouraging tolerance and fostering acceptance in worship settings work better than hurting one another.  Sharing the love of Christ with one another is how we make disciples. It’s worked for millennia.
Conclusion
An overlooked verse from Leviticus still holds true to today. It reads, Do not take revenge on others or continue to hate them, but love your neighbors as you love yourself. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18) We strongly recommend affirming LGBTQ+ persons and their families. We need them, like they need us, to better represent the body of Christ. The resources listed above are just the beginning and those needing assistance are encouraged to check them out or other resources. Being in relationships with diverse people enriches us and the church as a whole.
Citations
*Bollinger, A. (2018). “Religion can make gay youth more likely to commit suicide.” LGBTQ Nation. Retrieved from www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/04/religion-can-make-gay-youth-likely-commit-suicide/.
* Harding, A. (2018). “Religious faith linked to suicidal behavior in LGBTQ adults.” Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-lgbq-religion-suicide/religious-faith-linked-to-suicidal-behavior-in-lgbq-adults-idUSKBN1HK2MA
* Kuruvilla, C. (2018). “Chilling study sums up link between religion and suicide for queer youth.” Huffington Post. Retrieved from www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/queer-youth-religion-suicide-study_us_5ad4f7b3e4b077c89ceb9774.

* Pumariega, A (2019). "6 questions you can ask a loved one to help screen for suicide risk." The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/6-questions-you-can-ask-a-loved-one-to-help-screen-for-suicide-risk-102026.
* * Rev. Leo Yates, Jr., a deacon in full connection, is a member of the steering committee of BWARM and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Maryland. He is available for consultation at leoyjr@gmail.com.





Friday, March 8, 2019

News and notes from AMD, 8 March 2019


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:
-
Susquehanna Conference disability ministries
https://disabilityumc.org/
-
Race against the clock
https://crippastor.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/race-against-the-clock/
-
Forbes: misconceptions about disability and microaggressions
https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarahkim/2019/02/27/disability-microaggressions/
-
Indiana Disability Awareness month video
https://www.facebook.com/DisAbilityMinistriesUM/posts/1996686063763569
-
Noah Buchholz at Grace UMC, Delaware. Captioned video and ASL.
https://youtu.be/P2bSqqJzX9I
-
Review of Thriving Blind
https://beckiewrites.com/2019/02/25/kristinsmedleythrivingblind/
-
A response to GC 2019 (DMC)
https://umdisability.blogspot.com/2019/03/a-response-to-general-conference-2019.html
and press release
https://www.facebook.com/DisAbilityMinistriesUM/posts/2003611576404351?notif_id=1551897391017113&notif_t=notify_me_page&ref=notif
-
Report from GC 2019 (DHM)
https://www.umcd.org/newsnat/1902gc.html

Two important events:
-
UMCD Southeastern Jurisdiction Leadership Training Retreat (March 22)
https://www.umcd.org/newssej/190322.html
-
Summer Institute of Theology registration
https://hopecollegeeco.regfox.com/summer-institute-on-theology-disability-2019
-
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.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

A Response to General Conference 2019 -- Sharon McCart



I have read post after post, blog after blog about General Conference 2019. I would like to add something different to the conversation.


There is another marginalized group that has long experienced alienation and rejection at the hands of the Church, a church that claims to recognize their humanness, and that they are God's beloved, but that fails to manifest the love of God or show the ways they love these neighbors.

I am talking about people with disabilities, who sometimes cannot even find a way in to church, who more often have no bathroom they can manage to use at church, who are rejected as leaders in congregations by inaccessible chancels and/or discriminatory attitudes, who are asked questions by Boards of Ordained Ministry that are not about theology or ministerial practice but "How will you baptize an infant?" "How will you have enough stamina to do what a pastor must do?" and more that display the ignorance of the questioner above determining the readiness of the candidate.  I am talking about people who struggle with mental health challenges and find, not love and acceptance, but fear and rejection in the hearts of those at Church.

I have heard far too many stories from people with disabilities who are not allowed to work with children or teach Bible studies. I have even heard that some people with disabilities are refused needed help at church.  I have heard from people who face disbelief that God cannot possibly have called them to ministry because of their mental illness or their differences. The most heartbreaking account was that people at church told a person with a disability, "No one likes you and here's why!"

Please, while we are talking about the changes the UMC needs to make, can we remember that people with disabilities are also hurting and have been for a long time? Can we rebuild as a truly inclusive church, not just referring to our LGBTQ+ community but our disabled community? No one left behind ---a good motto that the Church ought to borrow permanently.

There is a vision here---a vision of the Body of Christ being complete and whole and shining like the sun in a dark world. Come! Let’s build a renewed Church together!

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

Friday, March 1, 2019

News and notes from AMD, 1 March 2019


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:

Our poets continue to write
https://crippastor.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/provoke/
-
The unfinished work of inclusion
https://ejewishphilanthropy.com/the-unfinished-work-of-inclusion/
-
Faith and Power
https://www.missionalwisdom.com/julian360/2019/2/24/faith-and-the-power-problem
-
Keeping Sabbath and self
https://oboedire.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/here-and-now-sabbath/
-
Wheelchair charging stations
https://krtv.com/news/montana-and-regional-news/2019/02/20/montana-state-capitol-installs-first-electric-wheelchair-charging-station/
-
Strength to ask for and accept help
https://www.bphope.com/finding-the-strength-to-ask-for-accept-help/
-
Resisting evil... employment discrimination
http://www.fox19.com/2019/02/20/walmarts-new-corporate-policy-may-cost-man-with-cerebral-palsy-his-job/
-
L'Arche: unknowing what you've learned
https://grandinmedia.ca/larche-place-start-unknow-youve-learned-society/
-
Discussing disability (Jewish perspective)
http://kolhabirah.com/index.php/features/1818-discussing-disability-nothing-about-us-without-us
-
"Suffer the little children"
https://www.startingwithjulius.org.au/suffer-the-little-children/
-
Google Live Transcribe app
https://www.umdeaf.org/hoh/
-
The importance of early detection
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/deaf-children-begin-processing-information-differently-infancy
-
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, February 22, 2019

News and notes from AMD, 22 February 2019


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:
-
Poets and prayers
https://crippastor.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/abba-father/
-
Falling... with style
https://pastorjimmymac.blogspot.com/2019/02/falling-with-style.html
-
Disability, Deaf, Mental Health ministries brochure
https://umcdmc.org/ministries/
-
Pastors also need retreat
https://www.christiancentury.org/article/first-person/time-my-psychiatrist-sent-me-retreat
-
Ghana Deaf ministry
https://www.umcd.org/wfdm/ghana.html
-
UM Church starts disability support group
http://www.thenewsenterprise.com/features/worship/radcliff-support-group-for-families-dealing-with-disabilities-starts-tonight/article_70ac2394-a389-5019-a04a-c2ab7c174823.html
-
Counseling for first responders
https://www.firerescue1.com/stress-management/articles/393275018-Study-reveals-roadblocks-to-mental-health-counseling-in-first-responders/
-
From awareness to acceptance in Jewish life
https://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/from-awareness-to-acceptance/
-
Church, belonging, and shalom
http://kevintimpe.com/the-church-belong-and-shalom/
-
Everyday ethics: caregiving
http://www.newmobility.com/2019/02/everyday-ethics-caregiver/
-
Supporting autistic children in church
https://includedbygrace.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/5-ways-to-support-autistic-children-in-church/
-
SAWS ramps newsletter
http://publizr.com/servantsatworksaws/saws-winter-newsletter-digital
-
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, February 15, 2019

News and notes from AMD, 15 February 2019


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:
-
AMD members as poets
https://thedrabble.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/my-white-cane-is-a-magic-wand/
and
https://crippastor.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/the-great-hiraeth/
-
Review of Through My Good Eye
https://maggiejaneschuler.com/2019/02/10/hollands-poems-touch-the-human-condition-and-more/
-
(Millennial) burnout with disability
https://themighty.com/2019/02/millennial-burnout-disability/
-
Can your church help? App for Deaf users
http://assistivetechnologyblog.com/2019/02/barriers-deaf-community-police.html
-
Christians and mental health
https://www.redletterchristians.org/stepping-into-the-light-christians-mental-illness/
-
A community of care
https://thriveglobal.com/stories/a-community-of-care-is-an-example-of-how-to-be-authentic/
-
Disability in heaven (captioned video)
https://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/disability-in-heaven/
-
Communion, Food allergies
https://mailchi.mp/44d598e31dd6/opening-doors-communion-and-food-allergies
-
Sorenson VRS video for Valentine's day
https://www.facebook.com/SorensonVRS/videos/1711942302254516/
and
L'arche art for Valentine's day
http://art.larche.ca/en/projects/western-region-saskatoon-laura-francis/
-
Loving someone with hearing loss
https://livingwithhearingloss.com/2019/02/12/how-to-love-someone-with-hearing-loss/
-
Book announcement: Fire by Night
https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-5138-0418-7
-

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, February 8, 2019

News and notes from AMD, 8 February 2019

Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf:

-
MHM: Mental  Health and African-American History Month
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Mental-Health-Ministries-186943104662050/posts/
and
https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/March-2018/You-Can-t-Pray-Away%E2%80%9D-a-Mental-Health-Condition
-
Design for all: excerpt from Accessible America
https://ssir.org/book_reviews/entry/design_for_all
-
God's grace gives me hope
https://beckiewrites.com/2019/01/31/godsgracesightloss/
-
Inaccessibility can kill people
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/02/02/that-tragic-new-york-subway-death-didnt-surprise-people-with-disabilities/
-
The Power of love
https://crippastor.wordpress.com/2019/02/01/the-power-of-love/
-
Values and cornerstones transformed
https://buildingsomethingbeautiful.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/values-and-cornerstones-for-the-church-transformed-by-our-friends-with-disabilities-introduction-and-2-of-5/
-
Advertising and disability
https://advertisinganddisability.com/2019/02/04/2018-report-on-advertising-and-disability/
-
Disability also ignored in business
https://www.businessleader.co.uk/research-reveals-disability-absent-from-leadership-agenda/58192/
-
Pondering
https://umdisability.blogspot.com/2019/02/pondering.html
-
Acknowledge disability as diversity
http://www.thehoya.com/landre-acknowledge-disability-diversity/
-
The Arc study on paid leave and disability
https://www.thearc.org/paidleavestudy
-
Sign language interpreting profession report
https://www.nad.org/2019/01/31/2018-2020-priority-report-on-sign-language-interpreting-profession/
-
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
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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Pondering

A follow-up thought after a recent post on The Power of Love.
Pondering as I sit here, essentially the opposite of one recent experience of which a few people read, am I Invisible?

The next time you go out, think about that step that keeps me home.
The next time you go out, think about the bathroom I can’t use.
Think about the ride I can’t share or the cab I can’t call.
Do you really miss me at all?

Even if they arrive I can’t get in like you.
So, think of me as you do.
Think about curb cut blocked by car or by snow.
And, all the places I can’t go.

To events, to parties, to see a band.
Your house of worship, if they had a plan.

I’ve heard the next place is better.
And, maybe it is. I’ll be an activist if I can get in.
Or, simply a face in the crowd.

That’s ok.
Maybe the next time or again after that.
I think of you. Honest I do.
I am your ally in spirit, I’m not really far.
Yet, as I sit here, I wonder, “Am I invisible?”

Chris Wylie

Friday, February 1, 2019

News and Notes from AMD, 1 February 2019


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:
-
AMD member's book
https://www.facebook.com/artofhealinggifts/posts/2239368626155946
-
Usefulness is not a measure of worth
https://www.facebook.com/artofhealinggifts/posts/2239368626155946
-
Point of view on perception
https://disabledchristianity.blogspot.com/2019/01/disability-ministry-perceptions.html
-
Addictions Recovery Ministry class
https://umdisability.blogspot.com/2019/01/wesley-students-engage-in-addictions.html
-
Church projects empower Deaf community
https://www.umnews.org/en/news/church-projects-empower-deaf-community
-
Dementia and religion: Alzheimer's caregiver support
https://religionnews.com/2019/01/17/dementia-and-religion-inside-a-churchs-alzheimers-caregiver-support-group/
and
Will I forget God?
https://religionnews.com/2019/01/15/dementia-and-religion-what-if-i-forget-about-god
-
Parking: keep accessible spaces open
https://www.ellenstumbo.com/accessible-parking-school
-
Churches aren't good with disability
https://www.christiantoday.com/article/thingsdisabledpeopleknow-churches-arent-good-with-disability/131526.htm
-
Cold weather care: self and hearing aids
https://www.hearingdirect.com/us/blog/5-tips-for-keeping-your-hearing-aid-safe-in-cold-weather.html
-
Always use a microphone
https://www.hearingtracker.com/blog/why-you-should-always-use-a-microphone-in-meetings
-
Accommodations are a Torah value
https://www.respectability.org/2019/01/lauren-tuchman-shabbat-smile
-
Review: Intellectual Disability, A Conceptual History
https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=53651
-
Why don't you believe me?
https://www.missionalwisdom.com/julian360/2019/1/30/why-dont-you-believe-me
-
February 9: Deaf Saturday Night Live at Lovers Lane
https://www.facebook.com/events/758543467865988/

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

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Wesley Students Engage in Addictions Recovery Ministry


Wesley Students Engage in Addictions Recovery Ministry

By Rev. Leo Yates, Jr.

Questions. There were a lot of questions from the first day of class all the way through the last day of class.  Addictions, both substance-related and behavioral addictions, and social support were among the topics of discussion and study during the Addictions Recovery Ministry course during the January term (J-term) class at Wesley Theological Seminary.

Questions: they flew fast starting on the first day of class. Students were taken aback by the responses of the opening group exercise. The class was asked to list 5 characteristics of an addict or an alcoholic. Addiction behaviors and appearances were listed; however, the small groups neglected to remember persons with addiction are also children of God.  It set the tone for the remaining two weeks of class, indicating the stigma individuals with addiction issues face, even in the life of the church.

Questions: they came from the diverse group of students, even though most in this pastoral care and counseling course had some exposure or personal experience with addiction. The course provided an overview of the bio-psycho-socio-spiritual aspects of addiction, which included understanding of it as a chronic disease. Ways to provide care for families, crisis counseling, an overview of mental illness, pastoral boundaries, administering Narcan (for overdoses), suicide prevention, and other practicalities comprised much of the course study. Angela Neal, one of the students, said, “I now have a better understanding of what someone in recovery will need in order to be successful.” A comprehensive overview of treatment and support, one that encompassed ways to provide pastoral care for a person’s continuum of care on the road to abstinence or recovery was the path of the course, said Rev. Leo Yates, Jr., the professor of the course. “It’s difficult to jump into church programming if the pastor or church leader doesn’t have the background knowledge of addiction and the different levels of care/treatment, including aftercare,” said Yates, a licensed clinician under an episcopal appointment as a behavioral health specialist at a Maryland agency. As a result, Jeremy Means-Koss, an Episcopalian student serving as a student intern at Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Laurel, MD, learned the importance of spiritual direction and formation, not only for the person and family in recovery, but for the congregation as well.

Deepening self-awareness was a significant part of the course that fostered theological conversations, not only to move away from the denial that persons with addictions and their families often face, but to encourage ministry leaders to recognize triggers, biases, and potential burnout. The complementary side of self-awareness is that it can assist persons to be attuned to God’s presence, to be more receptive to guidance from the Spirit for Christian service and to improve self-care. Corey Beauford, a licensed social worker and student from The AME Church said it this way, “From a Christian perspective, I’ve learned – and I must keep this in mind – that Christ is a redeemer and in him, we are new creations.” Recovery is indeed possible.

Part of the learning process and course study focused on how individuals, including clergy, are susceptible to addiction problems. The class heard from an anonymous guest speaker, who shared struggles of a behavioral addiction and how recovery is more likely with social support, some of which can be from the church. In addition, Yates shared his own recovery story, highlighting the need for mercy and grace for persons struggling with addiction, including their families. Both shared that 12 Step participation works well with church support, but sometimes shame and judgement from others holds persons back from being forthcoming with their pastors and church family.

In the journey to understanding support, the class learned that Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, both of which are 12 Step type groups, typically do a better job of welcoming individuals with addiction than churches do. Churches sometimes shy away from being involved because of uncertainty or distrust, perhaps even feeling overwhelmed with some of the needs persons and families may face.  Once we move away from judgment and fear, we can offer grace and care in the form of ministry programs. It’s important for us to remember that those of us who have more hope have a Christian responsibility to share it.  As a part of their coursework, each student developed a ministry program proposal for their present or future church to consider, which included receiving feedback from their fellow students. This way students are ready to bring, for some, life changing opportunities and support to their churches and communities.

Most pastors are not addictions counselors, but we can share in the human service work and/or lead others in doing so, said Marci Matthews, the daughter of Bishop Marcus Matthews, who was one of the students. If we are not recognizing the signs and struggles of addiction in our parishes, then we are not wanting to see it. One could argue that we are turning our back on Christ himself (e.g., Matthew 25:35). Christian witness is a part of addictions recovery ministry, yet Christian service comes in many forms and fashion, such as doing prevention education with youth groups, sharing space for 12 Step meetings, offering annual overdose prevention trainings for the community, even adopting a recovery house (a sober living environment) that supports others through friendship and prayer (students were introduced to 35 ministry programs). Accompanying this was the importance of accessibility to church programs for persons with disabilities, in particular Deaf and hard of hearing persons. Students learned sign phrases (e.g., “Hello. Welcome.”) and how churches can be welcoming to people with disabilities and Deaf and hard of hearing people.
The need is there. The struggle is real. Thankfully, Christ’s presence is too, and we all can help shine His light in places of darkness.


a group of seven students gathered around their professor, who is in the center, they are a diverse class.
The Addictions Recovery Ministry Class


Friday, January 25, 2019

News and Notes from AMD, 25 January 2019


Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf:
-
Be A Disciple Lenten Bible study from DMC Resource Person
https://www.beadisciple.com/online-christian-courses/ifd432-from-passion-to-promise/
-
Friendship
https://largertable.com/2019/01/11/genuine-friendship/
-
Captivating Magazine
https://beckiewrites.com/2019/01/21/two-of-my-articles-were-published-in-captivating-a-magazine-empowering-people-with-disabilities/
-
Deaf prayer service
https://www.awfumc.org/newsdetail/deaf-prayer-service-held-for-those-impacted-by-hurricane-michael-12655482
-
Dementia-friendly worship (on our website)
https://umcdmc.org/resources/ways-to-welcome-all/dementia-friendly-worship-service/
and
Dementia and religion (Religion News Service)
https://religionnews.com/2019/01/16/dementia-and-religion-songs-and-stuffed-animals-instead-of-sermons/
-
Dr. King and changing the edifice
https://disabledchristianity.blogspot.com/2019/01/dr-martin-luther-king-and-changing.html
-
Sue Mosteller and L'Arche Toronto
https://www.globalsistersreport.org/blog/q/ministry-spirituality/qa-sr-sue-mosteller-school-life-larche-daybreak-55798
-
Accommodations for bat mitzvah
https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2019/01/14/bat-mitzvah-girl-debuts-new-way-blind-jews-participate-an-ancient-tradition/
-
Update: Environmental sensitivities
https://umcdmc.org/resources/ways-to-welcome-all/environmental-sensitivities-and-fragrance-reduction
-
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, January 18, 2019

News and notes from AMD, 18 January 2019


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:
-
UM Higher Education Foundation scholarships, some directed for disabilities
https://t.e2ma.net/message/vfzyld/rcm7jp
-
Beckie writes: Ask Win!
https://beckiewrites.com/2019/01/12/ask-win-my-interview-on-this-amazing-podcast/
and review of the book
https://beckiewrites.com/2019/01/16/bookreviewiwin/
-
Review of Disability Studies: Aversive Ableism
https://rdsjournal.org/index.php/journal/article/view/811
-
Deaf and Unemployed
https://www.npr.org/2019/01/12/662925592/deaf-and-unemployed-1-000-applications-but-still-no-full-time-job
-
Therapy dog ministry
https://arumc.org/2019/01/everyones-best-friend/
-
ABA, autism, and harm
http://franklludwig.com/aba.html
-
Mental illness outreach
http://www.advocatesc.org/2019/01/ministry-loves-the-unloved-through-outreach-to-home-for-mentally-ill-men/
-
Why come out as disabled?
https://www.meriahnichols.com/why-come-out-as-disabled/
-
Deaf employment gathering at Gallaudet
https://www.npr.org/2019/01/13/673250200/deaf-and-unemployed-taking-matters-into-their-own-hands
-
Pastoral burnout
https://www.pnwumc.org/news/burnout-part-one/
-
Review: the beautiful message of Jean Vanier
https://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2019/01/11/review-beautiful-message-jean-vanier
-
South Central UMCD Conference, July 2019
https://www.umcd.org/newsscj/index.html
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.
UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

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

Friday, January 11, 2019

News and notes from AMD, 11 January 2019


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:
-
Priest learns sign language to be more inclusive
https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-46676990/priest-learns-sign-language-to-make-sermons-more-inclusive
-
New service in Colorado UMC
https://gazette.com/life/special-needs-service-at-first-united-methodist-church-welcomes-all/article_a01ebfae-0556-11e9-8f02-4ba328732787.html
-
Including first responder families in health counseling
https://www.firerescue1.com/amu/articles/393176018-How-children-of-first-responders-can-benefit-from-counseling/
-
Not a substitute for treatment, but ways to help people with depression
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ways-to-support-loved-one-with-depression_n_5c17fca2e4b0432554c2ffed
-
Universal Design for everyone
https://network.crcna.org/disability-concerns/universal-design-its-everybody
-
Fostering health in ministry
https://www.faithandleadership.com/samuel-rahberg-how-foster-healthier-year-ministry
-
Hearing loss is wide threat
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/31/well/live/hearing-loss-threatens-mind-life-and-limb.html
-
Using emojis accessibly
https://blog.easterseals.com/emojis-and-accessibility-the-dos-and-donts-of-including-emojis-in-texts-and-emails/
-
Audio description webinar
https://www.3playmedia.com/resources/webinars/webinar-registration-01-17-2019/
-
MHM Spotlight, Winter 2019
http://www.mentalhealthministries.net/spotlights/html_spotlights/2019/january2019.html
-
Wheelchair users, including UM pastor, run for office
http://www.newmobility.com/2019/01/wheelchair-users-election-to-office/
-
Deaf community mission to Red Bird, closes January 15
https://www.umcd.org/newssej/190811.html
-
South Central UMCD Conference, July 2019
https://www.umcd.org/newsscj/index.html
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.
UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

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