Friday, October 18, 2019

News and notes from AMD, 18 October 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:
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AMD
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DHM/UMCD
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DMC
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MHM
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.
UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

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

Friday, October 11, 2019

News and notes from AMD, 11 October 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:
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In Memoriam: Leo Yates, Sr.
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AMD
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DHM/UMCD
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DMC
-
MHM
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.
UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

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

Friday, October 4, 2019

News and notes from AMD, 4 October 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
-
DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.
UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

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

Thursday, October 3, 2019

UMC's Disability-Friendly and Accessible Badge Program

Wesley UMC in Georgetown, Delaware, and Moran UMC in Spokane, Washington, are the first two churches to receive the denominational Disability-Friendly and Accessible Gold badge.  Ebenezer and Bethany Mission UMC in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, along with Hillcrest UMC in Fredericksburg, Virginia, are the first to claim a Silver badge.  The badges are given in recognition of each congregation’s work on creating an inclusive space where people with and without disabilities can worship and serve together.  Badge awards are based on a congregation’s scores on the revised Annual Accessibility Audit for United Methodist Churches.  Does your church qualify for a badge?
Peninsula-Delaware Conference Bishop Peggy Johnson and Rev. Becky Collison of Wesley UMC
Peninsula-Delaware Conference Bishop Peggy Johnson awarding Gold badge to Rev. Becky Collison of Wesley UMC

The Disability-Friendly and Accessible Church badge initiative was launched in April by the DisAbility Ministries committee of the UMC. We hope that many annual conferences adopt the program and find it useful. For instance, results provide an objective way of selecting host churches for district and conference events.  Local churches will find the tool helps them prioritize the next steps as they work to become barrier-free.

Some audit items are based on meeting the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but others reflect best practices in hospitality for members, guests, and community groups using the building.  Many items are not costly, e.g. observing an annual Disability Awareness Sunday, listing accessibility measures on the church website, and having companions or “buddies” available for children or adults who need a little extra support to navigate worship or church school.  More low-cost suggestions are found in the new handout “Ideas for Becoming Intentionally Disability-Friendly on a Tight Budget.
Moran UMC's parking lot with three accessible spaces and walkway.
Moran UMC's parking lot illustrates fully accessible parking

Congregations apply for Bronze and Silver badges based on self-report of their Annual Accessibility Audit scores.  Gold badge items include having a barrier-free chancel and automatic door opener.  Bonus gold points are earned based on measures taken to meet specific needs of the congregation and community.  Gold status is conferred after a review by someone designated by your conference disability committee or the DMC.  Churches that meet badge criteria and commit to ongoing accessibility improvements can upload the badge for use on their website and other media.  Door decals are coming soon!

Per The Book of Discipline (Paragraph 2533.6), church trustees shall conduct an annual of their buildings, grounds, and facilities, drawing on others in the congregation to assist them.  The annual trustees Charge Conference report asks whether the audit has been carried out.  The General Council on Finance and Administration has adopted the DMC audit and posted this new version on their website under Local Church Forms.  The brand-new, fully-fillable PDF version that can be used on tablets is also on the GCFA and DMC sites.  Updating your audit in future years will be quick and painless!  For more information check the Accessibility Audit page on the DMC website or write to the committee e-mail address.

Submitted by Deaconess Lynn Swedberg, OTR/L, Disability Consultant, on behalf of the DisAbility Ministries Committee of the UMC. 

AMD at Deacon Gathering


Rev. Hank Jenkins, co-chair of the United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities, delivered a keynote presentation entitled “Ministry Through a Disabled Lens” on Saturday, September 28, at the General Church gathering of United Methodist Deacons. The event was hosted by the Southeastern Jurisdiction Order of Deacons at the Lake Junaluska Conference Center in North Carolina and focused on the theme “Serving with Holy Boldness.”

Rev. Jenkins introduced listeners to the field of disability theology, paying particular attention to what it means to be created in the image of God, the importance of relationships, the vulnerability of humanity, and the idea of a “Disabled God.” In the presentation, Jenkins reviewed the work of disability theologians Thomas Reynolds and Nancy Eiesland and encouraged those in attendance to be more mindful of their inclusion of and attitudes toward people with disabilities.
Hand Jenkins addresses a group

He concluded the talk by offering both practical and attitudinal changes congregations can make to become more accessible, including emphasizing inclusion over programs; ensuring current programs and meetings are accessible; conducting an accessibility audit; training staff, greeters, and volunteers how to directly engage people with disabilities; considering language; and asking about the needs of people with disabilities in their faith community.

Rev. Jenkins’ talk was one of four keynote presentations and a panel discussion that took place over the weekend. Other speakers included deacons Margaret Ann Crain and Martina Efodzi and Bishop Ken Carter of the Florida Annual Conference. Approximately 120 people attended from the various annual conferences of the United States.

Friday, September 27, 2019

News and notes from AMD, 27 September 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
-
DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.
UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

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

Friday, September 20, 2019

News and notes from AMD, 20 September 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
-
DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.
UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

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