Friday, December 2, 2022

News and notes from AMD, DHM/UMCD, DMC - 2 December 2022

Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf. Please note that many posts have additional comments and discussion which will not be reflected in these links.

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DHM/UMCD
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DMC
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Events

Click here for a list of recurring events of interest to people in disability ministry.

logos of the four groups
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the United Methodist Church's disability organizations.
This newsletter is published on the UM Disability Blog.
Visit a directory of our members.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

DMC: Giving Tuesday, November 29

 A ministry partner of the General Commission on Religion and Race

Dear Friend, 

Last year people like you faithfully supported the work of the DMC. You cared enough to give, and Sojourner Truth Ministries in Central Pennsylvania was able to make major improvements to the entry to their community center, widening the ramp and installing a safety railing at the top landing. Pastor Angelique tells of how completing the grant application and accessibility audit sparked and broadened what they understood being a welcoming ministry to be. “Some people quit coming because getting into the building was simply too dangerous.” A group, including program participants with disabilities, began evaluating the accessibility issues. The process pointed out many obstacles that needed to be removed. “We thought we were welcoming, but our building conveyed the message that we were not.”

a man in a powered wheelchair on a ramp with tight turns

Some might think that $1000 isn’t enough to make a difference. This ministry dispels that notion completely. We asked what the improvements meant to the effectiveness of their program. “The ramp is a welcome mat! It says every person has value and will be treated with dignity and respect.” 

Because you care, more people with disabilities will be welcomed and will have the opportunity to find a place of belonging in our United Methodist communities of faith.

a clean ramp, a red door with "welcome"

Sojourner Truth Ministries provides a soup kitchen, dinner church, Bible study, after school program, and much more. It is located in a 100+ year-old Methodist church building bought after that congregation closed its doors. It is built into a hillside, which limits the accommodations that can be made. It operates on a very tight budget but supporters of the ministry are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and do a lot of the work themselves. Some folks made changes to interior spaces. They removed pews in the former sanctuary and replaced them with round tables and chairs for their Dinner Church. Others painted a second entry  door and cleaned up the entryway to make it more welcoming.

Freshly-painted blue door with a man standing in front

When asked to share stories about how lives were changed and the goals of the ministry advanced by this grant, Pastor Angelique told us “One man, who had a stroke several years ago and has difficulty speaking, used hand gestures to explain how he had nearly fallen and of his fear of falling.” Here are the words he DID say the first time he used the ramp: “Wow! Wow! THANKS. Good. Wow, man!” Another participant shared that he had fallen twice trying to make the sharp turn and was so thankful for a safer ramp. He felt people cared. Another had not come to Dinner Church in a long time. He said there had been times he thought he would fall right over the edge of the stairs. The vision for the ramp was that it would show, in a concrete way, that each person is valued, welcomed, and an important part of the ministry. All this and more has been realized. 

The Disability Ministries Committee of the United Methodist Church receives no apportioned funds from the General Church. We rely on our generous donors, people just like you, to make projects like this one a reality. Your gifts will also support providing consultative services, resources, and training throughout the United Methodist Church to improve accessibility and create places of true belonging for people with disabilities. 

Won’t you please support our work today?  

1. Go online at www.umcdmc.org and click on the yellow “Donate” button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. There you will find a link to Advance project #3021054  and our Paypal account. Follow the instructions there to give online. 

2. Send a check to 

The General Commission on Religion and Race 
       Attn: Christina Yates/DMC
       100 Maryland Ave NE, Ste 315
       Washington, DC 20002

            Be sure to write “DMC Donation” on the memo line.

You can learn more about the work of the Disability Ministries Committee (DMC) by visiting our website at www.umcdmc.org. If you want to get more involved or have any questions, please email us at information@umcdmc.org. Thank You!!

In the Name of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ,

Rev. Debbie Hills

Chairperson, Disability Ministries Committee of the United Methodist Church


Friday, November 18, 2022

News and notes from AMD, DHM/UMCD, DMC - 18 November 2022

Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf. Please note that many posts have additional comments and discussion which will not be reflected in these links.

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Giving Tuesday is November 29, just after Thanksgiving. Please consider what you're thankful for, and take time to imagine a better world, and what you are able to give to either DHM or DMC (or both). These committees are making a difference--grants not only provide hardware such as ramps and listening systems, but aid innovative programs of outreach and justice.
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DHM/UMCD
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DMC
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Events
  • November 20: Grace UMC, Wilmington DE, Deaf worship, meal and movie
  • November 29: Giving Tuesday, DMC and DHM
  • December 2: Martin Luther University College, Beyond Saints and Superheroes
  • February 2023: The Church’s Ministry with Dementia, Pre-register now
  • June 26-29, 2023: Institute on Theology & Disability, Waco TX
  • August 6-11, 2023: UMCD/ELM Red Bird Mission
  • Covid-19 list of inclusion resources

Click here for a list of recurring events of interest to people in disability ministry.



This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the United Methodist Church's disability organizations, but we'll probably skip Thanksgiving week.
This newsletter is published on the UM Disability Blog.
Visit a directory of our members.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Dry Bones

 Rev. Michele (Mimi) Luebbers

The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” 

I answered, “O Lord God, you know....”

Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”

A 1534 illustration of the scene, a figure in the forefront raises his hand as bones (on the right) become human figures (on the left) and figures in the clouds blow air on them

I have been advocating for people with disabilities since I was a teenager, but it wasn’t until my recent hip replacement surgery that I, myself, have experienced firsthand what it is to live with mobility challenges. I recognize that my condition is only temporary, but for many individuals, facing these issues of accessibility and acceptance is a permanent way of life. For me, the presence of pain and fatigue, and my forced dependence on others has been a grueling exercise in humility. I am realizing that I make a much more patient care giver than receiver. Yet, as one of my friends who lives with profound physical disabilities likes to remind me, the kin-dom of God is designed as one of interdependence. 

As I struggle to bear weight on my brand-new titanium hip bone and strain to pull myself up to standing these first few times following surgery, God asks me, “Can these bones live again?” And I respond, “Lord God, only you know.” Then, I remember that when I trust God enough to do what I am being called, no commanded, to do, that is when I feel most alive, when things come together for me, when they really start to click, or should I say “rattle.” 

Sooner or later, we will all find ourselves in the valley of dry bones, feeling frustrated, discouraged, hopeless, even cut off from God. Yet, that is when the Lord God promises, “You shall know that I am the Lord when I open your graves and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live.” And so, I stumble weakly and awkwardly forward, clutching onto my walker, as I do my faith, for dear life, knowing that the Lord has spoken and will act. 

Lord God,

When we find ourselves in the valley of dry bones, at a loss for hope and feeling completely cut off from you, come breathe your holy, healing, spirit into us. Then, we will rise up and live again, co-creators with you in communities of inclusion and belonging.

Amen.

(Ezekiel 37.1-14, New Revised Standard Version, Updated Edition. Copyright © 2021 National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Lutheran Bible 1534, Illustration of Ezekiel 37: The resurrection of the dead bones of Israel by workshop of Lucas Cranach. Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.)



Friday, November 11, 2022

News and notes from AMD, DHM/UMCD, DMC - 11 November 2022

Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf. Please note that many posts have additional comments and discussion which will not be reflected in these links.

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DHM/UMCD
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DMC
-
Events

Click here for a list of recurring events of interest to people in disability ministry.


This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the United Methodist Church's disability organizations.
This newsletter is published on the UM Disability Blog.
Visit a directory of our members.

Giving Tuesday   November 29