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

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