by Sally Blanchard
Did you know The United Methodist Church has a nationwide Disability Ministries Committee? Their ministry website has a wealth of information and resources for learning about ways to include everyone in worship and activities, and useful articles for those just learning about “ableism.”
As churches prepare to move toward more in-person gatherings, now is a good time to give some thought to how welcoming and accessible your planned events are for people of all abilities. A great place to start is to conduct an accessibility audit of your church or mission property.
Form a small team in your setting and read about ways to make interactions with persons with disabilities easier and more relaxed in this article by Tim Vernande on Etiquette and Communication.
The DisAbility Ministries website begins “all people, including those with disabilities, are created in God’s image and have sacred worth. We believe that it is vital to the body of Christ to celebrate the spiritual gifts of people with disabilities and incorporate them into the life of the church. Through advocacy, education, and empowerment, we strive to fully include people with disabilities in worship, missions, leadership and ministry – throughout the United Methodist Church. We invite individuals and local congregations to join us in this vital ministry.”
See the Greater NW UMC Disability Ministry Facebook page for ideas for connecting people and resources for full inclusion of persons with disabilities within UM churches in the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area.
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