a newsletter for UMC annual conference and disability ministry leaders

A partner ministry of the General Commission on Religion and Race
Some of you are receiving this newsletter version from the Disability Ministries Committee (DMC) for the first time, as we typically send it only to conference leadership. This month we are excited about so many new disability resources that we wanted to get the word out to everyone!
New and Updated from the Disability Ministries Committee:
  • Faith Talks Podcast on Including People with Disabilities with Rev. Debbie Hills and Rev. Melinda Baber from the DMC. Listen as they discuss ways faith communities can become places of true belonging.

Resources from annual conference disability ministries committees:
  • Accessibility Audit Training Video was developed by the Baltimore-Washington conference Commission on Disability Concerns to help you complete the Annual Accessibility Audit for Churches. This is a great resource for anyone new to completing an audit!

If your church needs seed money for an upcoming accessibility or disability ministry project, consider applying for a accessibility grant through the DMC. Applications and instructions are available on the Grants page of our website. Completed applications are due by March 31st. Contact us if you need additional information. Note that we cannot reimburse a congregation for projects that are already completed.

In 2020 we gave out $3,500 for four grants. Projects funded included ramp improvements for a soup kitchen and meeting space in the Susquehanna conference, an ADA bathroom on the main floor in a urban church in the Mountain Sky conference that hosts mission teams for immersion experiences, ADA upgrades for a church in the California-Pacific conference, and ramps and accessible restrooms for the chapel at South Philippines Methodist Colleges, a facility that hosts conference trainings and events in addition to college chapel services.

Remember that these grants are supported by your gifts to the Disability Ministry Advance #3021054, as we receive no apportioned funding.
Advanced Lay Servant Course, Mountain Sky Conference, consists of four weekly Zoom sessions beginning March 3, ending March 24. Join this pilot version of a course each Annual Conference needs to offer. Registration information is found in the linked flyer.

First Aid for Mental Health free on-line training offered by Wespath on March 10 and March 24. Registration is required for each 60-minute session. Session 1 = The Basics and Session 2 = A Deeper Dive. (Note that this is not the same curriculum as the Mental Health First Aid training that we also promote.)

Memorial Service for Rev. Dr. Robert (Bob) Walker, March 12, 2022. Updated information will be posted on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries website.
Volunteers (we call them Resource Persons) help us continue our ministries despite no apportionment support and minimal staffing. We need people to serve in the following capacities, either as a team member or supporting specific projects:

South Central Jurisdiction representative member to the DMC (at least 2 meetings each quarter and independent work between meetings)
  • Participate in quarterly DMC meetings
  • Take on assignments and support a DMC team.
  • Make contacts and build relationships within the annual conferences of your jurisdiction.
  • Time needed: 5-10 hours a month.

Fund-raising team (meets quarterly)
  • Research grants and identify potential donors
  • Develop and promote fund-raising ideas and campaigns.
  • Track stories that show the difference we make.

Grants team (meets 1-2 times each spring)
  • Review and discuss accessibility grant applications
  • Submit funding recommendations to the DMC for voting

Storytellers and writers
  • Share stories of your ministries of inclusion and ways you create an accessible place of belonging for all.
  • Write a blog post or contribute to the VOICE newsletter.
  • Consult the DMC Author's Guide for more information on writing,
  • Forward relevant stories to us from your conference or other media.

Please contact us at
  • If you are already a Resource person and ready to take on a new task, or need to update your information.
  • If you have questions.
  • if you know someone who may be just the right person to work with us!

Please prayerfully consider how you can help. If you are interested in becoming a Resource Person to serve in any capacity, please check the Get Involved - Volunteer page on the DMC web site, read the Role of the Resource Person, and complete a Resource Person Application.
  • That we fill our vacancies with people who are passionate and well-informed about disability ministries and have the time to offer their gifts and graces to the DMC for the whole church and beyond!

  • For persons who responded generously to the call to support the DMC with their year-end giving, as these gifts allow us to support congregational accessibility and continue to provide resources to annual conferences and churches across the denomination.

  • For invitations and opportunities to partner with the United Methodist Women and Discipleship Ministries!

Disability Ministries Committee Resource Update #9, February, 2022

Disability Ministries Committee of the UMC -