The Disability Ministries Committee leads the United Methodist Church to include people with disabilities in worship, leadership and ministry. Through advocacy, education and empowerment, we can produce results.
“It has been my goal to interject people with disabilities and disability awareness into as many places as I can, ” says Bishop Peggy Johnson.
DMC members represent geographic jurisdictions in the USA. We work with disability liaisons, churches, annual conferences, United Methodist Boards, and passionate volunteers. We provide resources on spirituality and disabilities, as well as support, and advocacy resources.
For more information about our work, check our list of frequently asked questions.
Key results and contributions:
- Book of Discipline – instrumental in allowing United Methodists with disabilities to participate in ministry and worship in a church setting.
- Book of Discipline – provides provisions for Annual Conferences to have a Disability Concerns Committee. It also advocates for accessible buildings and non-discrimination based on disability.
- Grants – UMCOR Advance #3021054 has helped to distribute and monitor over $50,000 in grants to churches and groups to increase access.
- Information and Consultations -Provides resources such as accessibility building audits, camping practices, Find-A-Church, ramps, and ADA accommodations.
- United Methodist Women – Two Year Disability Study, including manual assistance and nationwide workshops on leadership.
- Ushers and Greeters- have shared best practices with training and materials for churches.
- Worship and Education – Disability Awareness and Mental Health Sunday resources, site visits, curriculum for people with autism and intellectual disabilities and more.
The United Methodist National Task Force on Developmental Disabilities started in 1992. Reverend Kathy Reeves and the Health and Welfare unit of UMCOR responded to a request from Pat Cook of Leavenworth, Kansas. Their goal was to ensure that people with developmental disabilities and their families were included and nurtured in the worship community. In 2009, the committee expanded to include partnerships with people affected by all types of disabilities. In 2012, the UM General Conference voted to make it a standing committee. The Committee was renamed “Disability Ministries Committee of The United Methodist Church,” and was placed under the umbrella of the General Board of Global Ministries until 2018. In 2019, Bishop Peggy Johnson represented the committee at the Council of Bishops. On January 1, 2020, the committee became a unit of GCORR.