About

alt=Bishop Peggy Johnson
Bishop Peggy Johnson of E. Pennsylvania and Pen-Delaware Conferences

Mission

Through advocacy, education and empowerment, the Disability Ministries Committee (DMC) leads the United Methodist Church to create a culture where people with disabilities are fully included in worship, missions, leadership and ministry.

“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 ministry liaisons, churches, annual conferences, United Methodist Boards, and passionate volunteers to 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 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 a provision for each Annual Conference to have a Disability Concerns Committee, 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 best 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 – site visits, curriculum for people with autism and intellectual disabilities, bulletin inserts  for Disability Awareness, Sundays and Mental Health Awareness, and more.

GCORR logo: Religion and Race, the United Methodist Church, with the Cross and Flame imageHistory

The Committee is a ministry partner of the General Commission on Religion and Race. With this partnership, we  join GCORR’s overall work of equity, vital conversations and intercultural competency. We provide practical resources and support to help the church reach people with disabilities as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Our resources are free and many volunteer hours provide them, but your gifts are our primary source of funding for grants, a small part-time staff, and expenses as we conduct trainings and workshops.

The United Methodist National Task Force on Developmental Disabilities started in 1992, when 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.