Ways to Welcome All

alt text=Pastor greets person in wheelchair at eye level

As United Methodists, we are in ministry with people of all abilities and cultures,  and we want to enable full participation in worship and church activities. Here are examples of ways to be welcoming:

Etiquette and Communication

Etiquette may seem a formal term to portray the give and take of our communication with others. It feels like the right word to use to describe the thoughtful, considerate behavior we expect to receive from others and give to them. Learn ways to be welcoming when you are with a person who is blind, has vision loss, is deaf, is hard of hearing, has a mobility impairment or other physical disability, has a speech or language disorder, has an intellectual disability or is on the autism spectrum . . .


Church and People with Disabilities UMW, 200 slides PDF  (Adapted by Lynn Swedberg for UMW  Daylong Mission U Workshop includes songs, prayers, scripture and activities) Peggy A Johnson, United Methodist Women, New York, 2014

Introduction to Disability Ministries Seven-minute Video (The role of a disability committee and conducting Disability Concerns Workshops). Howard Guetherman, Health and Caring Ministries, Desert SW Conference, 2017

Disability Concerns video (Survey of programs and ministries). Baltimore-Washington Conference, 2017

Ways To Welcome or Maybe A Ramp Maybe More Presentation, 24 slides PDF (Physical and attitude barriers with strategies to be more welcoming), Disability Consultant Lynn Swedberg, Reverend Amanda Larsen and Debby Newman, UMC Disability Ministries Committee, 2017.

Success Stories and Articles


Worship, Ministries, Accessibility and Classroom pages offer suggestions for specific occasions and various mental and physical disabilities.