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
- Bridge Builder Program, North Alabama Conference, Debbie Wade, 2012
- Celebrating Diversity, Welcoming All Abilities (Woodlands UMC near Houston, Texas and Mt. Pisgah UMC in Johns Creek, Georgia), Laura Buchanan, UM Communications, 2017
- Creating a Local Church Disability Ministry Committee. Disability Consultant Lynn Swedberg, 2014
- Environmental sensitivities and fragrance reduction | Disability Consultant Charlotte Hawkins Shephard, 2009-2018
- Four Ways to Increase Equity for People of All Physical and Mental Abilities (Church events, Biblical Texts, Physical Access, Worship Experience), Alisha Gordon, UM Commission on Race and Religion, 2017
- Four Ways to Reach Out to the Disability Community (Kids, Teens, Respite, Community), Laura Buchanan, UM Communications, 2018
- On Greeting Persons with Disabilities: Suggestions for ushers and greeters | Copyright Naomi Mitchum, Discipleship Ministries, 2005
- That All May Worship, a 53 page guide to welcoming from American Association of People with Disabilities (PDF)